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Six Manchester United Players Jose Mourinho Can Afford to Cut Loose This Summer

16/06/2016 16:55

It would be a huge mistake and rather foolish for Jose Mourinho to completely gut the Manchester United squad this summer. The group of players he has inherited from Louis van Gaal are 80% of the way to seriously challenging for major honours and a handful of carefully selected signings would get them over the line.

That being said, there is still a little deadwood that Mourinho can afford to let go as he looks to put his own stamp on the squad.

6. Tyler Blackett

United fans could be forgiven for forgetting about Tyler Blackett after he joined Celtic on loan last summer. He's due to return to Old Trafford but it's hard to imagine there is a place for him at his boyhood club anymore, especially after failing to establish himself in Scottish football.

Blackett, now 22 years of age and no longer just a raw prospect, managed just three appearances for Celtic in the Scottish Premier League and a further 84 minutes of Europa League action in the whole of 2015/16. It would be kinder to cut ties now and allow him to try and make a career elsewhere.

5. Donald Love

Of all the United youngsters that were handed debuts by Van Gaal over the course of his time at the club, Donald Love was not one of those who flourished. The former Scottish junior international's chance came only as a result of injuries and, unlike Marcus Rashford, he was out of the team as soon as others were fit once more, having done little to impress.

Much like Blackett, Love, who will turn 22 in December, no longer really has age on his side to give him the benefit of the doubt.

4. Adnan Januzaj

There was a time not too long ago when United fans had hoped Adnan Januzaj would be the next Old Trafford superstar. The hype was to the point where the immediate reaction to the then teenager signing a long-term contract in 2013 was great relief that this great talent wouldn't simply walk away and be another Paul Pogba.

But since a very promising debut season and later being handed Ryan Giggs' legendary number 11 shirt, Januzaj has completely stalled. He was poor in 2014/15, failed to command a place in a very attack minded team at Borussia Dortmund on loan in 2015/16 and was equally disappointing when he returned to United early.

3. Ashley Young

Ashley Young has been an invaluable servant over the last couple of years after resurrecting a United career that looked to be dead in the water in the final season of Sir Alex Ferguson's reign and under David Moyes the following campaign.

However, a recurrence of injury problems saw Young's involvement dip slightly in 2015/16 and one has to imagine he'll struggle to be anything more than an emergency back-up next season, with United well stocked in both full-back positions and in creative midfield roles. That's before even considering which players might yet arrive as well.


2. Bastian Schweinsteiger

​Bastian Schweinstieger arrived from Bayern Munich last summer with much fanfare and supporters were desperate to see the modern day German legend do well in a United shirt. Despite several very good performances, which perfectly showcased the player's class and experience, things just didn't work out overall.

It's disappointing, but the 31-year-old is likely to be seen as surplus to requirements in 2016/17, especially after Michael Carrick renewed his contract. With additional competition from Morgan Scheiderlin, a deeper lying Wayne Rooney, Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini, who fits the kind of physical player Mourinho has often utilised in the past, United can afford to let Schweinsteiger move on with dignity.

1. Phil Jones

Once tipped as a future England captain and a talent to rival Duncan Edwards, Phil Jones has seen his career hit a solid brick wall in the last three years. The versatile defender was an instant success when he first arrived from Blackburn in 2011, playing 41 times in all competitions, but injuries have never allowed him to play so frequently since.

Fitness problems and a lack of regular playing time have also turned Jones into a walking liability whenever he does make it onto the pitch - only 13 times in 2015/16. He fits the physical brief for Mourinho, but the Portuguese doesn't tolerate regular mistakes from his players. Besides, Eric Bailly has already been signed for £31m, and one more centre-back could yet still be on the way.

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