Power Rankings are a way to examine the form of many different participants in any given competition, but perhaps a competition that isn’t a competition is just as important. To think about how footballers within a team stand out is interesting, especially if the team is as varied and balanced in talent as Manchester United. You don’t need a genius to tell you that Messi and Ronaldo are the best players for their respective teams, but who tops the charts for Manchester United?
The only rule to qualify for the action is that every player has to have played at least half of United’s games. So far, United has played 14 games this season, so any player that has appeared in at least 7 games qualifies. In addition, the more games a player has played, the higher up they are likely to be on the list, but this condition isn’t a rule.
- Antonio Valencia, RB, 8 apps
Though he hasn’t been poor, Antonio Valencia is still yet to make an impact for Manchester United. At least we know he’s a better fullback than Ashley Young.
- Ashley Young, LW/LB/RW, 8 apps
Ashley Young has had a much lesser impact on United’s performances this season, but he still puts in a deadly cross from the left side.
- Marouane Fellaini, CAM/CDM/ST, 7 apps
Marouane Fellaini has been horribly misused in large parts of the season so far, but as a consolation he was one of the best players in the horrible 3-0 loss to Arsenal.
- Luke Shaw, LB, 8 apps
Luke Shaw has actually been one of the standouts for United, but he’s been out for a couple weeks now and suffered as a result. He’s slowly exiting the rankings.
- Wayne Rooney, ST/CAM, 13 apps
Wayne Rooney is the club’s top scorer this season, but he hasn’t had a telling impact as of yet. Perhaps his contribution isn’t a telling one yet. Perhaps his composed finish at Goodison Park this weekend is a sign for improvement.
- Memphis, LW/CAM/RW, 13 apps
Memphis has had somewhat of a Jekyll and Hyde so far this season. Because he’s adjusting to the Premier League, he’s been astonishingly poor, but he’s also been United’s best player in the Champions League, with 3 goals and an assist in 4 games.
- Michael Carrick, CDM, 11 apps
Michael Carrick is showing his signs of age, and his chances of being a regular are hurt due to the fact that United has found an ability to win without him. He is still an almost identical backup to Bastian Schweinsteiger.
- Daley Blind, CB/LB, 13 apps
Daley Blind takes a big hit after not starting in United’s game against Everton. Louis van Gaal seems to now believe he isn’t defensively able enough to be a centre-half, but he was very good until the Arsenal game. Blind still is a very important utility man to this side.
- Bastian Schweinsteiger, CDM, 14 apps
Bastian Schweinsteiger slowly moves up the list as he adjusts to the Premier League. With Ander Herrera and Morgan Schneiderlin with him in midfield he has the ability to dictate games the way he wants, and that helps a great deal.
- David de Gea, GK, 8 apps
David de Gea has been quietly very good since coming back into the team. A great professional, de Gea is also a fantastic goalkeeper who can pull out a save beyond your wildest dreams.
- Ander Herrera, CAM/CDM, 8 apps
Ander Herrera has had some time out with injury, but he’s still an amazing player when fit. He’s been slightly exposed as a CDM in Louis van Gaal’s 4-2-3-1 system, but playing CAM he has 3 goals and 2 assists in 5 starts.
- Morgan Schneiderlin, CDM, 10 apps
Morgan Schneiderlin is the hardest working, best tackling midfielder in the Premier League, and now he’s quite the passing outlet! Schneiderlin continues to put up performances that jump him into the question of best CDM in the Premier League.
- Matteo Darmian, RB/LB, 14 apps
Matteo Darmian was the top player for a while at the beginning of the season, but getting exposed by Alexis Sanchez shows he’s still adjusting to the league. He’s versatile and talented, which means he’s a great option. He’s busy establishing himself among the best in the world.
- Anthony Martial, ST/LW, 8 apps
Anthony Martial has been superb since joining United, and was recently named the EPL player of the month. Martial is doing a great job and puts on dribbling clinics weekly. He’s threatening the top spot.
- Juan Mata, RW/CAM, 14 apps
Juan Mata moves down after 2 ineffective performances. He still has 4 goals and 5 assists in 14 appearances, which puts him on course to reach 12 goals and 16 assists by the end of the year.
- Chris Smalling, CB, 14 apps
Smalling has been the best defender in the Premier League so far, and after going lights out against Everton, he moves into the top spot. Martial and Mata were unable to effect the match directly, so Smalling takes the top spot deservedly until the CSKA Moscow game.