How Man Utd should line up week-in week-out with Cavani up front after players moan about Solskjaer's tinkering

Manchester United have been accused of lacking consistency in their selection.

Here, Tom McDermott picks his best United XI ahead of the huge game against Manchester City on Saturday, amid claims Ole Gunnar's Solskjaer's squad are frustrated by the Old Trafford manager's tinkering.  

Dean Henderson 

The youngster has been patient, and got his chance when De Gea came off injured at Southampton a few weeks ago. The truth is, De Gea has been on the decline for a couple of years now.

Former United legend and teammate of De Gea’s, Paul Scholes, thought the Spaniard could have done better for RB Leipzig’s third goal and he was right.

It’s time Henderson was given a go not just for his club but country as well.

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Aaron Wan-Bissaka 

It’s been a strange start to the season for Wan-Bissaka who looks like he’s regressing in many ways. But, with Diogo Dalot on loan at AC Milan, United don’t have any other options that are ready to fill in.

Perhaps the lack of confidence throughout the team has impacted his form, but he’s still got the potential to be an excellent full-back especially in one-versus-one situations. 

Axel Tuanzebe 

Excellent against PSG away but hasn’t been seen since really. Has all the attributes to be an outstanding defender, we just need to see consistently on the pitch. You get the feeling that the next few months are critical for his United career. Once he’s in and playing, he’ll be difficult to move.  

Harry Maguire 

Maguire will be fine if he’s got a more mobile partner to play alongside – and if the captaincy is removed from him. Harsh? I don’t think so. The former Leicester City defender needs to get back to the form that made United want to sign him in the first place, and if he can rediscover that, then there’s a very good central defender there.

Alex Telles 

Didn’t look comfortable in the “wing back” position in midweek in the Champions League, but he didn’t have much support. Telles is better in the opposition third than Luke Shaw who often struggles with form and fitness.

For this reason, there’s a great opportunity for the Brazilian to make the left sided spot his own for the remainder of the campaign. 


Much-maligned but United miss his energy when he doesn’t start, and if you look at the statistics, they back this theory up. Yes, Fred has his faults, but he’s very good at breaking play up and keeping things simple in the midfield, something United need with such a brittle defence.  

Donny Van de Beek  

It’s hard to describe his early United career, but he’s done enough when on the pitch to warrant a start – and is far more consistent than Paul Pogba.

Van de Beek may have to put this season down as a learning one, but whoever is in charge next season will have to start taking his talent seriously.  

Van de Beek is capable of playing in multiple midfield positions which means he’s often difficult to pick up. Like Tuanzebe, we need to see him on the pitch, consistently from the start. 

Bruno Fernandes 

Where would United be without him? I wouldn’t say United are a one man team, but when he doesn’t start, they’re nowhere near as good or creative. Fernandes’ leadership skills and constant demands of those around him, make him the outstanding candidate to be captain.

Perhaps when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does move on, he’ll get that chance. If United are to reach their targets this campaign, then they’ll need a fit and firing Fernandes.  

Mason Greenwood 

Appears to have got over his early season loss of form and is starting to look sharp again. Solskjaer described the academy graduate as the “best finisher at the club” which is some accolade given that the squad includes Edinson Cavani. Greenwood will be United’s number nine for years to come, but for now he’s impossible to leave out of the wide right position. 

Edinson Cavani 

Past his best perhaps but his movement and finishing are a step above what United are used to. As we have already seen during his short time at the club, if you give him a chance, he’ll convert it.

What United need to do now is get him linking up with Fernandes a little more, creating what could be a mouth-watering partnership.  


The Frenchman just edges out Rashford but that could change unless his performances improve. Both have been wasteful in recent weeks and need to regain the same consistency as last season. It’s strange because between them they’ve played over 300 times for the club so should be moving towards the type of player that sets the example for others to follow.  

Yet it never feels like we are getting the absolute best out of them. And with Greenwood tipped to only get better, one of them might have to get used to a more regular spot on the bench. 

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