10 players who might not be at United much longer

Author: Doron

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As the football season approaches its finale, another one approaches: ‘silly season’. A time for tabloids, agents, rumour men and wound-down car windows to come to the fore. United have already been linked to plenty of players who no doubt won’t join. Here though, are a few thoughts on those linked with moves away from the club and a prediction of how likely a transfer away could be. (NB I don’t necessarily advocate getting rid of any of the players listed, the scores are based on what I think rather than what I want.)


One of the most frustrating United players in recent years – glimpses of quality are cancelled out by periods of inexplicable averageness and injuries. United fans thought they were signing ‘the next Ronaldinho’ but instead have witnessed the stalled progress of an often overweight box-to-box player. The thing with Anderson though is every time he does get a run of games you remember why you were once excited by him. It’s been suggested he might move on this summer as the club get fed up by his injuries – he’s still highly thought of in Portugal. That said, Fergie’s a fan of his and likely to want to stick by a player he invested a lot in for one more year at least.

Chance of leaving: 3/10

Dimitar Berbatov

Everyone’s favourite lothario. The genius of a man has never quite ‘worked’ at United, his style and United’s seem to more often than not clash rather than compliment. He’s been close to frozen out this season with very few league starts and has been reduced to league cup outings against minnows. To his credit, he’s never once complained and has acted like the professional many already knew he is. His one year contract extension is surely just to ensure he goes for a fee rather than for free this summer. Even Fergie has hinted/admitted he’s likely to leave in search of first team football.

Chance of leaving: 9/10

Ritchie De Laet

Never signed with the first team truly in mind, De Laet has arguably performed better than expected since joining the club. Injuries and inconsistent performances saw a loan at Norwich cut short this season, confirming that he’s not of the ilk required to be a United player. He’s done ok in the Reserves, particularly as a make-shift striker (a position he used to play growing up) but hasn’t pushed anyone in the first team. He does have one particular quality Fergie would love though, versatility. However that may not be enough to keep him at the club beyond the summer.

Chance of leaving: 7/10

Rio Ferdinand

It seems crazy to include Rio on this list but rumours of a move to America or further abroad for big money have been circulating for a while. In his testimonial season and in some of the best form of his career, a move would seem unlikely. Evans has stepped up in Vidic’s absence and shown that long-term he is one answer but whilst Smalling and Jones are still somewhat immature as defenders, Rio’s experience and know-how will be vital for at least another season.

Chance of leaving: 1/10

Darren Fletcher

He may have pinpointed pre-season as the time to attempt a return after his long-term illness was confirmed publicly but Fletcher’s chances of coming back will very much depend on his health. I’m not medical expert so don’t know how likely it is that he could reach the fitness levels required to play in the Premier League but it wouldn’t surprise me if Darren tries and finds he’s unable to hit the standard required. His health must come first and a potential retirement from football into coaching could well happen.

Chance of leaving: 4/10

Tomasz Kuszczak

The Polish international keeper has fallen down the pecking order and is now fourth choice at the club. His goalkeeper qualities tend not to suit those required at United – good distribution and being comfortable with the ball at his feet. His loan move to Watford has indeed been a success for him and he’s had very positive reviews in the Championship. Plenty of clubs are already interested in him and with his contract expiring this summer he’ll leave on a free transfer.

Chance of leaving: 10/10

Federico Macheda

The young Italian has seen this season go a similar way to the last. A loan move to QPR looked good until the manager was changed and Hughes was given money to buy proven players. As Kiko struggled to get minutes, an ankle injury ruled him out for a month and United took the decision to have it operated on, ending his season. Fergie though is a big fan of his and still believes that he has a future at the club. A good loan next season seems the best move in what could be a make-or-break season. That said, should a sizeable offer come in or a club want him in a part-exchange deal, United may decide to move him on. Personally, I hope he’s given a loan where he plays regularly, he has the potential to be better than a fringe Premier League player.

Chance of leaving: 4/10

Michael Owen

Injured. Again. In reality Owen shouldn’t be at United but his lack of complaining and love for horse racing has seen him last three seasons. His contract expires this summer and he may still get a new one for various reasons. United don’t really need him though so he could be sacrificed for younger, hungrier, better, blood.

