Lack of passion from players could spark January Man United exodus

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When Jose Mourinho took over at Old Trafford, fans were expecting one thing: the Premier League title. But after 10 games, Manchester United are already eight points off the pace, sitting rather uncomfortably in eighth-place.

A disappointing 2-1 defeat away at Fenerbahce in the week followed a goalless draw with Burnley last weekend. In fact, the Red Devils have failed to find the net in their last three top-flight outings, leaving supporters in a position they’re pretty unfamiliar with in recent history.

So where are things going wrong for the 13-time Premier League winners?

Ladbrokes News assesses the impact each player has had on the team so far this season and whether or not it would be best for both parties if they moved on at the earliest opportunity. Today we’re looking at the defensive-minded players.

David de Gea

We dread to think where United would be right now if it wasn’t for their goalkeeper. Without a shadow of doubt, he’s one of the best in the world, and he’s certainly crucial to any future success.

VERDICT – STAY

Luke Shaw

Shaw hasn’t had the best of starts to life under Mourinho, and he’s yet to rediscover the kind of form that convinced the club to depart with over £31m for his services two years ago. But the 21-year-old’s best years are still to come.

VERDICT – STAY

Marcos Rojo

Ask any United fan where there main problem at the back lies and they’ll give you two words: Marcos Rojo. As long as the Argentine is in the starting line-up, the Red Devils always look likely to concede.

VERDICT – GO

Chris Smalling

The England international is a key figure in this side, and has been for the last three seasons, featuring on 92 occasions in the league since the beginning of the 2013-14 campaign. The 26-year-old has established himself as one of the best centre-backs in the division and should remain at the club for years to come.

VERDICT – STAY

Daley Blind

We’re still not entirely sure where Daley Blind actually plays. Perhaps his versatility is a good thing for Mourinho, but the jury still remains out on the 26-year-old. In fact, United legend Paul Scholes last week criticised the defender’s lack of pace, awareness and physicality. And unfortunately for Blind, Scholes isn’t wrong in his assessment.

VERDICT – GO

Eric Bailly

Bought from Villarreal for £32m back in the summer, Bailly has shown consistently throughout the season so far that he could be a great signing. The 22-year-old forming a good understanding with Smalling, and it’s one you’d only expect to improve in the next few years.

VERDICT – STAY

Matteo Darmian

The Special One has only used the right-back once in the top-flight so far this season, instead opting to play the Italian in the Europa League. And his involvement hasn’t brought about much joy for United fans of late, with just one win coming from games in which Darmian has featured in all competitions this campaign. On the whole, he probably wouldn’t be missed were he to leave in January.

VERDICT – GO

Antonio Valencia

With 185 Premier League appearances to his name in a United shirt, Valencia is one of the most experienced players in this side. Granted, his best years may well be behind him now, but some of the younger players in the squad can learn a lot from the 31-year-old.

VERDICT – STAY

Morgan Schneiderlin

United faced stiff competition for Schneiderlin’s signature last year. And while he started 25 games under Louis van Gaal in 2015-16, he’s played just five minutes of this campaign, and that was on the opening day of the season against Bournemouth. For whatever reason, Mourinho just doesn’t see how the Frenchman fits into his plans.

VERDICT – GO

Michael Carrick

Like Valencia, Carrick’s presence in the dressing room – certainly given the way things are at Old Trafford right now – is irreplaceable. His trophy cabinet speaks for itself, with five Premier Leagues, one FA Cup and one Champions League medal to his name. He may not be playing as much as he’d like, but there’s no way United can afford to lose hm.

VERDICT – STAY

So what do you think? Do you agree with our verdict? Have your say in the comments section below!

And don’t forget to check back tomorrow, where we’ll be focusing on United’s attacking options.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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