Which players should van Gaal let go at Manchester United?

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal insists he will give the squad a chance to prove themselves in pre-season, but who could ultimately leave?

The Dutch coach could reportedly sell as many as 10 Manchester United players left over from the David Moyes and Sir Alex Ferguson regimes at Old Trafford but who should go?


Undoubtedly, in my estimation, the first player out the door has to be 24-year-old attacker Bebe who never really fulfilled his potential at United, in fact he never even came close to justifying his £7.4million fee, despite chances to prove himself at United and across no less than three loan spells.



Likewise, 26-year-old Brazilian Anderson has been with the club for seven years now and over that period has been, at best, inconsistent and often lacked the quality capable of placing him in the centre of United’s midfield.



The 27-year-old Portuguese international was hailed as the ‘next Cristiano Ronaldo’ which was, in hindsight, a little optimistic and, for the player, asking way too much of the winger. Nani is heavily linked with a move to Italy and after seven years at the club, the exit awaits him.

His displays in his first few years under Ferguson showed promise and the potential to be a dangerous wideman, but his inconsistent performances and fitness issues have seen him become a peripheral figure at Old Trafford.


Ashley Young

In a pattern that is emerging on this list, the 29-year-old winger was one of the most exciting players in the Premier League in his last couple of seasons at Aston Villa and his first season with the Red Devils. But injury struggles have hampered his career at United and he seems to have lost the confidence and form that made him such a key player for Villa.


Tom Cleverley

This is a divisive one as the midfielder is only 24 and he is a player that has been developed and nurtured at the club. He counts as a homegrown player in the squad registration and, if you ignore his disappointing performances last season, he does possess talent and determination. The question will of course be whether he has enough of both those things.

With his contract expiring in 2015 and the midfield signings United have already made and could add to this summer, he is unlikely to get much first team action under the new boss and I suspect he could be sold in order to ensure he doesn’t walk away on a free transfer in 11 months time.

Chris Smalling

Another player who does have quality, but whether or not enough of it is up for debate, is this 24-year-old defender, who was fought hard for in 2010 when he was signed from Fulham with a number of clubs vying for his signature. Last term, he came under fire for some poor performances but he is a full England international and can improve perhaps under a new coach such as Louis van Gaal.

I wonder whether an offer came in for him if the club would be open to selling him given that his contract expires in two year’s time. I expect the club will hold on to him this summer and make final decisions next term but that could change if the manager is intending to bring in his own choice of defenders this summer.


Marouane Fellaini

It is difficult to separate Marouane Fellaini as a signing made by David Moyes and Marouane Fellaini as a football player – the former is wholly unpopular and the latter is a talented and experienced player of quality who, if used correctly, can be dangerous and effective.

He costs the club £27.5million and didn’t deliver for the boss who brought him in but Louis van Gaal may well be able to find a use for him that could change the fans’ opinion of the Belgian. I think it could come down to the fact few clubs will be willing to pay the fee for United to recoup what they paid Everton last summer and, as such, I suspect he’ll stay.


Wilfried Zaha

This 21-year-old England international was Sir Alex Ferguson’s last ever signing for the Red Devils. However, for one reason or another, he was not favoured by Moyes.

He is, however, a very talent young player will immense potential and, as we know, Louis van Gaal is big advocate of youth and, given the fact that Nani and Young are likely to leave I suspect Zaha will be kept around as cover and a potential star of the future.


Shinji Kagawa

The 25-year-old Japan star is another very talented player who was regarded at Borussia Dortmund as one of the most exciting attacking midfielder’s in the Bundesliga. But the move to Old Trafford seems to have knocked the player’s confidence somewhat and he has struggled to replicate his previous level of consistency.

I suspect he will be kept on for one more season by the new boss who will be familiar with his talents from his time in Munich and I think he will give him a year to prove his worth until his contract enters its final year next summer.


Javier Hernandez

Finally, a player who is a big favourite of the fans but unfortunately was not a favourite of Moyes. Chicharito is now 26 and entering the most important and peak years of a striker’s career and he may wish to do that elsewhere given his lack of opportunity at Old Trafford.

However, if the new manager can explain to him that he will have an important role in the squad and do a better job of rotating him in to the team as Ferguson used to achieve, he could be convinced to stay.


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