Football Manager 2020: Manchester United Team Guide, Player Ratings, & Tactics
The Red Devils need a firm hand to steer them back to the top of the Premier League in FM 20.
Manchester United are the most successful team in Premier League history, but since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson they have dropped off the pace.
A distant second place in 2017/18 and some minor cup wins are all they can brag about in the post-Fergie era, while arch-nemesis Liverpool and local rivals Manchester City have raked in the silverware.
Football Manager 2020 gives you the chance to take over at Old Trafford and lead United back to the top of English, and European, football.
What will your journey look like?
This new feature has been a big success in FM20. It is both a short-term and long-term set of goals for the club under your direction, as laid out by the board.
It includes play style aims, financial targets, and competition results, with increasing expectations over each year of your tenure.
At Man United your primary objective in your first season is to secure a top four finish in the Premier League.
READ MORE: FM20 – Arsenal team guide
This shouldn’t be a surprise, as qualification for the Champions League is vital to the continued success of the club.
The board also expect you to reach the FA Cup semi-final and EURO Cup final, but the vital thing is your Premier League finishing spot.
You also have to develop players using the club’s youth system, but this should be simple enough.
FM 20’s tactical options are similar to those from last year, so if you are a seasoned player you won’t have to change too much.
With the talent that Man United have at their disposal they would suit a number of tactical styles, but specifically you want to be playing a forward-thinking, possession-based, style like tiki-taka that takes advantage of the quality Utd have in the middle of the park.
Against clubs like Liverpool and Man City you might want to use a counter-attacking style though, so keep that in your back pocket.
Man United have a lot of quality across the field, especially in their new signings Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire.
United’s midfield and attacking personnel naturally favour a 4-1-4-1 DM Wide, which plays a lot like the old 4-3-3 formations.
A good secondary formation for you will be the 4-2-3-1, which replaces the DM with an AMC to add creativity and attacking threat to your game.
In your 4-1-4-1 DM Wide formation your starting XI will have David De Gea in goal, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka at right back, a central pair of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw at left back.
In the midfield a trio of Fred at defensive midfielder behind the duo of Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba.
The front three will be Jesse Lingard on the right, Marcus Rashford on the left, and Anthony Martial up front.
On the bench will be Sergio Romero, Eric Bailly, Ashley Young, Nemanja Matic, Andreas Pereira, Juan Mata, and Mason Greenwood.
United’s squad may not be full of world-beaters like it was in their heyday, but there is still some serious quality in this team that can carry you up the table and keep you in games against better teams.
David De Gea – CA 4 star (172), PA 4 star (183)
It’s not a shock to see the Spanish shot-stopper here. He is one of the best goalkeepers in FM20 and still at the peak of his powers.
With 20 reflexes, 18 handling, and 16 one-on-ones he is tough to beat, and with four years left on his contract he will be on your team into his 30s.
Paul Pogba – CA 4 star (172), PA 4.5 star (185)
The mercurial midfielder is less temperamental in Football Manager than in real life. That means his talents come to the fore much more and you can rely on his match-winning ability.
His 19 technique, 18 passing, and 18 flair will unlock defences, and his 17 stamina and 17 strength will have him running and battling all day.
Anthony Martial – CA 3.5 star (152), PA 4 star (172)
United’s top frontman when you take over will be Anthony Martial. The young Frenchman is a natural upfront as well as wide on the left, meaning you don’t have to sell him if you sign a new striker.
Martial brings 19 flair, 19 dribbling, and 17 pace to torment defenders. His 15 finishing is solid, but he can play in others with 16 passing too.
From David Beckham and Ryan Giggs to their current crop of stars, Manchester United have a history of developing quality players through their youth system. These are the best players under 20 currently in the system.
Mason Greenwood – CA 2.5 star (122), 4 star (150-180)
Greenwood will be in the senior team when you take over despite being just 17. He is ready to get serious minutes in the Premier League too.
READ MORE: How to sign an uninterested player in FM20
He already has 16 finishing and 17 determination, along with 16 acceleration to burst past defenders.
Hannibal Mejbri – CA 1.5 star (92), PA 4 star (150-180)
The 16-year-old attacking midfielder has a bright future ahead of him. His stats are already strong, with 15 flair, 14 vision, and 14 technique, and in a few years time he will put up towards that massive PA range.
Diogo Dalot – CA 2.5 star (132), PA 3.5 star (140-170)
The 20-year-old Portuguese full back is a versatile player who can play on either flank. He has 15 acceleration and 14 pace along with 13 passing, 14 teamwork, and 14 work rate. Labelled as a breakthrough prospect he should be challenging for first-team minutes soon.
|Youth Prospects||Overall Depth|
|Goalkeeper Depth||Off The Ball|
|Defender Depth||Free Kick Taking|
Team Leaders: David De Gea, Paul Pogba, Ashley Young
Highly Influential Players: Marcus Rashford, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Phil Jones, Nemanja Matic, Sergio Romero, Harry Maguire, Anthony Martial
Dynamics depict the dressing room atmosphere and hierarchy at your club. It is important to keep the team leaders and highly influential players happy. More playing time and big contracts to other players can see them leap up the tiers, so be sure to keep an eye on this tab so you understand how your team fits together.
Keeping De Gea and Pogba happy should be simple enough as long as the results keep coming in. Giving Young the game time he wants may be trickier though as he is certainly not a first-choice full back now.
