Connect with us


POTY, Top Goalscorer, Premier League finish – Manchester United predictions for 2023/24



| Last Updated:


Credit: IMAGO / Icon Sportswire

Manchester United will begin their 2023/24 campaign on Monday evening against Wolves and as usual, our writers have their predictions at the ready.

After a positive first season under Erik ten Hag last term, Manchester United will be aiming to improve further in the Premier League, the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup, as well as the Champions League.

At UtdDistrict, we have chosen four writers to make predictions for the upcoming term in relation to the team performance across the competitions mentioned, as well as the top goalscorer, most assists, player of the season, surprise of the season and young player of the season.

Read More: “So much behind the scenes” – Man United star rewarded for ‘outstanding’ training ground work

Let’s get into it.

Yusuf Haq:

Premier League: 3rd

Despite teams around United strengthening, I’m still confident that United finish in third this season, and close the gap on last season’s top two in the process.

We aren’t quite there yet, there is still work to be done to fully adjust to and optimise Ten Hag’s system, but United had a strong season last year and have addressed some burning issues in the squad. There are still 20 days left of the window though, so anything could happen.

Champions League: Semi-Finals

I’m going to go bold here and say I think that Ten Hag will take United far in Europe. Similarly to the league, we likely don’t quite have the quality to go all the way, but since Erik ten Hag came in we have lost just two knockout football matches for a reason.

United’s squad possesses a great blend of experience and youth, who together have developed a real collective hunger to win, reflected in our intensity levels on the pitch.

Our squad makeup & Ten Hag’s tactical nous have allowed us to set up to nullify teams & adapt to many different game states very well. Players like Raphaël Varane, Casemiro, and André Onana have pedigree and experience of elite performances in this competition. There are also bench options like Alejandro Garnacho who has shown how well he can kill teams off, a midfielder who can sit next to Casemiro and offer a little more control and security in the big games is probably needed though.

FA Cup: Winners

United fell one short in this competition last year, but this time I can see them going all the way. A season without a trophy will be considered a failure, rightfully so, and United will want to advance the level from the League Cup win of last season. This will be the most realistic option.

United have a history with this competition, only Arsenal have won it more times. But this century, United have won the competition just twice, in 2004 and 2016. Erik ten Hag has shown himself to be someone who appreciates the history of the club and will know that to the fans, an FA Cup win will matter.

Carabao Cup: Fifth-round

It might sound crazy given I’ve put United as Champions League semi-finalists and FA Cup winners, but I see us dropping out of the Carabao Cup a little earlier this year.

Obviously, this is draw-dependent – we could play Cardiff in this round and I could look very silly. But I think the Champions League is going to be given a huge priority this season, and rightfully so too as the club need to establish themselves as a force in Europe again. Ten Hag obviously want to win absolutely everything, but I don’t think that is possible this season, so I think we drop out of Carabao a little earlier in pursuit of bigger trophies.

Player of the Season: Casemiro/Bruno Fernandes

United’s setup this season is going to be incredibly attacking, and Bruno Fernandes as newly-appointed captain will undoubtedly be leading the charge on this, but what about the defensive side of things? Casemiro has that covered.

Last season, before a period of madness that saw multiple suspensions in quick succession, Casemiro had been United’s best player, and I think that this season his Superman transition-stopping qualities will be the foundation of any success United have this season, as well as his ability to score big goals in big moments. His fellow Portuguese speaker in Fernandes will be United’s offensive hub once again, and the Player of the Season award will come down to whoever out of these two ends up being more impactful.

Top goalscorer: Marcus Rashford

Is there really any other answer than this?

Marcus Rashford was United’s top goalscorer by a very long way last season, and I wouldn’t expect that to change anytime soon. Rasmus Højlund will bring some more goals into the team but is not quite ready to overtake Rashford. With United getting better, expect Rashford to follow that trend, 20 goal league season is incoming.

Most assists: Bruno Fernandes

Re-read the opening line of the last prediction.

