Man United are being linked to a move to make Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel their next manager in the summer.
While the German manager keeps denying allegations that he might leave the Blues soon, there is an outside chance that he steps away after the season
If Chelsea are unable to pay him his full wages due to financial problems or if he disagrees with the vision of the new owners, Tuchel could opt to join another club.
Here is how the Red Devils could potentially line up under Tuchel if he becomes the new manager.
Tuchel has predominantly used the 3-5-2 set-up to much success at Chelsea. He’ll probably do the same if he takes over at Old Trafford.
This will allow him to strengthen the defensive shape and stop United from conceding goals so much, while also getting the best out of the wing-backs. We’ll look into the potential XI under Tuchel with the current set of players.
David de Gea is United’s undisputed number one and saved the side time and again with his heroics this season. Tuchel loves a solid shot-stopper in his side, with Edouard Mendy saving his Chelsea side repeatedly. So it’s fair to assume that the Spaniard retains his spot under a new manager.
Tuchel prefers a 3-man defensive line – so United could play up to three centre-backs per game under his system. Raphael Varane is the most experienced and composed defender of the lot, so he’s definitely guaranteed a spot under any manager.
Victor Lindelof could also be opted because of his intelligent game-reading skills and distribution, similar to how Andreas Christensen gets a lot of game-time at Chelsea.
Harry Maguire has impressed under a 3-man backline set-up for England and Tuchel must’ve taken notice of that. If he opts to change his set-up, Maguire will probably operate as a left centre-back and will be better shielded by those around him.
Tuchel loves progressive, attack-minded full-backs in his side. That could mean a regular role for Diogo Dalot, who can easily operate as an attack-minded wing-back. Dalot’s crossing ability, speed and incisiveness makes him a good fit for the set-up.
Luke Shaw has greatly improved his crossing ability in recent seasons. He’s also excellent in delivering set pieces, one value Tuchel greatly appreciates. So it’s fair to assume he’ll be the left wing-back in the set-up.
Paul Pogba is unlikely to continue with United next season, so he’s kept out of this potential XI. Fred has excelled under Ralf Rangnick this season and Tuchel appreciates midfielders who work hard and give their all on the pitch.
The Brazilian will probably feature heavily under Tuchel if he ever takes over at Old Trafford. Right now, Scott McTominay is the only viable, fit defensive midfielder option because Nemanja Matic can’t play regularly. The Scotsman should play in the midfield three under Tuchel.
Bruno Fernandes has predominantly played as a no.10 since arriving at United. However, he can also operate as a no.8 in a centre-midfield role, having done so for Portugal and Sporting Lisbon. He’s likely to be the most advanced in the midfield line under Tuchel.
The 3-5-2 formation Tuchel deploys only allows for two forwards to be played. If he stays at United next season and unless the Red Devils sign a new striker, Cristiano Ronaldo is a lock-in for the centre-forward role.
With Edinson Cavani set to leave, the Red Devils won’t have many natural striker options left. Marcus Rashford has struggled in the central role and could only be used as an impact substitute by Tuchel. However, the German manager can opt to play Jadon Sancho as a forward – but with a twist.
Sancho’s versatility, dribbling ability and unpredictability can make him a dangerous threat in a wandering forward role. He can move to the wings, allowing Bruno to perhaps tuck into the central attacking areas can stretch open the opposition defence.
Man United’s possible XI under Tuchel: De Gea, Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, Maguire, Shaw, McTominay, Fred, Bruno, Sancho, Ronaldo.