6 Man Utd players that Sir Jim Ratcliffe needs to build the club’s future around

After years of Glazer-orchestrated chaos, Manchester United enter uncharted territory and a new beginning under the stewardship of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS.

The Lancashire-born billionaire and his petrochemicals company now have full sporting control over the Red Devils following their minority takeover of the club. Not much has changed on the pitch just yet, but they’ve wasted no time at board level.

Omar Berrarda was poached from Manchester City to become the new CEO, Dan Ashworth is currently on gardening leave ahead of joining the club from Newcastle and more appointments are expected to be made, in a bid to streamline and revive a farcical footballing operation.

Discussing boardroom changes is no fun, though, and Ratcliffe will be defined by results on the pitch. With that in mind, we’ve highlighted the six players he needs to rebuild United’s future around.

Andre Onana

It’s been a tough debut season for Onana, who was bought with the hope of helping United become stronger in possession when building out from the back.

The dominant theme from his first campaign between the sticks, however, has largely been blunders and United being no better at playing out. Having said that, Onana has improved considerably in the second half of the season and is undoubtedly world class when at his best.

Replacing David de Gea was the right decision and with Onana still just 27, we back him to kick on from a challenging first season. One thing he’s never lacked is resilience and personality.

Combine that with a very clear ability and there’s no reason why he can’t become a great.

Lisandro Martinez

In the same game he made a triumphant return from a foot injury that had United fans worried they’d never see the Butcher back at his best, another freak injury occurred and put Martinez back on the shelf.

It’s no coincidence that United have looked abysmal for the most part without the Argentine in the XI. He is undoubtedly one of their talented and most important assets, from his tough tackling, to his freakish press resistance and his very obvious charisma and leadership qualities.

Martinez raises the level of his colleagues around him and is key to United being better in possession and tougher out of it. A captain without the armband.

Harry Amass

If you don’t already know, then get to. Harry Amass in action for Man Utd's under-18s (Credit: @IeRavage on X)

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Kobbie Mainoo

Without putting more unnecessary pressure on a teenager at one of the biggest clubs in football receiving attention from all angles, we think Mainoo might just be the second coming of Jesus.

Joking aside, you don’t need us to remind you of just how talented the Stockport-born maestro already is. United have found a new local hero and he’s got the potential to be their midfield metronome for the next 15 years. He’s genuinely that good.

Tough in the tackle, not shaken by any rival or behemoth before him, and obscenely silky with the ball at his feet, Mainoo embodies everything that an all-conquering United side should represent.

Monitoring his development and protecting him from burnout is crucial.

Alejandro Garnacho

From a promising kid who was happy ripping it up at youth level and slacking on the rules, Garnacho has had to be whipped into shape, but now a once rough diamond is looking increasingly polished.

Garnacho looked special from the moment he arrived in Manchester during COVID and announced himself to the world with his FA Youth Cup final brace in 2022, but a slow start under Erik ten Hag cast doubt over his mentality.

Since that early wobble, the sky has proven the limit for the Argentine. At 19, he’s become one of the first names on the teamsheet under Ten Hag and is capable of turning defenders into dust on either flank.

His mentality – combined with outrageous technical ability – is frightening for his age and it’s hard not to be reminded of a young Cristiano Ronaldo.

He’s already made 74 first-team appearances and has 21 goal contributions to his name, including a potential goal of the season overhead kick against Everton.

United must do everything in their power to ensure he develops properly and stays put in Manchester, instead of being tempted back to his birthplace Madrid, should an opportunity present itself. MAN-U-MOST-IMPROVED-FIGMA-WEB

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Rasmus Hojlund

Considering the £72million that United parted with to sign Hojlund from Atalanta, it’d be pretty insane if he wasn’t included in this list.

Thankfully, after a slow start in the Premier League, his abilities in front of goal and his physical attributes already point to his potential being more than enough to make that fee worthwhile.

Essentially the only striker at the club with Anthon Martial seemingly permanently injured, Hojlund has had to shoulder immeasurable expectation in his first season, but already has 13 goals and two assists for the Red Devils.

At just 21, he moves around the box like a veteran centre forward sniffing out half chances, but has a freakish range on both feet and blistering pace and strength. A Danish bulldozer, United could do with another striker for him to learn from, but keeping the 21-year-old is key.

We have little doubt that he’ll be a world-beater in years to come, so long as Ratcliffe gets the house in order at United.

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