Sir Alex Ferguson has never been one to rest on his laurels. He’s bought and sold some of the finest players in recent memory and maintained success throughout.
The loss of players such as David Beckham, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo would be enough to cripple most teams, but Fergie has continually delivered success. With that in mind, whose time is up at United this summer?
It never seems to have quite clicked for Nani at United. He arrived as a tricky winger from Sporting Lisbon at a time when rumours of Cristiano Ronaldo leaving the club were growing, so speculation that Nani was brought in as his replacement were inevitable.
It’s true that United’s number 17 has shown glimpses of incredible talent, and he’s scored some impressive goals. However, this season has been his worst yet for inconsistent form, and he’s found himself behind the likes of Kagawa, Young and Valencia in the pecking order. A move to one of Europe’s biggest clubs could be on the cards, and it might not be such a bad loss for the Red Devils.
Paul Scholes is one of my personal heroes, so it’s with a heavy heart that I must suggest he retires (again) at the end of this season. I was happier than anybody when the ginger ninja announced his return to first-team action midway through last season, and his impact at the club was incredible. His vision and passing has been one of the key drivers behind United’s success over the last 20 years, but he’s found chances in the first team hard to come by this year.
With Michael Carrick proving that he’s finally ready to take over Scholesy’s midfield maestro title the time could be right for the former England international to hang up the boots, although his presence will still be felt next term as Ferguson has indicated that Scholes will be at the club in either a player or coach capacity.
Anders Lindegaard is perhaps unfortunate not to have made more of his time with United. The 29-year-old Denmark international was brought in as competition for David de Gea, and when the latter showed stuttering form last year Lindegaard took over the first choice ‘keeper position for extended periods. He rarely made errors and proved to be a steady, if unspectacular, hand.
However, David de Gea has really come of age this season and it seems unlikely that Lindegaard will be able to overthrow him in the foreseeable future. At 29 the Dane is entering the best years of his career, so perhaps it would be best for him if he does so at a club where he’ll be guaranteed match time.
When Fabio and Rafael arrived in Manchester they were heralded as twin full backs that would be mainstays in the United first team for years to come. Rafael has produced some exceptional form this term in particular and has cemented his position as United’s first choice right back.
However, despite being championed as the more talented twin on arrival, Fabio has suffered from injuries and an inability to oust Patrice Evra from the United team. A difficult time on loan at QPR this season hasn’t helped his cause either after falling behind Armand Traore in their pecking order. It could be time to separate the Brazilian twins for good this summer.
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