There is no easy way of saying this. This season has been somewhat of a disaster for Manchester United and their fanbase.
The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane at the beginning of the season had fans licking their lips at the prospect of glory this campaign, but 37 games on, two managers later and a whole lot of abysmal performances – the Red Devils find themselves ending the season trophyless… again.
This has led to the introduction of Erik ten Hag from Ajax being brought in as of next season. The 52-year old Dutchman has enjoyed a fantastic spell at Ajax, obtaining six trophies during his five-year reign – with the most recent being the Eredivisie title that he clinched this month.
This sort of winning mentality is exactly what’s needed at Manchester United. They’re going through their worst dry spell in recent times trophy wise, they’ve not touched silverware since they won the Europa League way back in 2017 under Jose Mourinho. Ten Hag appears to be the candidate that will return the glory days to Old Trafford, but it will certainly take some doing.
The other quality that ten Hag possesses that attracted Manchester United to him is his no-nonsense attitude, which will certainly come into play this summer as he looks to rebuild the side – meaning we could see many names leaving Manchester in the next transfer window.
So, with this – let’s take a look at six players that Erik ten Haag could sell this summer. Bear in mind we’re only including players with years left on their contract, as it seems increasingly likely that Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani and Juan Mata are all going to leave on a free which means they haven’t necessarily been ‘sold’.
The curious case of Anthony Martial. When he burst onto the scene in 2015, Manchester United fans must’ve thought they’d robbed AS Monaco blind and secured the hottest prospect in football who would wreak havoc in the Premier League for years to come. How wrong they were.
Now – we aren’t saying that Anthony Martial has been a complete failure at Old Trafford, but for the prospect of what he could’ve been, his career with the Red Devils is ultimately deemed as a failure.
Shipped off on loan to Sevilla this season, where he hasn’t really impressed at all, Martial will be coming back to Manchester in the summer but ten Hag could very well flog him off again.
It’s unbeknown how much of the £54 million pound fee they’ll recuperate from his initial transfer, which is why there have been reports of a swap deal with Inter Milan for Lautaro Martinez circulating, but our guess is that ten Hag won’t put up with Martial’s somewhat lazy attitude and he’ll be one of the players who won’t be wearing red at the beginning of next season.
Another player that looks set to leave this summer is the big Serbian midfielder – Nemanja Matic.
A player that has endured a moderately successful time at Manchester United, he’ll certainly go down as a decent buy for the Red Devils. In his first season he was absolutely immense for United, but as the years have passed and his legs have got weaker – he really isn’t fit to be a part of a trophy-winning side anymore.
Matic does have a year left on his contract, which means ten Hag will ultimately decide as to whether Matic will be in his plans – but with a central defensive midfielder one of the key areas that United are looking to strengthen, it looks likely to be the case that the Serb will be sent on his way.
Stories in the media indicate that Jose Mourinho is interested in Matic, so the two could be reunited for a third time in Rome this summer.
Aaron Wan Bissaka
Possibly one of the quickest declines of a football player in Premier League history. Manchester United must’ve thought they’d finally resolved their right-back problem when Aaron Wan-Bissaka joined from Crystal Palace in 2019. He had an unbelievable start to life at Old Trafford and was being compared to Trent Alexander Arnold and Reece James over who should be starting for England. Those comparisons look a little silly now don’t they.
The full-back just hasn’t found the form he was in during the beginning of his United career and has actually declined in his abilities. His attacking intent was always questionable, but his defending has seemed to worsen, which has forced him out the side and really put his future at the club under serious question.
With Jurrien Timber being widely reported as a man that ten Hag wants to bring over with him from Ajax, Wan-Bissaka could certainly be the player to make way this summer – depending on who will want to buy the 24-year old.
Yep – he’s still there. Andreas Pereira will be returning to his parent club for a fourth time this summer after yet another unsuccessful loan spell with another club. This guy is slowly having more comebacks than The Undertaker.
A strange one this, as originally United were on the verge of agreeing to a £6.5 million pound deal for Pereira at the beginning of the year, but the Brazillian club Flamengo encountered many issues with the transfer and the deal ultimately fell through.
So now the pre-season Pirlo is coming back once again, but surely not for long? Pereira has served under many different managers now and he surely can’t be a part of ten Hag’s plans.
There are reports that the deal with Flamengo could still go through if they overcome the complications, but if not – United may have a hard time trying to sell the 26-year old in the summer.
Eric Bailly. Someone who is a somewhat reliable defender on his day, but someone who also is essentially a walking hospital. The Ivorian has been with the club since 2016 now, but since then has only accumulated a shocking total of 113 appearances. That’s just under 19 games a season on average since his arrival.
Due to this, he’s essentially just wasting squad space and precious wage money – which won’t sit right with ten Hag. Again, another area that United will certainly be looking to strengthen is centre-half, so don’t be surprised if we see Eric Bailly shipped out of the club this summer.
Finally, we have someone that hasn’t been at the club for very long, but probably won’t be here much longer – Alex Telles.
The former Porto man was electric in the Liga Portuguesa and when United swooped in for him in October 2020 for a measly £15 million, it looked like they were getting a proper bargain.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t quite worked out for the Brazillian, with little to no debate about some of his attacking qualities, but a lot to say about his defensive presence which quite frankly is obsolete.
Erik ten Hag likes a team with balance and structure and we really don’t think Telles will fit his system. With once again reports of ten Hag looking to sign a left-back this summer, we think it’ll be Telles to make way instead of the slightly more favoured Luke Shaw.
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