The year 2016 has been labelled as the worst year in recent times but in terms of Manchester United and the club’s players, who fared well and who fared poorly?
Manchester United Losers- Depay, Schneiderlin and Rooney
2016 didn’t start too poorly for Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney but he’s certainly ending it worse off than when it began. The Englishman was previously undroppable under Louis Van Gaal’s reign despite underwhelming performances.
However, under Mourinho’s leadership, the former Everton man finds himself quite often being dropped to the bench and only featuring during less important games. He has definitely put in some decent performances since being dropped but not enough to convince the boss for more game time.
Schneirderlin on the other hand has had an even worse year than Rooney. Never considered undroppable by LVG and quite often just considered a rotation option, Mourinho has hardly given the Frenchman a chance at all and it appears he will leave in the January transfer window.
The former Southampton man has had a fair crack of the whip under LVG to prove his worth but failed to do so with regular average performances. He can at least leave saying he never had a chance under Mourinho’s leadership.
Manchester United’s Memphis Depay is an unusual case. Tipped as a wonder-kid by his former employers, he’s hardly kicked on since his move from PSV. He left the Dutch league with his sights firmly set on following in Ronaldo’s footsteps at Old Trafford.
Unfortunately for both the club and player, the Dutchman has hardly had a good game worth recollecting. If he is to save his career, it seems it’ll be more likely done wearing a different kit entirely. Mourinho wants fighters, not players willing to accept their fate on the bench.
Manchester United Winners- Valencia, Rashford and Herrera
Where to even begin with Marcus Rashford? The youngsters rise to the top was so quick and incredibly it’s hard to describe if you didn’t witness it yourself. In fact, he did such a great job that United fans completely forgot about Martial’s impact on the team despite it happening in the same season.
While both players are suffering a little from burnout, there’s no doubt about their quality and Marcus Rashford will certainly have a place in the future of Manchester United after some well earned rest. Mourinho seems more capable of easing him into the team and managing him than LVG, who was obligated to play him in hopes of saving his job.
Manchester United’s Ecuadorian, Valencia, is a curious case. He was played as a full-back in Sir Alex Ferguson’s last season in charge and has since been used there by the following three managers.
However, it is under Mourinho where he really hit top form and looks undroppable. Many previously identified the right-back spot as a weak position for the squad but no one will be saying that now, such is the impact Antonio Valencia has had this season, ending his year on a high.
Herrera this season has shown his teammate Schneiderlin this season how to force your way into a side. The Spaniard has quite often been a rotation option under LVG much to the annoyance of the Manchester United faithful.
However, he’s finally staked his claim in the first team and has won over Mourinho entirely. Previously considered an alternative to Fellaini, it’s fair to say Herrera has had quite the turnaround and quite the year to remember.