5 Players Who No Longer Have Purpose at Old Trafford

Gregory Wakeman@@gjwakemanContributor IIIApril 15, 2013

5 Players Who No Longer Have Purpose at Old Trafford

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    Sir Alex Ferguson now has one of the finest Manchester United squads in the club’s history at his disposal.

    The signings of Robin Van Persie, David De Gea, Ashley Young and Shinji Kagawa over the last few summers means the Scot has an eclectic array of attacking talent to pick from, whilst his defence, despite being rather porous at the start of the campaign, still isn’t too shabby either.

    But the addition of these players means that some of the older and more experienced members of his roster are now surplus to requirements.

    Here are five players who no longer have a purpose at Old Trafford.

Anderson

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    When Anderson was signed for the vast sum of £20 million in 2007, it was believed that Sir Alex Ferguson had purchased the new Ronaldinho.

    However, he has since established himself in a deeper, more holding role, and he has only showed flashes of the attacking player that United believed they had bought.

    But a series of injuries, fitness issues and a devastating loss of form has seen him fall down the central midfield ladder behind Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Ryan Giggs and Phil Jones.

    If United are to prosper in Europe over the next few seasons, they will need to exchange Anderson for a more creative and direct player.

Paul Scholes

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    Paul Scholes is the best English midfielder of his generation.

    His passing abilities were so precise that Rio Ferdinand adorned him the nickname “sat nav,” whilst he was a key figure in Ferguson’s 1999 and 2008 European Cup triumphs.

    But now, Scholes has reached his nadir.

    His decision to come out of retirement in 2012 was successful, as he helped to spearhead United’s push for the Premier League title in 2011/2012, an honour that was cruelly taken out of their grasp by Sergio Aguero’s last-minute winner.

    But now injuries and the ravage of age have deterred his skills, and it is time for him to say goodbye.

    He’ll still go down as one of the most talented Red Devils of all time though.

Darren Fletcher

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    Another player who has suffered cruelly because of injury, Darren Fletcher has only made a handful of appearances since he announced that he had ulcerative colitis in December 2011.

    Fletcher in his prime was one of the most eclectic and dynamic midfielders in the Premier League, and his omission from the Champions League final in 2009 is regarded as one of the main reasons for United’s defeat to Barcelona.

    Unfortunately, Fletcher has now missed a large chunk of the last two seasons, and it would take a huge effort from him to overcome his injury and return to the form of four years ago.

    Can you imagine him competing against the likes of Yaya Toure and Juan Mata? Me neither.

Anders Lindegaard

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    The arrogant Danish shot-stopper has, arguably, already completed the task that Sir Alex Ferguson had planned for him at the club.

    Lindegaard repeatedly deputised for David De Gea as the Spaniard adjusted to the rigours of the Premier League, taking his place for encounters against more direct opposition.

    But now Lindegaard has played just once for United since December 1, and his pursuit for the No. 1 shirt could lead to him being a divisive figure in the changing room. He would need to be replaced though.

Federico Macheda/Bebe

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    Macheda has already cemented his place in Manchester United folklore after his incredible strike against Aston Villa in 2009.

    And, in a way, so has Bebe, because he will always be remembered as one of Ferguson’s worst ever purchases.

    Both players are now currently plying their trade for VfB Stuttgart and Rio Ave respectively, and even though they are still on United’s books, Ferguson will be looking to ship them out at the nearest opportunity.