Bruno Fernandes at this point is practically the consensus second-best creative player in the entire Premier League, only beaten by Kevin De Bruyne – who happens to be one of the best creative players ever. It feels weird to think that Fernandes has only reached double-digit assists in the league once for United, given how many chances he creates, but expect this season to be his best so far.

Surprise of the Season: Jadon Sancho/Diogo Dalot

With Jadon Sancho it is not a question of does he have the talent, we all know that. But United fans have been waiting for him to make the jump since he joined for a huge fee in 2021, and it hasn’t quite happened. Going into this season though, he has had an impressive pre-season and is in the most stable situation he has been in at United, so I expect him to show exactly why at a point, he was considered second to Kylian Mbappé for young talents.

The other player I expect to surprise people is Diogo Dalot, who again is a player that has shown a lot of promise but has not quite hit his full stride yet. Prior to the World Cup break last season he was one of United’s best players, but injury and Wan-Bissaka’s return to form led to inconsistency in game time and performances in the second half of the season. Right now it looks like he will start the season for United, and I expect that by the end of the season, he will be viewed as one of the league’s best right-backs.

Young Player of the Season: Kobbie Mainoo

Another one that almost feels predestined, Kobbie Mainoo is a player who has the world at his feet. An unfortunate injury in pre-season will see him out until after the international break, but as of right now he is United’s most first-team-ready youth prospect, and it looks like Erik ten Hag wants to give him genuine game time this season.

Dan Gore and Isak Hansen-Aarøen may also feature and shine, if not loaned out, but Mainoo is a player I can see being given an opportunity in the big games and taking them too. United have a potential world-class midfielder on their hands, and this season I think he will make his name known.

Cain Smith:

Premier League: 3rd

Despite predicting third place, the same finish for United last season, I believe that there will be improvements across the board at Old Trafford.

However, a bigger style change is expected, with more building from the back against pressing teams. This will certainly be a benefit to the team in the long run, and for prolonged periods of the season, but I believe that mistakes as the team bed into the style are inevitable which will keep them from a top-two finish.

Champions League: Quarter-Finals

In United’s return to the Champions League, I’m cautiously predicting a quarter-final exit. However, this is the Champions League and anything can happen.

The current United side are arguably better than – or at the same level – as the Inter side that reached the final last term. Yet, there are many good teams in the competition and all it takes is a difficult draw as you exit the group stages to be in a sticky situation.

FA Cup: Winners

Erik ten Hag will continue to take the cup competitions seriously. The two domestic trophies remain United’s best chance at silverware and winning trophies in back-to-back seasons will definitely be on the agenda.

The loss in the FA Cup final in May stung and it would be a great feeling for United to win the trophy for the first time since 2016 and despite losing against Manchester City a few months ago, United have shown that they can compete against every team in the country.

Carabao Cup: Semi-Final

Again, I see United entering the stages of the Carabao Cup with Ten Hag going strong in all cup competitions, however, I see The Reds falling slightly short in the competition they won in February.

A semi-final at Wembley is still a respectable finish, but in the thick of the season, United might just come up against an opposition that gets the better of them.

Player of the Season: Lisandro Martinez

I believe that Lisandro Martinez would’ve won one of United’s Player of the Season awards last term if he had not gotten injured at the end of the campaign. Whilst the goalscoring Marcus Rashford was brilliant and crucial to the team, Martinez was the most consistent performer on a week-to-week basis and I expect more of the same.

And now, with Andre Onana behind him. Martinez will benefit largely from United attempting more progression from the back. His ball-playing skills will be even more valuable and I’m expecting a big season for the Argentine.

Top goalscorer: Bruno Fernandes

Perhaps it will be Marcus Rashford… but that’s no fun.

On a serious note though, Bruno has a real chance of increasing his goal output from last term. He has been the top goalscorer in his first two campaigns at Old Trafford and I do believe that goals will be more spread out rather than one outstanding scorer like last term.

Bruno most likely being on penalty duty could help his cause also. And, when you’re playing every minute, you’re more likely to score and we all know that Bruno will be playing

Most assists: Bruno Fernandes

Again, I think that Bruno will be topping the assist charts but this could be a larger gap than the goalscoring one. That will be down to those finishing the chances he creates.

