Man Utd loan or sell: 5 outcasts Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must make transfer decisions on

It already has the makings of quite a busy summer of transfer activity over at Old Trafford, but amid the new arrivals, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a number players in his current crop he must decide whether to keep or axe


Manchester United, clearly tired of their 'noisy neighbours' recent dominance over Premier League proceedings, appear to be operating it like a club with title aspirations in mind as they are touted with a number of different superstars daily.

Having already all but secured a deal for Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho to the tune of £73m, the Red Devils are now reportedly on the cusp of sealing the signature of Real Madrid stalwart Raphael Varane, the Frenchman keen on a new challenge.

England star Declan Rice has been persistently linked with a move to Old Trafford given his recent stellar displays and United's desperate need for a top quality defensive midfielder, but any move for the West Ham is significantly further away than the two previously mentioned.

While it is all well and good bolstering your squad with shiny new signings, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will know all too well he'll need to trim the size of his playing staff down to make room for all the pending arrivals.

With that being said, Mirror Sport analysed five of the current crop of United players who have either been demoted to fringe roles or are simply approaching the end of what was a successful stint at Old Trafford and whether Solskjaer should look to move them on.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has plenty of decisions to make when it comes to the future of some of his players
(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has plenty of decisions to make when it comes to the future of some of his players (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

David de Gea

With one Premier League, one FA Cup and one League Cup to his name, De Gea has been one of the longest-serving and most successful servants of a particularly unsuccessful post-Sir Alex Ferguson era of the club’s history.

And while not an outcast as such, the Spaniard's demise has been somewhat rapid, suddenly dropped to the status of 'cup keeper' at the latter half of last term in favour of Dean Henderson who took over Premier League responsibilities.

The Europa League final defeat against Villarreal saw De Gea come under fire for not only missing the crucial spot-kick, but for failing to save all eleven that he faced.

The result also led to attention surrounding an unwanted record of the shot-stopper's, revealing he had not saved a penalty in his last 40 attempts.

Though he is only 30, hardly the twilight of a top 'keeper's career, United could generate a healthy amount from shifting the Spain international safe in the knowledge they have two experienced goalkeepers in Dean Henderson and newly-signed Tom Heaton ready to step up in his absence.

A loan would do little for either the player or United, so if De Gea were to leave Old Trafford - it would likely be for good.

Phil Jones

Phil Jones has not featured for Man Utd since January 2020
Phil Jones has not featured for Man Utd since January 2020 

Once, now infamously, the recipient of ludicrously high praise from then-boss Sir Alex Ferguson who claimed Jones could go on to be United's best ever player, it is fair to say his time at the Red Devils has not gone quite to plan.

Having been at the club for more than a decade, it sounds remarkable but Jones has struggled to have any real impact on the side.

Out of action since January of last year, the defender's lasting legacy at Old Trafford thus far is pictures of his bizarre facial expressions mid-game.

Recently described as the "hardest worker" when it comes to the gym and fitness side of things by assistant boss Mike Phelan, Jones' work ethic clearly can't be called into question.

However, with the likelihood of him playing his way back into Solskjaer's plans after more than a year out and a number of defenders now ahead of him in the pecking order slim, Jones' career could be best served by calling time on his United career altogether.

After ten years at the club there is nothing new anyone in the Red Devils hierarchy could learn about Jones from a loan stint.

Brandon Williams

Brandon Williams could benefit from a loan stint elsewhere before returning to Old Trafford a more established player
Brandon Williams could benefit from a loan stint elsewhere before returning to Old Trafford a more established player 

Having forced his way into the United first team as a teenager, Williams was touted as a first-team mainstay for years to come.

However, given he sits behind Luke Shaw in the left-back pecking order, he found first-team appearances hard to come by as last-term drew to a close, such was the nature and quality of Shaw's showings.

His sporadic first-team role has been recognised by those at the top of the club, who are reportedly actively looking for a loan move that suits all parties.

Southampton seemed the most likely destination given Ryan Betrand's recent departure and a vacancy at left-back, but recent reports suggest a move to St Mary's now looks unlikely.

William's ability to operate as a full-back on both flanks will no doubt help his case when United come to decide his fate, but having racked up more than 50 first-team appearances as a 20-year-old shows he is already thought highly of at Old Trafford.

Selling Williams for good would be a mistake and something that is not being considered, while a loan would allow the 20-year-old a regular stream of Premier League minutes, ideally returning to Old Trafford more of a 'finished article'.

Diogo Dalot

Signed by fellow countrymen Jose Mourinho in 2018, Dalot's United career has struggled to get going, now more than three years in.

Having cost £19m, there were high hopes for the then-19 year old upon his arrival, but he is now expected to leave for good in favour of a move to A.C. Milan, where he spent the entirety of last season on loan.

Were he to stay at Old Trafford, there is every chance he could be viewed as a third-choice right back behind Aaron Wan-Bissaka and potentially Brandon Williams.

The recent reports linking Kieran Trippier with a move to United would represent what Solskjaer thinks of Dalot's first-team chances, a permanent sale is both expected and best for both parties if Dalot's career is to fulfil its early promise.

Jesse Lingard

Lingard quickly became a fan favourite at West Ham during his loan stint with the club
Lingard quickly became a fan favourite at West Ham during his loan stint with the club 

Lingard is no stranger to a loan move, his brief spell at West Ham over the course of the second half of last season going so well he very nearly played his way into Gareth Southgate's England side for Euro 2020.

The 28-year-old is currently the subject of interest from the Hammers, who wish to keep him in East London on a permanent basis this time around, after notching nine goals in 16 league games for David Moyes' side.

However, as things stand Lingard is back at his boyhood club and gearing up for the first pre-season fixture against Wayne Rooney's Derby County.

If reports are true, Lingard, though highly thought of by United, is by no means priceless and if West Ham stump up the required funds he is free to return.

At 28, a second loan spell is both not wanted and not necessary, United's vast array of attacking talent means even if Lingard were to continue the kind of form that saw him win the Premier League player of the month for April at West Ham, he'd struggle to hold down a regular spot in Solskjaer's starting eleven which boasts the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford etc.

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