As he rebuilds, who should Erik ten Hag keep and sell? Next season, Jadon Sancho should get more chances.

Harry Maguire and Anthony Martial must be sold, while £73m man Marcus Rashford must be dropped.

The 3-0 loss to Newcastle was even worse than some of the thrashings Manchester United has taken this season.

What made Tottenham's point at Everton on Monday night so significant wasn't just the ripple effect it had on the top-four race, with Erik Ten Hag's men falling out of the Champions League places.

Newcastle outfought United in every facet of the game at St. James' Park, earning some measure of revenge for the Carabao Cup final. United looked disinterested throughout the match.

Despite the team's clear improvement under Ten Hag, they are only three points ahead of where they were at the same point last season, which was widely considered their worst season in the Premier League era.

Afterward, the players held a dressing room inquest before Ten Hag could even speak, and it wasn't surprising to hear Luke Shaw rip into his teammates for an "unacceptable" lack of "passion, hunger, desire, attitude, and motivation."

Man United's future depends on the choices Erik ten Hag makes this summer.

United suffered another chastening afternoon as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle

United's 2-0 loss at Newcastle was yet another humiliation on a disappointing afternoon for the club.

The Newcastle defeat and Tottenham's draw on Monday saw United drop out of the top four

United lost ground on the top four after Monday's draw between Tottenham and Newcastle.

Perhaps the post-mortem wouldn't have been necessary if they'd matched their pointed words with an equally fiery performance on the night of the event.

The news that Ten Hag is planning a "ruthless" culling of his squad over the summer did not come as a surprise on Monday.

It has been reported that the manager has "become increasingly impatient" with Jadon Sancho and that he plans to put several players on the transfer list, including Harry Maguire and Anthony Martial.

The Englishman was substituted in on Tyneside but failed to contribute, continuing his disappointing season.

United lacks quality in several positions, especially at center forward, and Ten Hag's squad is being stretched to the limit by what could be a 60-match season.

When the summer transfer window opens, that will be taken care of, but who should be released from the current squad?

Conclusion: MARKET OUTPERFORMERS

A Sancho, Jadon

Sancho has had a difficult season; Ten Hag was worried about his health and welfare, so he was taken out of the United lineup for a while.

Although the £73 million winger has yet to reach his full potential in United Colors, it would be extremely harsh to let him go this summer.

Ten Hag remains unconvinced by Jadon Sancho but the winger deserves more chances

Jadon Sancho has yet to win over Ten Hag, but the winger should be given more playing time.

Sancho has suffered a season of struggle but could still be an excellent player for United

Sancho has had a rough season, but he has the potential to be a great player for United.

Ten Hag is getting impatient, but Sancho has scored in consecutive games against Leeds and Leicester despite playing only 28 minutes for an underperforming team in Sunday's loss to Newcastle.

United shouldn't rush into anything just yet because Sancho is still young (he's only 23). If both of them put in the work, Ten Hag has the coaching skills to bring out his best.

Paul Scholes mentioned last week that Marcus Rashford is doing such a good job on the left wing that Sancho isn't even getting to play there.

Rashford is likely to remain on the left wing if United acquires a high-caliber center-forward like Harry Kane or Victor Osimhen this summer.

But right now, one option is to switch Wout Weghorst out for Rashford at center forward and use Sancho in his preferred role.

Sancho needs to show more of his true potential at Old Trafford by scoring and assisting more frequently next season. However, he should not be bought.

Conclusion: MARKET OUTPERFORMERS

Harry Maguire

Ten Hag opted for Victor Lindelof over Harry Maguire as United's lone central defender in the dying minutes at St. James' Park, and Maguire looked pretty downtrodden about it.

The team's shape was radically reworked as they desperately chased an equalizer, and it was clear that Ten Hag thought Lindelof was the safer bet to cover the gaps left at the back.

Although it will be an emotional toll on everyone, the club captain knows he must leave in search of more consistent playing time.

Ten Hag has shown he doesn't have faith in him as his starting center-back ever since he was benched after the Brentford disaster in August and Lisandro Martinez made such a good start in a United shirt.

Harry Maguire didn't get off the bench at St James' Park as his bit-part season continued

Harry Maguire continued his role-player status by not playing at St. James' Park.

Maguire has found opportunities limited this season and would be best off leaving United

Maguire's playing time has been severely reduced this year, so he'd be better off leaving United.

As a further damning indictment of the manager's faith in Maguire, we have even seen Luke Shaw shifted across from left back in certain games.

Maguire's starting spot for England at Euro 2024 is on the line, so he must leave and play more regularly, either on loan (he has been linked to a return to Leicester if they stay up) or permanently.

There is no clear path back to regular first-team football for Maguire, so if United decide to sell, they will have to take a hit of around £80 million.

Recommended: CHRIS WHEELER: Marcus Rashford has carried Manchester United this season, emulating Rooney.

