Written by Ian Hope @halftimepiesite
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is ready to axe up to five players this summer to continue the overhaul of the first team squad at Old Trafford.
It has been widely reported this week that Solskjaer is planning to move on Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira and Alexis Sanchez to allow some fresh faces to come in.
Smalling and Sanchez are already out on loan at Roma and Inter Milan respectively with Solskjaer hoping to finalise permanent sales of those two players.
Phil Jones has regularly struggled with injuries during his United career but has failed to take his opportunities when given a starting place for example putting in an awful performance in the 3-3 draw at Sheffield United being replaced at half time. There have been rumours Newcastle United have been interested in signing the defender.
Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira cannot complain that they have not been given enough opportunities under Solskjaer with both getting plenty of game time under the Norwegian yet neither have set the world on fire with their performances.
Lingard went a whole calendar year without a goal or assist in a red shirt and his managers patience appears to have worn thin. This was evidenced during the second leg of the Carabao Cup at Manchester City when the cameras caught a rare glimpse of the tougher side of Solskjaer when Lingard was berated by his manager for losing the ball. Lingard looks a player woefully out of form and low on confidence but United cannot carry any passengers if they want to return toward the top of English football.
Pereira is another who tries hard but rarely effects a game. Capable of scoring a worldie yet he struggles to consistently justify his selection in the side. When surrounded by Fernandes and Mata, both hugely skillful footballers, Pereira looks out of his depth in the side.
With Marcos Rojo out of loan and unlikely to return to Old Trafford it is clear who Ole Gunnar Solskjaer trusts and who he doesn’t in the United squad. If the manager can move these big earners on in the summer it will allow some fresh blood into the side maybe the likes of Jack Grealish, James Maddison or Jadon Sancho who have all been linked with a move to United.
Moving out the older guard also shows a determination from Solskjaer to overhaul his squad and return United to the force it once was.
Images sourced from Football London & Getty Images.