Manchester United is creating a graveyard of talent

Long, one-club careers in football are a rarity these days. Buying and selling players has become the commodity of the day and may be necessary to offset the calamity that FIFA fair play brings to the top teams. Club policies of today rarely substantiate or reward players seeking a career at a single club. Even so, there still has to be a business model of buying players to assimilate value on the field and at least break even if it does not work out. Presently, Manchester United is losing the value of their players and offloading in a fashion that assists other clubs that will take the time to mature the investment. Unfortunately there is not enough talent in the reserves to make up for the experienced players that are at risk in the first team. The examples below are just a fraction of what has become a horrible model of scouting talent and developing top professionals. Some of these players have won domestic league titles in top premier leagues in Europe and regularly feature in international play. Many have begun to descend into the pits of the footballing graveyard at the expense of bad policy.

Shinji Kagawa was a star under Jurgen Klopp’s reign in a rising Borussia Dortmund side winning the Bundesliga in 2012. A spirited and charismatic play maker in the German league was brought to Manchester United to become that same play maker. Consistently  played out of position and rarely getting 90 minutes has brought the confidence of Kagawa to an all-time low and to the brink of loan or transfer.

Javier Hernandez was a brilliant signing and scored 13 goals in 27 games for Manchester United during his first season. His international goal tally plummeted after joining Manchester United and hardly played in the 2014 World Cup garnering a grand total of just 75 minutes. Chicharito is a tireless worker on the pitch when given the confidence of the manager, but has played with less charisma with looming transfer talk and recent merry-go-round of managers.

Anders Lindegaard is a solid goalkeeper that was on track to play a long career with Manchester United following the departure of van der Sar in 2011. Usually starting in low key cup tournaments and the occasional first team appearance in the Champions League , the Dane showed great promise as an up and coming stopper. With only 28 starts in 4 seasons with United, transfer talk looms about as the second choice to David DeGea is rumored to be unhappy. Another international career that stopped completely in 2011 after Lindegaard joined United.

Wilfried Zaha played 126 games while in the Championship with Crystal Place.  He has only played in 2 Manchester United games since joining the club in 2013 and looks to be on his way out of the club. No one has really seen Zaha play since joining United and there is little data to compare how he stacks up against Premier League opponents. Zaha has speed and technical talents but are they being fostered at Manchester United? Qualifying for the England national team, Zaha has only played two games in as many seasons and without playing time at Manchester United, speculation exists that he wishes he has chosen to play for Ivory Coast.

Marouane Fellani was a first team regular for David Moyes during his stay at Everton and a starter for the Belgium national team in the 2014 World Cup. The likes of which he plays with numerous stars such as Courtois, Vermaelen, Hazard, and DeBruyne. A towering presence in the midfield and ability to go box-to-box, Fellani now sees himself on the chopping block with transfer rumors to Italy. With a 28 million dollar price tag, could there not be any motivation for Manchester United to develop this player into the Van Gaal style and create value on the deal?

Alex Buttner was brought into the squad in 2012 and sold for an estimated 5 million to Dynamo Moscow in June, 2014. This situation may just be a matter relating to the public discontent between Van Gaal and Buttner over some international omissions from the Dutch national team. A starter already for Dynamo Moscow, he is getting Europa League playing time and will no doubt feature in first team games. He will continue to gain experience in the Russian league beside players like Chris Samba and Russian World Cup star Kokorin who is a personal favorite of Fabio Capello.

Richie De Laet was sold in mid-2012 and helped Leicester City win promotion back to the Premier League. De Laet was voted the Manchester United reserve team player of the year in 2010. With United now struggling to field solid defenders, letting De Laet go and not continue to mature was a huge mistake. Leicester City may have found the right formula for De Laet and a first game draw to Everton may see the former United man gaining stock.

