Manchester United have used 37 players this season - double the number of high-flying Southampton

Louis van Gaal is yet to settle on a preferred XI

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Manchester United have used a staggering 37 different players this season in all competitions - more than any other side in the Premier League.

With Louis van Gaal having overseen the club's worst start to a season in 28 years, the figure is likely to stand out as a possible cause of United's troubles.

Van Gaal has been beset by injury problems, with Michael Carrick making his first appearance of the season in the derby defeat to Manchester City and becoming the 37th player to feature under David Moyes' successor.

Other high-profile omissions this season have been Radamel Falcao, Robin van Persie and Ander Herrera whilst the defence has been persistently depleted.

That Van Gaal oversaw the arrival of numerous players after the start of the season, including Marcos Rojo, Falcao and Blind has also added to the figure.

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Yet it points to uncertainty over team selection, with little clue as to if or how the attacking threats of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Falcao, Juan Mata and Angel Di Maria can be accommodated into the same side when all available.

The figure includes all competitions, but with no European football, the FA Cup yet to start and a shock defeat to MK Dons in the Capital One Cup, that amounts to one extra game in addition to their 10 Premier League matches.

 

In contrast, Southampton who currently sit proudly in second, have used just 18 different players under Ronald Koeman. League leaders Chelsea have used 23. The next highest number of players used by a Premier League team this term is Crystal Palace who sit a place above the relegation zone. Meanwhile Tottenham, who have played 18 games (six more than United), have used just 25.

 

As an indication of the pitfalls of using many players, last season Fulham who were relegated in 19th place used more than any other side in the Premier League.

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