Sell, loan, keep: Where can Manchester United trim their squad this summer?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ponders

Manchester United's resurgence since football restarted has been quite something.

The Red Devils have looked a shadow of their former selves for much of the time with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the wheel but they have bounced back tremendously in 2020.

They are in imperious form and have lost just once since January 22nd, a run that stretches across 22 matches in total.

United are now looking like the side that dominated English football for so long and providing they continue that form, they could be in the conversation to challenge for the title next campaign.

After all, their run this calendar year has been nothing short of sublime.

Just like Virgil van Dijk and Alisson were at Liverpool, Bruno Fernandes has been the much-needed catalyst for change at United.

He arrived at Old Trafford and has transformed them from a creative perspective - scoring eight times and laying on seven assists in 14 league outings.

Bruno Fernandes warming up

Despite their improvement, there is still some pretty hefty deadwood that needs clearing over the summer transfer window.

In this edition of sell, loan, keep, GIVEMESPORT assesses where United can trim their squad.

Here, we analyse the players on the fringes of being first-team regulars...

OGS

GOALKEEPERS

Lee Grant - keep: The 37-year-old has only played one game for Man United but it would be pretty pointless binning him now. The goalkeeper is at Old Trafford for one last contract and once his deal expires in 2021, he will presumably hang up his gloves. 

Sergio Romero - keep: The Argentine hasn't had his fair share of game time since signing but with David De Gea not looking as sturdy as he once did, having someone as reliable as Romero to play second fiddle is a good strategy.

Joel Pereira - sell: Now aged 24, it wouldn't be a bad idea if the Red Devils got rid of Pereira. He has just one year left on his remaining deal and if they want to get any sort of fee for him, will need to get rid sharpish. Pereira's chances of football under Solskjaer look extremely thin.

Sergio Romero

DEFENDERS

Phil Jones - sell: The centre-back's time in the north-west simply has to come to an end this summer. He has played just seven times this season at the age of 28, should be looking to leave in search of first-team football. It hasn't really ever worked out after Sir Alex Ferguson brought him to the club.

Chris Smalling - keep: His form in Italy has been exceptional and with Roma, Smalling has enjoyed a career rejuvenation. The defender has improved exceptionally and no longer looks like the comical defender that set foot in the Premier League. The 30-year-old has won 3.3 aerial duels per game in Serie A, as well as completing over 90% of his passes.

Smalling and Lukaku

Marcos Rojo - sell: Like Jones, the Argentine simply hasn't played enough football and an exit would be timely for someone who has been a failure at Old Trafford. Rojo joined Estudiantes on loan earlier this year but now is the time to sell him permanently. 

Diogo Dalot - keep: The 21-year-old is down the pecking order at Man United but is somehow being eyed by Barcelona. That being said, this is someone who is a useful squad player and still has plenty to offer, especially going forward. He played 11 times this term but is worth keeping around.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah - loan: Considering the number of options United have at their disposal in defence, it seems sensible to ship the youngster out on loan. He was largely disappointing at Fulham in 2018/19 but a successful loan spell elsewhere could improve his chances of a future under Solskjaer.

Fosu-Mensah shakes Lampard's hand

Axel Tuanzebe - loan: Like his Dutch teammate, he is unlikely to get many opportunities next season and should be granted a loan move. According to the print version of The Sun, Leeds are interested in the player and a temporary Premier League switch could be exactly what he needs.

Brandon Williams - keep: The young full-back burst through this term and hasn't looked back, playing 33 times in all competitions. He is an able back-up for Luke Shaw and should be kept at all costs.

MIDFIELDERS 

Juan Mata - sell: The 32-year-old is getting on a bit now and with a year left on his current contract, United should be looking to cash in. Fernandes' emergence has ensured Mata's game time has plummeted further. Additionally, he simply isn't the player he used to be.

Jesse Lingard - sell: One goal all season tells the sorry story of Lingard's 2019/20 campaign. He was incredibly average and his career has gone downhill since starring at the last World Cup. Another player with a year left on his deal, he has surely played his final game in the red of Man United.

Mata

Andreas Pereira - sell: United have a plethora of options in the middle of the park but Pereira is hardly a world-beater. He can keep things ticking over but if a sensible offer comes in, Ed Woodward shouldn't think twice about selling. Leicester have reportedly been interested in the past.

Fred - keep: The Brazilian hasn't been a success in the Premier League but he still offers solid back-up in the middle of the park. At the age of 27, he is now also in his prime. Hopefully, Solskjaer can squeeze more out of him next term. 

Dan James - keep: The idea of the Welshman leaving on loan was quashed last month and rightly so. The speedster is just 22 and can only get better following his haul of four goals and seven assists in his debut campaign at the club.

Daniel James

James Garner - loan: The youngster managed six first-team appearances this season but with a number of options in midfield, his game time will probably be limited again in 2020/21. A loan move would do him some good.

ATTACKERS

Alexis Sanchez - sell: Sanchez's time at Man United has been nothing short of a disaster. He has the same number of goals for the Red Devils as Odion Ighalo and with his wages of £350k-a-week, they simply need to get rid. The Chilean is on loan at Inter and has begun to put himself in the shop window recently, registering seven assists and three goals in his last ten outings. Despite that, he is not good enough for United anymore.

Alexis

Tahith Chong - loan: At one stage it looked as though the crazy-haired forward would walk away from the club. However, after putting pen to paper on a deal, he looks set to stay with United. That being said, the 20-year-old really needs a loan move in order to progress. He featured 11 times for the first-team in 2019/20.

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