Despite spending over one billion pounds in the transfer market since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure from the club in 2013, Manchester United have barely managed to mount a single title charge in the Premier League.
The closest they came was in 2017/18, where they finished second behind Manchester City, who won the league by 19 points. A lot of United’s woes come from their atrocious signings that have either underperformed massively or rot on the bench before departing on a free at the end of their contracts.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been trying to clear the deadwood at the club, getting rid of Marouane Fellaini, Matteo Darmian, Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia, Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku, all of whom were considered surplus to requirement at Old Trafford.
Despite the massive clearance job, Solskjaer and the club still have a job on their hands if they are clear the players that are no longer needed at the club. Below, we take a look at three players that Manchester United will be most keen to get rid of:
It’s hard to believe, but Phil Jones is entering his 10th season with Manchester United. He is one of only five players in the Premier League alongside Everton's Seamus Coleman, Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson and teammate David De Gea to feature in every Premier League campaign in the past nine years for the same club.
Despite spending nine seasons at the club, Jones has played only 224 matches for Manchester United, an average of just under 25 games a season. The centre-back has 123 games through injuries and has also been highly unreliable when played in the past two campaigns.
Jones still has three years left on his current deal at United. Despite his injury record, Jones is still a vastly experienced Premier League footballer and at 28, is still pretty young for a defender. Manchester United have to cash in on Jones while he still has some market value left and ease some of the burdens on their wage bill.
It’s hard to decipher what Andreas Pereira is good at. The 24-year-old is neither an elite playmaker nor is he a top-class goalscorer. He certainly hasn’t shown any ability to dictate play from midfield, despite Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer frequently deploying him in that role.
At best, Pereira is a decent second striker or a player that can play wide on the right. At his worst, Pereira is a player that couldn’t start for Valencia or Las Palmas on his loan spell at either club. If he wasn’t from Manchester United's famed academy, Pereira would be long gone from United but there’s still time for United to ship the 24-year-old to the highest bidder.
Signed by Louis van Gaal after an excellent campaign at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil to be the left-footed centre-back in Manchester United's backline, Marcos Rojo's stint at the club will only be remembered for his two-footed tackles and his speculative efforts from all of 40 yards from goal, rather than his excellence of the pitch.
Barring Jose Mourinho's first season at the club where Rojo featured heavily alongside Eric Bailly at the heart of the defence, the Argentine has always been a backup at the club or an injury absentee.
Coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has shown no interest in integrating Rojo into the team and even allowed him to join Estudiantes on loan for the latter half of the 2019-2020 campaign. With United struggling to find suitors for the 30-year-old, it would be difficult to imagine the club receiving reasonable fees for the Argentine. However, with Rojo reportedly earning £160,000-a-week, United would just be content with having him off the books.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Ben Stansall