Manchester United: Profiles of Key Players

For a club that always seems to be on the verge of a crisis, Manchester United are quietly enjoying a decent season. Again. Okay, things could be better, and they certainly were much better under Sir Alex Ferguson, but those days are long gone now, and Erik ten Hag seems to be turning the corner.

His squad are starting to get to grips with his tactics and expectations. They are probably still under-performing slightly, because this is an incredibly talented squad of players, but before he could build up the squad he had to break it all down. The Manchester United fans are just starting to see the benefits – and with the upheaval that will take place at Liverpool in the summer, plus the 155 charges against Manchester City, the club could be rewarded for their patience with their manager.

So who are the players that are aiming to drag Manchester United back up the Premier League? We’re going to spend a bit of time getting to know the squad, with this article of profiles of the key Manchester United players. We’ll also let you know how you can get yourself down to Old Trafford for a Manchester United match while enjoying some of the incredible Manchester United hospitality packages that they have on offer.

Right, let’s look at some of Manchester United’s key players:

André Onana – Goalkeeper

André Onana Onana, so good they named him twice, was born on the 2nd April, 1996, in Nkol Ngok, Cameroon, and has carved his name as one of the most promising goalkeepers in modern football. His journey began at the Samuel Eto’o Academy, his talent catching the eye of Barcelona’s La Masia youth system in 2010. He had to spend his early years on loan – as a non-EU citizen he needed to be playing regularly to earn a work permit.

In January 2015, he was signed by Dutch giants Ajax, where he established himself as a key figure. He made 214 appearances and won three Eredivisie titles for the club. It was here that he first played under Erik ten Hag. His sweeper-keeping style and confident distribution drew praise, and he even holds the record for most touches outside the box by a goalkeeper in a World Cup match – 26 in 2022.

He signed for Inter Milan on a free transfer in July 2022 – there he won the Supercoppa Italiana and the Coppa Italia, while also helping Inter to the Champions League final, where they were defeated by Manchester City. That summer, ten Hag swooped to renew his relationship, bringing Onana to Old Trafford in a deal worth £43.8 million.

It’s fair to say that the Man United fans haven’t seen the best of Onana yet – he has struggled for form, but he is still relatively young for a goalkeeper, and there is confidence within the club that he will continue to improve as a player.

Did you know? Onana is a polyglot, fluent in French, Spanish, English, Dutch, and his native Eton.

Lisandro Martínez – Defender

Lisandro Martínez, born January 18, 1998, in Gualeguay, Argentina, embodies the spirit of a tenacious defender. His journey began at local clubs Club Urquiza and Club Libertad before catching the eye of Newell’s Old Boys in 2014. After a brief stint there, he solidified his reputation with Defensa y Justicia, showcasing his aggression and ball-playing skills. This paved the way for a move to Europe when (guess who…) Ajax came calling.

Yep, Erik ten Hag signed the diminutive centre back for Ajax, and then after a successful time in the Netherlands, brought him over to Manchester United for around £47 million. Nicknamed The Butcher, for his uncompromising style of play, Martinez has become a favourite amongst the United fans – his passion and effort is appreciated. He possesses a lot of attributes that the club seemed to lack in those early post-Ferguson years. Drive, determination and steel.

Did you know? Despite ‘The Butcher’ being one of the best nicknames in the Premier League, Martinez actually prefers ‘Pit Bull’, his nickname from home, as he thinks it suits his style of play better.

Harry Maguire – Defender

Some people may scoff at Maguire being listed as a key player of Manchester United, but they probably haven’t been paying attention. While Maguire has had a few dips in form over the last few years, he remains one of the better defenders in the Premier League, and United’s defence is usually better with him in it. He has worked hard to get to the level he is currently at.

Jacob Harry Maguire was born March 5, 1993, in Sheffield, England. His footballing journey began at Sheffield United’s academy, progressing to the first team before embarking on a path that would see him join Hull, then Wigan, before a big money move to Leicester.

