Since Jose Mourinho was confirmed as the Manchester United manager rumours have been rife about which stars from the past few seasons will leave the club. After the team selection for Jose Mourinho’s first two competitive games as manager of the club it has added clarity to the players who are, and aren’t in ‘The Special One’s’ plans, so the players who haven’t made either of the match day squads so far may be fearing for their Old Trafford futures. I will be omitting Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Chris Smalling from this list as the duo have been recovering from injuries and Chris Smalling has been serving his suspension for getting sent off in the FA Cup final. Adnan Januzaj, Donald Love and Paddy McNair have all headed out of the exit door in the past week, but are some more first teamer’s soon to follow them away from Old Trafford?
Matteo Darmian’s debut season in the Premier League can only be described as disappointing. He started off brightly against Tottenham and Aston Villa, in a new look United back line alongside Chris Smalling, Daley Blind and Luke Shaw, but after Shaw’s leg break against PSV Eindhoven, Darmian was shifted to left back. He was a victim of his own versatility under Louis van Gaal, but he could be handed a fresh start under Jose Mourinho who has already stated his preference for specialists in each position rather than having utility men, which could signify a consistent run at right back for Darmian next season. This being said, though, in one of only two appearances under Mourinho thus far in the pre-season victory over Galatasaray, he replaced Luke Shaw to play left back, Antonio Valencia who is currently occupying the right back slot got three assists in that game and yet another in the Community Shield. If Darmian is to stay at Old Trafford, he will certainly face a fight to claim the right-back slot. Rumours persist linking him with a return to Serie A, and if he doesn’t begin to break into the match day squad before 31st August an Old Trafford exit could be on the cards.
Likelihood to remain at Manchester United: 50%
A man more famed for the faces he pulls than his footballing ability Jones’ United career has been underwhelming, to say the least. Jones possesses more bravery than defensive knowhow and was always willing to put his body on the line if it helped United to get a result, a trait that endeared him to the Old Trafford faithful. However, his inability to stay match fit for a pro longed period of time became a running joke lasting five seasons now. His defensive partner Chris Smalling developed under the tutelage of Louis Van Gaal, whilst Jones began to stagnate. Mourinho seems to prefer Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo to Jones as well as new signing Eric Bailly. This coupled with the fact that Tyrell Warren, Axel Tuanzebe and Ro-Shawn Williams are three promising centre backs who are quickly out growing the underage teams, Jones’ days in a red shirt look numbered.
Likelihood to remain at Manchester United: 20%
The former Germany captain arrived at Manchester United to much fanfare, but, he arrived a shell of the player who could claim to have been one of the best midfielders in the world. He was signed by Louis Van Gaal, partially because he was a trusted lieutenant of the Dutchman, who could help to enforce his philosophy on the pitch and bring his winning mentality to the squad. This role seems to have been taken by Zlatan Ibrahimović, who understands Mourinho’s demands of what he wants on the pitch, as well as having a trophy haul as successful as Schweinsteiger’s. The signing of another midfield player, Paul Pogba also seems to have sealed Schweinsteiger’s fate. The fact he didn’t make it into the squad for any of United’s pre-season friendlies or even the squad for his friend Wayne Rooney’s testimonial means that the writing is on the wall for Schweinsteiger, time for the Deutsche Fußballmeister to find a new club.
Likelihood to remain at Manchester United: 0%
Ashley Young was transformed under Louis van Gaal and took to the wing-back role like a duck to water. He was one of Van Gaal’s most consistently selected players when fit, even being preferred to Angel Di Maria on the left-wing in the 2014/15 season. However, Young is now 31 years old and faces competition from Anthony Martial, Memphis Depay, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to find a place in the United squad. Luke Shaw’s return to fitness also means that he is also unlikely to find any game time at left back next season. Young has never performed particularly badly at United, but he hasn’t set the world alight either. He may be used as a squad player next season, or he could seek one final transfer for the sake of receiving more game time as his career begins to unwind.
Likelihood to remain at Manchester United: 50%