Manchester United have faced calls to appoint Antonio Conte as their manager from fans and pundits alike following their Champions League defeat to FC Young Boys on Tuesday night. And while that won’t be happening just yet, the speculation is sure to arise multiple times over the current campaign. So Express Sport will now take a look at how different the Red Devils could look if they hire the combative Italian as their next manager at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s expense.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
While United would likely change to a 3-4-3 formation if Conte takes over, David De Gea would stay between the sticks.
The Italian never really changes his goalkeepers, having stuck with Gianluigi Buffon, Thibaut Courtois and Samir Handanovic at Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan respectively.
De Gea has had some rough moments under Solskjaer.
But he’s come out the other end, with the Spain international appearing to be somewhat back to his best.
If he can keep that consistency, the Red Devils will be all the better for it.
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Midfield: Dalot, Pogba, Fred, Shaw
If United play three at the back, that would mean having four in midfield.
And, given Conte’s fondness for wing-backs, it may see several top attacking players miss out.
Instead, Diogo Dalot is the sort of player the Italian loves.
Capable of bombing forward and tracking back, the Portugal international would potentially get a chance to leapfrog Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the pecking order.
And, on the opposite wing, Luke Shaw may potentially be unleashed to wreck havoc going forward – an area he’s improved drastically in his game – with Fred and Paul Pogba in the middle.
Forwards: Sancho, Fernandes, Ronaldo
Conte would be a gamble for this United squad given the sheer amount of attacking talent they’ve currently got.
But given we’re speculating here, we’d go with Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo to spearhead the team.
Fernandes would play down the middle, in the No 10 role, as he does now.
And that would mean Ronaldo and Sancho being wide forwards, another trademark of a Conte team.
For Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, however, that trio would mean them having to spend some time on the bench.
Conte would take job
According to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Conte would consider taking the United job.
“He would only accept a winning project,” Di Marzio said.
“So I don’t think he would accept Arsenal and that is why he said no to Tottenham.
“I think he would only accept if say Manchester United called.”
With the club content with Solskjaer for now, however, that isn’t expected to happen just yet.