While at Leicester, he won the FA Cup, and played a role in them reaching the Champions League quarter finals, before securing a world record transfer fee for a defender when he joined Manchester United in 2019. Despite the ups and downs, Maguire has remained a pivotal cog in ten Hag’s side – every time he is written off, he manages to come back and prove himself all over again. He went from being stripped of the captaincy and seemingly put up for a transfer in the summer of 2023, only to win Premier League Player of the Month that December, after winning back his place in the side.

If Harry Maguire has any limitations, determination is not one of them.

Did you know? Maguire was an excellent student at school, with a former teacher saying about him: “He got A* and A grades in his GCSEs. I think he would have gone on to study business or maths and probably would have been an accountant. He was very capable academically.”

Luke Shaw – Defender

Luke Paul Hoare Shaw, born July 12, 1995, in Kingston upon Thames, embodies the modern attacking fullback. He started his career at Southampton’s academy, where he quickly rose through the ranks and made his senior debut at the tender age of 16. He burst onto the scene with his pace, crossing ability, and attacking instincts, earning the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 2014.

Another world record transfer fee – this time for a teenager – saw Shaw join Manchester United in 2014 for £30 million. He has been incredibly unlucky with injury, especially in those early years, but Shaw has consistently bounced back to reestablish himself as an important part of the United squad. He is one of the longest serving players at the club, and still considered to be one of the best left backs in the world – dependable, but not without flair.

Did you know? According to YouGov, Luke Shaw is the 49th most popular contemporary footballer – one place above David de Gea. (Only reason for this fact is that it’s a fun list to look through!)

Casemiro – Midfielder

Carlos Henrique Casimiro, better known as Casemiro, embodies the archetypal defensive midfielder. Born February 23, 1992, in São José dos Campos, Brazil, his journey began at São Paulo FC, where he honed his tackling skills and tactical understanding. His rise to prominence led him to him being snapped up by Real Madrid as a 21-year-old. He wasn’t quite ready for the first team at that stage, so played in the Real Madrid B team, and then spent a year at Porto on loan, where he really started to make a name for himself.

When he returned to Madrid, he became a first-team regular under Zinidine Zidane. He had a knack of popping up with important goals, like his long-range effort in the Champions League final in 2017, and the first goal against United in the UEFA Super Cup. He became a legend at Real Madrid, which is no mean feat, and then in 2022, he joined Manchester United for around £60 million. When United lost 4-0 away to Brentford, before Casemiro had made his debut, he instructed his agent to pass on a message to the club for him: “Tell them I’ll fix it”. He has certainly increased the standards at the club, since that horror-show.

Did you know? Casemiro had never received a straight red card in his career before he joined Manchester United – he received two in the space of 8 games in his first season at the club…

Bruno Fernandes – Midfielder

Bruno Miguel Borges Fernandes, born September 8, 1994, in Maia, Portugal, is a midfield maestro renowned for his creativity, vision, and goalscoring prowess. His journey began at Boavista’s youth academy, who he picked over Porto because Boavista offered him transport to training. He started out as a centre back, but was converted into an attacking midfielder while there.

His next step was to sign for the Italian club Novara, a bold move for a youth player, and it took him a while to settle. Eventually he did though, once his girlfriend moved over to join him, and earned the nickname the Maradona of Norvara as he helped his side gain promotion from Serie B. He had spells at Udinese and Sampdoria before moving back to Portugal to join Sporting Lisbon – and this was where it all clicked for him. He was the league’s player of the year in his first season, and became the highest scoring midfielder in Europe during his time there, helping his team again qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa League.

Man United signed him for around £68 million in 2020, and he has arguably been their best player since that moment. With the ability to change a match in an instant, he has brought some world class football to Old Trafford, and the fans adore him.

Did you know? Bruno Fernandes has a 90% success rate when taking penalties. He has only ever missed 5 in his entire career.