Why is it that these talents only look bad under the lights of Old Trafford, if they even play at all?  How can so much spend consume talent abroad to see it falter and fail under a system that is publicly beginning to show signs of wear? BUY BUY BUY is the talk of the day with United showing a thin squad that barely has the depth to play additional domestic cup games effectively. Just take a look at the last two years of player and squad management and it is becoming easier to see that there are some serious problems at the club. Van Gaal has his work cut out for him and there will be an enormous amount of work to do just to MAKE do. The club had better do it and do it fast or one will perhaps see the likes of new signing Rojo follow the trend into career sobering “stardoom”.

About Steve Ferguson 886 Articles
Steve Ferguson had taken over & re-branded The Faithful MUFC website back in the summer of 2014 and is now the owner and editor of the site. Steve, from Ashton-Under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, is a 35-year-old life long Manchester United fan, travelling over the globe to see the Reds play. Steve has been lucky enough to be at both the 1999 and 2008 Champions League finals, seeing Manchester United lift the biggest trophy in the World, none more exciting than that faithful night in Barcelona in 99. The website is a blog, but also hopes to deliver the latest Manchester United news from around the internet too, linked up with our growing twitter account which is @TheFaithfulMUFC, give it a follow as we will follow you back as soon as we can.


  1. i think the problem for the players mentioned is that the club was to big for them.

    conversely the problem for the club is that they have not lived up to their status in the transfer market.

    while real madrid, barcelona, chelsea, man city and bayern where buying absolute top end talent, united where taking flyers on good players.

    the problem with the players mentioned was that they were not good enough to perform at the very top level.

    i am a united fan and believe that the glazers have all but destroyed manchester united.

  2. Graveyard? This is catastrophic sign of club‘s decline during Glazers era. The club has to be sold to those that can bring in array of well skilled talented players that can compete at any level.

  3. Don’t agree.Kagawa has had he’s chances and not taken them,ok he has been played out of position and I believe he needs good players around him which has not had for a while. Hernandez also has been given chances, he does not seem to be able to start a game, can only score when he comes on as a sub. Against Swansea he offered nothing and James Wilson deserves he’s place.

    Zaha, most half decent players will get a regular game in the championship. That is where he belongs, not good enough to play at premier league level. Fellani is a joke. Some players do ok at certain teams like he did at Everton. They had a small tight squad he knew he was a regular and popular with fans so that probably gave him the confidence to play at a consistent ok level. Not he’s fault but does not have it in he’s locker to step up to the level required for Man Utd.

    Buttner I will give you that one he was maybe one that could have been developed but a few managers thought not so maybe he does not perform well in training and I don’t really see him going on to greater things. Ritchie De Laet again never going to be top draw.

    The truth is Fergie went along with Glazers tight budget and never invested in real quality and in all fairness to him did wonders with some rubbish players. The rest of the premier league has invested in real quality and we need to catch up. We know have a manager who can put us back on track, if given time and lay the foundations for Ryan Giggs to carry forward a new era for Manchester United.

  4. Absolutely spot on comments. Apart fron Kagawa and Hernandez none of the others were good enough. Moyes is to blame for Kagawas dilemma, Why did he buy Mata ? If he had played Kagawa at No 10 he would have done the job and we could have saved 37 million. As for Hernandez, just watch him and see if he smiles,hardly ever these days. It would be better for him to move on and I hate to say it but Kagawa should leave as well as he does not seem to figure in LVG,s plans.

  5. Did anyone happen to notice that Buttner scored this week for Moscow? Great comments and I suppose my response to the majority is that talent seems to work elsewhere but not at United. To me, it seems like the players are not the problem.

  6. why not forget the past and do what is raininp now? believe it or you leave it whatever is the problem at old traford either player or manager that was then. as long as football now is cmcern you must spend big before you enjoy it now. remember; 2009/2010 carlo anceloty was sack from chealsea that he was not a good coach. he went to PSG. he wins trophies because they were ready to spend big. now what morinho could never archieve for real he did it because they are always ready to spend. be wise and know that football have gone beyoned the young talent now. you gat to be at the top of your game with the top class players. shine your eyes wood. get us …Di maria …Vidal ..And any other centre defence and watch out for what van gaa can do pls wood.

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