Chance of leaving: 5/10

Park Ji-Sung

Big-game-Park has this season become small-game-Park. As the team’s style has changed, Park’s found himself on the fringes of the squad, often used in a ‘rotated’ team in the smaller games. Work-rate, energy, and tactical discipline are still required but in different ways. Fergie likes his professionalism though and the owners no doubt like the revenue he brings in. Yet, Park retired from international football to focus on club football and now may decide he needs regular minutes – they’re unlikely to be found at United.

Chance of leaving: 6/10

Paul Scholes

The genius has returned and has, well, been a genius. He’s around until the summer and talk of a new deal has been knocked back with the club publicly suggesting that contract talks will wait until the summer. Given the form he’s in and the importance he has to the side, it seems likely that another year will suit both parties. Another year of the Ginger Prince, please.

Chance of leaving: 2/10

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11 Comments on 10 players who might not be at United much longer

  1. I can see Owen being given another contract. The manager does like him and continues to praise him even when he’s hardly kicked a ball for us this season. I don’t think I’ve evr actually heard Fergie say a bad word about the lad to be honest. Wouldn’t surprise me…..
    Berba is a certain to leave. Its a shame though.
    I feel that Park could be off although I also feel that Anderson could stay. Its touch and go…would like to see Ando stay though.
    Would also like to see Kiko stay as well but its just so bloody hard for a lad like him to get a game. Quality player though. Watched him from the youth team…that boy def knows where the goals are.
    And from the Reserves u can probably add players like Olliver Norwood and Luke Giverin.
    On a side note does anybody know what’s up with Matty James? Injured again possibly?? I have to say that I was really impressed with him when he played for the reserves a couple weeks back. Quality midfielder.

    @ Doron – were you a footballer growing up…and is that possibly the reason why you have such good knowlege of the game?

  2. @max – Norwood is currently considering a new one year deal and I’m told Giverin has also bizarrely been given another year. Matty – no idea, I’ll try and find out.

    In many ways I’m still growing up!! Hardly old yet. Not played in nearly 2 years though due to operations etc but I played as much as I could in the past!

  3. How did you injure your knee?

    I don’t think Norwood is too keen on staying @ United and playing reserve football. He tweeted the other day that he’s going to think about it – signing a new contract. To me that only means one thing…he’s not going to sign it and will probably follow the same root as ajose, dudgeon, Eikrem and ravel etc to the championship. He’s a good player to be fair to the lad but today, its just so tough to break into Uniteds midfield and a midfield signing looks likely to be on the cards this summer. Maybe he’ll go to Burmey – his boyhood team. Good luck to the lad.

    As for Giverin…if he stays it’ll probably be only to continue his development as a footballer. What better place to do this than MUFC.

    Ryan Tunnicliffe hasn’t quite lived up to the hype in the reserve games he has played for us since he left P’borough. He works his socks off though, will run all day and is hard as nails on the pitch. He definitely has that going for him and working in his favor. How do u see his future @ United progressing?

  4. @ Bimz – you’re havin a laugh if you think Rio’s time @ United is over and should be sold. Enough said.

  5. Its been a treat to watch the reserves this season. Been really impressed by Petrucci, will keane, michael keane, johnstone, vermyl, fornasier, lingard, cole, ezekial and pogba has been quality every time he has played. We have a great crop of talented youngsters coming through and its good to see.

  6. What about the twins ?
    Their errors have cost us progress in the Champions League and on Sunday two lapses will probably cost us the league ! Ok , one of them will go on ‘loan’ , but nobody wants them.

  7. Is Park injured atm or just out of favour? Last time I can remember him playing is Liverpool away in the FA Cup. A great servant to the club though and I wish him nothing but the best if he is sold this summer.

    Don’t forget that De Gea and Amos have been called up for the Olympics, and as Fergie pointed out recently, this leaves us with just Lindegaard for the start of the season. For this reason, Kuszczak might actually be retained yet again! :O

  8. @The Truth – Park is out of favour – he doesn’t really fit how we try and play right now so, he’s been left out.

    As for Kuszczak – his contract expires and he won’t sign a new one! We won’t be left short for the start of the season, Sam Johnstone can always be back up and I think Amos may not make the final Olympics squad

  9. Sir alex we 1st nid goalkeeper coz dea gea has not improved better lindergard,then right back defenders we need rafael he a very good young player,central defender chris smalling is better there than rio he young although no enough experience he is good,then there are no midfielders if modric lands the better

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