Last time, I wrote about the players that I would like see don the famous red shirt and complete phase two of the United rebuild. Today, we look at the players who are likely to make way for these signings to come and make a positive impact at Old Trafford come August. Louis Van Gaal stated before he went on holiday that he has already spoken to the players he thinks do not have a future at the club, but as usual decided not to delve into the details. Here are the players I suspect got ‘the talk’:
The Ireland international is hands down the first on my list of players that needs to go away. Notice the use of the word N-E-E-D. I don’t hate Evans, I don’t hate any United player but for progress to be achieved, sometimes hard decisions have to be made. Back in 2008, Johny Evans was rated very highly by Sir Alex and even touted to be the next United captain by the former gaffer.
Fast forward eight years later and at 27 I always cringe when Evans makes the starting lineup for any game. Gerard Piqué, who is now winning titles and possibly another Champions League trophy with Barcelona this weekend, went back to Spain because of Evans. That shows you how highly sir Alex rated the lad. I think this is one of the many mistakes Fergie made that went somehow unnoticed due to his success. When you’re winning titles, nobody hardly ever questions you.
The reason why I want Evans out so bad is that he has been given his chance, at the highest level, trained every day with Vidic and Ferdinand , who at their prime were the best defensive partnership in Europe, but still puts in awful performances. Sure, he’s had his good games but his comical defending against MK-Dons when he was at the heart of the defense in that 4-0 mauling in the Capital One cup early last season was the last straw.
Evans simply has no excuse. Age is not on his side either and lets face it; the likes of academy graduate Paddy McNair are better than him in all aspects of the game. I would be ecstatic if we ditched him and replaced him with the very able Nicholas Otamendi.
Personally, I do not want to see Rafa go. I think he is a capable defender but for the next phase of the rebuild we do not need ‘ok’ players. We need players who can deliver week in week out. LVG doesn’t quite seem to like him too and kept him in the cold even when fit and available, opting to make Valencia a makeshift right back.
Rafael is an enthusiastic player and sometimes this enthusiasm costs him as he seems to fly into tackles without giving it much thought,even injuring himself in the process. I am also of the opinion that the manager thinks the player does not fit into his philosophy which commands a disciplined performance from all players in terms of positional awareness and ball possession which sometimes the right back lacks when forging forward in attack.
We should opt for a more tamer version of him in Nathaniel Clyne and keep the Brazilian for the sake for squad depth, especially due to the fact that Champions League is back in the radar.
The Portuguese winger was dubbed the next Ronaldo, and lived under his compatriot’s shadow for most of the time Ronaldo was at United. When Ronny left, he was expected to fit into his big shoes and didn’t do too bad, especially in the 2010/2011 season. Nothing much came from him after that. Nani is a talented player overall but what’s annoying about him is his inconsistency and decision making. He tends to shoot when the better option is to square the ball to a player who is free, and pass when the better option is to shoot. Also he can be Pele and Ronaldo combined on one weekend,and a mixture of Bebe and Balotelli the next.
He was subsequently shipped out on loan back to his roots at Sporting Lisbon and has done relatively well and has also reiterated his desire to come back and play for United. The future looks bleak for him though,especially with the signing of highly rated dutch winger Memphis Depay(who ironically again, is being touted as the next Ronaldo…second time lucky maybe?).
With young Januzaj possibly heading out on loan, we may need to keep the Portuguese for squad depth, but I doubt he will agree to be a squad player. The only hope I think he has is LVG likes to play the most in form player and the player who understands and adapts to his philosophy the quickest. Unless he proves himself to the gaffer during preseason, If he is still at united by then that is, then I see us making about ten to fifteen million quid off him.
The English international came under very heavy criticism when he publicly claimed that people don’t appreciate his ‘Spanish’ style of play. He was one of the scape goats under the dreadful Moyes Era and when Van Gaal came in, many, I included, thought he would be a hit in midfield.
Much like Blind at times, Cleverly loves to play the ball sideways and not forward and this was thought to fit the gaffers possession minded style of play. LVG even handed him the captaincy against Roma during the preseason friendlies, but he was subsequently shipped out to Aston villa albeit on loan. He has had a good season overall and most notably scored three goals in five games for Villa, helping them avoid the dreaded drop and securing Premier League status for another season.
Roberto Martinez is known to be an admirer of Cleverley and we are meant to understands that talks between the player and the club are progressing well. I hate to see a Mancunian go but I wish the lad all the best in his career.
We have never seen much of Lindegaard ever since he joined in 2010. He’s failed to mount a serious challenge for the number one shirt at Old Trafford and the arrival of Victor Valdes spells doom for the Danish international. Back in 2014 he was told he was free to leave but decided to stay and continue to fight for his place. I love that kind of loyalty but at 31, he should seriously consider seeking greener pastures elsewhere. Seriously. He just won’t be number one at OT.
Robin Van Persie
I cannot believe that the Dutchman may be on his way out. Captain of his country and considered LVG’s right hand man, it all looked rosy for him when the manager took charge at United. We all expected that Van Persie would almost single handedly fire United to Premier League glory once again like he did in 2012/13 but this never came to be and the Dutchman has struggled all season and looks a very pale shadow of his former self.
The rumor mills suggest that the Dutchman will leave Old Trafford, and the player himself says he is unsure about his future at United. Van Persie is traditionally injury prone and The fact that he is turning 31 is certainly not playing in his favor. I’m not sure about how I feel about his imminent departure,and I doubt he will agree to a bit part role. However if its in the best interest of the club in terms of progress then with a heavy heart I say its time to let him go.
Who else do you think may leave Old Trafford this summer? let us know in the comment section below!
This post comes to you courtesy of Timothy Opiko, a good friend and equally possessed United lunatic as I am. Check out his previous article(s) here.