Putting it simply, Bruno creates a lot. If those around Rashford can put away chances more often than not then it will be a great season for the captain.

Surprise of the Season: Mason Mount

Mason Mount signing for the club seems to be a polarising decision from Ten Hag. Some love it, others hate it.

I believe that he will play a key role for the team this season and surprise many of those who doubted his suitability to the team.

Young Player of the Season: Alejandro Garnacho

Whilst I do believe that Kobbie Mainoo will emerge as a first-team player this term, I also think that it’s going to be a big year for Alejandro Garnacho.

The winger was a menace coming from the bench last term but can become a regular from the starting team this season.

Making a bigger claim for a spot in the team and a more impressive return in the final third makes Garnacho my prediction for Young Player of the Season.

Dylan Penketh:

Premier League: 3rd

Immediately, Manchester City and Arsenal are too far ahead for United to be able to finish above them this season – however, I’d predict this third-placed finish to be a much improved one compared to last campaign.

I expect City and Arsenal to be battling out for a high-quality race, with both teams getting 90+ points, with United lacking just behind on 85+ points.

Champions League: Quarter-finals

United’s first season back in the Champions League under Erik ten Hag I feel will meet a fantastic but unfortunately early end. A lot depends on the group stage draw, which is due to happen towards the end of August, but once the club gets to the final eight, they will be battling with the best in Europe.

I do think United will qualify for the club next season, meaning a quarter-final exit will not be the worst ending, but I expect the club to draw a team that will just be too powerful for Ten Hag’s Reds in the final eight.

FA Cup: Semi-finals

The FA Cup last season ended with Manchester United losing out on the trophy against Manchester City. United’s run to the final was a fairly uncomplicated one, having not come up against a single big six team until the final.

This time round, I’m expecting United to instead draw the short straw and face a big team in the semi-finals in a tie that will ultimately be unsuccessful due to a focus on keeping up with the top two in the Premier League.

Carabao Cup: Winners

In a repeat of last season’s end result, I feel United will take the crown once again in the Carabao Cup. The victory against Newcastle United was a real moral raiser, and I expect the silverware to once again come back to Old Trafford.

Player of the Season: Bruno Fernandes

In his first season as the official captain of Manchester United, I expect this will elevate Bruno Fernandes’ performances even more as the newly designated squad leader.

He had the captain’s armband for the most part of last campaign in Harry Maguire’s abense, but with the title now firmly his, he will thrive in the role of needing to lead by example, putting in exceptional performances both in the Premier League and Champions League across the season.

Top Goalscorer: Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford hit 30 goals across all competitions last season, and there is almost no evidence to suggest that he cannot do it again. Playing now alongside Rasmus Højlund, I’d expect Rashford’s performances will continue to elevate, and with this, his goal tally.

Most Assists: Bruno Fernandes

Fernandes, now with multiple goalscoring options ahead of him, I feel will take on a more creative role this campaign.

With the Portuguese magnifico no longer needing to be as much of a direct goal threat, he will be free to become more creative in the middle of the park, working alongside Mason Mount to maintain dominance in the middle and final thirds of the pitch.

Surprise of the Season: Mason Mount

Mount had an uninspiring pre-season under Ten Hag, but I feel that is more so because fans are yet to properly understand what his role will be.

Mount will not be the final third creative goal threat demon under the Dutchman but instead will be that vital link between defence and attack that will allow those up front to flourish. I feel that his impact will be initially underappreciated, but over time, people will realise the importance of his role.

This is not to say, however, that he will not chip in with goals and assists. He has a great delivery on him, which will no doubt be taken advantage of throughout the campaign.

Young Player of the Season: Alejandro Garnacho

Honestly, beyond Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo, it’s a close one – but I feel that this is the season that will really put Garnacho on the map.

Last campaign, his fantastic performances helped cement his place in United’s first team, throwing himself in the mix with multi-million-pound signings. THis campaign, I’d expect him to really launch his career and vie for a permanent spot in the team, rather than the cameo role he so often adopted during 2022/23.