Home » Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to make decision on fringe players

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to make decision on fringe players

by Colm Murphy

With the transfer window opening, supporters aren’t just looking forward to new signings but also interested to see which players will be moved on.

Requiring to balance the books and manage the wage bill, outgoings can be just as important for a football club as any incomings. An aspect which Manchester United have performed poorly at in recent history.

Having shipped out some of the deadwood in recent windows, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been slowly attempting to reverse these previous shortcoming in squad management. There is still plenty of work for the Norwegian to do though, so here we will look at some of those Ole may look to cull this summer.

Andreas Pereira – Initially handing Andreas a new contract in the summer of 2019, Ole saw redeeming qualities in the United academy product, so much so that he handed the Brazilian 40 appearances throughout the 19/20 season.

The abundance of chances were not repaid in performances though as Andreas still struggled to transfer the skills he has shown throughout the ranks into a well rounded complete performance.

Ole clearly lost faith in Andreas who was deemed unneeded after the purchase of Bruno Fernandes and loaned out for the 20/21 season.

Andreas is well aware of his standing at United and is reportedly seeking a permanent transfer away according to the MEN. Possible destinations include Belgian club Anderlecht and Brazilian club Santos, whose president Andres Rueda recently said he has already contacted Andreas “who is dying to play here.”

With a contract until 2023 and an option for a further year, United are in a good position contract wise to negotiate, but after a rather disappointing loan and the financial crisis in Brazil due to COVID, any transfer fee from Santos will likely be minimal.

Jesse Lingard – After a blistering loan spell at West Ham where Lingard won the Premier League player of the month for April, he is the most likely United outcast to fetch a respectable transfer fee.

Recent reports of Lingard wanting to fight for his spot at Old Trafford have left supporters desperate for the club not to fall back into their old ways though.

With the squad already filled with Bruno, Van de Beek and Pogba in Lingard’s preferred number 10 position, it is time for the Englishman to move on for the betterment of his career and the club.

It is time for Ole to cut the chord and for United to finally make a good value sale. With reports suggesting a fee somewhere between £20-30m, that would provide a sizeable chunk to add to Ole’s transfer budget.

The most likely destination being West Ham, recently reported interest from Paris St. Germain should strengthen United’s position in negotiations.

Tahith Chong – The recent news of Chong switching international allegiance to Curaçao may point to the trajectory of the young winger’s career.

Having first burst onto the scene, Chong has struggled to get to grips with senior football and has looked noticeably nervous when playing at the top level. After disappointing loans in Germany and Belgium, he has seen younger academy graduates pass him in the pecking order in Manchester.

Chong’s contract at United expires in 2022, with the option to extend for a further year, meaning United may be better off cashing in now instead of another loan running down his contract.

No details of a potential permanent transfer have been rumoured yet but the winger will certainly have a host of suitors back in the Netherlands.

Diogo Dalot – Dalot’s lack of defensive prowess saw him fall out of favour with Ole and a mixed bag of a season with AC Milan is unlikely to have changed the Norwegian’s mind.

The Portuguese full-back’s versatility to play on both sides of the pitch is a useful attribute but with Alex Telles, Brandon Williams and a potential swoop for Kieran Trippier, more depth is unneeded.

This leaves Dalot surplus to requirements and an another opportunity for the club to show supporters they can perform on both sides of the market.

With the most recent reports suggesting AC Milan prefer another loan with an option to buy, United need to be firm in negotiations and demand an obligation to purchase and recoup Dalot’s transfer fee before his contract runs down and his value with it.

Juan Mata – Featuring for less than 900 minutes this season, Mata’s presence in red this season was forgettable if not non-existent.

This has left supporters bewildered at the news of a new contract offer as Mata rarely plays and looks off the pace when he does.

Recent reports suggest this has as much to do with Mata’s off field presence as his on field impact though, with the Spaniard linked to a future technical position in the club’s structure.

A reduction in wage from £170k to £100k while making a stay more palatable, still raises the concern of that wage being spent more wisely elsewhere. A future technical director position would surely still be possible after a year or two playing back in Spain or elsewhere while saving the club millions in wages.

Phil Jones – The centre of derision from supporters, Phil Jones has become a much maligned figure in Manchester. Having not featured due to injuries since January 2020, Jones’ playing career at United is well and truly over.

While getting Jones off the wage bill would be highly beneficial for United, the task will be nigh on impossible.

Having more than enough ability to play for a lower club in the Premier League, Jones’ injury riddled history will mean few clubs are will to take the risk spending their limited budget on him.

With a deal until 2023, United look set to be stuck with Jones. A loan deal while covering the majority of the wages may be the only possible exit scenario for the former England international.

Eric Bailly – Not wanting a repeat of the Jones and Rojo situations, a section of supporters were left stunned at news of a contract renewal in April.

While capable of top performances on a good day, they are few and far between and like Jones he spends a considerable amount of time in the treatment room, rendering him unreliable for both performances and availability.

Even when fit and performing, Bailly was regularly dropped for the clearly preferred option of Victor Lindelof and with a new centre-back signing being on the top of Ole’s list, Bailly drops to fourth on the pecking list.

Touted as a move to retain value, it brings back memories of the same line being used for extensions given to Jones and Marcos Rojo, suggesting the club has not learnt from their mistakes after all.

Publicly demanding more playing time just a month after extending his contract adds further confusion to the decision.

Axel Tuanzebe – Tied to the future of Bailly, is Axel Tuanzebe. Down the pecking order and potentially pushed even further down with any new signing, Tuanzebe has found himself in an unfortunate position.

While clearly talented and having impressed at Aston Villa on loan enough to earn a spot in the United squad, his lack of experience has led to the manager having little faith in relying on him. This puts him in a catch 22 scenario of needing experience to develop, but not being afforded that opportunity because of his lack of experience.

Fast approaching 24 years old, Tuanzebe has just 72 senior appearances and recent reports suggest the youngster is not happy with it, barely kicking a ball in the last two seasons.

Tuanzebe has spoken of his desire to play regularly and a loan away seems to be on the cards, potentially explaining the rather bizarre decision to keep Bailly around.

Brandon Williams – After a breakout season in 19/20, Williams has had a disappointing season will little playing time and no progression to go with it.

Rumours of a move for Kieran Trippier will result in Williams dropping even further down the pecking order and a move becoming necessary.

A fiery character who bleeds for the club, Williams is much loved by the supporters who would be sad to see him go but as of now his position at the club is in jeopardy.

Showing interest throughout the season, links to Southampton continue with Ralph Hassenhuttl speaking glowingly of the young player.

A loan move looks the best bet for Williams before reassessing next summer.

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