We ‘appointed’ Pochettino and ‘signed’ Kane for Man United next season with stunning results

Manchester United are determined to name their permanent manager before the end of the season, as the links to Mauricio Pochettino intensify.

Manchester Evening News understands that United are confident they can get Pochettino due to his long-standing interest in managing the club, and it is also understood that there is growing support among the Reds first-team squad for the former Spurs boss to become the next manager, with his previous Premier League successes with Tottenham and Southampton impressing those at the club.

The Telegraph reported on Friday that Pochettino will push United to sign England captain Harry Kane in this summer’s transfer window, should he join the Reds ahead of next season. Kane was Man City’s prime transfer target last summer, with Tottenham eventually managing to hold on to their star striker despite his willingness to leave.

This got us thinking, what could happen if United managed to bring in both Pochettino and Kane ahead of next season?

To try and predict the future, we simulated next season in Football Manager 2022 to see what could happen with Pochettino and Kane at Old Trafford.

We ‘appointed’ Pochettino and ‘signed’ Kane for Man United next season

To set up this simulation, we arranged for Pochettino and Kane to join Manchester United on FM22 at the start of the 2022/23 season, to find out their potential impact at the club.

Kane enjoyed a fantastic first season in Manchester, with the striker ending the season as United’s top scorer in all competitions.

Harry Kane's stats from the 2022/23 season at Man United
Harry Kane’s stats from the 2022/23 season at Man United

Throughout the season, Kane made 52 appearances for United, with just one of those coming off the bench, showing how important he was in Pochettino’s plans.

He started every single Premier League game for United, grabbing 18 goals and 10 assists in the league alone, ending the season as the fourth-top scorer, and third-top assister.

In all competitions, Kane grabbed 25 goals and 13 assists for United, more than any other player in the United squad in both categories.

Kane also averaged a rating of 7.45 per game over the course of the season, with his best average rating coming in the FA Cup, grabbing a 7.5 average per game.

At the end of the 2022/23 season, Football Manager 2022 put together an overall best Man United XI, based on performances, statistics and other metrics.

This is how the best United XI looked at the end of the 2022/23 season according to FM22.

United's best XI from the 22/23 season simulation
United’s best XI from the 22/23 season simulation

Full Man United best XI (4-3-3): De Gea; Laird, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Fernandes, Valverde, Pogba; Sancho, Kane, Ronaldo.

With Pochettino in charge, the Argentine opted for a 4-3-3 formation with Ronaldo on the left to occupy Kane, meaning Marcus Rashford was the player to drop out.

Federico Valverde was signed for £72m in the January transfer window to fill the holding midfielder role, and Ethan Laird was made the first-choice right-back over Aaron Wan-Bissaka after Diogo Dalot was sold to Juventus for £29m.

These were the best performers under Pochettino in his first season at United.

United's top scorers under Pochettino
United’s top scorers under Pochettino

Despite having to change position and move to the left, Ronaldo was still United’s most important player, with the Portuguese international averaging a rating of 7.55 and grabbing the Player of the Match award 11 times.

Kane had the second-best average rating at United followed by Sancho, Fernandes and Raphael Varane, and the English striker led the squad in goals and assists.

So, how did United perform in the league and in the cup competitions under Pochettino and with Kane in the squad?

United’s 2021/22 season under Pochettino and with Kane

Manchester United finished second in the Premier League
Manchester United finished second in the Premier League

United were involved in a two-horse title race along with fierce rivals Man City, but a United loss on the final day of the season saw Pochettinho’s side finish three points behind City, though they were a few goals behind on goal difference anyway.

At the end of the season, United tallied 81 points, 12 more than Liverpool in third place, losing seven games, drawing six and winning 25. United did win one trophy though in the 2022/23 season with Pochettino in charge, their first piece of silverware since the 2016/17 season.

Man United won one trophy in the simulated season with Pochettinho and Kane
Man United won one trophy in the simulated season with Pochettinho and Kane

A first-half Ronaldo penalty proved to be the decisive goal as United defeated Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final to win their one trophy of the season, but Pochettino’s side came extremely close to winning another.

The addition of Kane and Pochettino helped push United all the way to the final of the UEFA Champions League where they faced Liverpool, but it was Jurgen Klopp’s side who were eventually victorious, winning 3-1, with Kane grabbing United’s only goal in the defeat .

Overall, Football Manager 2022 predicts that if Man United were to appoint Pochettino and sign Harry Kane next season, performances could massively improve and they could instantly become Premier League title contenders, as well as Champions League finalists.

United won the Carabao Cup, reached the Champions League final and finished just three points behind first place in the Premier League, a much-improved display on this season and seasons prior.

Do you think Pochettino would be the right appointment at Manchester United next season? Let us know in the comments!


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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