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The Players That Won't Be At Man United Next Season And The Players That Shouldn't Be

The Players That Won't Be At Man United Next Season And The Players That Shouldn't Be
By David Clarke
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After another season of displeasure at Old Trafford, it took an FA Cup triumph to finally kickstart the exodus at Manchester United - but as Louis Van Gaal walks away from the wreckage he created/inherited, the magnitude of the clean-up operation will soon be realised.

There seems to be a general optimism among United fans that Jose Mourinho can return the club to this once utopian world fans grew accustomed to during the Ferguson era - but the reality is that any return of major success will take time.

The clichéd opinion to date has been that throwing money at the problem rather than putting faith in the club’s academy has been the Mourinho way for most of his illustrious career. Whether or not that's entirely true is up for debate but Manchester United have fallen into a similar habit in the post-Ferguson era - although ironically it has been the youth that has salvaged Van Gaal’s season on more than one occasion.

Over a quarter of a billion pounds has been spent since he took the reigns in 2014, but somewhere in the midst of everything, something went very wrong. Louis Van Gaal’s demand to ‘make history’ on the day of his appointment soon grew to ‘making history takes time’ just months into his reign.

Fast-forward almost two years, and United have arguably gone backwards. So there’s no doubt that there will be a certain portion of the squad fearing for the place with Mourinho set to step in.

While it’s difficult to predict what Jose Mourinho’s recruitment sheet will look like without being completely speculative, predicting who might follow Van Gaal out the what has now become a revolving-door at Old Trafford is a much easier task.

Players that will leave:

Phil Jones:


With just one appearance in 2016, let’s just say it hasn’t quite worked out for the man that Sir Alex Ferguson once claimed could go on to become one of United’s best-ever players.

The 24-year-old’s season has been hampered by injuries, and with Blind and Smalling forming a partnership in defence, Jones looks further away from the team than ever.


Ashley Young:

He must be one of the most hated men in English football, and that’s probably down to his excessive diving. There probably isn’t a park in the country where boos don’t ring out when he has the ball.


That been said, he proved to be versatile - and featured everywhere from full-back to winger, and even a makeshift striker. But he will be 31-year-old when the season kicks off again, and it’s probably safe to say he won’t be a part of a Mourinho Manchester United.

Antonio Valencia: 

The Ecuadorian has found himself operating at right full-back for the most of the season, mainly due to the limited options in the squad.


A natural full-back must be one of the priorities for Jose Mourinho - and with other impending arrivals, Valencia will probably have to leave if he wants to play football.

Michael Carrick:


At the tender age of 34, Michael Carrick’s career is undoubtedly on the downward curve. An argument could be made the Mourinho may opt to offer the club’s vice-captain a contract extension - but looking to the future, it’s probably time to part ways with Carrick.

He signed from Tottenham in the summer of 2006, and has been a key figure in United’s midfield since. But given the lack of pace in the United midfield this season, some rejuvenation is needed and finding a replacement will be one the main tasks facing Mourinho.

Players that should leave, but will likely remain

Marco Rojo


With a returning Luke Shaw (who Mourinho is a known fan of), and likely recruitments at centre-half, Marcos Rojo could be soon find himself frozen out at Old Trafford.

The 26-year-old arrived for the modest fee of £16 million, and it seems fitting to apply the phrase “you get what you pay for” to the Argentine. He’s been suspect on more than one occasion this season, and leaves United fans on the edge of their seats for all the wrong reasons.

Similar to Jones, Rojo’s game-time has been limited by injuries. But with youngsters Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and a rejuvenated Luke Shaw to return, Rojo is unlikely to play a huge role in Mourinho’s United.

But his versatility is an asset, and given the fact he can play almost  in a couple of positions across the back four, and can operate as a wing-back should he be required - he might be able to convince Mourinho to take a chance.

Marouane Fellaini: 


What on earth do you do with a 6 foot 4 afro sporting, elbow swinging Belgian? Fellaini has divided opinion more than anyone at the club, but he has enjoyed his best season in United jersey.

His aerial dominance always give United another option, and his defensive presence during set-pieces can’t be denied. While he likely won’t be a regular starter under Mourinho, he’s always a good option to have in reserve.

Bastian Schweinsteiger:

For a player who has virtually won it all, the fee of £6.5 million was worth the experience itself that the German would bring to the squad. But on the field, it really hasn’t worked out.

The 31-year-old has struggled to adapt to the pace of English football, and offered nothing that wasn’t already there when he did play.

However, that been said - Mourinho does like experienced players, and he just might be persuaded to hold on to the German given that he is still only 31-year-old.

Players who deserve another season to prove themselves:

Memphis Depay: 

He arrived with a reputation last Summer as one of the most exciting prospects in European football, but the now 22-year-old’s initial impact at Old Trafford soon fizzled out.

He seems a frustrated figure when he does play, and you can see the annoyance on his face when his 35-yard shot doesn’t fly in. There’s no doubt the talent is there, perhaps Mourinho is the man to nurture it, and unleash the Memphis Depay we saw tear up the Eredivisie just 12 months ago.

Juan Mata:

Likely the only person who doesn’t want Mourinho to take charge at Old Trafford, and Mata and Mourinho could be set for round 2.

Chelsea’s back-to-back player of the season was exiled by Mourinho when he took charge in 2013, and the Spaniard joined Manchester United just 6 months later for a then club record fee of almost £40 million.

Similar problems soon began to set in at United, with Mata failing to hold down his preferred number 10 role, and was shunned out to the wing where he has performed admirably. He’s been in and out of Van Gaal’s team and with the potential arrival of James Rodriguez, Mata could easily find himself reliving his Chelsea nightmare all over again.

Adnan Januzaj:

One of the success stories from the David Moyes tenure, but it has all gone horribly downhill for the Kosovan born Belgian international.

Despite Louis Van Gaal’s willingness to use youth players, Januzaj quickly fell out of favour with the Dutchman. Brief appearances as both a central striker and a number 10, saw United ship the youngster out on loan to Borussia Dortmund.

That proved to be a pointless exercise, with the same problems creeping up again - making only 6 league appearances for the club,  and was recalled by United in January.

He finds himself in a tricky situation, given that failure to impress Mourinho could leave him questioning his future at the club. But it seems as though he will be given the opportunity to fight for his position at the club.

Ander Herrera:

Herrera is very much a fan favourite at Old Trafford, but bias aside from United fans - he hasn’t lived up to his £30 million price tag.

Despite being worshiped at Old Trafford, he has failed to break into the Spanish side, and hasn’t held down his spot in Louis Van Gaal’s team.

While the creativity is certainly there, whether his progress was inhibited by Van Gaal’s rigid system is another thing - but he will have one season to prove himself to ‘The Special One’.

Morgan Schneiderlin:

He was heralded as the player United were missing in midfield; a box-to-box type who can break up play effectively, while almost acting as a shield for the back 4.

Almost 12 months later, it just looks like another underwhelming signing that has failed to establish his place in the team. Inconsistent performances saw the Frenchman come in and out of the side - resulting in him losing out on a Euro 2016 slot in the French squad.

But he will be keen to move on under new management, and he is the type of player Mourinho likes in his midfield - so he almost certainly will be afford the opportunity to find the form he showed at Southampton that earned him a move to Old Trafford.

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