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4 weeks ago

We simulated Thomas Tuchel as Manchester United manager and the results were incredible

We simulated the first season of Thomas Tuchel as the Manchester United manager – and the results were remarkable.

Tuchel is currently the favourite to take over from Erik ten Hag if the Dutchman leaves Old Trafford this summer.

Tuchel will leave Bayern Munich at the end of the campaign after a disappointing Bundesliga season that saw them relinquish their 11-year hold on the title to Bayer Leverkusen.

But they are still in the Champions League – a competition Tuchel won with Chelsea in 2021 – and are level at 2-2 with Real Madrid after the first leg of the semi-final.

The German’s pedigree has clearly impressed the Old Trafford hierarchy, with reports claiming that United minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS have already made contact with him about potentially becoming manager.

With that in mind, we’ve simulated what a Thomas Tuchel-led United could look like – and here are the results.

Thomas Tuchel as Man Utd manager – transfers

We’ve used Football Manager 2024, using the current real-life squads as they will be at the end of the season, to simulate the 2024/25 campaign under Tuchel.

Tuchel’s first piece of business is to convince Jadon Sancho to stay at the club, while Anthony Martial also signs a new contract on reduced terms.

United’s summer transfer window is underwhelming, with their only signing being the acquisition of Real Betis midfielder Guido Rodriguez on a free transfer.

But the January transfer window is simply chaos.

United manage to complete the signing of 18-year-old wonderkid Roony Bardghji, triggering the £9.75 million release clause in his FC Copenhagen contract.

They then complete a shock deal to sign former Liverpool star Fabinho on a free transfer after he left Saudi Arabia, while Marc Cucurella arrives on loan from Chelsea.

Oh, and Lionel Messi shows up. The Argentinian icon signs from Inter Miami for just £1.2 million – perhaps with a desire to follow in Cristiano Ronaldo’s footsteps.

The only notable outgoing is that of Fenerbahce goalkeeper Altay Bayindir – which is an un-United-like exceptional piece of trading business. Having signed him from the Turkish giants for around £5 million last summer, the shot-stopper returns to his former club for an initial £17.5 million, potentially rising up to £24 million.

Football Manager 2024

Thomas Tuchel as Man Utd manager – On the pitch

Tuchel’s first season at United can go down as a largely successful one, as he helps the club to finish in fourth place in the Premier League and return to the Champions League.

The FA Cup and Carabao Cup is less successful, with third and fourth round exits beckoning for the Red Devils.

Top scorer Rasmus Hojlund scored 20 goals in all competitions, but only nine of those goals were in the Premier League. Bruno Fernandes managed 16 goals and 14 assists, while Marcus Rashford scored 16 goals and got seven assists – as well as winning the most Player of the Match awards of any Premier League player.

Football Manager

United also play in the Europa Conference League, and beat Atalanta 2-0 to lift the trophy for the first time.

Football Manager

Thomas Tuchel as Man Utd manager – Formation and personnel

Under Tuchel, United operate in a 4-2-3-1 system with Casemiro and Mason Mount largely acting as a pivot in midfield (although Fabinho tends to replace Mount after his arrival, with the ex-Chelsea star pushing into attacking midfield when Bruno Fernandes is unavailable).

Their best three rated players over the entire season are Rashford, Luke Shaw and Andre Onana, although Messi records a season-high 7.64 average rating after scoring four goals in his 17 games.

Football Manager

And as far as the entire squad goes, there aren’t perhaps the changes that United fans might expect from the new INEOS regime.

Football Manager

How much different will the actual 2024/25 season go at Manchester United? We’re probably safe to rule out the signing of Messi, that’s for sure…