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What happened to the players who left Manchester United in the summer

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A summer which saw Manchester United sign some game-changing players for the first-team was always going to lead to others being moved on for a myriad of reasons.

Some in search of first-team football, others a natural conclusion after years spent at the club unable to leave their mark at Old Trafford.

Three senior players left for pastures anew during the summer, as well as a host of under-23 stars. Here is what they are up to now.

Dan James

Daniel James featuring for Manchester United before making his move to Elland Road. (Image: Getty Images) Daniel James was sold to Leeds United on the final day of the 2021 summer transfer window.

Despite starting two of United’s three games up until that point, including the opening day victory over Leeds, James saw his position in the United pecking order drop down even further with the return of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Add Jadon Sancho’s arrival as well, game time would be limited for the Welsh winger.

After failing to join Marcelo Bielsa’s men in January 2019, Leeds got their man at the second time of asking for £25million.

He has since gone on to make three appearances for the club, the first as a substitute in a 3-0 loss against Liverpool.

That was followed by a start in the 1-1 draw against Newcastle a week later and then in the Carabao Cup this week against Fulham.

Sergio Romero

Sergio Romero during his time with Manchester United (Image: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) The long-term number two at United, Romero’s relationship with the club reached breaking point the end of the 2019/2020 season.

Primarily used as a cup goalkeeper in his four years at the club at the time, United reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and the Europa League against Chelsea, Manchester City and Sevilla respectively.

Starting nearly every game in those competitions up until that point, Solskjaer opted to select David de Gea in all three games.

United failed to reach any of those finals and the sudden relegation to the bench signalled the end of his time at the club.

Romero failed to play a single game last season and things turned ugly when his wife took to social media to beg the club to let him leave after rumours surfaced Everton had a loan-move rejected.

With his contract finished over the summer, Romero left the club quietly and is yet to find a new team.

Joel Pereira

Joel Pereira has left Manchester United (Image: 2020 Manchester United FC) Coming through the United academy, Joel Pereira made three appearances for the Red Devils across three different competitions.

The talented shot-stopper spent most of his United career out on loan to six different clubs and failed to establish himself as a starter.

Still only 25, a young age for goalkeepers yet to enter their prime, Pereira left United during the summer when his contract expired.

Now with Dutch club RKC Waalwijk, Pereira started the opening two games of the season, winning the first and drawing the second, before picking up a hernia injury and missed the last four – drawing two and losing two.

Charlie McCann

Charlie McCann playing for Manchester United U18s. One of the many stars of United’s youth academy, Charlie McCann joined the set-up at the age of 16 made the jump to the Under-23s last season.

A promising season in which he scored five goals from midfield saw Scottish giants Rangers come calling.

A transfer to their reserves took place for a small fee and he has since gone on to make two appearances for the side, laying on an assist against Dumbarton in the Scottish Challenge Cup.

Max Taylor Another academy graduate who left over the summer, Max Taylor’s story is unique.

Diagnosed with testicular cancer aged just 18 in 2018, Taylor spent a year away from football to undergo treatment.

Upon his return, he was loaned out to Stalybridge Celtic at the start of 2020 and then that October was loaned out to Kidderminster Harriers, signing a one year contract extension in between the two spells.

Once that loan ended, Taylor decided he needed first-team football and left the club once his contract expired.

“It was a decision that was made, more or less, in pre-season when we spoke,” he told Manchester United’s official website. “Even before that, when I signed my extension, I would sign it to go on loan and the club would help me get more experience.

“Then we both decided. I want to play more, from my side, that I want to play men’s football. If it’s not going to be here, that’s just the way it is sometimes.”

Arnau Puigmal

Arnau Puigmal scored twice for Manchester United U23s in the 4-2 victory against Tottenham. (Image: (Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)) Having never made a first-team appearance at the club, Arnau Puigmal decided his time at United was over during the summer.

A talented midfielder for the Under-23s last season, United beat Barcelona to his signature in 2017.

The 20-year-old was a part of the travelling squad for the 2019 Europa League tie against Astana but never made it off the bench.

With former United youth teammate, and friend, Largie Ramazani left for Almeria 12 months prior to Puigmal, many saw that as his next destination and after turning down a new deal from United, the Spaniard signed a five-year deal with the LaLiga 2 side.

Jacob Carney

Jacob Carney (Image: Getty) Another goalkeeper through the exit door over the summer, Jacob Carney is the youngest at just 20.

Boasting a number of highly-rated shot-stoppers among their ranks, Carney was the most experienced of the bunch after loan spells at non-league sides Stocksbridge and Brighouse Town.

However, his loan at Northern Irish side Portadown was the most successful of the trio.

Despite this, Carney left the club and was immediately snapped up by League One club Sunderland.

“Jacob has high potential and he also has a lot of physical development ahead of him.” Sunderland’s sporting director Kristjaan Speakman told their official website.

“He is a technically-gifted goalkeeper and we believe that with the right development programme across our football operation, including exposure to the first-team environment, he has the potential to have a really successful career at Sunderland AFC.”

Mark Helm

Mark Helm has joined Burnley. (Image: Jan Kruger/Getty Images) Like Dwight McNeil before him, Mark Helm made the switch from United to Burnley this summer after being released by United.

A regular in the middle of the park for Neil Wood’s Under-23 side last season, failure to agree a new deal saw Helm leave the club on a free transfer in search of first-team football.

Seeing the path McNeil took, Helm cited the winger as someone he was hoping to emulate.

“He’s a role model, if you like,” Helm told Burnley’s official website. “He shows that the pathway there is possible and hopefully I can do the same as him.

He added: “It was a great experience to be at United and I’m looking forward to a new challenge here. “Burnley is a Premier League club and hopefully I can make my mark here in the seasons to come.

“It’s a chance to show what you’re made of and I’m really looking forward to it. “I’ll be starting pre-season with the 23s and hopefully I can show everyone what I’m capable of.”

Aliou Traore

Aliou Traore left Manchester United back in June and has since joined Parma. (Image: John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images.) At the start of September, Aliou Traore was picked up by Italian side Parma after being released by United this summer.

Seen as a coup after his signing in 2018 from French giants Paris Saint-German, Traore never quite made the grade in United’s youth set-up.

Loaned out to French side Caen last season, it was a difficult spell for the midfielder who played 19 times but only for 633 minutes.

He will now look to get his career back on track in Serie B and at 20, has plenty of time to show the promise which had him dubbed the next Paul Pogba.

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