Louis van Gaal only officially arrived at Old Trafford this morning, but according to the Daily Express, the Manchester United manager has already made plans to axe as many as ten players from the Red Devils roster – despite Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic also leaving the Premier League side this summer, with Patrice Evra soon expected to follow suit.
The Dutchman’s cull is hardly a great surprise. Last season proved that without Sir Alex Ferguson to pave over the cracks, United’s squad has lacked star quality for some time.
But who to get rid of? Who is the most deserving of the 62 year-old’s proverbial axe crashing down on their necks this summer? Well, in case LVG is short on a few ideas, we at Football Fancast have listed the SIX players who need to be ousted from Old Trafford this summer.
Apparently, David Moyes thought he was signing a No.8 of the Frank Lampard mould when he splashed out £27million on Marouane Fellaini last summer.
Which makes absolutely no sense at all, because at former club Everton the now-job-seeking Scotsman used the Belgian lankster as an anchor man and a supporting striker, but never in a box-to-box, goal-scoring capacity.
The 26 year-old has failed to fulfil that role for United, with zero goals in his debut season at Old Trafford. The torrid campaign also highlighted, to no great surprise, that the 6 foot 4 midfielder is terrible on the ball:
In a nutshell, he’s not the technically-gifted, mobile midfielder United’s engine room has been calling out for for the last few years, and resultantly, rumours are already rife that Fellaini will be offloaded this summer:
— BelgiumWorldCup2014 (@BelgiumWorldCup) July 3, 2014
The Daily Express believe the Red Devils will sell for around £15million, and Fiorentina have emerged as the Belgium international’s likeliest suitors:
— Tribal Football (@tribalfootball) July 7, 2014
Exceptionally quick, surprisingly good in the air, an instinctive finisher and a real ‘fox in the box’, Javier Hernandez is arguably the most natural goal-poacher the Premier League has to offer. Just check out his first 32 goals for Manchester United in the below video:
But the Red Devils know full well that it’s now use-it-or-lose it time in regards to the Mexico international, who continuously made noises about leaving Old Trafford throughout last season as David Moyes left him dwindling on the bench.
You can hardly blame Chicarito – with the exception of last season and despite more commonly featuring from the bench than as a starter, the 26 year-old has reached double figures in all of his Premier League campaigns.
With Louis van Gaal’s the-son-I-never-had relationship with Robin van Persie well known, it’s unlikely Hernandez’s super-sub status will be dropped anytime soon at Old Trafford. Furthermore, suitors for the South American are hardly in short supply:
— Express Football (@ExpressFootball) June 13, 2014
For a club once represented by David Beckham, Bryan Robson, Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andrei Kanchelskis to name a few, Manchester United’s current batch of widemen are embarrassingly average.
The pick of the bunch – often-crocked diving enthusiast Ashley Young. Just take a look at these Tom Daley impersonations:
Admittedly, this kind of thing is what Louis van Gaal tends to look for in his wingers:
But having netted just eight times in the Premier League since moving to Old Trafford for £17million in summer 2011, incidents of such have been few and far between.
Once alleged by Martin O’Neill to be on par with Lionel Messi, the now 29 year-old has never fulfilled his potential with the Red Devils, and now is the time to cut him loose.
Worryingly, suitors for the former England winger are hard to find. But Manchester United fans have made their feelings perfectly clear:
— Daily Star (@Daily_Star) June 18, 2014
Pot-Bellied midfielder Anderson is like that puke-stain in your student halls kitchen that you eventually accept has now become part of the carpet. Admittedly, there have been some noteworthy performances down the years:
But the Brazil international, who was surprisingly issued Europe’s Golden Boy award back in 2008, has never bettered the 24 appearances made in his first Premier League season, which was now seven years ago.
As if to make some sort of statement about the ‘new era’ at Manchester United, David Moyes sent him packing to Fiorentina in January, where the 26 year-old struggled for fitness and form:
With the ‘try before you buy’ tactic spectacularly failing, Anderson has boomeranged his way back to Carrington. He appears to have been given a meet-and-greet, no-actual-responsibility role similar to Fredo Corleone in the Godfather, which pretty much says it all:
Is there any surprise that it’s Anderson who introduces Herrera to Manchester’s best food outlets? http://t.co/LZYhaOhw0e
— Alex Lawle$$ (@LawlessYo) July 15, 2014
Lmao “@PL_Jokes: Tom Cleverley trying to board the plane with the England squad!! pic.twitter.com/Unl9u0iwjK
— Jayceon (@MrBongzz) June 9, 2014
Tom Cleverley, once billed as the next Paul Scholes, has spent the last two seasons looking more and more like the next Nicky Butt, and even that is a rather kind description compared to what you can find on Twitter.
As you can see, his pass completion rate is the best of any player in the Manchester United squad. Scholes-esque indeed.
But stats can be deceptive, especially when you make no pass longer than five yards and more often than not return the ball to the person who just gave it to you (usually Michael Carrick).
Admittedly, there was a time when the 24 year-old looked like a real prospect:
But the midfielder’s form has been so poor over the last two campaigns that over 10,000 England fans signed a petition to ban him from the 2014 World Cup. Despite protesting publicly, Roy Hodgson followed their advice.
Louis van Gaal tends to favour technically gifted, young players. But Cleverley’s performances have been substandard for some time and his development should be continued elsewhere.
Luckily, it appears Everton are prepared to offer him an exit route…
Manchester United transfer news: Everton line up move for Manchester United misfit Tom Cleverley | Metro News http://t.co/iHFU7qqtRF
— Young Turk (@SulymanSulyman) June 29, 2014
Another spectacular England flop whose club form appears to have no bearing on his Three Lions status whatsoever is defender Chris Smalling.
The centre-back-come-right-back has spent four years at Old Trafford but rarely shown the form produced at former club Fulham, which paved the way for a £10million move to United in 2010.
Often closely resembling a dear in headlights, who can’t hit a cross-bar from 18 yards…
…the 24 year-old is quite simply not Manchester United standard and a long way off being a natural successor to Wes Brown.
After being hilariously mistaken for Barack Obama…
A company deserves a red card after mistaking Barack Obama for England’s Chris Smalling on a World Cup memento mug! pic.twitter.com/OJPguGn45l
— Fact (@Fact) June 25, 2014
…apparently Arsenal are prepared to swap him for the significantly better in quality and experience Thomas Vermaelen:
Arsenal ‘eye Manchester United’s Chris Smalling as part of Thomas Vermaelen transfer’ http://t.co/nTjXuloMzh
— Metro Sport (@Metro_Sport) July 15, 2014