It’s almost August, and we approach that time of the year again. We see teams preparing for the new season just around the corner now. Premier League sides have already started their pre-season campaigns and are looking sharp. Manchester United are no different as they announced their preseason schedule. They’ve already signed Jadon Sancho and look close to getting in a few others but in the pandemic affected market, the need to balance books is paramount by selling off players to trim the squad.
We at FootTheBall take a look at three players Manchester United must sell.
At 32 years of age Matic has become a bits and parts player at United. The Serbian international was used by Ole here and there in the previous season. In reality, he has slipped below Scott McTominay and Fred in the pecking order. Also, James Garner, United’s academy starlet has impressed on loan at Nottingham Forest. He might give Ole a genuine selection headache.
— Nemanja Matic (@NemanjaMatic) June 9, 2020
Matic was signed in 2017 by Jose Mourinho as the Portuguese vowed to return United to their glory days. Matic was Mourinho’s favourite and enjoyed regular playing time under him. As Mourinho was sacked in 2019, he was quickly forgotten by current manager Ole. As he turned 30, Matic lost the legs required to thrive in his defensive midfield position. United are now touted to follow an attacking approach with only one number six. This makes Matic surplus to requirements at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer planning to make Man United more attacking next season. Wants to play with two 8s in front of one holding midfielder more often https://t.co/RYyEdLTamn @ESPNFC
— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonESPN) July 16, 2021
The problem in selling Matic might be finding new buyers for him. The Serb signed a three-year extension deal in 2020. The club would find it difficult to get him off the bill with a healthy contract period remaining. However, a swap proposal could be planned with West Ham. United are long-time admirers of Declan Rice. Matic can be used as a part of the deal to lure Rice to Manchester. Matic might also get his starter spot at West Ham, representing a win-win situation.
When the hype express is in full swing, hop on it and enjoy the ride. Just over a year ago, it looked like Jesse Lingard’s Manchester United days were over. A loan spell to Westham United has changed his fortunes and revived the player’s career in a true sense. Now United must look to take advantage of this situation and cash in on Lingard.
Jesse Lingard is back in pre-season training with Manchester United and will hold talks with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with just a year left on his current contract.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) July 16, 2021
Jesse Lingard had a couple of top-class seasons under Mourinho. Under Ole, he wasn’t a favoured option always. He found chances rarely coming in the second half of the 2019/2020 season. The covid-enforced hiatus was the final nail in the coffin for Lingard as he was pushed to the edge. Issues off the field forced Lingard to take a break from the game. He found great mental strength and finished the season. Still, he couldn’t get a look in at the start of the previous season as Bruno Fernandes changed the team’s fortunes. Lingard was loaned to West Ham on the last day of the winter transfer window, without playing a minute for his parent club.
How far was good In a form Jesse Lingard's loan spell at West Ham United 2020/21.
Goals 9 ⚽️
Assist 4 🎯#FPL #fantasypremierleague #ManUtd #WHUFC pic.twitter.com/8zKYeXVYPc
— FPL Morocco ⵣ 🇲🇦 (@FPLMorocco1) July 14, 2021
Having regular minutes under his belt helped Lingard capture his best form. The English international scored nine times and assisted four times to help the Hammers seal a Europa League spot. He returns to United a rejuvenated man. But his form won’t count for a thing as United have two world-class creators in Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho. The loan spell would’ve surely increased Lingard’s value and United must be tempted to make a huge profit out of him.
CHANGE OF SCENERY
The Cote d’Ivoire international looks like a top drawer centre-back for United whenever he plays. But here’s the catch, he rarely plays for them at full capacity. Bailly’s United spell has been plagued with injuries. Every recovery provides Bailly a new chance to impress. But one or the other injury returns to peg him back.
Frustrated by last night match. These are not easy times. Thanks to all the fans for your support in good times and bad.
It's time to rest with the family and come back stronger. 🔴 pic.twitter.com/zl7oSts3d6
— Eric Bailly (@ericbailly24) May 27, 2021
Bailly joined United in 2016 as a hopeful from Villarreal. He starred on his debut and won the Man of the Match in the Community Shield victory over Leicester City. He played a key role in their Europa League triumph that season. In the following seasons, he had an ankle injury and underwent knee surgeries that kept him out of the fold for a long time. Bailly has managed only 12 appearances for the Red Devils this term.
Very happy to renew with the club. Thank you to all of @ManUtd for placing your trust in me. 😄
The dream continues. 🔴 pic.twitter.com/eIMFtSsEdd
— Eric Bailly (@ericbailly24) April 26, 2021
Though he’s contracted to 2024, Bailly’s future is up in the air. If United wraps up the signing of Varane, Bailly’s position would be further down in the pecking order. He has already warned against being a backup player. Approaching his prime at 27 years, he must change his club to be a regular starter. United must let him go to pursue his ambition and end this nightmarish spell.
The three players United must sell are: Nemanja Matic as a part of clearing the deadwood; Jesse Lingard to cash in on him and raise a profit; Eric Bailly to let him be a starter elsewhere.