With Memphis Depay’s imminent move to Lyon, Manchester United fans will see themselves bidding farewell to another young talent who has failed to establish himself in the Old Trafford set-up.
The Dutchman impressed in the early stages of his spell in Manchester, before falling down the pecking order, but having cost £25m and only turning 23 next month, you might wonder whether the club should have had some patience.
After all, this is the side who let Paul Pogba leave for a minimal fee as a youngster and then spend a world-record amount just four-years later. Would a loan move have been better for Depay? Perhaps, but it’s pretty obvious the Red Devils don’t care much for youngsters this day.
Our punters are expecting an influx of angry comments in this article, pointing out young players that have made an impression, but hear us out, as our Landlord genuinely raises a good point. He suggests United are moving away from the Class of ’92 model and edging closer towards being the Premier League equivalent of the Galacticos.
Arguably the most crucial point to his case is the situation with Marcus Rashford, a player who set English football alight last season, though is now struggling to find his place within the squad. Sure, he has played, but only two of those games have seen him start in his natural central-striking position.
In fact, the 19-year-old has been touted as a potential target for La Liga side Sevilla, such is the nature of his stalling game time at Old Trafford.
Did Manchester United need Zlatan Ibrahimovic this summer? Not at all. Rashford could have been their man and there are other options there. Of course, the Swedish striker has been a huge success but it comes at a major cost to Rashford’s development.
With the latest reports stating United want to keep Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford for two more years, Rashford’s position looks very bleak, especially as the Red Devils continue to be linked with moves for the likes of Antoine Griezmann.
Second case: Luke Shaw. Signed for £27m in 2014, the full-back’s career at United is now under scrutiny as Jose Mourinho isn’t pleased with the progress of a player who is just 21 and spent almost the entirety of last season sidelined with an horrific leg-break.
Rumoured to be in the market for another full-back, Shaw could follow Depay out of Manchester United in the coming months and become the latest youngster to have potentially be sold too soon, as there is no doubt both players can improve dramatically in the future.
This isn’t just a Mourinho-era problem though. We all know the Portuguese doesn’t really get the best out of youngsters but, worryingly, United have done this previously with Danny Welbeck, who was sold to rivals Arsenal for just £16m.
That was only in 2014, the same summer that Saido Berahino attracted big interest from the Premier League’s big boys. Welbeck was a favourite of Sir Alex Ferguson but Louis van Gaal decided his time was up.
Why? Well, United had just signed Radamel Falcao on loan (we all know how that went) and had Robin Van Persie (who left a year later) and Wayne Rooney (a man who hasn’t played as a striker for a long time now).
If you look at this situation as a young player, would you move to Manchester United? A club that can seemingly offer the world but will throw you under the bus if you start to show a decline in your development, or one that will just sign a bigger name.
Previously a club for young talent, that Manchester United is now gone and the Mancunian Galatico era is beginning.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!