Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knew that Manchester United’s squad was in need of an overhaul when he arrived to manage the Red Devils.
“You had to tear the house down and you had to get players out that weren’t here in their minds,” he recently admitted.
“We’ve got players here now who will go that extra yard, that culture I want to set.”
The Norwegian has achieved his aim by allowing nine senior players to leave Old Trafford and bringing in the likes of Daniel James, Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and, most recently, Bruno Fernandes.
But how have those who have been sent on their way fared since leaving the Theatre of Dreams?
- Pogba tells teammates he wants out
- Man Utd in 2020 relegation zone
- Atl. Madrid and Roma want Lingard
The Daily Mail have taken a look…
Marouane Fellaini (February 1, 2019 – Shandong Luneng)
Jose Mourinho was a fan of Fellaini, often turning to him late in games when in need of a goal, but Solskjaer opted to get rid.
The Belgian scored eight goals in 22 games for Chinese Super League outfit Shandong Luneng to help them to a fifth-placed finish.
Ander Herrera (June 30, 2019 – Paris Saint-Germain)
Herrera played regularly during Solskjaer’s caretaker spell but his contract ran out in the summer and he completed a five-year move to French champions PSG.
The Spaniard has only made 16 appearances for Thomas Tuchel’s side though, having battled calf, foot and hamstring injuries this season.
Antonio Valencia (June 30, 2019 – LDU Quito)
The Ecuadorian’s final season at Man United was a pretty miserable one as he was limited to just nine appearances.
Valencia hasn’t found game-time hard to come by in his native country though, featuring 25 times in all competitions for LDU Quito.
Romelu Lukaku (August 8, 2019 – Inter Milan)
Lukaku was happy to leave Man United, recently telling Sky Sports that he made his decision to depart in March.
However, Solskjaer might regret not trying harder to convince the Belgian striker to stay.
He’s returned to his best at Inter Milan, helping Antonio Conte’s side mount a serious title challenge with 16 goals in 22 Serie A games.
Meanwhile, Man United’s striker problems have resulted in them resorting to Odion Ighalo.
Alexis Sanchez (August 29, 2019 – Inter Milan (loan))
The Chilean was in need of a new setting after scoring just three times in his season and a half at Old Trafford.
But Sanchez picked up an injury in October that has resulted in him playing just nine games for Inter Milan.
Solskjaer recently said Sanchez will return in the summer “and prove you all wrong”.
That’s a bold prediction.
Chris Smalling (August 30, 2019) – Roma (loan))
Smalling was deemed surplus to requires following the £75 million arrival of Harry Maguire last summer.
He was loaned out to Roma and the move has reinvigorated the 30-year-old, who has been a firm presence in their backline.
Roma are now trying to make Smalling’s temporary stay a permanent one.
Matteo Darmian (September 2, 2019 – Parma)
Darmian’s departure from Man United wasn’t much of a surprise considering he played just seven times for them last season.
He’s been steady for Parma, making 19 appearances in all competitions.
For £1.4 million, Parma will be happy with their purchase.
Ashley Young (January 17, 2020 – Inter Milan)
Young was pushed out of United following the arrival of Wan-Bissaka to play at right-back and the emergence of Brandon Williams on the opposite side.
The former England international has settled in quickly at Inter under Conte, where he’s already made three appearances and recorded a fine assist on his debut.
Marcos Rojo (January 30, 2020 – Estudiantes (loan))
Rojo’s departure was hardly a surprise considering Solskjaer had utilised him mostly in the Europa League and Carabao Cup this season.
He’s yet to appear for Estudiantes, the club he started his career at.
Is life actually better away from United?
Lukaku and Smalling have both thrived away from Old Trafford, and early signs suggest that Young will too.
And Sanchez and Herrera may have fared better at their new clubs if not for injuries.
What’s for certain is that none of the nine players are probably missing their former club too much.