The 17 players to leave Manchester United under Jose Mourinho - Where are they now?

  • Rob Swan

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s spell as Manchester United’s permanent manager is becoming so disastrous that many fans are now wondering whether sacking Jose Mourinho last December was a mistake.

Mourinho was dismissed following two-and-a-half years in charge of the Red Devils after a poor start to the 2018/19 campaign.

Many fans thought it was the right decision. United had just suffered a 3-1 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield, morale among the team was worryingly low and there appeared to be no signs of progress despite spending almost £400 million on 11 players.

Solskjaer came in and made a stunning impact, transforming the mood of the squad and leading the team to 14 wins, two draws and just one defeat in his first 17 games in charge.

But since beating Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 back in March, United have recorded just six wins in all competitions. The team currently sit 10th in the Premier League table, with two victories from their opening seven fixtures, and recent performances have been nothing short of dismal.

Solskjaer is a man under pressure and Mourinho, who is waiting for the right opportunity to return to football management, must be feeling rather smug right now.

“I was sacked, probably deservedly sacked because I am the final [person] responsible as a manager but the sad reality is that they are worse than before,” the Portuguese tactician said on Sky Sports last month.

We thought it’d be interesting to look at the players Mourinho got rid of during his time at Old Trafford and see what they’re up to now.

Manchester United v BSC Young Boys - UEFA Champions League Group H

Nick Powell

Once hailed as the next Paul Scholes, Powell sadly lived up the hype and ended up leaving United on a free transfer in July 2016, shortly after Mourinho’s arrival.

The one-time England Under-21 international spent the next three years at Wigan Athletic before joining Stoke City in the summer.

Was Mourinho right to get rid? Yes.

Stoke City v Queens Park Rangers - Sky Bet Championship

Donald Love

Appeared for United in losses to Sunderland and Midtjylland under Louis van Gaal and left the club weeks after Mourinho arrived.

The 24-year-old now plays for League One outfit Shrewsbury Town after three years with Sunderland.

Was Mourinho right to get rid? Yes.

Shrewsbury Town v Aston Villa - Pre-Season Friendly

Paddy McNair

"Maybe he shall be the right full-back of Manchester United for the next 10 years, you never know. He has the chance."

Van Gaal said this about McNair during one of his moments of madness in 2015.

Mourinho didn’t think the Northern Ireland international had a future at Old Trafford and the 24-year-old was subsequently offloaded to Sunderland along with the aforementioned Love.

Now 24, McNair currently plies his trade for Middlesbrough in the Championship.

Was Mourinho right to get rid? Yes.

Bristol City v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship

Tyler Blackett

Another defender given a run of games under Van Gaal, Blackett had just spent time on loan at Celtic before Mourinho decided the former England Under-21 international wasn’t in his plans.

The 25-year-old has played for Reading since 2016.

Was Mourinho right to get rid? Yes.

Reading v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship

Will Keane

Man Utd had just hopes for this talented young striker but it things ultimately didn’t work out for him at Old Trafford.

Keane failed to impress at Hull City and joined League One outfit Ipswich Town in the summer.

Was Mourinho right to get rid? Yes.


James Weir

English midfielder Weir made his United debut against Arsenal under Van Gaal during the 2015/16 season but wasn’t good enough to cement his status as a first-team regular.

He moved to Hull City in 2016 and signed for troubled League One side Bolton Wanderers in the summer.

Was Mourinho right to get rid? Yes.

Stoke City v Hull City - EFL Cup Third Round

Morgan Schneiderlin

Man Utd’s acquisition of Schneiderlin from Southampton in 2015 felt like a real coup for the Red Devils, but the French midfielder failed to produce his best form during two disappointing seasons at Old Trafford.

The 29-year-old has played for Everton since 2016 but United fans don’t miss him.

Was Mourinho right to get rid? Yes.


Memphis Depay

This is a tricky one. It’s easy to understand why Mourinho got rid of Memphis, who was poor for United and also had issues with his attitude. But the club’s former No. 7 was clearly a talent with bags of potential.

The Dutch forward has scored 44 goals in 120 games - including five in five this season - for Lyon since joining the French side in 2017.

Was Mourinho right to get rid? No.


Bastian Schweinsteiger

Van Gaal brought Schweinsteiger to United because of his leadership qualities, but the German midfielder was well past his best when he rocked up at Old Trafford.

Mourinho did the right thing and offloaded the World Cup winner to Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire, who the 35-year-old still plays for today.

Was Mourinho right to get rid? Yes.

Houston Dynamo v Chicago Fire

Josh Harrop

Harrop was given his senior debut against Crystal Palace by Mourinho on the final day of the 2016/17 season and the attacking midfielder only went and scored.

That wasn’t enough to convince Mourinho that he had a future as a United player, however, and he was offloaded to Preston North End weeks later.

The 23-year-old has scored four goals in nine games for the Championship side this season.

Was Mourinho right to get rid? Yes.

Preston North End v Hull City - Carabao Cup Second Round

Wayne Rooney

Man Utd’s all-time leading goalscorer and a true club legend, Rooney was only 31 when he was sold to Everton.

There’s no doubt that his best days were behind him by this point, but United still could have done with the forward’s quality, experience and leadership skills over the next couple of seasons.

Rooney scored 11 goals for Everton in 2017-18 before joining MLS side DC United, where he has been an absolute revelation, producing some moments of unbelievable individual quality despite his advancing years.

Was Mourinho right to get rid? No.

Adnan Januzaj

Januzaj was outstanding during his breakthrough season under David Moyes but failed to convince Van Gaal and was then poor during a loan spell at Sunderland while Mourinho was managing United.

The Belgian winger, who inherited Ryan Giggs’ No. 11 shirt, has been with Real Sociedad for the past few seasons but hasn’t exactly set La Liga alight.

Was Mourinho right to get rid? Yes.

Millwall vs Real Sociedad - Pre-Season Friendly

Guillermo Varela

The first player to join United following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, Varela looked half-decent whenever he played for the Premier League giants.

But after a loan spell with Eintracht Frankfurt, Mourinho decided the Uruguay international could move back to his home country and join Penarol.

The 26-year-old is now back in Europe with Copenhagen.

Was Mourinho right to get rid? Yes.


Henrikh Mkhitaryan

A hero at Dortmund, but hopeless at United. Mkhitaryan was sent packing to Arsenal as part of the disastrous deal that saw Alexis Sanchez move in the opposite direction.

Mkhitaryan was also rubbish for the Gunners and is currently on loan at AS Roma.

Was Mourinho right to get rid? Yes.

FC Barcelona v Arsenal - Pre-Season Friendly

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

In fairness to Mourinho, it was Zlatan’s decision to begin the next chapter of his career with MLS side LA Galaxy.

The Swedish striker had missed most of the 2017/18 season through injury and there were fears that his career was coming to an end.

But the 38-year-old has been extraordinary in America, scoring 51 goals in 55 games.

United fans would probably take him back right now.

Was Mourinho right to get rid? No.

Real Salt Lake v Los Angeles Galaxy

Joe Riley

A player not many United fans will remember, the 22-year-old currently plays for Bradford City in League Two.

Was Mourinho right to get rid? Yes.


Daley Blind

A great midfielder? No. A great defender? No. But the Dutchman was solid enough and a decent squad player.

The 29-year-old returned to Ajax and was part of the brilliant team which reached last season’s Champions League semi-finals.

He also scored a hat-trick for the Eredivisie side last December - on the same day United lost at Anfield in Mourinho’s final game as United boss - from central defence.

Was Mourinho right to get rid? No.

De Graafschap v Ajax - Eredivisie
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