Review: Manchester United Departures This Transfer Window

If the transfers into Manchester United during the summer window have been regarded as a success, then the transfers out must be viewed as a victory too. The amount of transfer activity has been so high, it seems an eternity ago that the ageing Rio Ferdinand, the pace-lacking Patrice Evra and the Milan-bound Nemanja Vidic left the club in May along with United legend Ryan Giggs. These guys were the first in a bunch of players to leave the club this summer, be it on loan or via a permanent deal. Many of the players that United fans wanted to leave, have left. I have decided to focus on a selection of players who have been shown the door this summer, with Louis Van Gaal making it clear to many that they were not part of his plans or would not fit his system or philosophy. So, let’s get to it…


Tom Cleverley: – Where better to start than one of the main scapegoats during the David Moyes era? In all honesty, I like Tom Cleverley. There was even a time that I believed he could make it as a United player. I don’t quite know what went wrong, but something did and he just isn’t up the high standards that you need to be at in order to play for a club like Manchester United. A lack of confidence, lack of a decent shot, lack of an ability to play a forward pass, I could go on. Sorry Clevz, but it’s the right time to part ways.


Shinji Kagawa: – Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I’ve never been Kagawa’s biggest fan. I’ve never seen him as the type of guy that fits our style of play, and still can’t understand why Sir Alex Ferguson bought him. I think the most disappointing thing for me was that when we did play Kagawa, he was always forced to play out of position on the left. As it’s been pointed out to me before, Kagawa joined us after being included in a list of the top 32 players in Europe. It’s a shame we never got to see his full potential like we did in the Bundesliga, but at least he’s back where he’s loved now.


Federico Macheda: – Remember him? Everybody got caught up with those 2 infamous goals against Aston Villa and Sunderland. That was pretty much all he did. Solskjaer must have liked him his time in the United reserves though, he’s now at Cardiff.


Alex Buttner: – Buttner knew his number was up once LVG was announced as manager. Van Gaal had rejected Buttner for the national side and Buttner didn’t particularly want to be sat around on the bench under the same man. He left for Russia and don’t think he will be missed too much.


Nani: – NANNEH? Thank goodness for that. His decline has been sensational. Since his nomination for the 2011 Ballon d’Or award, the ‘glimpses’ of quality from Nani have been incredibly limited. And by limited, I mean virtually non-existent. One could claim that the entire United midfield hasn’t lived up to standards in recent years, but Nani has definitely been one of the worst performers. United fans were happy to see him go, but not so ecstatic to hear that United are apparently still paying his wages whilst he’s on loan. Expecting to see him go permanently next summer.


Wilfried Zaha: – Has he been given a fair chance? I don’t think so. The problem Zaha faces is the quality that United now obtain in the final third. There has been a sense of inevitability that he would leave this summer after he faced a huge struggle in his first year here, despite the introduction of a new manager. Zaha has proven himself for Palace in the past but in the Premier League, it’s an entirely different scenario. We will see how he does this season and I’m sure LVG will keep a close eye.


Javier Hernandez: – A fan favourite over the years. Hernandez’s movement in the box and ability to finish have been his trademark qualities during his time at United. Unfortunately, during the last 18 months there has been evidence to suggest that Javier has lost his touch in the box. The goals have dried up, he seems to be straying more and more offside ever game, and his link up play has been hindered due to the lack of pace in attack. Loved the ‘Little Pea’ at United but with the arrival of Falcao, he would only have been 4th choice, a good decision to let him go.


Danny Welbeck: – Possibly the most regretful decision, not necessarily because Welbeck is leaving (as I’m sure he would struggle to get a game) but the fact that we are selling him to a main rival. Welbeck could go on to thrive at Arsenal, and possibly earning them the points to overhaul United in the league table this season. If Welbeck inadvertently costs United a berth in the top 4, I’m sure fans won’t be too happy about the move looking back. Also, it’s sad to see the local Manchester lad leave, particularly as his link up play with Wayne Rooney always looked menacing when they were both upfront.


More players were linked with deals out of the club but nothing could be finalised. I fully expect to see Cleverley leave permanently in January along with either Ashley Young or Anderson. One thing is for sure, this new-look Manchester United team needs to gel quickly, perform well and win matches as I’m sure the Glazers won’t be too keen to fork out too much money for mediocre performances and results.

About Alex 8 Articles
Alex is a lifelong United fan who has enjoyed regularly attending games since a very young age. He has recently graduated from Aberystwyth University with a BA Hons History degree and is looking to enhance his portfolio in sports writing with Red Mancunian. A passionate United fan with a realistic and honest view to all MUFC business.


  1. An excellent review. By that I mean I agree with all your comments. Of all the departures I think only Welbeck and Kagawa might go on to better careers. Those loaned out to other Premier League clubs, Cleverley to Villa, Zaha to Palace and Powell to Leicester, have the chance to establish themselves elsewhere and are unlikely to return.

    I look forward to another clear out in January and August when we see the likes of Anderson, Valencia, Young, Carrick and Fellaini pack their bags. That will then leave opportunity for the next generation of kids to have a crack at the first team.

    Regeneration and Renewal.

    • Many thanks for your kind words. I agree with your comments on Welbeck and Kagawa too. Shinji is already proven in Dortmund and will flourish there again, whilst Welbeck could establish himself as Arsenal’s main striker with Giroud out injured. Looking forward to the rest of the season now.

  2. Nice review, although I feel you were a bit harsh on Kagawa. Remember Sir Alex bought him even before a whisper of van Persie was around. I believe he would have played in the role that Mata is playing now. I am sad to see him go as well as Welbeck. I believe Welbeck should have been on loan but I think when the news of Falcao signing popped up, he took it personally and then opted to transfer. Pity there isn’t space on your review for Young, Smalling, Fletcher and Evans. Fingers crossed we can offload them in January

    • Thanks for your comments Apostolos. I can see how my opinions on Shinji look a tad unfair but I just feel he never really fit in at United. With regards to Smalling and Evans, I doubt we can let them leave as that would leave us disastrously short of defenders. I definitely agree that Ashley Young needs to go though!

  3. I am utterly convinced that the reason we got Kagawa was because Fergie had gotton sick of Rooney. Don’t forget that SAF only retired because of his wifes sister passing away. He was gonna chuck Rooney out and Kagawa was gonnna play as a number 10. As for the rest of the article… pretty much spot on. Its a shame about Cleverly. He looked like a good player until his injury at Bolton

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