Marcus Rashford – Forward

What can you say about Marcus Rashford that hasn’t already been said? His story is incredible, and one that has been taken for granted. Let’s go back to the start:

Marcus Rashford MBE, born October 31, 1997, in Manchester, embodies the quintessential local lad who rose through the ranks to become a star for his boyhood club. His incredible talent and dedication are matched by his off-field activism, making him a role model for both aspiring footballers and social change-makers. Few people have had the same kind of influence he has had this century.

He joined the United academy aged 7, and then 11 years later he made his debut for the first team Manchester United were in the middle of an injury crisis at the time, so Rashford was promoted to the bench. Then, Anthony Martial got injured during the warm-up, so Rashford was asked to start. He scored twice in a 5-1 win. Three days later he made his Premier League debut against Arsenal – he scored and got an assist in a 3-2 win. What a start.

You know what he’s achieved since. Not only has he become one of the most consistent players in the Premier League, a mainstay for England, and a club legend, he has also worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others. A player and person Manchester United should be proud of.

Did you know? Rashford is represented by his two brothers, Dwaine Maynard and Dane Rashford

Alejandro Garnacho – Forward

As a club, Manchester United are starting to look towards a brighter future. Garnacho is a huge part of that optimism.

Alejandro Garnacho Ferreyra, born July 1, 2004, in Madrid, is a young winger currently electrifying crowds with his pace, skill, and audacious attacking play. Though born in Spain, he represents Argentina at youth level and has quickly become a rising star at Manchester United, captivating fans with his exciting potential.

He made his start at the Atlético Madrid Youth Academy, where he was a prolific goalscorer. Then, in 2020, while he was aged just 16, he made the move over to Manchester to join United’s academy. He was only there for a couple of years before he had burst into the first team, and has caught the eye with his electrifying pace and trickery.

Where does he go from here? The sky’s the limit, really. His raw talent, coupled with his growing confidence and ability to learn and adapt, promises an exciting future.

Did you know? Garnacho’s nickname is “Garnacho Jr.” due to his playing style resembling that of former Atlético Madrid and Argentina winger Juan Carlos Garnacho, although they are not related.

Manchester United Hospitality – A Premier Experience

If you are looking to purchase official Manchester United tickets, then one of their fantastic hospitality tickets could be the way to go. General admission tickets are incredibly difficult to purchase, so these packages are a great way to ensure your attendance at Old Trafford stadium.

Not only will you (hopefully) get access to Manchester United games, but you will also get to enjoy football hospitality – and some of the best in the country, hosted by the incredible Manchester United hospitality staff. Here are a couple of our favourite packages:

The Academy Lounge Hospitality Tickets

Indulge in a pre-match hotdish to get your energy levels up, and quench your thirst with a at the cash bar, before you settle into your luxury padded seats in the North East Quadrant, offering a fantastic panoramic view of the pitch.

The experience doesn’t end at the final whistle. Relax and unwind in a sophisticated and modern environment post-match, enjoying savoury refreshments as you relive the game’s highlights. The suite remains open for an hour after the match, allowing you to socialise with fellow fans and discuss the match.

This package goes beyond just a match ticket, offering a comfortable and convenient way to enjoy the full matchday experience at the iconic Old Trafford.

Champions Club Hospitality Tickets

Step into the exclusive world of the exclusive Champions Club inside Old Trafford, and experience a truly special matchday at Manchester United’s Old Trafford. Here’s what you can expect:

Arrive three hours before kick-off and be greeted with a champagne reception, setting the tone for a sophisticated experience. Then you can enjoy a delicious three-course à la carte meal, prepared by expert chefs, in the comfort of the private lounge, while quenching your thirst with the complimentary bar in the Champions Club suites.

For the game, you can take your seat on the premium padded seats in the middle tier of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, boasting an exceptional and unobstructed view of the pitch.

Post-match, retire to the Champions Club for some hot & cold snacks while you dissect the performance on the pitch. You may even get a visit from Manchester United legends during the day.

If you would like to book your Man United tickets – get in touch with us today and our dedicated staff will help you find the perfect package for you and your guests, for the fixture of your choice.