Man Utd player ratings so far this season: Three score 3/10 but ‘brightest spark’ lands 9/10

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Player ratings for Manchester United’s season so far as the Red Devils sit in the middle of the early Premier League table.

To put it politely, Manchester United have not had an easy start to the season off the field. A string of controversies, mostly mishandled, have dogged Erik ten Hag’s team since the season started. It would be fair to say that things are not going all that much more smoothly on the pitch, either.

The six points they have earned, against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Nottingham Forest, have been scraped. Their two games away from Old Trafford, against Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, have ended in deserved defeats. Having shown so much promise last season and having earned qualification for the Champions League, United seem to have regressed considerably over the summer.

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Today, we’re going to take a look at how the team are performing on an individual level, and give ratings out of 10 to every player who’s spent at least 90 minutes on the field of play for United so far – which means we will exclude Jadon Sancho, who sits at the eye of one of the storms blowing around Salford, as well as Harry Maguire and new signing Rasmus Højlund. One brief but energetic display against Arsenal does not give us enough material with which to judge the young Dane.

It would be nice to say that there were a lot of big scores to be dished out. But we can’t. The age-old advice of D:Ream that things can only get better does, in fairness, seems very likely to apply. It’s tough to see how things could get too much worse...

Antony – 3/10

As we’re going alphabetically, we begin with a player whose performances have been rightly overshadowed by serious allegations of assault by former partners. His season has now been curtailed pending investigations by authorities in Brazil. As such, we will resist any temptation to be glib and simply state that he has no goals, no assists, and a very short highlight reel, giving him an appropriately low score based strictly on his performances thus far.

Casemiro – 7/10

The arrival of the Brazilian holding midfielder transformed United last season, and while he hasn’t hit his best form so far he has remained one of the more imposing performers in the side, with his usual blend of efficient passing and solid defensive work. Scored a key goal against Nottingham Forest, too, although in fairness he also missed a sitter.

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Diogo Dalot – 5/10

Dalot has been a pretty quiet presence in the side since stepping in for the injured Luke Shaw, making no major errors but also struggling to get involved. Despite playing at wing-back has hasn’t provided a single direct shooting opportunity and he hasn’t yet made a tackle that won the ball back for his team. He’s been a middle-of-the-pack player, getting by but not flying high.

Christian Eriksen – 7/10

Another midfielder with tidy performances and a vital goal against Forest to his name, the Dane has stepped into the number eight role in the absence of Mason Mount for the last two games, and has been an improvement. His superb through ball for Marcus Rashford’s goal against Arsenal was the highlight of his season so far.

Bruno Fernandes – 9/10

His profligacy at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium aside, Bruno has been United’s best player during the first part of the campaign. He tops the statistical charts for expected goals and assists, and only Aaron Wan-Bissaka has totalled more tackles and interceptions. Had he scored one or two of the goals he should have done against Spurs, he would have been a candidate for a 10/10, but he’s still been by far the brightest spark in a dismal season.

Alejandro Garnacho – 3/10

Having sparkled in a string of cameos last year, the young Argentine was offered the chance to make the left-wing berth his own but hasn’t taken it. He’s struggled to find space or beat opposing defenders and is well below a reasonable par for attempts on goal or chances created. A fine talent, undoubtedly, but perhaps not quite ready to be a regular just yet.

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Victor Lindelöf – 6/10

The Swede has only had one start so far, as injury cover at the Emirates, and put in a solid enough display – it may not have been a complete coincidence that United collapsed to defeat after he had been substituted in favour of Maguire.

Anthony Martial – 4/10

Martial played an hour against both Forest and Arsenal without scoring and for a combined xG of 0.1. He still has enough pace to get in behind a defence and has got the ball in some good areas, but hasn’t been able to make much use of it yet.

Lisandro Martínez – 3/10

A rough start to the season for the Argentine, who has impressed so much since arriving at Old Trafford but hasn’t got going again after an injury curtailed his last campaign. Was especially poor at Spurs but was also culpable for giving too many chances to a Wolves side who usually struggle to create opportunities.

Mason Mount – 2/10

The big statement signing of the summer has had a desperate opening act with United, shoehorned into a conservative midfield role he plainly isn’t comfortable with and struggling to get anything going in our out of possession. The injury that kept him out of the last two games may have been a blessing in disguise, and hopefully he can hit his straps after the international break, when he should be fit.

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André Onana – 4/10

The Cameroonian has been a frantic presence in the United goal since arriving from Inter Milan, flailing at too many shots and struggling to command his area as well as might be hoped. Onana has proven his class over many years, so there’s no reason to think he won’t be able to settle down a little.

Marcus Rashford – 7/10

A brilliant finish against Arsenal served as a timely reminder of just how crucial Rashford can be to United – and also how much more effective he can be cutting in from the left flank and working the channels rather than ploughing a lone furrow up top.

Luke Shaw – 6/10

A rock solid start for Shaw has been stopped short by an injury which will see United without the former Southampton man’s services for several weeks – potentially a big issue given how reliable he is and how much United may need that reliability with so many other players out of sorts.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 8/10

Wan-Bissaka may still leave something to be desired when it comes to his play in the final third, but he has been excellent at the back so far and comfortably the most effective part of United’s rearguard. He’s top of the charts for tackles, clearances and interceptions, and has been quietly doing his job very well indeed.

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Raphaël Varane – 5/10

One of the better performers in a bad game against Wolves but less impressive since, the Frenchman is now out for another month or so after coming off against Forest, a game in which he had been struggling to cope with Taiwo Awoniyi. Not the only defender in the division that’s been true of recently, to be fair.

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