Just a little interesting concept I thought I'd share. In sports, more often than not what separates the top teams versus the rest of the pack is the amount of quality players on a single roster. In hockey/football (american)/basketball, these types of players are usually categorized as "franchise" or "elite". General rule of thumb is the more players you have of such calibre, the more likely it is your team is a top team. In football, the terms "world class" and "elite" are used to define such players. So looking at United's roster, let's try and see how many of these world class/elite players there are and compare them to other top clubs in the world. And yes all great teams can't entirely rely on such players needing a fair share of quality depth+support players to work hand in hand also. Not disregarding that as it's just as important but for the sole purpose of this thread, will be focusing just on the "world class" and "elite" players as they do most the heavy lifting and make players around them better. So let's get started. Manchester United World Class: Pogba, De Gea Elite: Lukaku, Matic, Bailly, Martial (,Zlatan) - 6 world class/elite players. No potential taken into consideration, just their pure, current form. Otherwise players like Bailly and Rashford could be dragged into the conversation but they're just not at that level yet. Zlatan not taken into consideration as he'll be gone after the season and won't be joining until January anyways. Real Madrid World Class: Ronaldo, Ramos, Kroos, Modric, Bale, Marcelo Elite: Benzema, Isco, Casemiro, Asensio - 10 world class/elite players. Bayern Munich World Class: Lewandowski, Neuer, Muller, Boateng Elite: Alaba, Vidal, Robben, Hummels, Thiago - 9 world class/elite players. Juventus World Class: Dybala, Buffon Elite: Higuain, Chiellini, Pjanic, Sandro, Matuidi - 7 world class/elite players. PSG World Class: Neymar, T.Silva, Verratti Elite: Cavani, Di Maria, Alves, Marquinhos - 7 world class/elite players. Barcelona World Class: Messi, Suarez Elite: Iniesta, Busquets, Pique, Rakitic, Alba - 7 world class/elite players. ...from the looks of things, United are a few world class/elite players away from matching the likes of those top5 teams in the world. Taking the average of them, it comes down to 8 a team so United are technically 3 away. Add another big splash signing (Griezmann ?) in January or next summer and it takes us to 6. If Bailly+Rashford can cement their potential/play/consistency this season and promote themselves into that category, it'd make it 8 for United which is the bare minimum we have to reach just to match considering those other teams will also be looking to improve their already strong rosters. So yea, that's that lol. I hope this is a little something that can be used to compare where we stand vs. other top teams in the world in terms of high end talent. And there are certainly different levels within the category as shown. On one end there's world class, on the other those that just make the cut, and then those that fit in between in which there are a few leaps as well. More players you have towards the world class end the better compared to having just the bare minimum. It's why Real Madrid show they're head and shoulders above everyone else really. Too much high end quality on the world class spectrum to match up against.