Get rid: Ten Hag must bin MUFC’s “under threat” £600k-p/w disaster duo this summer

Posted by

One of the players who leaves at the end of the season can be the attacking tandem.

The peaks and valleys of Manchester United’s season reached a new low on Thursday, as the Red Devils were eliminated from the Europa League after a humiliating 3-0 loss to Sevilla of La Liga.

United’s encounter with the Andalusian team proved to be a step too far after they had already defeated Real Betis and Barcelona in the previous two elimination rounds; instead, they surrendered to a team that is currently sitting in 13th place in the Spanish top division.

That poor showing, among others this season against teams like Manchester City, Liverpool, and Brentford, has only served to highlight how far Erik ten Hag still needs to go to truly transform the team into one that is competitive both in Europe and the Premier League.

According to journalist Laurie Whitwell, that shocking loss to the six-time champions of the competition has also raised “long-term questions” about a few of the players who started in Seville. The attacking duo of Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial is among those with an uncertain future at Old Trafford going into the summer window.

Following that continental defeat, Jamie Jackson of The Guardian also revealed that the £600k-per-week duo’s jobs at the club are “under threat,” with the renowned journalist speculating in the attached article that the two players could be a part of a large-scale squad exodus before next season.

Sancho and Martial may not be the only individuals who could be fired, but their departures could symbolise the ruthlessness that has so frequently been lacking at the Theatre of Dreams in recent years, with the team frequently keeping players for too long—Phil Jones being a prime example.

The underperforming forwards should presumably be among the first to be made to walk the plank if Ten Hag wants to take the Carabao Cup winners to greater heights next season.

This summer, will Martial be sold?

In the case of Martial, the divisive Frenchman seems to have outstayed his welcome in Manchester. It has been almost eight years since Louis van Gaal signed the former Monaco player to a £36 million transfer back in 2015.

Undoubtedly, the young player’s career in English football got off to a great start as he scored 18 goals in all competitions during his rookie season, including a memorable solo goal against Liverpool on his debut.

Although a lot of time has passed since that stunning entrance at Old Trafford, it is difficult to say whether the striker’s time at the club has ever gotten any better than that goalscoring bow. Martin Tyler’s commentary during that goal will live long in the memory of United supporters.

Even though the 30-cap mystery had a stellar 2019–20 season in which he scored 23 goals on all fronts, that has been more of an outlier than the usual, as the £250k-per-week player has notably scored just nine Premier League goals since the start of the 2020–21 campaign.

It’s odd that a team of United’s stature still relies on such an erratic goalscorer as their starting number nine, and it’s understandable why Ten Hag is rumoured to be open to offloading the quick-footed failure this summer.

Despite the fact that the Dutchman has acknowledged that his team plays their “best football” when Martial is in the starting lineup, the injury-prone player has only made 20 appearances this season due to a stop-start campaign.

Although regrettable, the sight of the 5 foot 11 hotshot staggering off once more in Seville would have had the away fans ripping out their hair. The marksman had only recently made his return from a protracted injury layoff.

When things get difficult, it appears that Martial “doesn’t quite have the heart for it,” as club veteran Paul Scholes said, and Ten Hag should do what prior managers were unable to do and fire the long-tenured failure.

Sancho will be at Manchester United next year.

As for Sancho, a fellow forward, the 23-year-old Englishman left the pitch even sooner in midweek after being substituted in for the returning Marcus Rashford at halftime.

Another lifeless performance from the Borussia Dortmund player in the red jersey was marked by his abrupt exit, and Jamie Braidwood of the Independent said the £73 million player didn’t appear to be “nearly sharp enough.”

Given that he has only scored ten goals and contributed only five assists in 69 appearances on all fronts, the £350,000-per-week player has really delivered the nondescript performance that United has come to expect from him.

Sancho had a successful previous stay in Germany, contributing 114 goals in just 137 games for the Bundesliga team. At the time of his signing, former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised Sancho as an asset who “will form an integral part of my squad for years to come.”

Both Solskjaer and Sancho might not be at the club before the start of the upcoming season because the Norwegian’s prediction has utterly failed to materialise, and recent reports claim that Ten Hag is becoming ‘increasingly irritated’ with the winger’s lack of influence.

The 23-cap failure has hardly made any headway since his return, having totaled just five goals and two assists so far this season. Despite being given time away from the first team earlier this season to prepare himself physically and mentally for the second half of the campaign.

While the London-born trickster has had less time than Martial to establish himself in a Manchester United uniform, it is difficult to see where he fits in the long-term strategy. Ten Hag is rumoured to prefer Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho on the left flank, while £86 million signing Antony appears to be the top choice on the other wing.

The fact that the player from Sevilla appears to have “done more in six months than Sancho has in two years” is yet another example of how unreliable the former Manchester City youth product is, as analyst Jamie Carragher harshly observed following the defeat by Sevilla.

The once-promising prospect still has plenty of time to turn things around, but it doesn’t seem like the Red Devils have the patience to wait for the former Dortmund sensation to regain his best form.

Holding out hope for a player based on their prior performance in the game is foolish, as the Old Trafford team discovered in the case of Martial.

The truth is that United has to avoid making the same error with the unimpressive Sancho since continuing to believe in the Frenchman has turned into somewhat of a disaster.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *