FootballManchester United

Man United mid-season report cards

Evaluating the Red Devils at the halfway point of the season

Table of Contents

Manchester United has reached the halfway mark of a season that’s turned around dramatically over the past two months.

After a trying start to the season, the Red Devils have turned the corner and been able to find much more consistency in their game.

Here’s a look at the United players and what grades I would give them at this stage of the season.

The Keepers

 David de Gea- B+

 For the first time since taking over the starting position at Old Trafford, the Spaniard came into this season with his number one job in question.

In the midst of the goalkeeping controversy between him and Dean Henderson de Gea’s had another solid start to this Premier League campaign.

In 22 appearances in all competitions for United this season, he’s got seven clean sheets, making 51 saves.

When in goal in the Premier League United have nine wins and three losses under de Gea.

It’s not that de Gea’s been poor at all he’s just had to make more saves than usual.

His defence is inconsistent and he has to deal with more goalscoring opportunities than in the past.

If there’s an area of concern it’s the number of goals conceded which currently stands at 30 in all competitions

None of those goals have been his fault but he needs to be there to make a few more big saves if United are to win their first trophy since 2017.

Dean Henderson- C+

 It’s difficult to assess Dean Henderson’s play in goal as a whole.

He hasn’t seen much action in the big games against high-profile opponents.

He kept three clean sheets in the Carabao Cup but against weak sides like Luton and Brighton where he only had to make a couple of saves.

In his one Champions League start, he conceded twice to Istanbul in a game that looking back cost United a shot to advance past the group stage.

He’s 2-0 in Premier League starts this season but conceded three times, twice against the last-place Sheffield United.

Henderson is far better than his C+ grade but given his lack of competition and starts it’s hard to give a good solid assessment on his game.


 Harry Maguire-B

 The United skipper has had an up and down season for the Reds thus far.

The drama that followed the infamous arrest in Greece last summer seemed to follow him early on this season.

He was particularly sloppy in the team’s 6-1 defeat to Tottenham.

As a whole, though he’s been strong in the air, leading the team in headed clearances and aerial battles and solid when it comes to interceptions.

He’s the best they got at the back but United does tend to concede some grade-A chances to their opponents which doesn’t help his case.

The hardest thing for Maguire is the fact he’s the lone defender who is strong in the air.

That means clearing away corners and dangerous free-kicks is primarily his responsibility and no one else’s.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka-C-

 The United defender has been far from his best in 17 Premier League matches.

He’s won just over half his tackles on the season.

His passes and crosses tend to be off the mark causing United to struggle with counter attacks.

United’s conceded 20 Premier League goals when he’s on the pitch.

When the opposition attacks he struggles to spot or clear the danger.

He’s not made a single block in the Premier League so far.

Victor Lindelof-D

 The Swedish full-back continues to lack efficiency and consistency in his game.

In 21 starts across all competitions, he’s been very disappointing.

He’s won slightly over half his duels and 50-50s this season.

That’s a big reason why de Gea and Henderson face so many quality shots.

As a full-back, he’s not much help in the attack.

That’s a liability in a position that requires you to make overlaps and join in the build-up.

Luke Shaw- B+

 When healthy Luke Shaw is a solid player to have in your back end.

He’s a strong tackler, a solid distributor, and usually in the right position

He struggles aerially so in that sense he and Maguire complement each other well, where one struggles the other excels.

Alex Telles- B-

Since signing during the fall transfer window, the Brazilian has made 12 appearances for the Red Devils.

He’s been great when it comes to winning tackles and has provided some great outlet passes to kick start counter-attacks.

His 50-50s need improvement.

Eric Bailly- B

Bailly’s made 11 appearances for United this season.

He’s solid when it comes to tackling, duels, and 50-50s.

He’s not much help when it comes to getting into the rush to create opportunities.

In limited action, he’s been good.

Axel Tuanzebe- C-

 It’s difficult to assess his play having made just four starts but Tuanzebe has been average at best when called upon.

He’s won his share of tackles and 50-50s but has mental lapses now and again.


 Bruno Fernandes- A+

 Easily the biggest reason United are in the position they are is because of the play of Bruno Fernandes.