Starting transfer budget: £100 million
Remaining wage budget: £301,000 a week
Man United are a financial powerhouse. Despite them spending a combined £120 million on Maguire & Wan-Bissaka in the summer you still have £100 million to play with when you take over, as well as a big chunk of wage budget to work with.
There is plenty of space in the United squad for more players, so you don’t have to sell off anyone to make space. If you were to move on from anyone then Juan Mata would be the first to go. The 31-year-old has no movement ability and will be better suited to a different league.
New transfer budget: £119 million
New remaining wage budget: £436,000 a week
So, what should you do with all this money?
While the central midfield is pretty solid for United, the defensive midfield spot is not. Matic & Fred can fill the role, but if you want to push your way back up the league table then having a quality option at the base of your midfield is key. There are a number of options, but there is one that stands out.
Marcos Llorente is 24 years old and already a quality player. With 18 natural fitness, 17 work rate, and 16 stamina he can be your engine room, while his 16 tackling, 15 passing, and 14 vision means he can play as a shield for your defence or the base for an attack.
|Julian Weigl||23||Borussia Dortmund||Germany||143/159||£15.5m||£66k|
Martial is a good player, but he isn’t lethal in front of goal. Mason Greenwood could be one day, but he is just 17 and entirely unproven. If you want to win the Premier League you’re going to have to score goals, so finding a new striker is not a bad option given the money at your disposal.
Lautaro Martinez won’t come cheap, but the young Argentine is at the forefront of the next generation of goal scorers. His 19 determination, 17 flair, 16 anticipation, and 17 technique all support a 15 finishing that will grow. His 16 first touch will also help him when it comes to poaching goals.
|Patrik Schick||23||RB Leipzig||Czech Republic||140/168||£12m||£75k|
|Erling Haaland||18||RB Salzburg||Norway||142/150-180||£11.75m||£16.5k|
Man United’s contract situation isn’t too bad when you take over. There are five players on a deal that will expire at the end of your first season. Of these, you will want to retain Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah to retain enough depth across your back four.
If you don’t sign a new midfielder then extending Nemanja Matic may be a wise move too. However, both Lee Grant and Ashley Young can be allowed to leave without too much worry.
There is an issue on the horizon though, as Paul Pogba’s massive £300,000 a week deal expires in June 2021, so you’ll have to retain some budget to try and re-sign him. Jesse Lingard is also up in 2021, so you will need to retain or replace him.
United’s finances are in an incredibly good position. With a balance expected to increase year on year you can plan to have enormous transfer and wage budgets in the near future. However, a lot of this is contingent on your keeping total wage costs down early on and winning that all-important Champions League place.
Return to dominance
Manchester United fans have been dying for a return to their dominant ways ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. If you can lead them back to the top then you will be an icon at the club, and it is certainly doable.
Given their financial clout and global reputation you can sign effectively whoever you want, but if the results don’t come then the board won’t hesitate to cut ties with you.
It won’t be an easy road, as the Premier League is highly competitive, but the club vision gives you some time to achieve victory.
Full Man United Player Ratings
|David De Gea||28||GK||SK||Attack||4 star||172/183|
|Aaron Wan-Bissaka||21||D (R) WB (R) M (R) AM (R)||WB||Support||3 star||141/166|
|Harry Maguire||26||D (C)||BPD||Defend||3.5 star||150/156|
|Victor Lindelof||24||D (C)||CD||Defend||3 star||148/158|
|Luke Shaw||23||D (L) WB (L)||WB||Support||3 star||143/150|
|Fred||26||DM M (C)||DLP||Support||2.5 star||142/152|
|Scott McTominay||22||M (C)||RP||Support||2.5 star||139/146|
|Paul Pogba||26||M (C) AM (C)||AP||Attack||4 star||172/185|
|Jesse Lingard||26||M (RL) AM (RLC)||W||Support||3 star||145/152|
|Marcus Rashford||21||AM (L) ST||IF||Support||3 star||150/170|
|Anthony Martial||23||AM (L) ST||DLF||Support||3 star||152/172|
|Sergio Romero||32||GK||SK||Support||3 star||138/146|
|Eric Bailly||25||D (C)||NNCB||Stopper||3 star||145/155|
|Ashley Young||33||D (RL) M (L)||IW||Support||2.5 star||138/155|
|Nemanja Matic||30||DM M (C)||CM||Defend||3 star||137/165|
|Andreas Pereira||23||M (C) AM (C)||Mezzala||Attack||2.5 star||136/150|
|Juan Mata||31||AM (RC)||AP||Support||3 star||139/174|
|Mason Greenwood||17||ST||AF||Attack||2.5 star||122/150-180|
|Lee Grant||36||GK||SK||Defend||2 star||122/130|
|Phil Jones||27||D (C)||CD||Defend||3 star||140/148|
|Axel Tuanzebe||21||D (C)||BPD||Cover||3 star||136/158|
|Marcos Rojo||29||D (C)||NNCB||Stopper||3 star||136/158|
|Timothy Fosu-Mensah||21||D (RC) DM M (C)||WB||Defend||2.5 star||124/138|
|Diogo Dalot||20||D (R) WB (R)||CWB||Support||2.5 star||132/150-180|
|Daniel James||21||M (L) AM (RL)||W||Support||2.5 star||134/153|