The transfer window has now officially opened in England. While English clubs were allowed to buy and sell players prior to 1 July, they can only now be officially registered as players and it also sees players’ contracts ending, allowing free transfers to happen.
As well as outgoing players, the opening of the transfer window sees loaned players officially return to their respective clubs and for Manchester United, it means the return of Bebe, Anderson, Nick Powell, Wilfried Zaha and Angelo Henriquez.
What happens next for these players?
Nick Powell should be a member of United’s first team squad next season. Whether or not he is part of it will depend entirely on his performance in the pre-season where he’ll have to impress Louis van Gaal.
Last year, Powell enjoyed a really strong loan spell at Wigan until injuries thwarted his progress and at a time where we are reshuffling the whole team with a view to building it for the future, Powell deserves the chance to prove he is good enough to be part of that process.
Wilfried Zaha should also come back into the first team squad. Opportunities is what Zaha craved but didn’t find under David Moyes but that is unlikely to be the case under Louis van Gaal if his work ethic and dedication is there.
Bebe’s future at Old Trafford looks bleak. He may have impressed out on loan with Pacos de Ferreira last season where he was the highest scoring Portuguese player in the Primera Liga, but opportunities for strikers are going to be far and few between at United.
In Van Persie, Rooney, Welbeck and Hernandez, we’ve got plenty of options and even if Hernandez were to leave, James Wilson is waiting in the wings to take his spot in the squad. It’d be a surprise if Bebe wasn’t loaned out again or sold on a permanent basis this summer.
The same logic applies to Angelo Henriquez in that his first team opportunities will be very limited next season but United will be more keen to keep hold of him, so he could spend a year on loan at a Premier League club or play with United’s Under-21s.
As for Anderson, his future isn’t at United but the issue is finding a club to buy him. After a poor loan spell at Fiorentina, the Serie A club are sceptical about signing him on a permanent deal. A more likely move for Anderson is either back to Portugal, where he joined United from, or all the way back to his native Brazil where could quite easily rekindle his career.
Youngsters Marnick Vermijl and Jesse Lingard have also returned from loan. Vermijl enjoyed an up and down spell at NEC Nijmegen but with United desperately short of right-backs, now might be the time for him to grab his opportunities.
With Lingard, United fans really want to see him given a chance to break into the first team and if his pre-season tour is anywhere near as impressive as last year, he’ll get a chance.
What the opening of the transfer also signifies is the official exit of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Federico Macheda as their contracts have expired, so good luck to all of them now they’ve left.