He’s been nothing short of extraordinary since signing at Old Trafford over a year ago.

15 goals and eight assists in all competitions and more goal involvements than appearances is very impressive, to say the least.

When United needs a spark he’s the one who provides it, when the game is on the line he’s the one they call.

He’s smart, creative, and dependable which is more than anyone can ask of him.

Scott McTominay- B

 The Scottish midfielder is developing into a solid two-way player at Old Trafford.

He flies out of the gate when a match starts scoring three of his four goals within the first ten minutes of play.

He’s strong when it comes to winning balls from defence and launching counter-attacks and a decent tackler.

He might not have the flair of the other midfielders but he’s a valuable piece in United’s squad.

Fred- C-

 The Brazilian midfielder has struggled to find his game in 2020/21.

In 21 appearances he’s yet to score.

He’s a hard-nosed tackler but lacks discipline and focus both of which cost his side dearly in the Champions League.

Paul Pogba- B-

 The French midfielder is playing his best football of the season right now but his season as a whole has been average.

In 24 appearances across all competitions, he’s got four goals.

He gave away two penalties early in the season and lacked the vision and creativity United paid so much for.

Since his agent’s suggestion he leave United he’s become a very different player.

He’s starting to score goals, create chances, and looks as lively as ever since rejoining the Red Devils.

His recent form has really improved his grade as he’s got two match-winning goals in the past three EPL games.

Juan Mata- C+

 At the tail end of his career, Mata still has something left.

He’s may lack the creativity from years past but with two goals he can still contribute.

If anything, his presence helps Solskjaer rest top-end players for the big encounters.

An average tackler but with good positional play and strong on the ball, albeit against weak opposition.

Donny van de Beek- B

The Ajax transfer is smart, fast, strong on the ball, and a good solid provider.

The only thing preventing him from getting rave reviews is the fact he rarely plays a full game.

In nine starts this season he’s got one goal.

When he does play he is very effective in creating chances and winning balls in his own half.

His versatility doesn’t seem to count for much in Solskjaer’s eyes.

Daniel James- C-

 With just seven starts Daniel James remains very raw.

He battles and distributes the ball well just needs more experience to hone the rest of his game.


 Marcus Rashford- A

 If you were to evaluate the kindest, most loving human being Marcus Rashford would get a 10 out of 10.

The local product is a shining example of how who you are is more important than what you achieve.

That being said he’s off to a very good start in the 2020/21 campaign.

The Englishman has 14 goals in all competitions and is easily the most consistent performers at his position this season.

He’s also shown he can link-up well with the likes of Fernandes and Pogba among others.

He can score big goals to like his last-minute strike against Wolves.

Anthony Martial- C-

 Coming off a season where he netted 17 times in the Premier League the Frenchman’s yet to find his scoring touch this season.

In 19 starts in all competitions, he’s got five goals.

He’s had plenty of opportunities but lacks that decisive touch in the end.

Mason Greenwood- D+

 Like Martial Greenwood’s backtracked a little from what was a solid 2019/20 season.

With 10 Premier goals, last season Greenwood seemed to be steadily improving.

In 24 appearances this season he’s rarely been able to provide that spark needed.

He’s got just three goals in all competitions.

Edinson Cavani-B+

 At 33 the Uruguayan striker is proving that age is merely a number.

Many questioned this signing on the window deadline deeming it as a desperate move by a team struggling in that department.

Cavani’s answered those questions with four goals in limited action (17 total appearances).

He’s shown his presence can change the complexion of a game.

It’s his spark that turned around a 2-0 scoreline against Southampton and made the difference in their Carabao Cup quarterfinal with Everton.

He also scored the equaliser in Wednesday’s comeback against Fulham.

If only he got more game action his grade might be higher.


 The likes of Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Brandon Williams, and company didn’t get a grade.

Given how little they’ve all featured it seems rather unfair to evaluate their play.

It seems equally unfair to give them a failing grade simply due to the fact those players have been on the sidelines mainly due to injuries.

I figured playing at least 10 games or more was the fairest way to evaluate the players to this point.

United is now in first place as they aim for their first Premier League title since 2012/13. (JSL).

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