Conclusion: MARKET OUTPERFORMERS

 Anthony Martial

Another player who has failed to deliver at Old Trafford. Martial cost United nearly £60 million, but he has failed to live up to his 2015 promise of becoming a world-class player in any of the eight seasons since.

The strike force for Ten Hag must be comprised of players who can always be counted on. Unfortunately for Martial, he is unable to build any momentum due to his chronic injury setbacks.

He was expected to be released last summer, but a strong preseason tour convinced Ten Hag to give him another shot. 

Anthony Martial has been plagued by injuries and United are likely to cut their losses on him

Anthony Martial's injury history has led United to consider releasing him.

Martial feels like he should have scored in Sunday's loss to Newcastle at St. James' Park.

However, Martial was soon sidelined, and he has scored just six goals all season despite missing nearly as much time due to injury.

United should just take what they can get for him since his contract expires next year and they should be getting another striker.

Conclusion: MARKET OUTPERFORMERS


Dean Henderson

About three or four years ago, Henderson openly speculated that he could unseat David de Gea as Manchester United's starting goalkeeper.

But it hasn't worked out that way, so Henderson is back at Nottingham Forest for another year on loan.

Henderson, now 26 years old and despite playing regularly, needs to settle down and make an effort to earn England recognition.

Dean Henderson, out on loan at Nottingham Forest, appears unlikely to become United No 1

United's current backup goalkeeper, Nottingham Forest loanee Dean Henderson, isn't likely to be promoted to starter status.

David de Gea is the undisputed No 1 keeper at Old Trafford and it's likely to remain that way

David de Gea is, and will likely always be, Manchester United's starting goalkeeper.

Although he has left signing a new contract until the last minute, De Gea, 32, seems likely to do so. The only clear threat to his status at United is if Ten Hag decides he wants a more composed ball player.

Henderson should look for a new beginning elsewhere and show United what they're missing if the Spaniard decides to stay.

Conclusion: MARKET OUTPERFORMERS

Telles, Alex

The Brazilian left-back loaned to Sevilla at the start of the season appears to have little of a future at United.

They've had a terrible season, sitting dead last in LLa Liga and there reportedly isn't any interest in signing Telles permanently.

Like Diogo Dalot, who was on loan to AC Milan in 2021, he will be eligible to play against United in the Europa League quarterfinals.

Alex Telles (right) was sent out on loan to Sevilla, who have endured a poor season
Alex Telles (on the right) was loaned to a struggling Sevilla team.

Since Luke Shaw has just signed a new contract, and Tyrell Malacia would also be ahead of him in the pecking order, he should be looking for a new club in the summer unless he has a stormer to convince Ten Hag of his qualities.

Conclusion: MARKET OUTPERFORMERS

Willie Brandon

Former Ole Gunnar Solskjaer starter has seen minimal first-team action this season, totaling just five minutes in the Carabao Cup match against Burnley.

Williams missed significant time earlier in the season due to an injury, and he now has formidable opponents on both sides of the defense.

The 22-year-old will want to compete for a starting role, but he may have to settle for another loan stint after spending last year with Norwich.

Five minutes of first-team football this season for Brandon Williams 

Brandon Williams (left) has played only five minutes of first-team football this season
Only five minutes of this season's first-team football have been logged by Brandon Williams (left).

Middlesbrough, a Premier League contender, has been mentioned as a potential destination for him should he decide to leave United.

Recent rumors suggesting he took the legal high nitrous oxide from a balloon close to the club's training ground don't help his case.

Conclusion: MARKET OUTPERFORMERS

Is there anyone else who needs to be let go this summer?

United may also look to thin out their midfield this summer if they are unable to bring in a replacement for Casemiro.

Donny van de Beek was not exactly a mainstay on the team before he went down with a season-ending knee injury in January.

Van de Beek had started only four games before his injury, despite Ten Hag knowing all too well what he can do from their time together at Ajax.

A player who cost United £35 million but has lost his way should be released so that he can begin anew when he is healthy.

It's also possible that either Fred or Scott McTominay would be replaced by a new player.

Donny van de Beek's time with United has been seemingly cursed and he needs a fresh start

Donny van de Beek's tenure at United has been plagued by bad luck, and he needs a new beginning elsewhere.

In January, Newcastle attempted to sign Scotland international McTominay but were unsuccessful. Due to the absences of Casemiro and Eriksen, he is seeing more playing time at the moment, but this could change in the summer if no replacements are found.

McTominay's status as a homegrown player makes this a touchy topic, but he faces stiff competition that could heat up with the addition of Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice, and Frenkie de Jong.

Meanwhile, since United spent £47 million on Fred in 2018, nobody has been completely won over by him.

In some games, he has visibly enraged Ten Hag on the sidelines by giving the ball away and rushing into tackles, but he has improved his game overall, scoring more goals and showing the ability to perform effective man-marking jobs when it matters most.

Newcastle's interest in Scott McTominay has cast doubt on his future at United beyond the summer.

Newcastle's interest in Scott McTominay has cast doubt on his future at United beyond the summer.


Sophia Ela

131 Blog posts

Comments