Louis van Gaal has spent almost £250 million since he took over at Manchester United after the 2014 World Cup, but there has been next to no progress made.
With Jose Mourinho expected to take over this summer, and chief executive Ed Woodward admitting the club will spend this summer – the clean-up operation will once again commence as United look to return to the top.
David De Gea (Stay)
The United hierarchy have to expect that they can do little if Real Madrid return with a bid for the Spaniard this summer. But they must do everything to try and convince the United shot-stopper to remain at Old Trafford. He almost signed for Madrid last summer, but the deal fell apart on deadline day after the paperwork wasn’t filed on time.
One of the world’s best goalkeepers, the Spaniard is capable of earning United 12-15 points on his own per season. As United’s back-to-back Player of the Season, it’s vital they retain his services.
Sergio Romero (Stay)
He looked okay after he was thrown in at the deep end earlier in the season, but miles behind David De Gea in terms of what he offers. A decent back-up keeper, and that’s about it.
Matteo Darmian (Stay)
After a strong start to his United career, injuries have inhibited the Italian full-back’s progress. Costing £12.7 million, he represents good value – and with the ability to play anywhere across the back four, he will remain a squad player at the very least.
Antonio Valencia (Go)
He offered good cover at full-back but lacked the defensive ability of a natural defender. Not good enough to play as a winger, he will likely leave Old Trafford this summer.
Chris Smalling (Stay)
United’s best defender by some distance this season. The English centre-half is has matured into the player Sir Alex Ferguson likely thought he could become.
A commanding presence at the back, good in the air, confident in possession – the 26-year-old also has age on his side. Still prone to errors from time-to-time, but he will play a pivotal role in a Jose Mourinho regime, should it happen.
Daley Blind (Stay)
Blind is a versatile player, and that’s all that can be really said. He can play across the back four, and is comfortable in midfield. He’s very good in possession, but lacks the physicality to play as a central defender in the premier league.
Phil Jones (Go)
Another one bought for the future by Ferguson, although he’s still only 23. Jones has never looked convincing in a Manchester United shirt.
He extended his contract last summer, but the Englishman just can’t stay fit. If Mourinho does take over this summer, it’s likely he will dip into the transfer kitty to find a partner for Smalling.
Marcos Rojo (Go)
Injury after injury has seen the Argentine watch most of the season from the sideline. Offers versatility in that he can play at left-back, but a higher caliber of player is required at Old Trafford.
Paddy McNair (Go)
Broke into the first-team squad last year after the United defence was hit by multiple injuries. Not first-choice, and looks liable to make mistakes at times. He has provided good cover, but like Rojo, United need a match-winning defender.
Luke Shaw (Stay)
Shaw became the most expensive teenager in history in 2014, after his £30 million move to Old Trafford. A string of injuries saw him spend most of the season on the sideline, and after he was accused of being overweight and out of shape. The young full-back took a fitness coach with him on holiday last summer and it showed on the pitch.
He was easily United’s best player until he suffered that horrific leg-fracture during United’s Champions League tie against PSV. Shaw was a player Mourinho wanted at Chelsea, and he will play an integral role in any potential Special One regime.
You have to commend the United kit staff for being able to fit his name on to the shirt, but the 19-year-old has come in and performed like he was supposed to be there. Likely to be Shaw’s understudy, but he will have a role to play in the future for United.
Michael Carrick (Stay)
At 34 years old, Michael Carrick is still United’s best passer of the ball. Calm in possession, and always prepared to take a risk by moving the ball forward – United will be hoping they can get another few years out of the veteran.
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Stay)
He’s quite literally done it all, but has struggled to make a real impact at Old Trafford. Bought by Van Gaal to bring balance to the midfield, and his presence and calming influence is there for all to see.
Unlucky that he’s usually not been partnered with someone to complement him, but his experience in the dressing room is enough to keep the German.
Marouane Fellaini (Go)
The player Manchester United fans love to hate, but Van Gaal has probably been forced into using the big Belgian more than he would have liked.
With injuries to Schweinsteiger and Carrick, Fellaini found himself in a deeper position – and his size was needed defending set-pieces. He gives United an extra option going forward, but he’s not a Manchester United player and probably has no future.
Morgan Schneiderlin (Stay)
Every side needs a player who will sit in-front of the back four, breaking up the play. The former Southampton player has adapted well at United and always looks comfortable in possession.
United fans could argue that we haven’t seen the best of him, but he’s a solid player in the middle of the park.
Ander Herrera (Stay)
An Old Trafford fan-favourite, but not Van Gaal’s number one choice it would seem. Herrera has failed to hold down his position after his £30 million move from Bilbao.
He’s not disciplined enough to play a holding midfield role, and with other attacking midfield options to choose from, Herrera will likely be limited to appearances off the bench as United look to bolster their squad.
Juan Mata (Stay)
He might be the only Manchester United player hoping that Jose Mourinho doesn’t take over at Old Trafford after the way he was treated at Chelsea. Mourinho preferred Oscar’s work-rate in the number 10 role, and he didn’t fancy Mata out wide due to the Spaniard not fulfilling his defensive duties.
He has been one of United’s better performers since his switch to Old Trafford, and has been involved in eight of United’s last nine goals. It remains to be seen whether Mourinho will give Mata another chance should the Portuguese boss take over.
Ashley Young (Go)
Perhaps he’s been unlucky not to see more game time in his preferred role, but when he has played – it has been at right-back.
Although he performed admirably in the unfamiliar role, it’s hard to envisage a future for him at Old Trafford.
Andreas Pereira (Stay or go out on loan)
The exciting young Brazilian looked like he could follow in the footsteps of Paul Pogba, leaving United on a free transfer.
But since he signed a new contract, playing time has been limited. He almost went on loan in January, but Van Gaal blocked the move. He needs a loan move to get some playing time.
Adnan Januzaj (Go)
Januzaj looked like the one positive in David Moyes’ tenure, but he has gone backwards since. He failed to break into Van Gaal’s side, and a disastrous loan move to Dortmund leaves him with a decision to make in the summer.
Memphis Depay (Go)
There’s no question that the talent is there, but his season has gone from bad to worse – and he could have to make a decision next summer whether he stays or not.
Dubbed the next Cristiano Ronaldo, and one of the most exciting youngsters in Europe prior to his United move. But he looks frustrated that he’s not the main-man, and with that attitude he will never succeed at United.
Jesse Lingard (Go)
Another graduate of United’s academy, he has found himself in United’s first-team. But United require something better on the flanks, and Lingard’s role will likely be reduced to cameo substitute appearances should he stay.
Anthony Martial (Stay)
United shocked the footballing world when they agreed a £36 million deal, that could rise to £58 million, for an unknown French striker. But, so far he looks the real deal. He announced himself onto the scene with a stunning solo effort against Liverpool.
His playing time through the middle has been limited, as the youngster has operated from the left side. With lighting pace, and close control as well as ten goals so far in his debut season the evidence suggests he can reach the top.
Wayne Rooney (Stay)
As England’s all-time top goalscorer, he will almost certainly repeat the feat at United. Rooney very much has a role to play in this Manchester United side. With seven goals in his last ten appearances, Rooney has silenced critics who said he was finished.
Perhaps he will drop deeper into a midfield role in the future.
David Clarke, Pundit Arena
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