Which of Solskjaer's departures should have stayed at Man United?

Ander Herrera left Manchester United after ‘disagreements’, but was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer right to ship him – and NINE others – out of Old Trafford? From Romelu Lukaku to Marouane Fellaini, Sportsmail’s verdict on the stars the Red Devils let go

  • Ander Herrera said his departure from Manchester United was not about money
  • He said he ‘deserved more attention’ from United as he ‘gave everything’ to them
  • Sportsmail have rounded up United’s exits during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure

Ander Herrera recently announced that he left Manchester United because of ‘disagreements’ rather than money.

The midfielder expressed his frustrations with the club, saying he ‘deserved more attention’ as he ‘gave everything’ to United. 

‘It was not about money,’ he told The Athletic. ‘It was not about the duration of the contract offer. In my opinion, I waited too long (for an offer) and deserved more attention from the club.

‘I was a player that gave everything. I never complained. I never went to the media to complain about anything. I never put a bad face to any manager, to any member of the board, and they waited until I had five or six months left on my contract. That’s why I had some disagreements with them.’

Herrera is one of 10 players that have been shown the door at United since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over. 

Sportsmail takes a look through those that have departed Old Trafford and whether their exits were justified. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has shown the door to 10 Manchester United players since his arrival

Left Manchester United: February 1, 2019

Joined: Shandong Luneng

Marouane Fellaini was never the most talented member of the Manchester United squad and always divided opinion among the Old Trafford faithful.

Fellaini was an 11th-hour deadline-day arrival in 2013 – costing the club £27.5million – but only scored two goals in 21 games for the Red Devils during their 2018-2019 campaign. 

In taking over the reins at United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer aimed to restore the standards set by Sir Alex Ferguson, and for him that meant releasing Fellaini to Shandong Luneng for £10.4m. 

In truth, his Old Trafford exit had been in the making for several years, but his loyalty to the club was respected.

VERDICT: Right to get rid 

Marouane Fellaini arrived at Old Trafford for £27.5m in 2013 and was sold in February 2019

Fellaini divided opinion among the Old Trafford faithful and later joined Shandong Luneng

Ander Herrera

Left Manchester United: June 30, 2019

Joined: PSG

Ander Herrera left Manchester United after five years to join Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer following various ‘disagreements’.

The Spaniard admitted he felt undervalued by the Red Devils though he never seemed out of favour under Solskjaer.

Since leaving United, his opportunities have been limited at PSG with him only playing 18 games since joining them.

VERDICT: Should have stayed 

Ander Herrera recently expressed his frustrations with former club Manchester United

He says he ‘deserved more attention’ from the club as he ‘gave everything’ to Man United

Antonio Valencia

Left Manchester United: June 30, 2019

Joined: LDU Quito

United captain Antonio Valencia left Manchester United in June 2019 after a decade at the club.

Valencia arrived from Wigan in the summer of 2009 and amassed 338 appearances in 10 years at Old Trafford but fell out of favour under Solskjaer.

He made only nine appearances for the club in 2018-2019. After winning six major titles at the club, he moved on to LDU Quito in his native country, Ecuador.

VERDICT: Right to get rid 

United captain Antonio Valencia left Manchester United after a decade at the club in June 2019

Romelu Lukaku

Left Manchester United: August 8, 2019

Joined: Inter Milan

Romelu Lukaku recently revealed that he knew his United career was over when Solskjaer decided to move him from his usual No 9 position to the wing.

Solskjaer decided to play both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford as his central striker instead of the Belgian.

Though Lukaku’s dismissal may be regarded as harsh, considering he played an important role in United’s win against PSG – which helped secure Solskjaer his job with the Red Devils.

Lukaku ended up joining Inter Milan in the summer of 2019 for £73m and has scored 25 goals for the Serie A side this season.

VERDICT: Should have stayed 

Romelu Lukaku says he knew his United career was over when Solskjaer moved him to the wing

The striker ended up joining Inter Milan in the summer of 2019 for £73m and has impressed

Alexis Sanchez

Left Manchester United: August 29, 2019

Joined: Inter Milan on loan

Alexis Sanchez’s time at Old Trafford has always been viewed as a monumental failure since joining from Arsenal in 2018.

