Formed: 1878 Manager: Louis van Gaal Stadium: Old Trafford Capacity: 75,635 Years in Premier League: 23 Last 3 seasons: 2014-15: 4th 2013-14: 7th 2012-13: 1st Best finish: 1st (1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2012-13) Opening day fixture: Tottenham (H), Aug 8 Last day fixture: Bournemouth (H), May 15
This season’s aim:
Qualifying for the UEFA Champions League topped off a relatively satisfying campaign during Louis van Gaal’s foundation season at Old Trafford, but now it is time for Manchester United to step up and challenge for the Premier League title for the first time since the departure of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson back in 2013. Summer signings Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian and Morgan Schneiderlin will excite Red Devil fans; meanwhile the addition of World Cup winning midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger should help the club rediscover their thirst for major silverware. With Robin van Persie joining winger Nani at Fenerbahce and Radamel Falcao failing to earn a permanent move at United this summer, all eyes will turn to captain Wayne Rooney for exemplary leadership and the team’s main source of goalscoring threat. Finishing in the top-four is a minimum requirement at Old Trafford this season, from what will become three years on from Sir Alex, Manchester United need to start competing with England’s best and Europe’s finest once again.
Memphis Depay (PSV Eindhoven), Matteo Darmian (Torino), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton), Sergio Romero (Sampdoria)
Tom Cleverley (Everton), Ben Amos (Bolton Wanderers), Tom Thorpe (Released), Saidy Janko (Celtic), Nani (Fenerbahce), Will Keane (Preston North End), Robin van Persie (Fenerbahce), Angel Di Maria (PSG)
Star Player: Wayne Rooney
The England skipper will undoubtedly be manager Louis van Gaal’s main man this season as the Red Devils look to conjure up a serious challenge for the Premier League title. Wayne Rooney scored 14 goals in 37 appearances in all competitions for Manchester United last season, finishing as the club’s top goalscorer following Robin van Persie’s inability to stay fit and Radamel Falcao miserable loan spell at Old Trafford last term. But with both of those forwards moving onto pastures new this summer at Fenerbahce and Chelsea respectively, Van Gaal has signalled his intention to play Rooney as United’s leading striker, captaining the side from the front as the 20-time league champions aim to rediscover their silverware-winning mentality.
Shoot’s Man United blogger: James Browning
Blogger’s view: “With Louis van Gaal having consolidated what was a fairly solid squad this summer, Manchester United are firmly back on their way to the pinnacle of European football. A stronger push for top spot in the Premier League is on its way at Old Trafford; nobody will be happy with anything less than third place. The key men will be Luke Shaw, Morgan Schneiderlin and Wayne Rooney. The first of the three has a lot to prove but impressed in pre-season; Schneiderlin is one of the league’s finest at shielding his back four, and Rooney, as always, will be the talisman. Leading from the front is a big task by yourself, but if anyone can do it, Wayne can. If the Red Devils reach the Champions League group stage, progression from that phase will be expected. A cup run would also be brilliant, but probably not the biggest priority.”
Blogger’s key man: Wayne Rooney
Shoot Says: Top-four finish