One of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ed Woodward’s prime criticisms with regards to their handling of the transfer activity at Manchester United is that they failed to engineer the sort of radical overhaul that ought to have changed the very look of the Mancunian side.
It is evident that the conservative buying, selling, and releasing of the past window wasn’t the apt route to go.
However, now their lack of options may result in these very names being singled out for the challenges up ahead.
Solskjaer said the following of United’s veterans ahead of Saturday’s clash against Leicester City: “Well, you’ve got players who can come in with loads of experience, Juan (Mata), Nemanja (Matic) and Ash (Young) who didn’t start the first game and have got to step up and the average age might go up.”
This has been specifically necessitated due to the string of injuries that have plagued them before and during the international break. Crucial first-team players Paul Pogba, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Anthony Martial all have issues ahead of the clash and it may be quite a few more days before they are back to normal fitness.
However, the three names that Solskjaer singled out incidentally all fit the umbrella term of ‘deadwood’ at the club, in one way or another.
David Moyes-era signing Juan Mata is perhaps the most loved of the three but was still thought to be renewed for far too long.
Similarly, Ashley Young, a staunch veteran of the SAF-reign of success is clearly aging and although he is well and truly capable of sporadic bursts of brilliance, the Englishman is not always a reliable option.
Lastly, Nemanja Matic, who is the residual poster-boy of Jose Mourinho’s time at Old Trafford is also a player who isn’t in the best books of the club’s supporters.
Nevertheless, these are players who may make all the difference in the upcoming games.