When Louis van Gaal took over at Old Trafford last summer, it was quite certain that he would be keen to shape the team to his liking by bringing in players who suit his philosophy.
What this does is it puts a question mark on several players in the Manchester United squad. While quite a few of them have been shipped out on loan, a few others still linger on the fringes of the squad and could be shown the door in the summer.
The sale of these players will also be necessary to balance out the expected spending spree of United. It would also free up sufficient part of the wage budget, allowing them to make the marquee signings like Gareth Bale and Mats Hummels.
Here are eight players who could be axed.
1. Rafael Da Silva
Sir Alex Ferguson hailed him as the best young right back in the world a few years ago. Unfortunately Rafael has only shown flashes of the talent that he possesses since with inconsistent performances.
His fitness has always been under huge scrutiny in the last season and a half, with him constantly sidelined for lengthy periods. Under David Moyes and Van Gaal, Antonio Valencia has been preferred for the right back role. With United being continuously linked Nathaniel Clyne and Seamus Coleman, the days seem to be numbered for Rafael. He could be sold anywhere between £7-10 million.
Another expensive addition of Sir Alex Ferguson, Nani has been plagued by inconsistencies, injuries and pressures of being compared to his illustrious countryman Cristiano Ronaldo. He was given a contract extension by David Moyes but was shipped out to Sporting Lisbon by Louis Van Gaal. It would be safe to say that Nani will not be a part of his plans. He might be sold for about £10 million.
3. Javier Hernandez
Javier Hernandez, or Chicharito as he is known in the footballing world, can consider himself unlucky to not be the primary striker at Old Trafford despite a successful 2010-2011 season.
The signing of Robin van Persie from Arsenal further pushed him down the pecking order. Under David Moyes, he was predominantly used as super sub and was behind Danny Welbeck in order of preference. With the arrival of Falcao from Monaco, Chicarito was loaned out to Real Madrid for the rest of the season.
He has primarily been a bench player at the Santiago Bernabeu too. One does not see him returning to Old Trafford or having a permanent spot at the Bernabeu. A move to a team where he is first choice seems likely and ideal for the talented Poacher. He could garner a price of about £15 million.
Anderson can easily be called the most disappointing signing ever made by Sir Alex Ferguson. After a trophy laden first season in 2007-08 which included the Champions League, the slide in Anderson’s career has been monumental.
Sir Alex in his autobiography says that his scouts reported that Anderson was better than Wayne Rooney and a fully fit Anderson is a worthy successor to the legendary Paul Scholes. His presence had minimal prominence during the David Moyes regime but he has not even been heard of under Louis van Gaal. A return to Brazil seems likely destination for this midfielder.
5. Ashley Young
A signing that has flattered to deceived, Young has never really off despite the promise shown by him at Aston villa. His career at United has been blighted by lengthy spells of injury.
When on form Ashley Young can be a devastating winger with vital attributes such as pace, vision and a powerful shot. He seemed to have turned a corner under Louis Van Gaal, revelling in his role as a wing back, but another injury and the return of Luke Shaw and Angel Di Maria could force him out to the bench and eventually out of Old Trafford.
While his performances were very good this season, it can be noted that he has never played 10 games in a row for Manchester United. He could be sold for about £10 million.
6. Jonny Evans
Manchester United has always had good defensive partnerships at the back which formed the base for their ferocious attacking play under Sir Alex Ferguson. The partnerships of Bruce and Pallister and Vidic and Ferdinand have been particularly noteworthy.
Johnny Evans can hardly be touted as a successor to Rio or Vidic. His performances and on field presence of mind leave a lot to be desired. Louis Van Gaal has been credited with signing of a marquee centre back in the summer which could mark the end of the road at the Old Trafford for Evans.
The rise of Patrick McNair also threatens his place in the side. A price of about £7 million would seem fair for him.
7. Juan Mata
Juan Mata was the most expensive signing made by Manchester United at the time, only to be eventually surpassed by the signing of Angel Di Maria. Juan Mata is an influential playmaker and a perfect No. 10 but the competition for a spot to stay on at the Old Trafford is so intense that the Spaniard might not find himself getting the game time he deserves.
Physically Mata isn’t the biggest and is often the player to lose balls in the midfield. Considering the fact that United paid £37 million for him, a fee of around £25 million could be the price demanded.
8. Tom Cleverley
A Product of the youth academy at Manchester United, Tom cleverly was billed as the next Paul Scholes, but has sadly never fulfilled the potential that he has. He has often been ridiculed by united fans and has been at the receiving end of their contempt.
He is on loan at Aston Villa and will be probably make a permanent move to either Villa or Everton.