Man United welcome Spurs to Old Trafford on Wednesday in another highly anticipated ‘big six’ clash. The tie will also see some of the biggest names in the league go head-to-head, so today we’ll be constructing a Man United and Spurs combined XI based on the player’s form.
Goalkeeper – David De Gea
Although Spurs have conceded less goals than United, David De Gea has still bailed his side out this season, and is even reportedly looking for a contract extension.
De Gea is one of the best shot-stoppers England has seen in the last decade, and has been a loyal servant for Manchester United since joining the Red Devils in 2011. The Spanish goalkeeper has bailed his side numerous times, keeping 132 clean sheets in 383 appearances for United with a 72,3% save success rate.
De Gea’s only Premier League success came during his first season but has gone on to be included in the PFA Team of the Year five times since. Furthermore, he’s been voted as Man United’s Player of the Year four times since his debut, including as recently as last season, where De Gea consistently got his team out of trouble, pulling off world-class saves in the process.
De Gea may not have the ball-playing ability of an Ederson but possesses the goalkeeping fundamentals of being a brilliant shot-stopper and carries this out to a high standard.
Right-back: Diogo Dalot
Portuguese fullback Diogo Dalot has made United’s right-back spot his own this season after a solid end to last campaign.
Dalot has kept £50million Aaron Wan-Bissaka out the team, essentially ending the Englishman’s United career as he’s only seen four minutes of action across all competitions this season.
The 23-year-old was on loan at AC Milan during the 2020/2021 campaign, impressing in Serie A and prompting the Rossoneri to make an offer to sign Dalot permanently. The proposal was evidently rejected.
Dalot racked up 2 goals and 3 assists in Italy before rejoining the Red Devils last season. It took him to the latter part of the campaign to see more minutes, as he was only afforded playing time under Ralf Rangnick.
The Portuguese International is much better going forward than he is defensively, however, that’s not to say he’s a slouch in the latter regard.
Centre-back: Lisandro Martinez
After a tough opening two outings in England for Lisandro Martinez, the defender has begun to show why United stumped up around €60million for him.
Martinez’s partnership with Varane seems to be gaining strength each week as United look a much more solid side when they’re both fit.
His ball-playing abilities has helped United progress the ball quicker, often playing line-breaking passes through the opposition’s first line of the press. Martinez’s no-nonsense attitude has seen him become a fan’s favourite already, as United fans believe they have their centre-back pairing set for years to come.
Furthermore, Martinez has reportedly emerged as a real leader in the United dressing room and on the pitch, constantly marshalling his side and engaging in the ‘dark arts’ of the game.
Centre-back: Christian Romero
Argentina International Cristian Romero has been without doubt the best piece of defensive business Spurs have done in recent years. Romero is an aggressive, no-nonsense defender that never shies away from a challenge.
Despite being consistently injured since moving from Italy in 2021, the 2020/2021 Serie A defender of the year has been sound for the North Londoners as they seem much more defensively astute when he’s in the side.
Romero has been impressive for Spurs this season, as they have the joint-second best defence in the Premier League. Given that the former Atalanta man has been plagued by injuries this season too, Spurs’ record probably would’ve been better if Romero wasn’t sidelined.
Lionel Messi also accredited Romero after their 2021 Copa America triumph, the first of both Messi’s and Romero’s international careers. If Messi thinks Romero is class, we think he’s probably good enough for our combined XI.
Left-back: Ivan Perisic
Yes, Perisic is normally deployed as a left-wingback in Conte’s system, but due to having an extra midfielder in the side, there are no spaces for wingbacks.
However, we’re certain Perisic is more than capable of fulfilling the role of an attacking left-back given his experience, quality and undoubted pedigree.
The 33-year-old has three assists in ten league games this season, and has been a constant threat to opposition.
The Croatian has quite the CV, too. He was on loan at Bayern Munich during the 2019/2020 Treble winning season, contributing a substantial 8 goals and 10 assists for the German giants across competitions.
The following campaign, Perisic returned to parent club Inter and won the Scudetto, the first time Juventus hadn’t won Serie A since 2011. He conquered Italy under the management of Antonio Conte, whom he followed to Spurs this season.
During his 254 appearances for Inter, Perisic racked up 55 goals and 49 assists.