Having been nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award at the end of the 2016-2017 campaign- racking up eight goals for Arsenal by the midway point in the season – Sanchez failed to live up to expectations, scoring just five goals in his season-and-a-half at Old Trafford.

‘Alexis needed to go,’ Solskjaer said in regards to his loan spell at Inter Milan. ‘We know it’s not really worked out for him. It’s for him to restart, playing regularly and scoring goals.’

VERDICT: Right to send him on loan

Alexis Sanchez’s time at Old Trafford is viewed as a failure since joining from Arsenal in 2018

He failed to live up to expectations, scoring just five goals in his season-and-a-half at United

Chris Smalling

Left Manchester United: August 30, 2019

Joined: Roma on loan

Chris Smalling was cast out on loan, as Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe took priority in the centre back position.

Since moving to Roma, he has put in some epic displays for the Italian outfit this season, with his performances being enough to convince the club to bring him in on a permanent deal.

As it stands, Smalling is yet to decide his long-term future but he is said to have settled with his wife Samantha in the Italian capital.

VERDICT: Right to send him on loan

Since moving to Roma, Chris Smalling has put in some epic displays for the Italian outfit

Smalling lost his place in the United squad to Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, and Phil Jones 

Matteo Darmian

Left Manchester United: September 2, 2019

Joined: Parma

Right back Matteo Darmian sealed a £3.6m deadline day move to Serie A outfit Parma from Manchester United in 2019.

The Italian initially joined the Premier League giants from Torino in 2015 and went on to make 92 appearances for the club, but only scored once.

Darmian left Manchester after falling down the pecking order under Solskjaer, playing just seven times in the last season.

VERDICT: Right to get rid 

Matteo Darmian sealed a £3.6m deadline day move to Serie A’s Parma from Man United in 2019

Darmian left Manchester after falling down the pecking order under United boss Solskjaer

Ashley Young

Left Manchester United: January 17, 2020

Joined: Inter Milan

Ashley Young found himself sitting on the bench more often than not for Manchester United before he made the switch to Inter Milan.

Young made 261 appearances since joining United in 2011, and scored 19 goals and provided 43 assists.

Brandon Williams and Luke Shaw became favoured at left back and Aaron Wan-Bissaka locked down the right-back position. 

United boss Solskjaer was keen to retain Young’s services, but the England international had his heart set on a move to Italy.

Solskjaer described Young as having been ‘a good servant’ for United, but admitted that the club were not willing to offer the veteran another lengthy contract.

VERDICT: Right to get rid 

Ashley Young left Manchester United in January 2020 for Italian giants Inter Milan

Ashley Young found himself sitting on the bench more often than not for Manchester United

Marcos Rojo

Left Manchester United: January 30, 2020

Joined: Estudiantes on loan

Rojo joined the Red Devils in 2014 for £16m and featured 122 times in all competitions.

Despite winning the FA Cup, League Cup, Community Shield and the 2017 Europa League title during his career at Old Trafford, opportunities to play were sparse in recent years.

Injuries and competition with the likes of Luke Shaw saw Rojo make just 17 Premier League appearances for United in the last two-and-a-half years.

The 30-year-old said that a lack of playing time was the cause of his transfer to Estudiantes. 

VERDICT: Right to send on loan

Marcus Rojo made just 17 Premier League appearances for Man United in two-and-a-half years

Rojo joined the Red Devils in 2014 for £16m and featured 122 times in all competitions

James Wilson

Left Manchester United: 2018

Joined: Aberdeen

James Wilson left United after initially joining the youth system in 2002 and rising through the ranks until he made his senior debut and scored for the first-team.

Wilson was 23-years-old when he burst on to the scene with a goal against Hull on his senior debut in 2014 but only made a further two Premier League starts for the club.

Solskjaer made the decision not to take up the option to extend Wilson’s contract by another year.

VERDICT: Right to get rid

James Wilson Wilson left Manchester United after initially joining the youth system in 2002




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