As the new year rolls around, questions always rise about who will remain with a club, or take the short exit midway through the season. Manchester United have been on an up and down roller coaster under Jose Mourinho. This includes a myriad of different starting XI combinations.
Mourinho began with a commonplace 4-2-3-1 formation with Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini in the midfield. Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Jesse Lingard consisted of the front four. The back four consisted of Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, and Daley Blind.
Now Mourinho has shifted to a more fluid 4-3-3, with the only players remaining from the original lineups being Ibrahimovic, Pogba, Valencia, and of course David De Gea. Ander Herrera has been sensational in the midfield, and Michael Carrick has secured the midfield as the single holding midfielder, allowing Pogba to push up.
Martial, Lingard, and Rooney have all been benched due to injuries, poor play, and the emergence of Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Phil Jones has also solidified the backline, pushing Blind wide left and forming a decent partnership with Marcos Rojo.
That leaves five players, who started the season on the pitch, seeing limited time. Not to mention Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin, and Bastian Schweinsteiger have seen less than one half of football combined all season. Depay has been linked to a switch to Everton, and Schneiderlin has been offered a club record £18 million from West Brom. Schweinsteiger, despite an appreciative ovation in his introduction to the 2016 season, has a chance to move across the Atlantic Ocean to see more playing time.
Furthermore, Anthony Martial allegedly has an offer from Sevilla to join them. The teenage winger has expressed his frustrations in his sophomore season with United, but also admits it’s just part of the game. Marouane Fellaini is also drawing interest from AC Milan, but the Belgian was linked to Roma this past summer but remained at United.
Rumors have surrounded United since Mourinho took over, but it seems Schneiderlin and perhaps Depay are most likely to leave.