Sports

Manchester United player ratings of the season as Cristiano Ronaldo good and Harry Maguire poor – Samuel Luckhurst



David de Gea

His best season at United since 2017-18. De Gea produced several matchwinning performances and improved and impressed to the level he failed to last season. 8

Dean Henderson

Contracting Covid-19 in July and De Gea’s resurgence wrote off Henderson’s season. He has had three starts and all of them were in United’s least significant games. A poor penalty shootout contributed to Middlesbrough’s win in the fourth round of the FA Cup. 5

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Whether it is defending at the far post, pressing or crossing, Wan-Bissaka is worst-in-class. Whereas his subdued second season had flickers of life, his third has been lifeless and he lost his place not long after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked. This is likely to be his last United season. 2

READ MORE: Players briefing against legends, Rangnick’s nickname and fraught meetings – the inside story of the worst United season in decades

Diogo Dalot

Had to be patient after an unfulfilling start to the season under Solskjaer and has performed reasonably under Ralf Rangnick until the run-in. He has improved defensively but Dalot’s attacking output has been suspect and there were chastening performances against Villarreal and Aston Villa. 5

Harry Maguire

A walking disaster of a season. With crowds back and expectations raised, many United players were found out and Maguire was the most glaring example. Take your pick of the nightmares: Leicester, Liverpool (home and away), Watford, Burnley. 2

Raphael Varane

United are a better defensive side with Varane in it but he too cracked in the run-in at Brighton, where he was finally involved in a four-goal humiliation. Missed too much of the season through injury. 5

Victor Lindelof

Like many teammates, Lindelof peaked this season with the opening thrashing of Leeds. His other memorable performance was at Elland Road and outperforming Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds is nothing to crow about. Heavily culpable for United’s most disastrous results and got worse after the March internationals. 3

Eric Bailly

His contract last year was a waste of money and paper. Played seven times this season and has not appeared for United in three months. Excelled at Atalanta and Chelsea but his own goal sparked an onslaught from City and Bailly fell behind Phil Jones in the central defensive pecking order. 3

Phil Jones

Started twice and has long outstayed his welcome at United but stayed fit for most of the season and should prolong his career elsewhere. Performed creditably on his first start in nearly two years in the defeat to Wolves. 3

Luke Shaw

United were warned of a possible England hangover from Maguire and Shaw, two internationals who seem more invested in playing for their country than their club, and they have been involved in United’s most shameful defeats. Shaw lost his place for a period and did not play in the last three months of the season. 3

Alex Telles

Whenever Telles has had chances he has reinforced the view he is merely a squad player. His performances went from nondescript to offensive once United went out of the Champions League. 4

Fred

It is perverse Fred was one of the three United players sarcastically cheered off by supporters. He is one of the few who has transmitted his behind-closed-doors performances to packed stadiums and Fred improved after Michael Carrick moved him further forward. Scored some key winners. 6

Scott McTominay

Does not lack commitment but does lack quality. Easily found out against stellar midfields and the zenith of his season was at home to Burnley. 4

Paul Pogba

Pogba’s inability to establish himself in a role at club level contributed to his demotion in October and soon there was a three-month injury lay-off. Excelled in August and February but apposite his epitaph was to cup his ear to fans telling him to ‘f–k off’ at Old Trafford walk off after 10 minutes at Anfield with United 1-0 down three days later. 4

Nemanja Matic

At times underused and at others overused. He was United’s only defensive midfielder and it often showed when Matic played and did not play. Dependable in isolated periods but rarely for a full 90 minutes. 5

Juan Mata

Started against West Ham in the League Cup and Young Boys in a Champions League group stage dead rubber, came on for the last seconds with the game won at Villarreal and sent on to take a penalty in the shootout against Middlesbrough. Suddenly started getting minutes in the final months of the season and provided a crowdpleasing send-off against Brentford. 4

Bruno Fernandes

Has the numbers (10 goals and 13 assists) but not the performances. Fernandes can still create something out of nothing but he is not a consistent enough threat during games and frustration regularly gets the better of him. He got worse after receiving a salary hike. 4

Jesse Lingard

Should have been sold in the summer and then should have been sold in the winter. He was bafflingly overlooked by Solskjaer and was key in the wins over West Ham and Villarreal but he was underused and did not help himself by communicating through Instagram. 3

Jadon Sancho

His first three-and-a-half months were dismal and Sancho only perked up once Solskjaer was gone, scoring against Villarreal and Chelsea. He started promisingly under Rangnick but then suffered another lull. Shone between the January and March internationals but then regressed. 5

Marcus Rashford

Made an encouraging return from shoulder surgery with three goals in his first four games in October but there have been two since. Rashford is not in a rut – he has been out of form for close to 18 months – and he was one of the few players cheered off by matchgoers on a night the crowd turned against him in the FA Cup win over Aston Villa. 2

Anthony Elanga

Elanga recovered from Solskjaer’s indecisiveness, a missed penalty in the Middlesbrough shootout and the racial abuse from faceless lowlifes to score at the bear pits of Elland Road and the Wanda Metropolitano in February. Elanga has kept Sancho and Rashford out of the team and while there are kinks to iron out the 19-year-old has exceeded expectations in his breakthrough season. 6

Edinson Cavani

Cavani missed 29 of United’s 49 matches this season and asked to sit out the FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough. There were few starts (eight) and even fewer goals (two). 3

Cristiano Ronaldo

Twenty-four goals in the most demanding league in a season he turned 37 is some going for the game’s greatest goalscorer. All of Ronaldo’s goals have come in the Premier League and Champions League and many have been decisive. Recovered from a lean spell of one goal in 10 games with a stunning hat-trick against Tottenham. 8

Marks are assigned individually to current squad players who have started more than once this season.





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