Casemiro gets into this combined XI based off quality during his peak, as well as what he’s achieved in his career due to him not being in England long enough to base it off his stint in Manchester.
However, the Brazilian seems to have found his feet in England, putting in a Man of the Match display against Everton last weekend, before playing his hand in keeping a clean sheet against Newcastle on the weekend.
United have signed one of the best defensive midfielders in the world currently, and arguably the best over the last decade, winning 5 UEFA Champions Leagues, with no player winning more.
The Brazilian was the glue of the famous midfield trio, which included Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, that conquered Europe between 2014 and 2022. Without Casemiro, we might not have been able to witness the full extent of the other two player’s class, such was his importance to their game.
Furthermore, Casemiro was, and could still be, one of a very select few players that could handle the defensive side of the midfield by himself, something that we are seeing now with Rodri at Man City.
Centre-midfielder: Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg had always been an admirable performer during his time at Southampton, but since he’s moved to Spurs, he has gained much more deserved respect.
The Danish International has arguably been Spurs’ best player this season, putting in consistent, solid performances week-in-week-out.
Not only has he remained defensively sound, but Højbjerg’s attacking play has also improved vastly, potentially as a result of taking on more offensive responsibilities due to the system Conte deploys.
The former Bayern Munich player has already matched his last season’s goal contributions tally, scoring 3 goals and laying on 1 assist in the North Londoners’ opening 10 games.
Spurs have had their best ever start to a Premier League campaign, and since Højbjerg has a strong shout of being their best player so far, he gets into this combined XI.
Centre-midfielder: Christian Eriksen
Christian Eriksen has arguably been the bargain signing of the summer, arriving at Old Trafford on a free transfer after spending six months at Brentford.
Like most of Man United’s squad, the Denmark International’s form improved after the opening two games, with the former Spurs man playing key roles in all of United’s victories.
Eriksen has been deployed a bit deeper this season by Erik Ten Hag, who lets Bruno Fernandes occupy the more attacking midfield role.
However, Eriksen’s influence in the final third hasn’t diminished from this deeper role, often setting off counter-attacks with inch-perfect passes.
The playmaker’s absence was truly felt in United’s goalless draw at home to Newcastle on the weekend, as the Red Devils struggled to break through a resolute Magpies’ defence.
His pedigree in the Premier League also supplements his claims for a place in this XI.
New Manchester United signing Antony has left many doubters eating their words in his short stint in England thus far.
Despite not being overly influential in build-up play, the Brazilian’s end product has been superb, scoring 3 well taken goals in his opening 4 Premier League appearances.
Antony arrived in Manchester off the back of lots of hype, and has so far lived up to billing. The former Ajax winger is the most expensive deadline day transfer in football history, costing the Red Devils a reported €100million.
However, the player is someone who worked with manager Erik Ten Hag at Ajax, with the coach clearly being a fan of the player, ushering the Club to break the bank for Antony all summer.
It’s still early days and the player is still just 22-years of age but the signs are promising for United fans.
Left-winger: Heung-Min Son
Does Son really need any justification? He may not have had the best start to the current campaign but is still probably in the top 5 attackers in England and still has 5 goals and 2 assists in all competitions this season.
The South Korean International has 96 goals and 47 assists in 239 Premier League appearances and, of course, won the golden boot last season scoring 23 goals, none of which were penalties.
Furthermore, Son has developed statistically the best partnership in Premier League history with Harry Kane, combining for an astonishing 42 goals.
The Spurs number 7 has been back among the goals lately, scoring 2 in his last 3 games as well as laying on assist.
Son is undoubtedly getting a place in this team.
Striker: Harry Kane
Rounding off the eleven is none other than Harry Kane. The England captain moved above Andy Cole in recent weeks to become the 3rd top scorer in Premier League history.
The Spurs striker has 9 goals and 1 assist in the Premier League this season, but his performances have gone unnoticed due to the attention on Man City goal-machine Erling Haaland.
Kane is on course to break Alan Shearer’s record of 260 PL goals, and no one can say he doesn’t deserve it. He’s been one of the world’s best strikers for the last 5 to 7 years.
A modern Premier League great, there is no one more worthy of a spot in this combined XI than Harry Kane.