Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal must have a clearout of his faltering players before adding to his squad.
Defeat at the hands of Manchester City has consigned United to their worst start to a league campaign in 28 years – so much for life after Moyes!
Van Gaal is rumoured to be gearing up for a January splurge, but to balance the books and the squad he must also let some players leave.
Here Ladbrokes News’ James Curtis lists five players who should be for the chop this winter.
Robin van Persie – 25/1 to leave in January
Van Persie will always be fondly remembered by United fans for ditching Arsenal in favour of Old Trafford and firing the Red Devils to title glory.
However, like at Arsenal, injuries have limited his game time at United and at 31-years-old he seems to be past his best. The Dutchman appears to thrive as the focal point of a team and the many new arrivals this summer mean he is no longer that.
Van Gaal could be swayed into cutting ties while a decent fee can still be fetched, with Turkish giants Fenerbahce rumoured to be keen.
Ashley Young – 2/1 to leave in January
Ashley Young, remember him? Injuries have halted the former Aston Villa and Watford winger’s progression at United but the time has come when the experiment must ultimately be deemed a failure.
He always has the potential to pick out the top corner but rarely plays to a consistent level. Now remembered as much for diving and mediocrity as his stunning goals against Arsenal the time could be right for the one-time England man to move on.
Juan Mata – 6/4 to leave in January
With eight goals from his 21 United appearances thus far Mata might feel aggrieved to be on this list but in all honestly he is yet to live up to the high standards he displayed at Chelsea.
He had an opportunity to stake a claim for a starting berth in Wayne Rooney’s recent absence but failed to grasp it with both hands.
United could still command a high fee for his services, which could tempt LVG into selling.
Chris Smalling – 10/1 to leave in January
When Smalling arrived along with Phil Jones the pair were billed as the centre-back future of the club.
While neither has matured into a solid, consistent performer Jones has shown more glimpses of his potential than Smalling.
His performance at Manchester City was one of naivety and with teams like Arsenal rumoured to be keen, LVG would be wise to cash in and move on.
Rafael – 10/1 to leave in January
Like Smalling, Rafael seems to have spent too long in the “he’ll develop over time” period of his Old Trafford career.
His input going forward shows signs of encouragement but he still defends with the reckless abandonment of a player much younger than his 24 years.
The player recently revealed he is “desperate” to remain at Old Trafford but will LVG be as keen to keep him?
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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