While most of the football world is coming to terms with Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from the Red Devils, Manchester United boss Erik Ten Hag will be quietly confident that his task of rebuilding one of the biggest clubs around is on schedule.
In fact, standards have evidently been raised at Old Trafford, with Ronaldo’s exit not just symbolising the potential end of an undoubted legend, but also the impact the former Ajax manager is having in Manchester. Despite his massive profile, not even Cristiano Ronaldo could win over a coach who quite clearly knows what he wants.
The debate on whether or not Ronaldo can still deliver at the highest level will rumble on, but the fact remains that Erik Ten Hag didn’t let Ronaldo’s reputation dictate his aims for the future. Ronaldo isn’t the only player that is deemed surplus to requirements at United, though, with a number of players on the fringes or seemingly out of favour.
With the January transfer window in full flow and a number of players potentially looking for an exit as they hope to revive their careers in 2023, let’s take a look at some dead wood who could depart Old Trafford in the near future.
Make no mistake about it, players will probably have to leave before Erik Ten Hag can add some much-needed fresh blood to the squad.
Anthony Elanga has potential, but he needs game time. The 20-year-old has endured a tough spell so far this term, making 15 appearances in all competitions, with just six of those coming as a starter. While the Swedish International could be one for the future, he needs to be playing every week to realise his true potential. With the likes of Everton reportedly circling, a loan move could be on the cards.
Although the internet hasn’t been too kind to Phil Jones over the years, most United fans will tell you that he’s a likeable professional who has experienced a horrific run of injuries.
When assessing the current Premier League odds, Manchester United are at 6/1 to finish in the top two, a tempting price for some fans, but also a reflection on an average squad on paper compared to the likes of Manchester City.
Phil Jones isn’t up the standards Manchester United are aiming to set and a fresh start elsewhere might be exactly what he needs to get his stagnant career back on track. Should Jones seal a move somewhere, United fans will surely wish him well, despite the obvious need for better acquisitions in the future.
Donny van de Beek
While a recent injury might hinder any move that could potentially come his way, it’s been clear for a while now that Donny van de Beek’s Manchester United career isn’t going to take off. There is certainly hope for the Dutchman now that Ten Hag is overseeing things at Old Trafford, but his confidence seems shot and he deserves to be playing every week somewhere else. There would be no point in sending him out on loan again either, so United might have to find him a permanent move elsewhere.