Much has been made of the season Manchester United are having but one of the main issues highlighted have been the poor state of the squad at the club. Having won the title last season, massive discrepancies have been found in a squad that only had Maraoune Fellaini added to it.
Here, we take a look at what players are good enough to stay, who should be shown the door and how the reported £100 million war chest Moyes has could be spent.
After Edwin Van der Sar retired, United paid big money to bring in one of the best young goalkeepers in the world. David de Gea has gone on to improve and show how good he is.
In reserve, Anders Lindegaard is a decent back-up but it looks like he may leave in the summer. In terms of the younger options, both Ben Amos and Sam Johnstone have potential but have had fewer opportunities to prove it in the first-team. Although Lindegaard is a more experienced player, he should be one who is shown the door and the club should promote Amos and Johnstone as second and third choices.
Even though the club is well stocked in this department, some performances have been under par. Rio Ferdinand has declined and Nemanja Vidic does not seem the player he was before his knee injury sustained against Basel.
Chris Smalling, although a centre-back naturally, has often been put at right-back due to a lack of cover for Rafael whereas Phil Jones has been utilised in midfield when he should be used more at centre-back.
Jonny Evans has probably been the best defender at the club this season whilst Alex Buttner, Patrice Evra and Fabio have all shown how we can be exploited at left-back. This area could see major departures and the club should look at letting go Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Buttner and maybe even Fabio. There is a case to keep Fabio and use him as cover for Rafael but he does not seem to have done enough to impress Moyes.
The main concern for the majority of United fans. The midfield has been an issue since the end of the 2009 season when Paul Scholes was not properly replaced. Losing those goals, drive and control in midfield has seen a steady decline in quality of central midfielder who has played alongside Michael Carrick.
Our current best option seems playing a fit-again Darren Fletcher alongside Carrick which gives us more experience and energy in the middle as opposed to using someone less experienced like Cleverley. Anderson has ran his course and has departed to Fiorentina whilst Maraoune Fellaini has not really impressed since his big money move from Everton.
On the wings, Adnan Januzaj has been the biggest bright spot of a tough season whereas established players such as Nani, Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young have failed to provide the creativity and flair needed to win games.
Then there is the conundrum of Shinji Kagawa. The Japanese international has is good enough but has not achieved the heights he did which saw him gain his move from Borussia Dortmund. However, he deserves at least one more season to impose himself. United should actively look at letting Anderson, Nani and Young go but keep Valencia for his energy and work-rate that he brings. He also brings a level of balance tactically which can be important in the big games, although he must step up and show more quality in those games.
Thankfully, United have enormous quality in this area. With the world-class talents of Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney, the ever-improving Danny Welbeck and the always ready Javier Hernandez, not much work needs to be done to this department. Hernandez has not had the impact he usually can have but is an important weapon to have on the bench and I think it would not be wise to sell him so soon after a poor season.
For me, there should be eight players who leave this year – Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Vidic, Buttner, Evra, Anderson, Nani and Young – who should be ushered out to make room for a new era under Moyes.
If rumour is to be believed, David Moyes is to be given a £100 million war chest to spend on the squad and the exodus of these players would also free up money to be spent on wages to compete with the bigger clubs around Europe.
Defence – The best teams are often built from the back and the club have a very good spine of experience and youth to build around. Left back is an area of major concern, therefore players like Luke Shaw or Alex Sandro would be viable long-term options. A signing like Eliaquim Mangala, Leonardo Bonucci, or Davide Astori would provide more competition at centre-back. Keeping Fabio would give versatility at either full-back position too. Unless a major acquisition is made at centre-back, Moyes should line up with a defence of De Gea, Rafael, Jones, Evans and a new left-back.
Midfield – This is probably where we will see the biggest impact of where Moyes sees the club going and major moves will need to be made to get rid of fears of being overran in the middle in every game. Arturo Vidal would provide the perfect start whereas added creativity from a player like Ilkay Gundogan, Ever Banega or Claudio Marchisio would also be needed.
It would not be exaggerated if it was suggested we needed more than just one world-class central midfield target in. On the flanks, Marco Reus would be ideal whereas players like Adam Lallana and Victor Ibarbo could also provide a pacey option with a very good end product. Whoever is signed will need to do a much better job in improving the teams attacking movements and creativity which would make United teams of old so feared. In terms of youth, players such as Nick Powell, Jesse Lingard and Wilfred Zaha would also provide depth to what we would have added to the squad.
Attack – As no departures would be needed here, a good pre-season would help in getting our strikers sharp and firing. With a lethal strike partnership in Van Persie and Rooney, it is key Moyes derives a tactical set-up which gets the best out of both players.
If the right players are brought in, Moyes will also need a strong tactical set-up which players grow accustomed to which keeps us solid as well as makes us dangerous going forward. I believe 4-2-3-1 would be ideal with Rooney playing as a number ten just behind Van Persie.
What do you think? Do you agree with the players departing? Who would you bring in if you had the chance?