Manchester United: Six Players Who Could End Their United Careers This May

Zaakir HoosenAnalyst IJanuary 6, 2011

Manchester United: Six Players Who Could End Their United Careers This May

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26:   Edwin van der Sar of Manchester United celebrates his team's opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on December 26, 2010 in Manchester, England. (
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    With time, comes the passing of age and moments whereby many have to make decisions on how to progress, how to build and how to grow....

    The next couple months could define the plan of action that Sir Alex is looking to take, as he rebuilds the squad that could continue to go on winning titles.

    Importantly we need to understand that players leave for many reasons, some due to age and when they feel its time to hang their boots, others who fail to archive their goals and targets initially set out and then those who fail at making the line-up consistently. 

    We briefly look at the most probable players to exit at the end of this season.

    All these players will hope to end the season on a winning note, with United poised at the top of table, and some of the contenders falling short in recent games, United have the opportunity to build the lead.

01. Michael Owen

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 08:  Michael Owen of Manchester United in action during the FA Community Shield match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on August 8, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Once the most loved son of Liverpool, his name still echoes through the corridors at Anfield, but since Michael has moved on and never been the same.

    The move in 2004 from Liverpool to Real Madrid all but ended his time at the top, since then Owen has been plagued by injury. His moved on from Real Madrid to Newcastle where he 71 matches before getting a shock phone call from Sir Alex to join Manchester United. 

    Name: Michael James Owen

    Former Clubs: Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle

    Age: 31

    Nationality: English

    Possible Move: Aston Villa

    After making his debut for United while on tour in Malaysia, Michael scored his first Premier League goal against Wigan on the 22 August. But it was his second goal for United that will be remember for years to come, when Owen scored the winner against Manchester City in the last few moments of the questionable six minutes added on, United won 4-3.

    But with so many injuries and lack of form, Michael Owen has never really found himself on the team sheet consistently, therefore falling short and now could be one of the players to leave Old Trafford at the end of the season.

02. Owen Hargreaves

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    LONDON - SEPTEMBER 21:  Owen Hargreaves of Manchester United looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on September 21, 2008 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    A name that's so familiar with United yet if you take a closer look at the stats, you would be surprised to find out that he only has 27 league appearances to his name.

    Hargreaves was signed in 2007 from Bayern Munich after lengthy negotiations between the two clubs for a a fee of £17 million. 

    But since 2007 until now, it has been a sad story in his career as he has been injured for most part of the last couple years.

    Name: Owen Lee Hargreaves

    Former Clubs: Bayern Munich

    Age: 29

    Nationality: English

    Possible Move: N/A

    Lack of playing time, and consistently fighting injury is the reason he could find himself without a team at the end of the season.

    On 6 November 2010, Hargreaves made his long awaited return when he started against Wolverhampton Wanderers but had to be subbed after just a couple minutes.

03. Tomasz Kuszczak

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30:  Tomasz Kuszczak of Manchester United gestures during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Manchester United and VfL Wolfsburg at Old Trafford on September 30, 2009 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael
    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Since making the move from West Bromwich Albion to United in 2006 initially on loan that a permanent deal in 2007, Tomasz has had the best of times in terms of playing consistent first team football.

    He has been used on occasions when Van der Sar was injured on in the case of Cup football against the lesser known opposition.

    Initially he was fighting for second spot with Ben Foster who has since moved to Birmingham.

    Name: Tomasz Mirosław Kuszczak

    Former Clubs: Hertha BSC, West Brom Albion

    Age: 28

    Nationality: Polish

    Possible Move: N/A

    With Sir Alex making it quite clear that Kuszczak isn't part of his future plans by signing Danish goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard, Kuszczak will now have to look elsewhere if he wants to enjoy some first team action. 

04. Wes Brown

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 03:  Wes Brown of England in action during the International Friendly match between England and Egypt at Wembley Stadium on March 3, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
    Mark Thompson/Getty Images

    Having been around for ages, since joining the Youth team in 1996 it seems his time at Old Trafford has come to an end, he has had over 350 games for United during this this time.

    Many might argue that Sir Alex will keep him as cover on the right or for the center backs, but at 31 and with a few years left, Wes will most probably look to enjoy some consistent first team action.

    Name: Wesley Michael "Wes" Brown

    Former Clubs: None

    Age: 31

    Nationality: English

    Possible Move: N/A

    Been at United for such a long time allows him to be honored with many titles, he has five league title medals to his name, two FA Cups, two League Cups, three Community Shield medals and importantly two Champions League medals.

    He was also part of the 2001 PFA Premier League Team of The Year.

05. Gary Neville

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    BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - APRIL 11: Gary Neville of Manchester United shows his dissapointment after dropping points in the Barclays Premier League Match between Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United at Ewood Park on April 11, 2010 in Blackburn, England.  (Ph
    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Another defender, another right back and yes another former England International. Club Captain and one of the most passionate of United players.

    Having joined United in 1991, and has played all of his football at Old Trafford makes him one of the Greats at United.

    He has served his club and country for almost 20 years, but it seems his time is now up. With the likes of Rafael da Silva now commanding the right back role, it seems only injury can keep the Brazilian out.

    Name: Gary Alexander Neville

    Former Clubs: None

    Age: 35

    Nationality: English

    Possible Move: Retirement

    International Experience: 1995-2007 (85 Caps)

    Sir Alex, Manchester United and all of it's fans would recognize his contribution to the club but with United on top this season and hopeful for another title, he would look to hang his boots.


    Premier League Title (Medals): 8

    FA Cups: 3

    League Cups: 2

    European/ UEFA Champion Leagues: 2

    Community Shield: 3

    Intercontinental Cup: 1

    Fifa World Club Cup: 1

    PFA Team of the Year: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2007

06. Edwin Van Der Sar

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    GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 24:  Edwin van der Sar of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Glasgow Rangers and Manchester United at Ibrox on November 24, 2010 in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    If any of these possible exits are doubtful, this is one that I can surely say will happen. He has become the one of the most important players at Manchester United in the last couple season, while many would wonder where he was before that, it seems the curtains are closing on a delightful career.

    Name: Edwin van der Sar

    Former Clubs: Ajax, Juventus, Fulham

    Age: 40

    Nationality: Dutch

    Possible Move: Retirement

    International Experience: 1998-2008 (130 Caps)

    At the age of 40 you can't expect him to stay any longer, although rumor has it that he will join United's coaching staff after his retirement and assist with the development and training of future goal keepers.

    Van der Sar has reached the pinnacle in his career and after winning four league title and a Champions League medal with Ajax in Netherlands followed by three Premier League titles and one Champions League medal with United, he is up there with the best.

    Individually he has been honored on many occasions, in 1995 & 2009 Best European Goalkeeper. Dutch Football GoalKeeper of The Year: 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997.

    Whoever takes over his role at Manchester United will have his "gloves" full, as the position of responsibility that was guarded so well will be amongst the most difficult to replace.

    Sir Alex will be hoping that new arrival Lindegaard can be as promising as Van der Sar.