Manchester United‘s 2019-20 season started on a high with a 4-0 Premier League triumph over Chelsea at Old Trafford but they have since experienced a dip in form with just two points registered from the next three games. As a result, they seem far off from competing for the league title at the moment and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may want to continue with the recent rebuilding phase to close the gap to the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool in a few years’ time.
During the summer, United were mostly focused on strengthening the backline and they made two big defensive signings in the form of Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka while Daniel James was pursued to bolster the wide attacking department. Still, they appear short of quality in the midfield and the attack and that may require at least a couple of transfer windows to solve.
Solskjaer has done a credible job in selling or loaning out players, who don’t fit into his system and the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Chris Smalling, and Matteo Darmian were allowed to leave Old Trafford. Still, there are a few other players, who don’t hold much importance to the team and we look at three of those, who should have been shown the exit door.
The Serbia international made an instant impact after his move from Chelsea in the summer of 2017 and he was widely appreciated by the club’s faithful. However, his performances have dipped over the past year where he has been slow with his decision-making and this has led to criticism from the same fans, who adored him at one point of time. The former Blues midfielder is currently behind the likes of Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, and Andreas Pereira in the pecking order and his future with the Mancunian giants appears dull, considering Solskjaer is focused on grooming younger players in the starting XI.
The Argentine was heavily touted to leave the Red Devils for Everton during the summer transfer window but the move fell through after the Toffees were reluctant to meet the financial demands of United. Rojo provides the versatility of being able to play at left-back and centre-back but he has not quite hit the heights with the Red Devils, given he has been injury prone. The former Sporting ace may need to consider a fresh challenge elsewhere in January, considering he is behind the likes of Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Axel Tuanzebe in the pecking order for the central defensive roles while Luke Shaw and Ashley Young are likewise preferred ahead of him on the left side of the backline.
While Chris Smalling was permitted to leave on a season-long loan, the same was not the case with Phil Jones. The England international has been largely inconsistent with his performances at the heart of the defence and he is currently facing a similar fate to Rojo in the fight for the central defensive positions. Jones is one of United’s longest-serving players, having arrived under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2011 but his club association could end in the near future, considering he has often found himself in the treatment room which has partly contributed to his regression as a player on the field.