How’s this for a Manchester United line up without Wayne Rooney?

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first_img 11 6. Bastian Schweinsteiger (centre midfield) – With Michael Carrick’s fitness a consistent problem, Schweinsteiger was a crucial signing in the summer. The German’s performances have been satisfying, but the major issue could be his ability to handle the big games. 4. Chris Smalling (centre back) – Louis van Gaal recently voiced his belief that Smalling is a future captain of Manchester United in the making. The centre-back has been the standout player for the Red Devils this season, and credit must be handed to van Gaal for aiding the 25-year-old’s long awaited progression. 11 11 9. Ander Herrera (attacking midfield) – Herrera is adored at Old Trafford and is a name that Manchester United supporters always hope to see on the team sheet. While Juan Mata looks far more at ease in a central position, Herrera is the more versatile, and looks to be the ideal player to fill the No.10 role. Van Gaal, however, must give him a consistent run in the side. 2. Matteo Darmian (right back) – Antonio Valencia started at right back in the Manchester derby at the weekend and put in a fine performance. However, Louis van Gaal should not start chopping and changing his defence. Darmian has been a regular in the side and should remain so. 1. David De Gea (goalkeeper) – see who else makes the Rooney-less line up by clicking the arrow above – Can you imagine if De Gea had refused a new contract and joined Real Madrid in the summer? This would have been little short of a disaster, with the Spaniard remaining one of the finest goalkeepers in Europe. 11 10. Memphis Depay (left wing) – Depay, a major signing in the summer, has failed to live up to the high expectations at Old Trafford so far. But he is not a lost cause. His progression at Old Trafford could hinge on how van Gaal handles the former PSV Eindhoven winger during his spell out of the side. He has suffered for the last two matches on the bench, but it may now be time to see his response to his axing. 5. Marcos Rojo (left back) – Rojo failed to impress in his first season in Manchester, and while his start to the new campaign was slow, his performances in the last two games have been superb. If he can sustain his form, Luke Shaw may face a battle to get back in the side upon his return from injury. 11 7. Morgan Schneiderlin (centre midfield) – It has taken a while for Schneiderlin to kick into gear at Manchester United, but the last few games, he has finally put in the performances that he consistently delivered at Southampton. He offers essential balance in midfield, and his partnership with Bastian Schweinsteiger will be key this season. 11 11 8. Juan Mata (right wing) – Mata may favour playing centrally, with pace not one of his attributes, but he continues to offer an attacking threat out on the wing, thriving in the space offered. What’s more, playing on the right flank allows the Spaniard to cut in on his magical left foot. 11. Anthony Martial (striker) – The Frenchman was considered a gamble signing upon his arrival for a fee of £36m; however, with three goals in five appearances for United, Martial has certainly done enough to warrant a start as the leading centre-forward ahead of Rooney. Martial has effortlessly coped with the physicality, the pace and the pressure in the Premier League, and should van Gaal continue to play him out wide, his natural ability in front of goal will only be wasted. 11 11 11 3. Phil Jones (centre back) – Daley Blind has often deputised at centre-back, but it is high time an out-and-out defender partnered Chris Smalling. The former Blackburn Rovers man is yet to fulfil his potential, but a combination of Jones and Smalling is certainly the preferred option. The first Manchester derby of the season finished goalless at Old Trafford, and at the final whistle, a number of Manchester United supporters passed the blame for their side’s failure to threaten City goalkeeper Joe Hart on to Wayne Rooney.ANGRY RED DEVILS FANS TURN ON THEIR CAPTAIN AFTER DERBY DRAWFrom complaining that the Premier League will never be won with Rooney up front to stating he is finished at this level, the England international suffered heavy criticism.And while such comments are harsh on one of the Premier League’s all-time top scorers, his performances has left many wondering whether manager Louis van Gaal should field a team without the club captain in the starting line up – if simply to experiment. Therefore, talkSPORT has put together an XI that doesn’t include Rooney, and has an inspired young Frenchman leading the line…Take a look by clicking the yellow arrow above, right. 11last_img

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