Manchester United are getting closer to the start of the new season and thus their pre-season is nearing the end. The Red Devils have played five friendly matches so far this summer in the United States and there is only the clash with Bayern Munich to finish it all off. First it was two draws against Club America and San Jose Earthquakes. Afterwards, there was a draw against Milan, which United later won on penalties before losing 4-1 to Liverpool. Just days after that, United won 2-1 against Real Madrid.
Of course, the first natural thing to be in everyone’s heads right now is not to look too hard into the pre-season. While that is generally true, not looking at it at all is not good either. So, we have to look at certain things and try and see some possible things to learn from it all. Here are our thoughts.
Andreas Pereira Can Be A No. 6
In general, no one really thought of Andreas Pereira as a deep-lying playmaker, sitting in front of the back four and setting the tempo. But Jose Mourinho did. And the Brazilian liked that idea, saying that he can now see himself playing in that position, of being a number 6 of sorts. Which is something new. After spending a season at Valencia, Pereira now seems to be ready to do whatever he is asked off and during this pre-season he showed that he might be able to move to that position when necessary. His passing looked very good and he is bright for seeing empty pockets on the pitch, moving the ball to such areas swiftly.
Alexis Sanchez Is Looking Like Alexis Sanchez Of Old
This is the first summer for Alexis Sanchez after five years without having to play international tournaments. It was always some World Cup, Copa America or even Confederations Cup. Now, he had the time off to rest which seemed necessary for him. At certain times last season, both at Arsenal and Man United, Sanchez looked exhausted, lacking freshness. During this pre-season we could see Alexis Sanchez of old. He was vibrant and energetic, running all over the pitch, hounding opposition players and doing great things with the ball. Very good.
Fred Started Well
We did not really see Fred all that much this summer, but what we did see looked quite interesting. His display against Real Madrid was a really good one. He played just over an hour and he looked sharp on the ball. Fred offered some good link-up play with offensive midfielders and looked very comfortable with the ball when opposition players were around. He was not afraid of getting the most out of those situations and it will be even more interesting to see him link-up with Paul Pogba. Fred should offer some nice creativity to this team, as well.
Jose Is Preparing For 3 At The Back
We have seen this in several pre-season matches and it might be something new for Manchester United. Mourinho could be ready to implement it only occasionally, but it is obvious he is preparing it. Whether the possible new centre-back would play big part in such plans, remains unknown. However, just the thought of Mourinho possibly switching to 3-5-2 could be interesting in itself.