Manchester United squad assessment: Who should they keep, who should they sell?
Manchester United’s 2021/22 was one filled with disappointment and underachievement. The Red Devils recorded their worst-ever points total in a Premier League campaign and performed poorly in all cup competitions.
This led to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer being sacked and Erik ten Hag now being set to take over as permanent manager following an underwhelming interim stint on the part of Ralf Rangnick.
But who should Ten Hag keep and who should be shipped out the door? 101 have taken a look at every senior Manchester United player and decided if they should be kept or sold.
David de Gea
2021/22 was a solid season from David de Gea, who is often at his best when United are at their worst.
Not the finest with the ball at his feet, which could be a problem under Erik Ten Hag, but he is still a useful option. No other club is likely to pay his current wages anyway, so he will be stuck at United for now regardless.
Not had much of a chance to shine at United but he is a proven Premier League shot-stopper who may get more of a chance under Ten Hag due to his ability to play out from the back.
Showed patches of quality across 2021/22 and at 22 he still has plenty of time to improve under the right manager.
Wan-Bissaka is simply not good enough going forward to be a full-back for a supposedly top club, and he has shown no signs of improvement in that department either.
Only has one year left on his current and at 30 he is unlikely to attract too many suitors. Could be kept on as a 5th-choice centre-back.
Baily is very injury prone and has been for many years now. If United want to progress as a club, he is the type of player they must cut loose.
His debut season in Manchester was not the best but Varane is obviously a top talent, and it would be foolish of United to sell the Frenchman given the rest of the centre-backs on their books.
2021/22 was not Maguire’s season. However, as has become apparent to most, the defender is a much, much better player for England.
So, if Ten Hag can find out why Maguire is so much better for his country, the Englishman could still be a great asset for the Manchester outfit.
Likely Baily, Lindelof is simply just not good enough to be a regular feature for a Manchester United team who should have ambitions of matching the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.
2021/22 saw Shaw’s form take something of a nosedive. However, the left-back had excelled for United in 2020/21 and for England last summer.
So, whilst he may not be Man United’s no.1 left-back going forward, he is certainly someone who should be kept around.
Not had the best of seasons out on loan with a Norwich side who conceded the most goals in the Premier League. Was struggling for form before his loan as well – may be better served cashing in on him this summer.
Telles has failed to prove his worth since he arrived from FC Porto in 2020. The Brazilian simply is not good enough to be playing for a ‘top-six’ side and has been described by many fans as ‘Championship quality at best’.
Given the limited number of central midfield options available to United heading into 2022/23, McTominay will probably have to be kept.
However, the Scotsman, though full of drive and passion, simply lacks the technical ability required at the very top of the game.
Matic has proven himself a useful servant to United, but at 33 his already limited pace continues to decline and it is likely best for all that he leaves on a free this summer.
12 months ago, Fred would have been on most Manchester United fans’ sell list. However, the Brazilian has impressed a great deal of late, especially when he is given more of a licence to go forward, rather than being forced to sit back and cover for United’s lack of a defensive midfielder.
One of the most expensive flops in Premier League history, it is best for all parties that Pogba leave for free this summer.
Has never really been given a proper run in United’s senior side but he spent 2021/22 impressing on loan with Nottingham Forest who are in the play-off final.
Should be given a chance to shine at the top level, especially as Man United have so little quality in central midfield anyway.
Donny van de Beek
Had a tough stint at United before his loan to Everton. However, now Ten Hag, who got the best out of him at Ajax, is in the Old Trafford dugout, it would make sense for him to be given another chance.
A traditional no.10 like Fernandes is somewhat rare at the top level of the game now. And it is easy to see why given Fernandes’ lack of pressing and his sometimes wasteful passing.
However, given the lack of both quality and options United have going forward, it would be wise to keep the Portuguese for now.
Jesse Lingard does look set to leave Manchester United for free this summer, and you can hardly blame him after the lack of opportunities he has been afforded despite exceling for West Ham the campaign prior.
But, in an ideal world, United would have kept Lingard and used him to fill the void left on the right-wing.
Mata is leaving United this summer and due to his age, it is a good move for both sides.
Jadon Sancho greatly underperformed during his first full Premier League season. But as he is still only young and has previously excelled in the Bundesliga, it would make little sense for Man United to give up on him after one turbulent season.
2021/22 was by far and away Marcus Rashford’s worst season in a United shirt. But, with Rashford not expected to be picked for England’s Nations League games this summer, he will now hopefully get a much-needed summer off to recover and then get back to his best under a new boss next season.
A promising young talent who is probably not quite ready for regular senior football yet, but a player who should be kept at the club nonetheless as there is clearly a solid player there.
With Ronaldo 37 years of age and his lack of pressing a serious issue in big games, there is an argument he could be sold.
But with the Portuguese out of contract next year and United lacking any decent strikers outside of him, he will probably have to stay put for another campaign.
Cavani will leave Old Trafford this summer when his contract expires. This makes sense given how little the Uruguayan played throughout 2021/22.
The Frenchman spent the second half of 2021/22 on loan with Sevilla where he scored just one goal in 12 outings.
Has previously underperformed as a striker for United as well. His time in Manchester is over.