Could this shirt be 'the one' for Ole's Reds?

Manchester United fans will not just be looking at the Reds' new 2020/21 home shirt when the lads take to the pitch against LASK on Wednesday night – they will be gifted a glimpse at the future.

adidas launched the new kit, which is based on the United crest, earlier today and the idea that has inspired it is 'the Manchester United DNA'.
 
That's something Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been focused on from the very first moment he arrived back at the club in December 2018, and though many voice their suspicion when it comes to the words 'culture' and 'identity', the progress made by the Norwegian and his team on the pitch during 2019/20 is less easy to dismiss.
 
Whether you're into kits or not, one thing is certain: if you're of a United persuasion, the sight of it gets us all looking forward, and with positivity.
 
Will this be the one in which we achieve our dreams? Which player will make it their own?
When we think of Cantona, it's usually in that iconic black away kit of the mid-90s. When we see Rooney and Ronaldo in our mind's eye, is it in that all-blue effort with which we terrorised Arsenal in 2009?
 
For everyone it's different, but a new shirt sets the imagination whirring, and has us all thinking of that first day of the next season. What's the world got in store for Ole's Reds?
 
Inspired by Bruno Fernandes, United finished the last domestic season like a runaway freight train, gaining more points than any other club since the Portuguese's arrival.
 
And while the unusual timeframe of the current pandemic-affected season means our new kit is released before European duties have been completed, a sight of this new adidas effort has us all looking at what's next.
It's a time to take stock of how far we've come, and how far we've got to go. The league table doesn't lie: we're a long way behind Liverpool and Manchester City. But, equally, we're the next best in England, and that's something to work with.
 
While Jose Mourinho's 2017/18 vintage finished second in the Premier League – our best effort since Sir Alex Ferguson retired – Ole's team is younger, fresher and faster. The youngest in this country's top flight, in fact.
 
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial head into 2020/21 having passed the 20-goal milestone for the first time in their respective careers. Mason Greenwood is not far off that. At just 18 years of age. No teenager has scored more in a single season for the 20-times champions of England. Read that last sentence again and take in the scope of that achievement.
In defence, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's decision to buy Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been justified. One has already become club captain; the other made more tackles than any other player in the division and terrifies opposition wingers.
 
And in midfield, new man Bruno has linked up with World Cup winner Paul Pogba in effortless fashion since the restart.
 
Elsewhere, young players like Daniel James and Scott McTominay continued their progression. Others like Luke Shaw, Victor Lindelof and Fred have gone from strength to strength after overcoming challenging starts to their M16 careers.
 
But beyond that, United have begun to play like a team bearing our colours and our badge. Like a club with our history and reputation should.
Words like culture and DNA are easy to run down when results aren't flowing. But in a modern world where we're increasingly unmoored from each other, where fans are not able to watch their teams in the flesh, where connections are harder and harder to make, feeling a part of something unique is vital and can add an x-factor that drives individuals on. 
 
Anyone who's worked any kind of job will know that if you're just turning up, clocking in and clocking out, you're only living a half-life.
 
Manchester United means something, and that is part of the reason players continue to want to play here. It was true in the 1960s, when we boasted some of the most famous players in the world. It was true in the 1970s, when we suffered relegation. And it will always be true: because this club stands for something that can't be imitated; that can't be copied and reproduced.
That's what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his team have shown they understand, and it's producing togetherness, optimism and momentum.
 
Maybe I'm getting carried away. Maybe that's what the sight of a new kit and the thought of a new season does to you. But if you can't buzz off what's coming next for your team, what the future holds, or how the next chapter is going to be written, what exactly are you in this for?
 
That's what I'll be thinking about when we take to the pitch against LASK on Wednesday night: is this the one we'll lift the Premier League trophy in? Is this the one I'll think of when I remember Marcus Rashford or Mason Greenwood in 20 years' time?
 
Maybe. Maybe not. We just don't know. But the Cantonas and the Ronaldos of the future need something to wear and, sooner or later, that special shirt will be here. Could this be the one?

It is available to buy today, exclusively at adidas.com/football, adidas stores, and official club stores including online via United Direct.

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