According to reports from The Independent, Jose Mourinho is prepared to let a quarter of Manchester United players, including Memphis Depay, leave in the January transfer window.
Memphis is not the only player who could be cut from the Manchester United squad, as The Independent also claims that the ‘Special One’ is considering selling Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin, and Matteo Darmian.
Memphis the favourite to depart
While there is, of course, a true possibility that all four of these players could have departed the club, by the time January 31st rolls around, especially with Mourinho being a fan of managing a smaller squad, Memphis has to be the favourite of the four to depart.
Memphis, who joined Manchester United from Dutch club PSV Eindhoven, came to England with a reputation of being an exciting and deadly player in front of goal, but he has yet to make any sort of impact for United and is now a reserve at best under the current regime.
There have already been reports out of Italy that AS Roma are seriously considering bringing the 22-year-old Dutch winger to Italy on a six-month-long loan deal, with a chance to purchase him for an agreed amount if he impresses during this stint.
German legend Bastian Schweinsteiger could potentially be negotiating a move to Major League Soccer off his own back, if The Independent report is anything to go by. Schneiderlin, who was an expensive signing from Southampton, has never really been given a consistent chance at United under either Louis van Gaal or now Jose Mourinho, is free to leave in the January transfer window, according to The Sun. Finally, Matteo Darmian, who started off so well at Old Trafford, is also expected to make a return to his native country of Italy, although the destination is so far unknown.
Do any of these players deserve any chance at United?
Writing a player off, especially players with so much international experience between them, is always a big decision regardless of current form.
There is always the chance you could sell them and they suddenly regain their lost confidence and become world beaters, but with that just being a risk you have to take as a football manager, do any of these players deserve another last chance before January?
While it is very sad to see someone with the illustrious career of Bastian Schweinsteiger fizzle out in such ignominious manner, it is obvious to everyone who watches football that the German World Cup winner is a shadow of his former self. Forcing him to train with the under-23s and not being given any contact with the first team is perhaps a slap in the face too far by Jose, but allowing him to leave is certainly a decision most people could get behind.
Schneiderlin is the complete opposite to Schweinsteiger. Another midfielder who may find himself leaving soon, but he should be given another go surely? The current Manchester United central midfield seems lost as to what to do, so why not replace Fellaini, who, at times, is beyond a burden to the side, and allow an equally physical Schneiderlin to compete for his future.
Fellaini gets into the side on the basis that he is physical, yet Schneiderlin is just as physical, just smaller in size, but he is also far more technical. Fellaini has misplaced passes to players yards away from him at times. Why the French international is not being allowed one more stab at making a career at United is truly is a mystery.
Months ago the thought of Antonio Valencia as the club's starting right-back would be enough to make fans across the world wake up in the middle night with cold sweats. But he has proven himself to be a solid addition to the back four, so allowing Darmian to leave would not be a big loss for the club. The Italian was great early on, but the injury he picked up quickly after arriving knocked his confidence.
Articles upon articles are written upon the subject of Memphis Depay.
Joining from Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, Memphis arrived an Eredisivie champion and the best player in the league during the previous season, but now seems set to leave.
The famous saying that football is played on grass not paper, could not be truer with Memphis. On paper, he has it all. He has pace in abundance, he is as strong as an ox, he has proven with PSV he has the crossing and finishing ability to put the opposition to the sword single handily and he is also a stunning set-piece taker.
On the pitch, however, he has shown nothing but laziness, the ability to lose the ball in a number of different ways and the personal favourite of many, the ability to blaze the ball a good 15-20 feet over the bar on a regular occurrence.
Memphis could join Roma and become a world beater, but that’s the beauty of a loan deal, United would get to keep him if he does. If he does not regain his form shown at PSV, but he does enough to impress the businesses men at Roma then United can sell him on and cut our losses. He deserves another chance in football, just not perhaps, with Manchester United.