Manchester United look set for another busy summer in the transfer window as they look to strengthen their squad ahead of a return to Champions League football – providing all goes to plan over the next eight games that is.
There’s sure to be a number of new arrivals as well as departures from Old Trafford during this time, and for three players in particular the next few months could be crucial for their career with Louis van Gaal required to make a decision about their futures at the club.
Tom Cleverley, Javier Hernandez and Nani are the three highest profile United stars currently on loan elsewhere, and it’s still unclear where they will be playing next season. Do they still have a future as a United player or are they destined for the exit door in the near future. At this point it’s hard to say.
Hernandez’s move to Real Madrid took some by surprise, but what isn’t a surprise is that he’s become frustrated with a lack of first-team football. With just three goals in 13 league appearances he’s revealed a lack of game time has greatly affected his confidence. But with the likes of Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in their ranks, even he must have known this would be the case when he arrived.
The Mexican had an impressive goal record during his time at Old Trafford, however was often used as a substitute where he was perceived to be more effective. But he did prove his quality in the penalty area on numerous occasions with some vital goals and it’s no shock to hear him linked with a host of other Premier League clubs.
With the future of Radamel Falcao in some doubt, and Van Persie struggling for fitness and form this season, there does appear to be room for Hernandez to challenge for a place in the team. While he will not be Van Gaal’s first choice, he could get himself more playing time than he has this season, and will be a useful man to have around particularly with the extra European games to cater for.
However if he really is to revive his career he would be advised to consider a move away to somewhere that can guarantee him first-team football on a regular basis. One of the best natural goal-scorers in the world, Hernandez needs to be playing week in week out, and whoever that is for he will guarantee them goals.
Nani has enjoyed a far better time of it during his season on loan where he has impressed at Sporting Lisbon scoring 11 goals in 30 appearances. Having rediscovered his form and confidence at his former club, Sporting were reported to be keen on making his move permanent, however apparently unable to afford his wages could scupper any deal.
On his day the Portuguese winger can prove a match winner and he certainly has plenty of ability. But this talent was never shown on an consistent basis at Old Trafford, and at 28 it’s hard to see him forcing his way back into the team once again. Like Hernandez he would definitely be a useful player to have in the squad, but it’s likely United will be keen to free up some of the wage bill and so would surely welcome any offers for the player.
Nani has shown how effective he can be when given the backing from both manager and fans, and moving to a club where he can get this in sufficient quantity looks his best bet.
Tom Cleverley’s United career at United rather nosedived after an impressive and promising start. A difficult campaign last season saw him unfairly criticised as he took much of the flack for the team’s poor performances. His move to Villa was an important one as it got him back playing football again, away from the spotlight at Old Trafford.
But with his contract set to expire in the summer, it looks unlikely he will be a United player next season, a shame considering the potential he showed in his early performances.
Although current club Villa are said to be keen on securing a permanent deal, it seems Everton could be his most likely destination if reports are to be believed. The Merseyside outfit failed in a bid to bring him to Goodison Park last summer, with the player reported to be in favour of the chance to link up with his former manager.
Cleverley would certainly get plenty of backing from Roberto Martinez, and this would provide him the perfect opportunity to get his career back on track in a team that would play football suited to his style of play.
Whether or not we will see any of these three players back in a United shirt next season remains to be seen, but it looks increasingly likely that all three will leave this summer as Van Gaal sets about continue his squad overhaul. For one reason or another none of them have been able to fully integrate themselves in the team over the past couple of seasons, and in order to revive their careers they should all be planning for life away from Manchester once more.