Manchester United

Players Fearing for Their Futures in David Moyes' Manchester United Revolution

Manchester United's manager David Moyes applauds supporters after his team's 2-0 win against Cardiff City in their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Tuesday Jan. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press
Rob DawsonManchester United CorrespondentJanuary 30, 2014

Among the gushing compliments that rained down on Juan Mata this week was a veiled warning from David Moyes to the rest of his Manchester United squad.

Mata, he said, was the start of a revolution at Old Trafford. And while there would be more arrivals of similar quality to the Spanish midfielder, there would also be casualties.

He told the Manchester Evening News it was all in the name of "change."

I have a clear idea of what I think I need to do. We will rebuild and form another strong Manchester United. There will be changes at the club.

The changes Moyes has in mind might have to wait until the summer. And that gives some of United's players a stay of execution and four months to win over their new manager.

Mata's arrival, and the emergence of Adnan Januzaj, raise doubts about the future of Shinji Kagawa.

The Japanese midfielder is more comfortable playing centrally, but with Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Mata in the team, it's difficult to see where he's going to fit in.

Even without Mata, Kagawa only made 15 starts under Moyes, most of them out wide. And when Mata came off late in the second half against Cardiff, it was Januzaj who took his place.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22:  Shinji Kagawa of Manchester United looks on during the Capital One Cup semi final, second leg match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on January 22, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Nani signed a new contract in the summer, but while he's been injured, he's fallen behind Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young. Tom Cleverley, meanwhile, should get another season to show his development is going in the right direction.

United's defence is also set for a major shake-up.

Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra, the backbone of the back four for the last seven years, are out of contract at the end of the season and it's possible they will all leave.

It's likely Moyes will chase a new left-back in the summer, but Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have between now and the end of the season to show they deserve a regular place at centre-half in United's new-look team.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14:  Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United in discussion after the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on September 14, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Ph
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Moyes also has cause to be disappointed with Rafael's performances this season, but if the Brazilian can rediscover last season's form, he won't be allowed to leave.

Javier Hernandez's situation is different.

His ability to come off the bench and change a game makes him a valuable member of the squad, but a desire for more regular first-team football could see him agitate for a move away.

However, he's under contract until 2016 and if Moyes doesn't want to let him leave, he won't. 

Anderson and Fabio have already gone, and there are a few others at United who will be fearing for their futures. 

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28:  Ashley Young of Manchester United scores his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Cardiff City at Old Trafford on January 28, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by M
Michael Regan/Getty Images

But Young has shown it's never too late to make a good impression.

After a poor game against Manchester City in September, he started just one of the next 16 games. But after starting against Cardiff, creating one goal and scoring the other, he's back in Moyes' good books.

It's proof that it's not too late for some players to earn places in United's squad for next season, but they'll have to win over Moyes first.

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