Manchester United completed their first signing of the summer yesterday with the acquisition of Donny van de Beek in a £35 million deal from Ajax.
The Dutch international will give Ole Gunnar Solskaer more depth in midfield with the 23-year-old having been excellent during his time with the Dutch giants, both domestically and in the Champions League.
United have signed a number of players over the past couple of seasons and now the manager has the task of reducing his squad size before the end of the current transfer window, on 5 October.
Reports today suggest that as many as nine players could be shown the door at Old Trafford over the coming month. In order of what I believe is most probable to least, they are as follows:
Dean Henderson’s return from Sheffield United and Lee Grant having another year on his contract points to the departure of Sergio Romero. The 2010 World Cup finalist should be able to find a starting role elsewhere.
The defender was barely given a chance under Solskjaer, making a total of 17 Premier League appearances over the past three seasons. He had moved on loan to Estudiantes for the second half of last season prior to the disruption. I’d expect Marcos Rojo to find a new club without playing for the Red Devils ever again.
Spent last season loan in Italy with AS Roma where he was a regular, Chris Smalling is still rated by a number of big clubs. Jose Mourinho originally tried replacing the 30-year-old and it looks as though the current boss doesn’t rate him much greater either. Manchester United shouldn’t have a problem offloading the England international this summer.
Another centre-back who hasn’t been too popular among United managers in recent seasons, Phil Jones has spent a lot of the time on the injury bench. 27 caps for the England national team, once dubbed the “next John Terry” and only 28 years old, the record champions of England shouldn’t have a problem moving the former Blackburn Rovers defender on.
Scored Manchester United’s final Premier League goal of the 2019-20 campaign in what was his first and only goal involvement of the season. Jesse Lingard has rarely looked like a top player but should be able to find a new suitor in the same division this summer.
Another player who has been out-of-favour by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Timothy Fosu-Mensah was selected over Diogo Dalot towards the end of this past season, whilst Aaron Wan-Bissaka was also starting games when visibly tired. It all points to the Portuguese full-back’s departure in the near future.
Bruno Fernandes’ arrival at the end of January ruled out any final prayer Juan Mata had of getting a run in the first team. Now 32 years old, the Spanish international may feel he needs to be a regular elsewhere as soon as possible to prolong his career.
After making a personal best 18 Premier League starts this past season it’s a little surprising to see Andreas Pereira on the list. But he’s 24 years old now and never established himself at Old Trafford. Donny van de Beek’s arrival will have any made opportunities more bleak for the one-time Brazilian international.
Another name that’s a little surprising to see on the list is Eric Bailly. Simply because Manchester United currently have a lack of options at centre-back, or at least assuming Smalling and Jones will be moved on. Eric Bailly’s time at Old Trafford has mostly been spent on the injury bench though.
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