Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s clear-out at Manchester United is set to continue this summer. The managers attempts to freshen his squad with new leases of life have been successes up to this point – even if the clubs departures have gone on to do well.
Last summer, the notable exits at Old Trafford were those of Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Chris Smalling. Sanchez recently made his move to Inter Milan permanent whilst Smalling is reportedly still looking to move on.
Ander Herrera, Matteo Darmian, Marouane Fellaini, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia, who were all mainstays under Jose Mourinho, were also swiftly shown the door. The impotence to blood younger players into the side has vindicated Solskjær’s decision to air out the aging squad he inherited almost two years ago.
So, which players are likely to leave the club this time around? We take a look.
The defenders reputation was at an all-time low after last season and an exit was expected. Harry Maguire’s arrival at United made it clear that Chris Smalling wouldn’t have been first choice.
He has impressed during his loan spell with Roma and there will definitely be a host of suitors around Europe. His impressive performances in Italy has even brought Smalling back into the England frame.
There are suggestions that Smalling would still be able to do a job at United but there is a feeling that there’s no turning back for the defender who will most likely find more game-time and consistency elsewhere. The only problem is that top clubs, who have seen their financial prowess limited due to the coronavirus pandemic, might look elsewhere for a defender when Smalling is ultimately approaching the end of his peak.
Not many thought that Rojo would last six years at United but he has. And he could yet stay for another term – his contract doesn’t expire until next summer.
His loan move back to Argentina didn’t quite work out as he would have hoped. Coronavirus has put a spanner in the works of his ‘dream return’ to his native land and his lockdown violations has seen him under extensive scrutiny.
The defenders discipline has been a problem throughout his tenure at United more not more so than his injury record. Signing Rojo would be a huge risk for any European club, which means that another season at United before joining a club of his choice on a free transfer could be a better bet.
But one thing is clear, Marcos Rojo is on the market and United will speak to any club who are willing to take him off the clubs wage bill.
Just two years after joining as an exciting option at right-back, Dalot has really lost his way at United. The defender has sporadically been used under Solskjær this season and the return of Fosu-Mensah seems to have sealed Dalot’s fate at United.
According to some reports, Paris Saint-Germain and Everton are both interested in Diogo Dalot and Manchester United will be fancying their chances to recuperate the full amount they paid to bring him from Porto in 2018.
Going into the 2019/20 season, Jesse Lingard was handed more responsibility than he could handle. Ultimately this made him a scapegoat for a role he never should have been handed. The ruthless culture of bullying in England has seen the reputation of a player who just two years ago was integral to his nations World Cup success drop completely.
It’s out of order and unacceptable but it’s ultimately lead to his inevitable exit at United. Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, Jesse Lingard has scored in two cup finals – no other player has managed to do better in the deciding games at the end of a long season. His extra-time winner in the FA Cup final in 2016 was the first post-Ferguson trophy and he’ll for sure never forget that moment.
His decision to switch to Mino Raiola as his agent earlier this year more or less confirmed his desire to leave and according to the Guardian, United are willing to listen to offers for the midfielder.
Much like Lingard, Pereira was handed a lot of responsibility at the start of the season. He started more or less every game and when United struggled, as expected, much of the blame was put on Andreas Pereira.
Once a highly rated academy product at the club, Pereira’s stock has dropped significantly.
There is a feeling that United could have Pereira stay on for squad depth and mould him into a useful player for rotation but reports say that the Brazilian has suitors and is likely to leave.