Five Manchester United stars who could be playing for their futures in the final months of the 2021/22 season

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There might be plenty of outgoings at Old Trafford this summer and we’ve had a look at five players whose status in the squad looks uncertain.

Manchester United are approaching the end of the 2021/22 season with uncertainty about what the future holds for the club.

Whether that’s their European status next campaign, who the new manager will be, or even where the team will be playing home games in the coming years.

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Another area of concern is how the squad will look at the end of this summer, with a plethora of players linked with moves away from the club, while there’s also no shortage of speculation when it comes to potential incomings.

The likes of Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Edinson Cavani look almost guaranteed to depart in the summer, but what about those players whose futures are more uncertain?

We’ve taken a look at five players for whom the final months of this season could make or break their futures at the club.

Eric Bailly has struggled for regular game-time this season. Credit: Getty.Eric Bailly has struggled for regular game-time this season. Credit: Getty.
Eric Bailly has struggled for regular game-time this season. Credit: Getty.

Eric Bailly

It’s been a difficult campaign for the Ivory Coast international, and this is not the first time he’s approached the end of a season in a disappointing manner.

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This term, Bailly has remained largely injury free, but he’s fallen to fourth-choice among United’s current centre-backs.

It’s unlikely he’ll be given much time on the pitch to prove himself, and the defender may have to put in some impressive displays at the training ground to show why he’s deserving of a place in the United team next season.

Bailly was linked with a move away in January, but it does seem like this summer could mark the end of his six-year stint at Old Trafford. The 27-year-old can’t get any game-time, while United have youngsters Teden Mengi and Axel Tuanzebe coming through the ranks.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

It’s remarkable how quickly things have turned for Wan-Bissaka, who only a few years ago was seen as one of England’s best defensive right-backs and was competing for a spot in Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad.

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Now, Wan-Bissaka isn’t even a guaranteed starter at United, and the former Crystal Palace man has endured a tough 18 months on the pitch.

Wan-Bissaka has had a poor season in 2021/22. Credit: Getty.Wan-Bissaka has had a poor season in 2021/22. Credit: Getty.
Wan-Bissaka has had a poor season in 2021/22. Credit: Getty.

He simply looks like a player completely void of confidence and, while there have always been questions about Wan-Bissaka offensively, the No.29 is now struggling from a defensive standpoint.

With Diogo Dalot looking like Ralf Rangnick’s first choice and Brandon Williams and Ethan Laird returning from loans in the summer, United may decide they’re better off without Wan-Bissaka. It’s up to the full-back to prove that’s not the case in the final months of the campaign.

Nemanja Matic

So much of the talk has centred around United’s need for a holding midfielder this season, despite the fact the club do actually have one in Matic.

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However, there’s a widely held view that the Serbian is far past his sell-by date, even though he’s performed well when called upon this term - the cameo showing last week against Atletico Madrid is just one example.

While the Red Devils can’t rely on Matic as their sole defensive option in midfield, there’s still an opportunity to show he has a role to play in this team.

A few solid performances in the final months of the campaign could cement the view that he’s a reliable back-up option at the base of midfield.

Paul Pogba

When has there not been speculation surrounding Pogba’s future? The Frenchman’s contract is set to expire in the summer and he’s been linked with a host of Europe’s top clubs over the past few months.

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Could it be in United’s best interests to allow Pogba to leave this summer? Credit: Getty.Could it be in United’s best interests to allow Pogba to leave this summer? Credit: Getty.
Could it be in United’s best interests to allow Pogba to leave this summer? Credit: Getty.

But there’s been little talk of whether United actually want to keep the former Juventus man, or what role he could play in the team going forward.

Pogba’s best position is as an attacking midfielder or in the No.10 role, but Bruno Fernandes has bypassed the World Cup winner in the United pecking order, while there’s still hope that Donny van de Beek will develop into a functional Premier League midfielder.

United’s No.6 has even been shoehorned into a wide position, so difficult is it to find a role for him in the team, while Pogba has always lacked consistency since joining the club.

Factor in the off-field reports he generates, dealing with Mino Raiola, and the midfielder’s montorous wages, and perhaps United may come to the conclusion in the near future that they’re better off without Pogba.

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Marcus Rashford

Much like Wan-Bissaka, Rashford’s performances have dipped massively in the last year. The forward appears to be totally lacking in confidence and his form has fallen off a cliff in recent months.

Rashford has also been linked with a move this summer, with Paris Saint-Germain said to be among those monitoring the situation.

But with United’s surplus of attacking options, the club may decide it’s in everyone’s best interests for the youth graduate to move on. Should he continue to struggle on the pitch in the final nine games of the season, that seems like a real possibility.

But if Rashford is able to find a decent run of form then opinions will very quickly turn on a player who still retains a lot of popularity and goodwill among the fanbase.

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