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Monday, June 24, 2024

£670k-p/w Man Utd trio could follow Marcus Rashford through the exit door

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The 2023/24 season has been an incredibly tough one for Manchester United. They have had a torrid time in the Premier League so far, currently sitting in sixth in the table on 54 points and now mathematically unable to reach the Champions League next season. Not only has it been a tough time for Erik ten Hag, but there have been plenty of individuals who have struggled within the team. One of those players is Marcus Rashford, who has not found 2023/24 easy. The England international has scored just eight goals and has five assists in all competitions for United, a far cry from his stellar 2022/23 campaign, where he scored 30 goals and registered ten assists. Despite Rashford’s poor form, his record for United speaks for itself. In 399 games for his boyhood club, he has 131 goals and 64 assists. Remarkably, he is 12th on the all-time top goalscorers list, just two behind the legendary Dennis Viollet, who has 133 goals. With the 26-year-old winger’s form patchy this season, there is talk of United looking to cash in on him. Indeed, a report from The Telegraph’s James Ducker this week explained that INEOS are open to “offers for almost every player”, including Rashford. He signed a new contract with the club last summer, which could mean a transfer away from United is unlikely. Should a deal for Rashford to leave Old Trafford go through, it would see United save lots of money on his £300k-per-week-wages, as per Capology. According to a report from The Atheltic’s David Ornstein, the Red Devils want to “keep Marcus Rashford and help bring 26-year-old back to top form”, suggesting a potential transfer this summer is unlikely. Instead, there are several other players United could well part ways, considering Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS are willing to listen to offers for many players in the United squad. 3 Antony The first of those players INEOS could sell next summer is Brazil international Antony. According to The Mirror, United are ready to “cut their losses on Antony this summer”. It has certainly not been a successful transfer so far, given the Brazilian cost United £85.4m from Ajax, a record fee received by an Eredivisie club. In 80 games for the Red Devils, Antony has returned just 11 goals and five assists, and has scored one and assisted one all season in the Premier League in 2023/24. One of the player’s biggest issues is the fact that he is a very predictable winger. The 24-year-old is not particularly confident taking the ball on his right foot, meaning his sole move it to cut inside on his left and shoot, looking to bend it into the top left corner. Whilst this has worked at times for him, it is not very effective because it is easy for defenders to predict. Creatively, Antony has been massively lacking this season. According to Fbref, he averages just 1.52 key passes per 90 minutes in the Premier League, which ranks him in the worst 56% of wingers. Not only that, his 0.14 expected assists per 90 minutes rank him in the worst 60%. However, where Antony does excel is out of possession. He makes 6.44 ball recoveries per 90 minutes, and 3.62 tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes, which both rank him in the top 4%. He works hard off the ball and tracks back well to support his fullback. With all of these things considered, it does seem like moving the £200k-per-week attacker on could be a smart move for United, because they can reinvest that money and improve their right flank. With that being said, it would be tough to recoup much of the £85.4m fee they spent on him. 2 Victor Lindelof The second player United could move on this summer is Victor Lindelof. The Sweden captain has been at the club for seven years, but could well be in line to leave Old Trafford. The Red Devils bought Lindelof from Benfica for £31m back in 2017, and he has since gone on to make 258 appearances for the club, getting on the scoresheet four times and assisting seven in that time. However, he has won just one trophy with United in that time, the Carabao Cup in 2022/23. One of Lindelof’s biggest deficiencies when United are in possession is his progressive passing. He does not possess the ability to consistently play killer long balls like Harry Maguire does, completing just 4.74 per 90 minutes as per Fbref, placing him in the worst 83% of defenders. Nor does the Swede have the ability to play line-breaking passes in the same vein as Lisandro Martinez, thus struggling with ball progression when playing out from the back. He averages just 2.71 progressive passes per 90 minutes, which ranks him in the worst 67%. Not only that, the £120k-per-week centre-back struggles in the air, with his 41.7% aerial duel win rate ranking him as low as the bottom 93% of defenders. In fact, he wins just 1.15 aerial duels per 90 minutes, ranking him in among the worst 84%. United’s number two could well depart from Old Trafford this summer, with Sevilla one side rumoured to be interested in taking him off United’s hands, in a “low-cost” transfer. 1 Casemiro It has been an incredibly frustrating season for Manchester United midfielder Casemiro, who could leave Old Trafford this summer after just two seasons at the club. The midfielder was described as “awful” by Mark Goldbridge last month, in what has been a torrid few months. The Red Devils brought Casemiro to the club in the summer of 2022, from Real Madrid for a fee of £70m. Whilst he enjoyed a successful first season in England, his natural decline with age has sped up this season, and he is clearly no longer the player he once was. He has made 79 appearances for United, scoring 12 times and assisting nine. On the ball, Casemiro can be incredibly frustrating. According to Fbref, the 32-year-old has a pass accuracy of 81.4% in the Premier League, which ranks him with the worst 54% of midfielders. Considering his role in midfield, his progressive passing numbers could be higher. The Brazilian averages 5.44 progressive passes per 90 minutes, and whilst not the worst, places him in the top 27%. Off the ball, Casemiro’s stats reflect better. He wins 2.28 tackles per 90 minutes, placing him in the top 6% of midfielders, and makes 3.61 blocks per 90 minutes, ranking him in the top 1%. However, he struggles to track runners from midfield, and can’t keep up with opponents when tracking back. Overall, selling Casemiro could represent good business for United. They could get his astronomical £350k-per-week wage off the club’s books, and look to make back some of the £70m they spent on him last summer. Indeed, there are certainly lots of interesting developments set to occur on the transfer front at Old Trafford. It is a big transfer window ahead for INEOS and Ratcliffe, who could purge the squad and help the club start afresh for next season. Related INEOS have 3 perfect transfer targets to replace Rashford at Man Utd Man United could replace Marcus Rashford with one of three transfer targets.

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