Manchester United supporters will still be licking their wounds after yesterday's FA Cup final defeat. While they were always the underdogs against Manchester City and they performed to a reasonable level at Wembley Stadium, losing a final to your local rivals is always going to sting.
In time, they will reflect on what has been an encouraging campaign for the club. They secured Champions League football, also winning the Carabao Cup back in February. They will be hoping to build on that heading into next season, with a big summer on the horizon.
While most fans will be looking forward to seeing what players United can sign in the transfer market, clearing the squad of some deadwood will be equally as important. It is clear that a number of player still at the club are not up to the required standard and will need to be moved on in the months ahead.
Paul McGrath feels Manchester United need to sell five players
Paul McGrath believes it is obvious that a number of upgrades are needed in the Manchester United squad this summer.
Writing in the Sunday World, the former Ireland defender name-checked five players that Erik ten Hag should look to sell during the off-season as they prepare for a return to the Champions League.
United are now in a bind. Did you see the stuff in the paper last week, which no one has denied, about Harry Maguire looking for money to leave United?
Erik ten Hag has a huge job during the summer.
He must move on four or five players who are on long contracts and big bucks at United and who will not want to go elsewhere for less money.
Who can blame a professional for that? But those players’ days at United are done.
Lads like Anthony Martial, Fred, Scott McTominay (even though he somehow almost saved the day at Wembley with his late effort) and Victor Lindelof must join Maguire in moving on.
They must leave and be replaced by better quality players if United are to get back to being challengers, for the Premier League and the Champions League. It is a massive overhaul for Ten Hag to undertake.
He will be helped by having Champions League football to offer, but he will certainly not be helped by the ongoing uncertainty over who will own the club in six months’ time.
Players like certainty at a club to which they are about to commit three or four years of their career.
It is clear that the five players mentioned by Paul McGrath will not be long-term building blocks for Manchester United, although it is doubtful that they would be able to sell all five before the end of the summer.
Erik ten Hag will be hoping to get rid of at least a couple of them, assuming that upgrades are on the way in terms of incomings.