EPL Season Preview: Manchester United

Coach: Jose Mourinho

2015/16 Finish: 5

2016/17 Preseason Ranking: 3

Sportify Rating: 1651

2015/16 Wagebill: £203M

Stadium Capacity: 75,365 at Old Trafford

Departures: George Dorrington (Huddersfield); Ashley Fletcher (West Ham); Nick Powell (Wigan); Oliver Rathbone (Rochdale); Tyler Reid (Swansea); Joe Rothwell (Oxford); Victor Valdes (released); Guillermo Varela (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Arrivals: Eric Bailly (Villareal); Zlatan Ibrahimovic (free); Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Borussia Dortmund); Paul Pogba (Juventus)

The good: Their offseason

Jose Mourinho has won the Premier League thrice, Serie A twice, the Portuguese Primeira Liga twice, La Liga once, and he’ll bring a whole new style to the team. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the new fear factor for United; the big Swede scored 38 goals and tallied 13 assists in Ligue 1 last year as he helped PSG to their fourth consecutive title, which was Ibrahimovic’s 12th domestic title in the last 13 seasons. Henrikh Mkhitaryan joins from Borussia Dortmund on the back of a banner year in which he scored 11 goals (would have been tied for the lead at United last year) and recorded a Bundesliga high 15 assists (9 more than anyone at United last year). Eric Bailly joins from Villarreal to pair Chris Smalling at center back, and Paul Pogba returns from Juve on a record-setting transfer fee.

The bad: They have a long way to go from last year

Finishing fifth while playing boring football may be considered a success for some teams, but Manchester United is not one of those teams. Last year, United games had the lowest total xG per game (2.2) last season. They scored 49 goals (10th most) and created 44.4 xG (11th). That was a serious dip from Louis van Gaal’s first year in charge, which was about on par with the David Moyes year, but the dropoff from the days of Sir Alex Ferguson is huge and that’s the bar United have set for themselves.