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Manchester United have been lurching from one crisis to the next this season and their nightmare campaign hit new depths on Sunday when they were outclassed by rivals City in a 4-1 hammering on derby day.

With critics taking aim with scathing assessments of their performance, dressing room leaks causing serious unrest, uncertainty over the manager’s position and an increasingly irate fanbase losing patience, the summer can’t come quick enough for English football’s biggest crisis club.

The next transfer window is already shaping up to be Man Utd’s busiest and most important period post-Ferguson, with a major squad overhaul now certain to be initiated and overseen by whoever is handed the reins.

Below, we offer our assessment of United’s current squad and which players they should sell and keep ahead of the new 2022/23 season.

Man Utd squad appraisal: Who should they sell and keep this summer?

Goalkeepers

David de Gea – Spanish stopper De Gea has been United’s most consistent performer this season and one of the few players whose future is guaranteed. The 31-year-old is likely to sign a contract extension soon, though longer-term, United might want a keeper with a more rounded modern skillset.

Verdict: Keep

Dean Henderson – 24-year-old Henderson’s value will have tumbled following a campaign warming the bench and the academy graduate will push to leave the club this summer in an attempt to rebuild his career.

Verdict: Sell

Tom Heaton – Signed as a third-choice option, academy graduate Tom Heaton seems happy to finish his career providing cover for the club he holds a real affinity for.

Verdict: Keep

Lee Grant – Veteran Grant is well down the pecking order at United and it’s difficult to understand why he is being kept on with three senior keepers ahead of him. His wages could be better spent elsewhere.

Verdict: Sell (out of contract)

Man Utd squad appraisal: Who should they sell and keep this summer?

Defenders

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – Like many of his teammates, Wan-Bissaka is enduring a dreadful campaign, though he has shown during his time with United that he can be one of the Premier League’s best defensive fullbacks. However, if players like Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James and Kyle Walker are the standard, Wan-Bissaka undeniably falls short, though with more pressing concerns to address, he is unlikely to be dumped.

Verdict: Keep

Diogo Dalot – championed as a more attack-minded option than right-back rival Wan-Bissaka, Dalot has enjoyed his best season for United in 2021/22, though his wayward crossing and inaccurate shooting from distance doesn’t quite match up to his reputation. United’s failed pursuit of Kieran Tripper last year was telling.

Verdict: Sell

Victor Lindelof – Assured on the ball but dominated physically all too regularly, the Swedish international is at best a steady performer, but he would never feature regularly for a team with genuine title aspirations. Likely to avoid the chop this summer, but should be another casualty long term.

Verdict: Keep

Eric Bailly – Far too erratic and accident-prone – as well as injury-stricken – Bailly has featured in just 30 Premier League games in the last three and a half seasons. One of the few unwanted players United could generate a fee for.

Verdict: Sell

Phil Jones – After an injury-blighted career, Jones can count his lucky stars that he still pulls in a wage at Old Trafford. The 30-year-old has long been surplus to requirements and this season should be his last with United.

Verdict: Sell

Harry Maguire – United’s captain has had a miserable season. Maguire excels in a back three and in a deep-lying four, though he struggles to perform in a higher line. He won’t be sold this summer, though he might find he becomes a peripheral figure under the club’s new boss.

Verdict: Keep

Raphael Varane – the French World Cup winner just can’t stay fit, but looks a classy operator when available. Varane is likely to be a key component in the club’s new era – if he can avoid injuries of course.

Verdict: Keep

Alex Telles – One-paced and suspect defensively, Telles has found the going tough in the Premier League since his move from Porto. The Brazilian will never be a first-choice option at United and his merits as a back-up are also questionable.

Verdict: Sell

Luke Shaw – Shaw was superb in 2020/21, though his regression this season has been alarming. On his day, the England international is still one of United’s best players, however, and he will be retained.

Verdict: Keep

Man Utd squad appraisal: Who should they sell and keep this summer?

Midfielders

Paul Pogba – Still frustratingly inconsistent at 28, Paul Pogba is one of football’s most baffling enigmas. After six years at United, his best position is still unclear and it will probably suit all parties when he leaves on a free this summer.

Verdict: Sell (out of contract)

Fred – Though he is regularly lampooned online, Fred has his uses, however, he should never be a starting midfielder for Manchester United.  In certain scenarios, the Brazilian can excel and he will be kept around this summer as a squad filler.

Verdict: Keep

Nemanja Matic – Serbian anchorman Matic still has a touch of class about him, though he lacks the engine to be a real force as he approaches his mid-30s. Matic is likely to be on big wages at United and the club will probably try to move him on.

Verdict: Sell

Scott McTominay – One of the few members of the United squad to show an appetite for the fight, McTominay is a valuable physical presence and could be a real asset as a foil for more technical midfielders.

Verdict: Keep

Bruno Fernandes – Portuguese schemer Bruno still posts excellent numbers even if his overall performances have waned. We’ve already seen how good he can be in a more confident team and the creative midfielder should bounce back under the new manager.

Verdict: Keep

Juan Mata – Another hanger-on who has already been retained for no apparent reason. Mata hasn’t started a single Premier League game this season and the 33-year-old needs to remember he’s a footballer.

Verdict: Sell (out of contract)

Jesse Lingard – United should have cashed in when Lingard’s stock was at its highest last summer, instead, they have kept an unhappy player on the books, further poisoning an already fractured dressing room. Lingard is set to walk away for nothing in June.

Verdict: Sell (out of contract)

Donny van de Beek – The Dutch midfielder seemed to get better the less he played when at United, though he hasn’t pulled up any trees since his loan move to Everton. Looks short of the physical attributes to be a force in the Premier League and United are rumoured to be seeking out permanent buyers.

Verdict: Sell

Man Utd squad appraisal: Who should they sell and keep this summer?

Attackers

Cristiano Ronaldo – On astronomical wages and looking a shadow of his former self, Ronaldo has caused far more problems than he has solved since his return to United and –  if they can – they should attempt to cut ties with the veteran. Ronaldo could push to leave if United miss out on Champions League qualification, which could be a hefty blessing in disguise.

Verdict: Sell

Marcus Rashford – With his confidence and performance levels at an all-time low, Rashford has reached a crossroads at United and he is rumoured to be considering his future. The next manager through the door at Old Trafford won’t want to lose the 24-year-old however, so expect him to pen a new deal.

Verdict: Keep

Mason Greenwood – The less said about this one the better. Greenwood’s career with United is finished.

Verdict: Sell

Edinson Cavani – Cavani has earned cult status among United supporters, though the Uruguayan hasn’t shown much commitment to the cause this season. The 35-year-old has been sidelined for much of the campaign, though he always seems in tip-top shape when the international breaks roll around. Cavani has already decided to leave this summer and he seems to have one (or both) eyes on his impending exit.

Verdict: Sell (out of contract)

Jadon Sancho – Last year’s big summer signing has started to produce the goods at United following an underwhelming start. Sancho has all the tools to be a world-class performer and he should be a United regular for the next decade.

Verdict: Keep

Anthony Elanga – One of the few bright sparks from a doom-clad campaign, Anthony Elanga is the latest hotshot to come off the conveyer belt at United. Blessed with searing pace and a real eye for goal, expect Elanga to establish himself as a first-team regular soon.

Verdict: Keep

Anthony Martial – The French forward’s loan move to Sevilla was the first step towards a permanent exit from Old Trafford, so expect United to push hard to get the 26-year-old off their payroll before August. Martial hasn’t reached the heights expected of him and a fresh start elsewhere could be just the tonic for all parties.

Verdict: Sell

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