Football

Manchester United could face former players in the Europa League

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Following Manchester United's Champions League exit, attention will now turn to Monday's Europa League draw. 

The Red Devils faithful certainly wouldn't have been anticipating this turn of events, but they will still be hoping to see their side secure European success this season. The competition certainly represents a chance for Louis van Gaal to claim his first piece of silverware at Old Trafford. 

With the draw on the horizon, United could be tasked with some tricky encounters. Holders Sevilla are quite the force in the competition while United will no doubt be hoping to avoid a trip to Turkey to take on Galatasaray. 

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But there are four potential clashes that really would interest United fans; Valencia, Borussia Dortmund, Fiorentina and Fenerbahce all have a former United player among their ranks, with the latter occupying two ex-Red Devils. 

Shinji Kagawa, Giuseppe Rossi, Gary Neville, Robin van Persie and Nani could all be handed the opportunity to knock Manchester United out of Europe completely, so it's probably the right time to assess their Old Trafford careers...

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Former stars 

Shinji Kagawa 

Ah, Shinji Kagawa. So much was expected, but little was delivered. United fans were desperate for the playmaker to succeed, but it just never quite happened for him on English soil. He enjoyed a steady 2012/13 season, scoring six goals in 20 league games, but he failed to score in the Premier League in the following campaign. He was eventually freed and returned to Borussia Dortmund. 

Giuseppe Rossi

Rossi was another player to disappoint in Manchester. The Italian striker never came to prominence in England, failing to hold down a place in the side managed by Sir Alex Ferguson. He has experienced success since, however; the 28-year-old enjoyed a fruitful time at Villarreal, but has struggled with injury problems at Fiorentina. 

Gary Neville

Now this man is a true Manchester United legend. The club's former right-back had a remarkable career, winning numerous trophies throughout. Now with Neville in charge of Valencia, United fans will be hoping to see the former Sky Sports pundit return to the club in some capacity in the near future. We should probably give Phil Neville a special mention, too. 

Robin van Persie

It appears that Robin van Persie left Manchester on a slightly sour note, but the striker will forever be remembered by the Old Trafford faithful. His debut season at the club was truly remarkable. A scorer of 26 goals in 38 games, the Dutchman inspired the Red Devils to the Premier League title. 

Nani

The notion that Nani failed at Old Trafford is a slightly harsh one. He certainly could have performed better and often struggled to produce the goods on a consistent basis, but he still managed to deliver some fine moments for the Red Devils. United fans certainly won't forget some of his glorious goals against rivals Arsenal.

Possible Europa League opponents

Sevilla, Valencia, Galatasaray, Shakhtar Donetsk, Saint-Etienne, Fenerbahce, FC Sion, Borussia Dortmund, FC Midtjylland, Villarreal, Marseille, Anderlecht, Sparta Prague, Sporting Lisbon, Fiorentina, Augsburg.

Manchester United fans: who do you want to draw in the Round of 32? Have your say below! 

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Topics:
Robin Van Persie
Premier League
Football
Manchester United
Wayne Rooney

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