Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under increasing pressure at Manchester United and although his focus will likely be on turning his side’s fortunes around this season, he might have to fill some empty slots in his squad sooner rather than later.
Manchester United have won just one of their last six Premier League games, accumulating just 17 points from their opening 11 games of the season – the club’s worst start under the Norwegian since he took permanent charge in 2019.
One positive under Solskjaer has been squad planning and he immediately started to get rid of Jose Mourinho’s favourites when he took over but some of the fringe players currently at his disposal as now set to seek permanent exits.
That’s according to the Daily Mail, who claim that Dean Henderson, Donny van de Beek, and Phil Jones are all looking to leave the club.
Henderson ended last season as United’s first-choice goalkeeper but had his pre-season preparations disrupted after contracting COVID-19. He has been limited to just one appearance this season, the Carabao Cup loss to West Ham in September.
As per the report, Henderson will look to leave United at the end of the season if he cannot reclaim the number one spot from David de Gea, who is staking his claim for Player of the Year this campaign.
Henderson is said to prefer a prolonged Old Trafford career but is fearing his career could stagnate if he continues to be overlooked by Solskjaer. The 24-year-old would also be open to a January exit, with Newcastle said to be interested, but United are unlikely to sanction a mid-season exit.
Furthermore, the report adds that outcast midfielder Van de Beek will seek an exit after failing to start a single Premier League game this season, with Jones’ also looking to leave.
SN’s verdict on the wantaway trio…
After ending the 2020/21 season in such convincing fashion, and De Gea’s form crumbling in the Europa League final, few could have predicted that Henderson would be on the fringes this season.
His own troubles off the pitch paired with De Gea’s sparkling form has left him with little choice and an exit would probably be the best move for his career. There is, however, an argument to say that he could reclaim the number one spot if he’s patient.
At the end of the season, De Gea will have just one year remaining on his contract and the Spaniard is highly unlikely to sign a new deal. Prior to Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival earlier this year, he was the club’s best paid player.
Van de Beek’s desire to leave and show what he can do won’t come as a surprise to anyone. His status in the United squad has puzzled a large section of the club’s support and in truth, he deserves to flourish at the highest level.
Jones hasn’t featured for United since early 2020 and his gruesome injuries have halted his development since he joined the club in 2011. There were high hopes placed on the former Blackburn defender but unfortunately, the last decade hasn’t gone to plan.