Manchester United To Trim The Squad In January With Three Exits


On paper, Manchester United may have one of the strongest squads in the Premier League, as the Red Devils boast of many players who have won the Champions League and league titles in the past. They also have the world’s most expensive player in the form of Paul Pogba, yet, results have not been coming in the same manner as manager José Mourinho would hope.

The Portuguese has always been stringent about his squad sizes and, perhaps, this is the only time he has exceeded the limits. United at present have 23 outfield players in addition to the three goalkeepers – David de Gea, Sergio Romero, and Sam Johnstone.

Mourinho reiterated in the summer that he always likes a squad of just 20 outfield players along with three goalkeepers. The current number exceeds the limit by three and United are widely expected to trim their squad in January in accordance with Mourinho wishes. According to Manchester Evening News, three players who could be hurt as a result of this policy are Wayne Rooney, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin.

Besides, Matteo Darmian is also reported to be the player, who could leave the club in the January. The former Torino man has rarely featured for the first team with his only appearances coming in the Europa League game. United seem to have a lot of belief in Antonio Valencia even though Ecuadorian is not a natural defender. The club’s decision to offer youngster Timothy Fosu-Mensah a new four-year contract is seen as a major sign that they see him as an integral part of the club going forward. This leaves out Darmian in the limbo, and he is widely expected to return to Italy in January as his international prospects are severely hurt with every passing week he spends at Old Trafford.

Schneiderlin is regarded as one of the talented players in the United squad, but he has not even had the same look in as Darmian. The highly talented Frenchman has spent less than 100 minutes on the pitch this season. Even though it is evident that the experiment with Marouane Fellaini is not working, Mourinho does not even seem to consider Schneiderlin as a member of the squad.

Wayne Rooney, however, may be the biggest casualty, although it is highly unlikely that a player of his stature will move in January. Rooney has dropped quite substantially from the pecking order even though United are not excelling on the pitch without him. The England captain has not started a league match in more than a month, and this severely affect his status within the England squad as the World Cup 2018 qualification campaign heats up. Instead of Rooney, Schweinsteiger could be the big name departing from the club in January.