Hull City vs Manchester United: Potential XI without Wayne Rooney

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho will be in a positive mood ahead of Manchester United’s visit to Hull on Saturday.

Whilst his rivals continue to squabble over completing various last minute signings, alongside desperately trying to find their groove on the pitch with the 2016/17 campaign underway, Mourinho can sit back and delight in his excellent start to life at Old Trafford.

He has won his first three games, dispatching Leicester at Wembley before beating Bournemouth away and Southampton at home (two games Man United lost last year). But, perhaps more impressively, he has made four major signings – Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba – who have all demonstrated their brilliance in the early stages of their United careers.

And with Wayne Rooney‘s attacking inertia in the No.10 role showing no signs of letting up, here is a potential XI without Rooney, with Mkhitaryan at No.10 instead.

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In just 15 minutes against Southampton, Mkhitaryan displayed a level of creative verve that instantly surpassed anything Rooney has managed in the past three games. The Armenian, who clocked up 32 assists last season, could wreak havoc in the No.10 role, acting as the axis of United’s attack.

With the sheer speed, skill and tenacity of Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard – who returned from injury this week – on the flanks, Mkhitaryan will find space in abundance against a patched up Hull defence. The 27-year-old’s presence as No.10 is something United fans have yearned to see since he joined the club in July. One suspects that, if given the chance, Mkhitaryan will quickly place himself ahead of Rooney in the No.10 pecking order, quickening the captain’s demise into anonymity.

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