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5 Manchester United Players Who Should Be Sold Before the Season Starts

Paul AnsorgeFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2014

5 Manchester United Players Who Should Be Sold Before the Season Starts

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    One down, two to go?
    One down, two to go?Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    There are several reasons Manchester United need to sell some players before the season starts.

    The first is to combat wage inflation. There are rules in place in the Premier League regarding the maximum amount a club's total wage bill can rise each season once the wage bill reaches a certain point. United have freed up some room in the budget with the departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand and the retirement of Ryan Giggs.

    However, United's wage bill has been inflating for some time and in April of this year it passed Chelsea's for the first time in a decade, per the Independent. Selling players will allow United financial flexibility when considering new signings. 

    The second reason is one of quality. Keeping players who have consistently underperformed—or do not appear to have the basic level required to be a success at United—at the club is detrimental to the overall quality of the squad.

    The third reason is for the player's own good, allowing them to build a career elsewhere if they will not be used to their full potential at United.

    With all these players there exists the obvious caveats that if Louis van Gaal believes he can reinvigorate their United careers, I would certainly not choose to argue.

    However, with that said, here are five players United should sell before the start of next season...

Anderson

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Ah, Anderson. I love Anderson. He seems like a great person to have in a dressing room. During the celebrations of the four titles United have won during his time at the club, he has always been a smiling ringleader, dancing and egging on his team-mates.

    Unfortunately, in spite of those titles, Anderson's time at the club has been hugely frustrating. He has put in the odd sparkling performance—one of which has been commemorated in song in a manner unsuitable for discussion in a polite forum such as this—but he has been plagued by injuries.

    His performances have been inconsistent at best. He has never managed to score enough goals or provide enough assists to justify his reputation as a creative midfielder.

    His defenders will still argue he has never been used in his correct position at United. However, considering just how many chances he has been given by the club, it must surely now be time to say goodbye.

Nani

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    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    Unlike Anderson, Nani has had genuinely productive periods during his time at Old Trafford. However, in the past two seasons a combination of injury and poor form have seen them become a thing of the past.

    "Good Nani" and "bad Nani" are frequently joked about on social media, with those watching his performance wondering which of the two will turn out on that day. "Good Nani" is a wonderful player, blessed with pace, trickery and invention.

    "Bad Nani" makes poor choices, surrenders possession, breaks down counter-attacks and is a liability.

    If Van Gaal believes he can bring "good Nani" to the fore, he should be kept, otherwise, realising some of his financial value would be a wise move.

Marouane Fellaini

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Forever associated with the appointment of David Moyes, Marouane Fellaini has, like his benefactor, been unable to make the step up from Everton to Manchester United.

    If Fellaini is happy to be used as a "plan B" (or rather "plan F or G") as a bruiser behind a front-man when opposition defences are proving stubborn to break down, then retaining him in the squad would be useful.

    However, if he wants to play regularly in midfield it should not be at Manchester United. No aspect of his game, other than his chest control—as Moyes infamously pointed out—has been good enough at the highest level.

    United may as well cut their losses on the Belgian.

Ashley Young

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    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Ashley Young is not a bad footballer.

    To hear many United fans speak about him—witness the relentless abuse he gets on social media—you would think he was the worst player ever to darken United's door.

    When he is at his best he is able to cut inside and run at defenders, creating space and shooting opportunities.

    The problem is that his output has been hugely underwhelming since his reasonably promising first season at the club.

    In his first season at United (2011/12) he managed six goals and seven assists in the league. He has not equalled that tally across the subsequent two seasons.

    Young has tried his best at United, but it has not worked out for him. He should find a club where he could rebuild his confidence and become a genuine threat again.

Javier Hernandez

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    Claudio Cruz/Associated Press

    Javier Hernandez is the exception on this list. He should not be sold because his performances are not good enough for United, but because United are too strong in his position.

    I have written in more detail why it would be in his best interest to leave here. Hernandez is too good a striker, with too much potential to warm United's bench. However, he is not a good enough striker to get the position ahead of Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney.

    He is also the only one of United's forwards (barring young James Wilson), who can only play in one position on the pitch. That lack of flexibility limits his options.

    Hernandez should be sold so that he can be the first-choice striker somewhere else. United fans would wish him well.

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