We ‘signed’ Declan Rice to Man United next season and he was just what they needed


West Ham midfielder Declan Rice is Manchester United’s main transfer target ahead of the summer transfer window.

United are keen to improve their squad’s midfield area this summer, with Rice their main target ahead of the 2022/23 season, with a number of midfielders linked with a move away from Old Trafford this summer, including Paul Pogba.

Rice passed his audition for United last weekend, despite the Hammers coming close to claiming a point against Ralf Rangnick’s side thanks to a late goal from Marcus Rashford, but his performance has led to more United fans. United to ask the club to go all out and sign the England international.

So if Rice were to move to United in the summer, what kind of impact could he have at Old Trafford?

Could the England midfielder help United to a silver medal next season?

We simulated the 2022/23 season with Rice in the United squad and this is what happened.

We ‘signed’ Declan Rice to Man United in July 2022

To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2022 editor to arrange for Rice to join United at the start of the 2022/23 season, using FM22 to run the simulation.

With Ralf Rangnick set to step down as manager at the end of the season, we put Mauricio Pochettino, a closely linked manager, in charge at Old Trafford at the start of the 2022/23 season.

This is what Rice’s game profile looks like on FM22.

Declan Rice's in-game profile on FM22.
Declan Rice’s in-game profile on FM22.

Declan Rice is a versatile player who can play as a central midfielder or defender due to his physical and technical attributes. At 23, Rice has the potential to be one of the best midfielders in Europe for the next decade, with his best attributes being his tackling, composure, determination, leadership, positioning, teamwork, work-rate, natural fitness and stamina. . .

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Let’s take a look at how Rice performed during the 2022/23 season after joining United in July 2022.

Declan Rice statistics for Man United in the 2022/23 season.
Declan Rice statistics for Man United in the 2022/23 season.

Rice played a total of 51 games for Manchester United in the 2022/23 season, scoring twice and registering an impressive 10 assists from a defensive midfield position.

The 23-year-old was ranked fifth in the United squad in terms of goal contribution, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Donny van de Beek, with the midfielder recording the second-most assists in all the competitions.

The England international’s assist tally highlighted his ability to create passes and chances from a deeper position, as the England international became a key player in the United squad, dramatically improving the Reds’ midfield. He also posted an average completion rate of 91%, the third highest of any United midfielder behind Fernandes and van de Beek, showing just how influential Rice was for United in terms of retaining possession and creating attacking moves. .

West Ham United's Declan Rice looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford.
West Ham United’s Declan Rice looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford.

When it comes to defensive contributions, the Hammers vice-captain averaged a 72% tackle success rate in all competitions for United, ranking him as United’s second-best midfield tackler, suggesting who can make an impact on defense and attack by breaking down opposition attacks and holding on to possession, putting United in control of games more often.

At the end of the 2022/23 season, Football Manager 2022 assembled the best overall United XI, based on performance, stats and other metrics. This is what United’s best XI looked like at the end of the 2022/23 season as predicted by Football Manager 2022.

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Man United's best eleven at the end of the 2022/23 season.
Man United’s best eleven at the end of the 2022/23 season.

Complete XI of the best United (4-3-3): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Varane, Shaw; Rice, Van de Beek, Fernandes; Sancho, Rashford, Ronaldo.

Rice walked straight into United’s midfield alongside van de Beek and Fernandes, while Pochettino dropped Scott McTominay and Fred from the starting line-up.

So how did United perform in league and cup competitions after signing Rice at the start of the 2022/23 season?

Man United results from the 2022/23 simulation

United finished third in the Premier League.
United finished third in the Premier League.

United finished third in the Premier League at the end of the 2022/23 season, four points behind champions Liverpool. The Reds qualified for the Champions League and closed the points gap with rivals Man City and Liverpool, as well as finishing ahead of a strong Chelsea.

United brought more additions to Rice, including Max Aarons from Norwich, Dominik Livakovic from Dinamo Zagreb, Héctor Herrera from Atlético Madrid and Pedro Goncalves from Sporting ahead of the 2022/23 season, which could be one reason for the improvement in the performance of the Reds.

So how did United perform in cup competitions?

United's performance in cup competitions.
United’s performance in cup competitions.

In the 2022/23 season, United won the Carabao Cup after beating Spurs in the final thanks to an early goal from Jadon Sancho.

In the FA Cup, United were eliminated in the fifth round by Leicester after a narrow 1–0 loss following an early red card for Luke Shaw in the fourth minute.

In Europe, United failed to progress to the later stages of the competition as the Reds were beaten 3-2 on aggregate by Ajax in the Champions League knockout round after a poor showing at home will leave with a lot to do in the second leg. .

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Overall, this Football Manager simulation predicts that if United were to sign Declan Rice before the 2022/23 season, the English midfielder could have a significant impact on the United squad and improve the club’s quality in midfield, registering 10 assists and scoring twice in 51 games in all competitions.

Rice’s stats, both in attack and defence, highlighted what the 23-year-old brought to the United team, helping the club lift the Carabao Cup, and the team’s performance in the league might suggest that the addition of more Signings along with Rice will see United close the gap with Man City and Liverpool to challenge for the Premier League title once again.

Would you like to see Declan Rice?Sign for Man United? Tell us 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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