Manchester United Offseason Keep or Cut: Attacking Players


With an unheard of since the 1980s half-decade trophy drought, and almost certain to miss out on Champions League next season, Manchester United is a total mess right now. New incoming manager Erik ten Hag has his work cut out for him, to say the least.

The roster needs a total overhaul, and the 52-year-old Dutchman needs to be given autonomy to carry it all out. The tear down needs to come first, before you can rebuild, and thus we take a look at who should stay or go this summer, and whether they will stay or go, starting with the forward position group.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Congratulations to everyone who said he wouldn’t gel in Interim manager Ralf Rangnick’s high-pressing style. You were indeed correct. While Ronaldo’s form has suffered under the German, he’s not washed yet, and he’s still United’s top scorer.

He should stay, but only if Ten Hag can build a team around him that complements him. It’s a tricky proposition when you consider he’s 37.

Ideally This Would Happen: he’d find form again, be content with his teammates/the situation and look like a Ballon d’Or winner again.

Most Likely This Will Happen: he’ll be back, but he won’t be the CR7 that produced at a level during his prime.

Marcus Rashford

It’s time to look at this situation for what it really is- potentially not the best fit. Yes, he’s a local product and a great human being, but he may be best served by moving on. While Rashford is indeed talented, maybe his scoring droughts are just who he truly is as a player, from a productivity standpoint.

Ideally This Would Happen: he’d move on, succeed at his new destination and United would get a handsome transfer fee for him, because the Englishman still has a lot of value.

Most Likely This Will Happen: he’ll stay, possibly extend, and whether or not he thrives depends on how well he works with Ten Hag.

Mason Greenwood

Honestly, this young man might have been the future of United’s attack, but as it stands today, he may never play football again, anywhere. You heard those tapes, they are haunting and disturbing to say the least. This situation is so much bigger than football, and we have to let the criminal case run its course.

Ideally This Would Happen:

the man on those tapes wasn’t him, he didn’t do the things he’s alleged to have done and he goes back to developing nicely on the pitch.

Most Likely This Will Happen:

the paragraph above is a complete fantasyland, on all levels. He’ll remain suspended, until the legal process runs its course. Not until after that, can we really make any kind of prediction.

Jadon Sancho

After a very slow start, he’s settled in nicely and honestly, he’s the most important player to keep right now. He’ll be the future of the attacking third after Ronaldo, not Greenwood.

Ideally This Would Happen:

He’ll continue the strong learning curve and live up to his price tag, hype.

Most Likely This Will Happen:

We’re hopeful he will do just that.

Anthony Elanga

Promising 19-year-old who seems to be finding a role

Ideally This Would Happen:

He’ll continue carving out his niche and develop further.

Most Likely This Will Happen:

We’ll see how he works under Ten Hag.

Anthony Martial

He’ll return from loan to play under his fourth manager at United. His Old Trafford career has been a roller coaster to say the least.

Ideally This Would Happen:

He’ll reach his potential as the next Thierry Henry.

Most Likely This Will Happen:

We’ll see how he works under Ten Hag.

Edinson Cavani

El Matador rocks, but he’s had a nightmarishly injury-riddled campaign. His time here is done.

Ideally This Would Happen:

He’ll find new life elsewhere and thrive.

Most Likely This Will Happen:

He seems washed at this point, but who knows, perhaps he has a season or two of MLS left in him?

Amad Diallo

Has a lot of potential, but needs more loan time, and seasoning.

Ideally This Would Happen:

He continues to progress while out on loan, and becomes one of their wings of the future.

Most Likely This Will Happen:

Hard to say.

sir alex old trafford man united

Manchester United Summer Transfer Window Keep or Cut Series

Midfielders    Attack    Defenders   Goalkeepers

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and co-hosts the After Extra Time podcastFollow him on Twitter and Instagram

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