Jose Mourinho has begun to make major roster decisions ahead of his first campaign as Manchester United manager. Reports late last week highlighted his choice to purge nine players from the current squad, with several notable names jumping off of the page.
From world-class veterans to several promising youth products, his choices have touched a wide range of individuals within the club. While the actions taken are certainly not completely unexpected (The Special One tends to shake things up a bit when joining a new team), the timing and players involved have certainly raised some eyebrows.
We highlight those believed to be involved and some others that may be on Mourinho’s shortlist for a permanent vacation from Old Trafford.
9 ADNAN JANUZAJ
The focus of what is always surprising about hearing Januzaj’s name is the fact that he is still only 21 years old. It feels like a long, long time ago that the Belgian midfielder burst onto the scene for David Moyes’ squad in 2013 and promptly sent a high-speed hype train out of the station.
Making his first start against Sunderland in October of that year, Januzaj’s pace and quality shined bright as his exciting brace was enough for a 2-1 United victory at the Stadium of Light. Supporters and pundits immediately took notice and big things were expected from the teenager moving forward.
But unfortunately, that’s where the seemingly destined superstar’s path began to unravel.
After finding his playing time decrease in the second half of the 2013-14 campaign, Januzaj began to see his role diminish in all competitions. A loan deal last year to Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund fizzled as well, resulting in the young winger being called back early.
Even with all the potential he showed, Januzaj ultimately feels surplus to what United need at the moment. With several other options at the young player’s preferred positions, Mourinho feels it is time to move on.