Despite running away with the Premier League, there are plenty of players in Manchester United’s squad that are rumoured to be leaving this summer. As they look to address some deficiencies in their team, and move deadwood on to clear space on the wage bill, who should Manchester United let leave at the end of the season?
With Wilfried Zaha’s arrival already announced, and Alex Ferguson happy to shift his strikers to the flanks at times, it is clear that Manchester United will not need all of Nani, Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young next season. All three have had mixed campaigns, with poor form and injuries often leading Ferguson to leaving all three out of the starting team.
Nani had seemed certain to leave at one stage, but in recent weeks has probably shown the best form of the wingers. Ashley Young has been unlucky with injuries throughout his spell at Old Trafford, but has not set the world alight on the odd occasion he has been healthy. Antonio Valencia was a force of nature last season, so his dip in form has been all the more disappointing, however he is perhaps the most certain of the three to stay at the club. Were it up to me, I would probably keep hold of the mercurial Nani ahead of Young, but the Portuguese player is probably the most likely to leave.
In the centre of midfield, United are likely to need at least a couple of new players. Paul Scholes could well decide to retire (again) in the next few weeks, whilst Ferguson has surely now run out of patience with Anderson. Darren Fletcher’s place may well be reviewed too, with his unfortunate injury problems making him an unreliable man to have in the squad.
Manchester United have reportedly been chasing a star midfielder for a few seasons now, and although Cleverley and Carrick are fine players, their side would be exponentially improved by a world class player in the centre of the park. Joao Moutinho is likely to leave Porto this summer, and United could test Juventus’ resolve with a huge bid for Arturo Vidal. Either of these players could make a huge difference to the side next season.
At the back, another central defender should be brought in to ensure they do not lack options when one or both of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic are injured. There has been speculation that United are close to agreeing a deal for Benfica’s Ezequel Garay then that would represent an excellent piece of business. The 18 year French defender Kurt Zouma would also be a fine addition to their ranks.
Up front, United are hardly short of options and this summer will probably be more about keeping hold of Javier Hernandez, who might be keen to move to find regular first team football elsewhere. Robert Lewandowski has been linked with a move to Old Trafford for some time, but it would seem strange to spend around £20million on a forward when the money could be used to strengthen their midfield, and the Pole now seems more likely to join Pep Guardiola’s Bayern anyway.
Manchester United have had an excellent season, and were it not for a decidedly odd piece of refereeing in the Champions League they could still have been in the hunt for a treble. However there have been problems in the team even as they have seemingly strolled to a 20th Premier League title, and a few wise changes could make them an even more formidable prospect next season.