Should David De Gea, Ander Herrera and Andreas Pereira have their contracts renewed and was the Phil Jones renewal the right thing?


Welcome to the second part where I discuss the contract expirations occurring in June 2019 and whether or not I believe they should be renewed or let go. In the few days since one of the players I was going to talk about has had his contract renewed, with Phil Jones being given a four-year extension with a one year option, so I will briefly discuss whether or not his renewal was a good or bad thing and why.

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David De Gea

Up first is none other than the best goalkeeper in the world who despite his rocky start to his Manchester United career has blossomed into an incredible shot stopper and one who could save a word file on a piece of toast.

There is one weak part of his game though and that is his distribution, which at times is borderline woeful. When compared with the goalkeepers in the rest of the top 6 De Gea is easily the worst at distribution than all of them. The stats for pass completion percentage are as follows:

  • De Gea – 59.2% with 25.6 passes
  • Alisson – 79% with 28.2 passes
  • Kepa – 86.9% with 28.6 passes
  • Ederson – 83.2% with 25.6 passes and one assist
  • Lloris – 74.2% with 32.3 passes
  • Leno – 70.9% with 30.8 passes

As you can see from the above De Gea is far behind the others in terms of distribution. That’s not to say it’s a skill he particularly needs but when a poor pass from your keeper leads to you being on the back foot when prepared to attack it’s not a good thing and it baffles my mind as to why the coaches at United haven’t worked on improving his game.

Now before you get the pitchforks out and prepare to lynch me I did say De Gea is the best goalkeeper in the world and this has been shown time and time again with his superior shot-stopping ability that has saved United time and time and time again. And let’s be honest, I could easily add another hundred times onto that and it still wouldn’t be anywhere near enough times. The man has been absolutely prolific in his time at the club and if there is one player who deserves to compete for top honours year in year out then it is him.

Thankfully he was very poor for Spain in the World Cup leading Real Madrid to look elsewhere and he has stayed with Manchester United.

Now out of all eight players I will mention across both articles De Gea is the one who, without a shadow of a doubt, should be offered heaven and earth in order to get him to sign a new contract as without him there would have been a lot more goals conceded and the team would be in much worse shape.

Historically speaking the goalkeeping position has been United’s strength, aside from a few years but it’s best to forget the B’s were ever at the club to be honest. If Manchester United fail to get De Gea to sign a new contract then it will be one of their biggest ever failings in terms of squad management, and I mean upper management because the contract renewal is squarely on the higher-ups.

Final verdict: Give him everything he wants and get a new contract signed ASAP

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Ander Herrera

Ander Herrera, an absolute fan-favourite, from absolute shithousery on the pitch to spitting on the badge of Manchester City the man has a massive fan following and is a huge fan of the club. If you were to ask him where he’d like to spend the rest of his career and his life afterwards he would probably tell you that he wants to stay with the team forever, he has a passion for the team that few players seem to have and that all should look up to.

Herrera is a player that many fans would like to be given the captain’s armband because when he plays for the team he gives it his absolute all and will run around the earth to man-mark whoever he has been asked to. He might not be the greatest of players but he is one that should be a squad option at the very least. He might not be a regular starter for the team again but he can come off the bench and have an impact.

With his contract running out in June there is one minor issue facing his contract renewal, he turns 30 in August and depending on when the 2019/20 season starts he may very well be 30 before it begins. This begs the question as to what contract he should be offered as players 30 and over are typically offered a 12-month contract year after year rather than anything long-term. With him still being 29 when he needs to be offered a new one if the club does, will they offer a 24-month one or try to be sneaky with a 12-month contract? Realistically he should be offered a 24-month contract due to this but Ed Woodward is also a master of shithousery so you never know with him.

In my opinion, Herrera should definitely have his contract renewed, especially with Juan Mata slowing down and Marouane Fellaini being sold.

Final verdict: Renew for 24 months

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Andreas Pereira

Now if you read one of my previous articles I spoke about giving players time to adapt to the Premier League and given a chance to show their abilities instead of being shuffled off after one bad performance. Pereira was the main subject of that article so you will know my opinion on him already.

Unlike other players, whose contracts have a one year option that the club can activate, Pereira has a one year option that he also needs to agree to. Unfortunately for some Manchester United fans Pereira hasn’t really been given too much of a chance this season and being given more game time was one of the reasons he was willing to stay in Manchester and not be loaned out again.

It would be a real shame if he was to leave without being given a chance as I do believe he can offer something to the club and if Fred doesn’t work out, as it is looking, then Pereira can be a good squad option, one to come off the bench and run at teams when they’re tired. The problem is that whilst it’s easy to promise minutes to young players and hope they improve and show enough when given those minutes, it isn’t so easy to actually give them the minutes, especially when there are other players in the team who have done more and shown more.

Currently, Pereira is behind in the pecking order and when it comes to other players who don’t start regularly it’s hard not to see Mata, Herrera and Fred all ahead of him. And if you look at the bench for the game against Fulham on February 9th McTominay had a place but Pereira didn’t, so Scott McTominay might also be ahead of him in the pecking order.

Although I do believe Pereira should be offered a new contract it should be shorter than usual in order to give him time to see if he adjusts and will be good enough for the team in the future.

Final verdict: Renew for two or three years

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Phil Jones

As I stated at the beginning Phil Jones signed a contract renewal between my publishing of part one and part two and my original intent was to say whether he should be renewed or not. Instead, I will say whether it was a good idea.

The simple answer here is yes, although from perusing twitter you would be shocked to know there are a lot of Manchester United fans very unhappy with the decision due to him never hitting the heights everyone thought he would, as well as his injury record and often poor defensive work.

However, Phil Jones is a very good defender and on his day is very reliable and solid at the back. The problem lies in how often his day occurs and that isn’t often enough and he, as well as Smalling, always seems to have at least one mistake in him, as well as scoring own goals. The only thing fans would probably miss if he were to leave are the faces he pulls which often make for hilarious viewing and there are enough that he is his own personal meme at this point.

There is one very important reason that his contract was renewed and that is resale value. Phil Jones is currently 26 years old, soon to be 27, and has a few years left in football, and enough that should the club hope to get any money for him they would need to give him a long enough contract that he couldn’t be taken on a free. As well as Ed Woodward likely not wanting to spend too much money on defenders him offering Phil Jones a renewal was almost a certainty.

Hell, he even got himself an assist in the 3-0 win against Fulham on February 9th and a clean sheet, a day or two after his renewal, so maybe his renewal is the kick-start that he needs in order to become the top defender everybody hoped he would.

If I had written this before his renewal then my answer would have still been the same due to the reasons stated above.

Final Verdict: Renew (this has been done)

So there you have it, the final four whose contracts are and were expiring in June 2019.

Written by Craig Holland-Greenfield

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