Manchester United have six first team players whose contracts are expiring at the end of this season, giving them the option of leaving for free next summer.
Manchester United have six contract decisions to make in next four months:
David de Gea
The club has an option to extend them all by one year. Who shall be extended & who should be let go for free?👇 #MUFC
— mufcmpb (@mufcMPB) September 12, 2022
However, according to The Manchester Evening News, the club does have the option of triggering one year extensions on each contract and here we take a look at which players Erik ten Hag should be looking to keep or let go.
Luke Shaw – LET GO.
Shaw is entering his eighth season at United and is still yet to hit the heights expected of him since his move from Southampton. New signing Tyrell Malacia is ahead of Shaw in the pecking order right now and it’s difficult to see a way back for him, in terms of a regular first team place.
The Englishman has shown flashes of his talent but a ‘season on, season off’ mentality won’t cut it under Ten Hag. It feels like the right time for a parting of the ways for both parties. The club should place their faith in Malacia and replace Shaw with an adequate back up option.
Diogo Dalot – KEEP.
Dalot’s United career had not quite taken off as he would have hoped up until this point. Loans to AC Milan and playing second fiddle to Aaron Wan-Bissaka might have led to the Portuguese right-back leaving the club under a disappointing cloud.
However, Dalot has looked re-born under Ten Hag and impressive performances at the start of this season have seen him cement his status as a first-team star. Whether he has the all-round ability to be a mainstay in the United side for years to come is up for debate, but he is definitely worth keeping around on current form.
Fred – LET GO.
A difficult one as Fred has quite a few good qualities. A regular in Brazil’s XI, alongside United new boy Casemiro tells you the ability is there. He has also proved himself in big games for the club, hustling and bustling to good effect.
However, lack of quality on the ball will probably mean the end for Fred at United under Ten Hag. The Brazilian doesn’t quite possess the precision to break the lines with his progressive passing and the new manager demands this from his midfielders. Fred will go on to do a decent job for many-a-side but unfortunately, it won’t be at Old Trafford.
Cristiano Ronaldo – LET GO.
Who would have thought this would be the easiest decision. Ronaldo had attempted to manoeuvre a way out of the club all summer and if he doesn’t leave in January, he certainly will at the end of this season. Ronaldo has started only one league game under Ten Hag and when he has featured, he has looked like his age is finally catching up with him.
Ronaldo will leave the club as an undoubted legend and will forever be remembered for his incredible contribution in his first stint at Old Trafford. Equally, he did his bit last year, providing the few happy moments in a season of misery. It would be a fairy-tale ending to see him help United lift some silverware in his last season at the club.
Marcus Rashford – KEEP.
Rashford’s United career was in danger of going stale. A below-par last 18 months had led to him being dropped from the England squad and left fighting for his place in the United starting XI. But, Ten Hag has breathed new life into the 24 year-old, the hunger is back and the form is slowly starting to reach the level we know he is capable of.
Having come through the ranks at the club, Rashford understands what it means to play for Manchester United. The forward’s big game record is outstanding and his pace and skill on the counter is crucial to the way Ten Hag is currently operating.
David De Gea – LET GO.
A decision made with the heaviest of hearts. David de Gea has been nothing short of immense for the majority of his time at the club. The Spaniard has won the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year and the United Player’s Player of the Year, four times each, underlining his importance to the club during their toughest period in recent memory.
However, De Gea no longer possesses the abilities required for a modern keeper. Still a wonderful shot-stopper, no doubt, but lack of quality with his feet and reluctance to leave his line, coupled with his age and the wages he commands means United should be looking for a world class alternative at the end of the season.
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