5 Manchester United Players Who Might Not Fit David Moyes' Model

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2013

5 Manchester United Players Who Might Not Fit David Moyes' Model

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    With David Moyes' Manchester United arrival confirmed, a handful of players will be wondering if they are part of the Scottish manager's plans.

    Will he stick to Old Trafford tradition and employ two wingers? Does he intend to ramp up the physicality of the midfield? Can Wayne Rooney make a difference, or will he leave the club entirely?

    So many questions. Here's a look at five individuals who might struggle under the new leader's model, along with suggestions as to why they might fail to fit in.

Tom Cleverley

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    At 23-years-old, Tom Cleverley still hasn't managed to define his role in the Manchester United team.

    He is a useful passer, but his game often suffers under poor distribution. He can make neat interceptions but lacks the physicality to impose himself against tougher opponents. A string of uninspired performances saw him dropped from the starting 11 as the 2012-13 season came to a close, and it could be difficult for the Englishman to assert himself now that Moyes is in town.

    The former Everton boss favours a physical midfield. Leon Osman is proof that Cleverley could progress to be a key individual for his side, as both players share a number of similar attributes. However, he needs to improve his defensive prowess and ability to skip around opponents.

    Cleverley managed an average of just 0.2 successful dribbles across 22 Premier League appearances during the 12-12 campaign. Many teams managed to waltz past him in the centre of the pitch, leaving United vulnerable and Michael Carrick always needing to drop.

    United must get a combative midfielder this summer. If Moyes finally secures an appropriate deal, it won't be Carrick who suffers less playing time.

Ashley Young

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    David Moyes' best Everton teams didn't utilise wingers in the traditional sense.

    Versatile players such as Steven Pienaar, Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines interchanged with forwards such as Kevin Mirallas to ensure the team had width, but this was expansive and dependent on the situation.

    The Scottish manager has always prioritised players who can carry out a number of roles; this is part of the reason his Everton teams were so difficult to break down. While Moyes is unlikely to eradicate wingers from Manchester United's play, he may aim to ensure their overall game becomes more well-rounded.

    This could be excellent for Antonio Valencia and Nani, two players who need to evolve their attributes if they are to stay at Old Trafford. Both could be used in a number of different roles and can certainly help out in defensive situations. For Ashley Young, any change in United's style could render the most effective parts of his game useless.

    When in form, Young's crossing is often pinpoint. He has struggled for consistency since moving to United and has never outlined himself as the club's most undroppable winger. His eagerness to get to the byline loses its impact when Patrice Evra storms up the flank and could continue to go down in value if Moyes decides to purchase Baines or Luke Shaw.

    Although he can play just behind the striker, Young is the least adaptable winger from United's ranks. It will be extremely interesting to see where Moyes uses the man who once condemned his Everton side to a dramatic 3-2 defeat.

Shinji Kagawa

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    If David Moyes convinces Wayne Rooney to stay, the English forward is likely to remain in his spot between the midfield and Robin van Persie. If this happens, Shinji Kagawa will once again receive limited opportunities in his favoured position.

    The Japanese star is not traditional Moyes-styled No.10. He doesn't possess extreme physical capabilities and isn't going to take control of aerial situations like Marouane Fellaini. Kagawa's technical skill makes him a superb passer of the ball who could emerge as United's David Silva/Juan Mata equivalent if he is handled correctly.

    Considering the way in which Pienaar and friends linked when Moyes was at Everton, he could start to the left and instinctively change position as the situation dictates. We've already seen that Kagawa isn't particularly comfortable when pushed out wide, so it would be disappointing to see him cast aside for the wantaway Rooney.

    One thing's for sure: if Rooney stays, Moyes will have to play him. United fans will never see the best of Kagawa if the Englishman fills the spot just behind Robin van Persie.


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    Much has been said about Anderson. We all know he is overweight, immobile and completed 90 minutes just once during the 12-13 Premier League season (in the final day 5-5 draw with West Bromwich Albion).

    The Brazilian is a squad player right now. Although his creativity and passing ability has always suggested he could become an integral part of United's midfield, injuries have always held him back. The porky powerhouse can mix it with the best if he remains fit, but his dawdling nature won't suit a manager who aims to get as much energy from his players as possible.

    Plus, his sale could free up vital funds for Moyes to land someone better suited to the task of playing top level football.

Javier Hernandez

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    Javier Hernandez will be a breath of fresh air to Moyes. A consistent goalscorer is something his Everton sides always failed to produce, forcing the former Preston North End boss to sign a certain type of player.

    Nikica Jelavic, Victor Anichebe, Steven Naismith. None have managed a consistent run of goals at Everton (beyond Jelavic's first season), but all possess multiple attributes that help the team create goalscoring opportunities. A mixture of strength and ability to retain possession allows the midfield to flood forward; something Hernandez doesn't produce.

    It all depends on whether Moyes decides a lone striker is the way to go for the Premier League champions. If so, Hernandez will only receive time on the bench. Should the incoming boss favour two strikers, Rooney's Old Trafford career could be rejuvenated.

    Much like Kagawa, the Mexican's future is dependent on whether Rooney stays and where Moyes plans to deploy him.


    Which Manchester United players do you think will struggle under David Moyes' system? Let me know in the comments section and be sure to follow me on Twitter right here:

    All statistics in this article are courtesy of Whoscored.