Man Utd’s nine winners and losers from Ralf Rangnick appointment including Mason Greenwood
Rangnick confirms arrival of sport psychologist Sascha Lense
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RALF RANGNICK has the control at United now and with him sticking around in one way or another at the end of the season – either in the dugout or as a Sporting Director – here is Express Sport’s idea of the winners and losers in the Rangnick era
Early signs are that Rangnick is feeling his way with the England international with just 28 minutes as a second half substitute against Crystal Palace under the new boss.
Yet he would appear to have everything in his locker to shine in a Rangnick system of two high forwards in a 4-2-2-2. He has a natural right sided drift, energy, pace and an accurate eye for goal either cutting in on to his left foot or going wide on his right.
And while he needs to up his game to secure a regular spot but the potential has always been there. Rangnick could unlock it.
DONNY VAN DE BEEK
Forgotten no more, the Dutchman has the drive to grab a place in Rangnick’s system and put the disappointment of his stuttering United beginning behind him.
Adaptable enough to sit in either of the middle two pairings in a 4-2-2-2, natural pressing style will stand him in good stead as will his ability to send the ball forward quickly after winning possession.
Should be able to contribute with some goals as well arriving on the edge of the area. Huge winner from the change at the top.
Perhaps lucky to survive in post when Solskjaer got his marching orders McKenna will prove a useful bridge between old and new regimes for Rangnick.
Michael Carrick’s departure did him a huge favour given that the arrival of Chris Armas from the United States would have left probably the second assistant’s role between the pair (see Mike Phelan below).
But McKenna has the chance to learn from a manager/technical director who will not only have a huge input for at least the next two and a half years but also had a hand in the careers of Ralf Hasenhuttl, Thomas Tuchel, and Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann.
Goalposts have shifted since Edinson Cavani signed a one year extension to his deal last summer when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had yet to have Cristiano Ronaldo imposed on his best laid plans and the former boss was ready to make Cavani the role model for the youngsters.
Solskjaer convinced Cavani to extend against his family’s wishes insisting he deserved to sample the noise and adulation of a packed Old Trafford but he has seen precious little of it this season only making the starting line-up twice and only once at home.
The Uruguayan, who was left with no illusions about where he stands after having the No 7 shirt taken off him for Ronaldo at the start of the season, tends to make himself unavailable if he feels a niggle anywhere in his body.
And while he is a hard worker when he is on the pitch, he may find the rigours of Rangnick’s high pressing style week in week out make it difficult to deliver.
It feels like the France international has been on borrowed time for a while and a summer move looks not only likely but better for all parts.
Martial is a talent with the ball at his feet but it so rarely is for any length of time. In the last two seasons he has missed 24 out of 49 Premier League matches with either illness, injury or on the bench and 10 out of 15 matches in Europe either in Europa or Champions League.
Ruptured knee ligaments in March earlier this year kept him out for 14 matches but others look more deserving of a long run of development in the first team not least Sweden U21 flier Anthony Elanga who could make a dash to fill Martial’s dusty boots.
One part of Rangnick’s philosophy which has been clear is that he likes his full backs to get high and offer more than a defensive output to their game which puts Wan-Bissaka at a disadvantage. He is worth his position in the side on his one on one tackling, but higher up the field he is average.
The right back has lost out to the recalled Diogo Dalot, who himself lacks a yard of pace, but offers more in terms of incision in the opposition half, and AWB could struggle to impress as the season goes on.
Manchester United are already linked with Amadou Haidara, a defensive midfielder Rangnick worked with at RB Leipzig, in January and if he arrives Matic looks vulnerable.
At 33 his legs are not his strong point and whether he will be trusted as one of a two man defensive line is doubtful. Low on stats for pressing intensity he could become an expensive bench warmer until 2023.
Represents a link with the past Ferguson era which fitted the narrative under former striker Solskjaer but, with United keen to strike out in a new direction, where Phelan fits in to the new set up is less clear.
Signed a new contract in the summer but his love of grass roots coaching – does plenty at youth level in the Manchester area – plus business interests away from Old Trafford, again in youth coaching and training equipment, might see him move further into the shadows and away from the first team as the season progresses.
His position as Football Director would appear to come under direct threat by Rangnick moving to Sporting Director role at the end of the season so Murtough may not be the only one hoping Rangnick stays in the dugout for another year at least.
Hard to see how his role is not duplicating effort for an organisation and owners not known for wasting money.
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