Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United evolution: who stays and who goes

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Definitely staying

Víctor Valdés Age 33 Games last season 2

Valdés describes Louis van Gaal as the “most important person” in his career after the Dutchman handed him his debut at Barcelona in 2002 so he has a chance of being the next first-choice goalkeeper. Was shaky under the high ball in Sunday’s full debut at Hull City but still impressed.

Luke Shaw Age 19 Games 20

Has had an injury plagued season but Van Gaal rates the left-back. Needs a good start as he also failed to make a single England appearance after being the second youngest to feature at a World Cup.

Marcos Rojo Age 25 Games 27

A teak tough defender who has been a success during his first year. Is equally accomplished at left-back or centre-back.

Phil Jones Age 23 Games 24

If he can stay fit is a contender to start in the best XI. Has formed an impressive looking partnership with Chris Smalling this year.

Chris Smalling Age 25 Games 29

Led the team against Arsenal in the final home match, which is a telling indicator of how the manager views him. He has begun to spray passes around more than previously.

Paddy McNair Age 20 Games 18

Fine breakthrough season for the Northern Irishman, whose debut was the 2-1 win over West Ham United on 27 September and whose languid, classy style is reminiscent of Alan Hansen’s.

Tyler Blackett Age 21 Games 12

The other emerging-talent success of Van Gaal’s first year. Is left-footed so offers the balance the manager often mentions.

Michael Carrick Age 33 Games 20

Signed a one-year deal though he is 34 in July and Van Gaal hints next season may be his last – the 20 appearances last season is a disappointing tally for so influential a footballer.

Daley Blind Age 25 Games 29

A solid squad player who will be in and out of the manager’s finest team, Blind’s versatility in playing centre-back, left-back and midfield is a boon for Van Gaal.

Andreas Pereira Age 19 Games 2

“I am pleased with his progression and look forward to working with him to develop his talent even further,” said Van Gaal when the Brazilian signed a new deal at the start of the month. Pereira made his debut in the March win over Spurs.

Ander Herrera Age 25 Games 31

Became better as season went on and quickens the side up – Herrera benefited once he finally got his head around what manager required of him with regard to positioning and in-game discipline

Ashley Young Age 29 Games 29

Wayne Rooney picked Young as his United player of the year: on most game days he dazzled despite playing left-back, left midfield, left wing, wing-back, central midfield and on occasion, right wing.

Marouane Fellaini Age 27 Games 31

The Belgian can enjoy his summer holiday after finally convincing his muscular play and ability to nick a goal can help United win matches.

Antonio Valencia Age 29 Games 35

Has become first-choice right-back in a classic illustration of a Van Gaal player-remake. Manager would like a new player in the position so the Ecuadorian may face a fight to stay in the team.

Juan Mata Age 27 Games 35

Has finally established himself as a bona fide starter – offers United a silky quality no other player at the club can.

Wayne Rooney Age 29 Games 37

That he scored only 12 league goals tells the story of how the Van Gaal style does not create piles of chances for strikers, though the captain was not helped by having to operate in midfield and as a kind of auxiliary right-winger, at times.

Futures at risk

Ángel Di María Age 27 Games 32

Has had a £59.7m-priced misery of a season and could be offloaded given Memphis Depay’s impending arrival. But how much of that fee could United claw back? Young’s re-emergence limited the Argentinian’s starting opportunities.

Robin van Persie Age 31 Games 29

So staggering has the striker’s fall been that the misfit Radamel Falcao was chosen ahead of him towards the end of the campaign. But given the Colombian’s departure could Van Gaal really be able to recruit a second elite striker if Van Persie was let go?

Anders Lindegaard Age 31 Games 0

Now the No3 goalkeeper, the Dane, who came close to leaving in the past two windows, is considering his options again.

Jonny Evans Age 27 Games 17

Began the season as the Dutchman’s No1 central defender but ends it as potentially surplus to requirements. Injury then a six-game ban for spitting made this a season to forget.

Javier Hernández Age 26 Games 2

An interesting case: given he has scored important goals for Real Madrid while on loan, might Van Gaal consider giving him a chance in pre-season to prove himself?

Jesse Lingard Age 22 Games 1

Returned from the despair of a serious knee injury 24 minutes into his senior debut in the 2-1 loss to Swansea City on the opening day to be given a new contract in February and glowing praise from Van Gaal. Could still leave, though.

Saidy Janko Age 19 Games 1

The Swiss defender was hauled off after 45 minutes of a miserable debut – the 4-0 humiliation at MK Dons in the Capital One Cup. Yet he has since made 10 loan appearances for Bolton Wanderers and is determined to win a new contract.

Could be loaned out

Reece James Age 21 Games 1

The defender signed fresh terms in February and Van Gaal believes he has potential but may go out on temporary basis again after spells at Rotherham United and Huddersfield Town this season.

Adnan Januzaj Age 20 Games 21

This was supposed to be the year the Belgian became one of the main United men. But despite his being given Ryan Giggs’ No11 shirt, Van Gaal seemed not to trust him. Still has the quality but the manager may allow him out on loan.

James Wilson Age 19 Games 17

After Danny Welbeck was sold, Wilson’s season has to go down as disappointing. There was a sole league goal and only two in total.

Likely to leave

David de Gea Age 24 Games 43

There would be major surprise if this season’s stellar performer does not depart for Real Madrid this summer. Will be particularly difficult to replace.

Tom Cleverley Age 25 Games 1

Has done little while on loan at Aston Villa to convince Van Gaal and he is now a free agent. Everton were the midfielder’s first choice and he may well plump for Goodison rather than Villa Park.

Rafael da Silva Age 24 Games 11

Has suffered injury but this does not mask how the right-back has not been favoured this year by Van Gaal, who may have reservations about his defensive qualities.

Nick Powell Age 21 Games 1

Was recalled from his loan at Leicester City in January but injured a hamstring. After signing in 2012 from Crewe Alexandra and making only two senior appearances his United career is at a crossroads, with only a year left on his contract.

Tom Thorpe Age 22 Games 1

The central defender who captained the under-21s to their Premier League title was granted just over 100 seconds of a senior debut in September’s defeat of West Ham and has not been seen since. May depart on a free.

Nani Age 28 Games 1

The club’s great erratic talent has been on loan all year at Sporting Lisbon and will surely be offloaded as the Portuguese seems unlikely to adhere to the rigid Van Gaal match-plan.

Read more:http://www.theguardian.com

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