Big Season for 2012-2013

2012/13: A big season for…

In the days leading up to United’s season opener at Goodison Park next Monday, six journalists are providing brief opinions on a number of Reds-related topics. Today’s question…

2012/13 will be a big season for which United player?

Paul Davies: Sir Alex Ferguson believes Tom Cleverley is “the best young midfielder in the country” and his season has certainly started well. The 23-year-old box-to-box man was a key member for Team GB in the Olympics, was named in Roy Hodgson’s latest England squad, and played a starring role in United’s pre-season win over Hannover 96. If Cleverley can keep this form going there will be no more talk of shortcomings in midfield.

Gemma Thompson: “We have the best manager and he knows how to bring the best out in every player,” declared Javier Hernandez during our recent interview. And his best is exactly what we want to see the Mexican marksman rediscover. Twelve goals was a decent return last season between a spate of injuries, but we want more. An all-firing Chicha can be a vital weapon in our armoury as he proved in his debut campaign.

Nick Coppack: Incredibly, the jury is still out in some quarters on David De Gea. Yes, he made the odd mistake in his first season in English football, but the boy wasn’t even 21 when the campaign kicked off. He’ll have learned a lot. A strong shot stopper and accurate distributor, the Spaniard needs only to exercise complete control over his penalty area in order to win over his critics. Do that this season and he could remain between the posts at Old Trafford for the next decade or more.

James Tuck: Brazilian midfielder Anderson has been hindered by some maddening injuries and I believe we’re yet to see him reach his full potential. Of course, there have been plenty of glimpses – think back to the terrific start he made alongside Tom Cleverley last season, for instance – but now’s the time to stay fit and showcase his undeniable talent over the full campaign.

Adam Marshall: Sir Alex has challenged Danny Welbeck to score more goals and I expect him to continue maturing into a top-class striker. He’ll certainly get more service for United than he had representing England at Euro 2012, but that experience will only benefit him and he’s looked lively already during pre-season.

Steve Bartram: United’s right-flank partnership of Rafael and Antonio Valencia showed promising signs last year, and if the Brazilian can reprise his role in that and enjoy better luck with injuries I see him becoming the fourth mainstay in the Reds’ first-choice back four. Fabio’s loan move to QPR will challenge both twins and I expect them both to end next year as more refined, mature players.


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