Manchester United confirmed the release of nine players yesterday, with one name in particular coming as something of a surprise to most fans.
Those leaving the club are Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Demetri Mitchell, Aidan Barlow, Alex Fojticek, Ethan Hamilton, Dion McGhee, Kieran O’Hara, George Tanner and the big surprise – hot prospect Largie Ramazani.
Borthwick-Jackson is probably the best known of the players to be released, having been given a run in the first team by Louis Van Gaal in 2015/16. He played 14 games for the senior side, including a Champions League match against Wolfsburg.
However, the following season he was loaned out to Championship side Wolves by incoming manager José Mourinho. Loan deals then followed to Leeds United, Scunthorpe and Tranmere and the left back did not play for the first team again.
Demi Mitchell also reached the first team but just on one occasion, making his debut in a Premier League match against Crystal Palace in 2017. There were high expectations for the versatile and talented defender but one and a half seasons on loan at Hearts in the Scottish Premier League seemed to stunt his progress – not helped by a cartilage injury – and he returned to Old Trafford last summer.
PA’s Simon Peach reports that the future is still bright for Mitchell and that there is a great deal of interest from German and Championship sides in securing his services.
Demetri Mitchell among those leaving #MUFC but should have a bright future. The England youth international is attracting interest from Germany along with several Championship clubs after some some rough luck with injuries
— Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) June 25, 2020
Hamilton is another player who was tipped to make the grade at Old Trafford. The 21-year-old was a regular starter in the Under-18s and even made the bench for a 5th Round FA Cup game against Huddersfield in 2018. He was loaned out to League One side Rochdale for the second half of last season and Southend United and Bolton Wanderers this term but failed to impress sufficiently for his Old Trafford contract to be renewed.
O’Hara’s exit is probably the least surprising of them all after some controversial behaviour whilst on loan at Burton Albion this season. The keeper was banned for six games following an alleged biting incident whilst playing against Peterborough.
The most surprising name on the list is probably Largie Ramazani. The 19-year-old was considered a fantastic prospect at Old Trafford and scored nine goals in 13 Premier League 2 games this season. He was among the players included in the squad for the Europa League away tie against Astana. However, according to Peach, this was a case of United refusing to meet the player’s wage demands rather than a lack of belief in his ability.
Sounds like Largie Ramazani's wage demands were not something #MUFC would agree to
— Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) June 25, 2020
Commendably, due to COVID-19 the Red Devils chose not to release any player under the age of 18.
‘The decision has also been made that, given the missed opportunities at the end of the 2019/20 season, every player below the age of 18 will continue with United into the next campaign’ the club announced.
‘All outgoing players have been offered a package of support which includes the option to return to the Aon Training Complex for pre-season, in order to maintain fitness ahead of the next stage of their careers.
‘Discussions between parents, coaches and players took place significantly ahead of the curtailment of the Academy games programme. United have since began to organise trials at new clubs wherever possible and will continue to provide each individual with comprehensive support throughout the process.’
The clock is ticking for another academy graduate, Angel Gomes, who has just five days left to agree the reported £25,000 – £30,000 per week offer that United have put on the table.
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