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7 players who regret departing Man Utd amid Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard struggles

7 players who regret departing Man Utd amid Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard struggles

It is commonly said that things are not always better when you move to a new situation, and this is often true for footballers leaving a club as renowned as Manchester United.

Over the past few years, United supporters have seen a lot of changes, particularly since Erik ten Hag took over as manager last summer. The former Ajax coach brought in new players such as Christian Eriksen, Casemiro, and Lisandro Martinez following his appointment.

At the same time, ten Hag also allowed a number of players to leave. While it was necessary for many of these players to move on, some of the transfers have not been successful.

SportsDias examines seven United players who have struggled since leaving Old Trafford.

Paul Pogba

The most notable name on the list is Pogba, who left United last summer after his six-year contract expired and returned to Juventus. Since the transfer, the 30-year-old France international has struggled, only appearing twice in Serie A due to knee and muscle injuries.

Pogba was unable to participate in the World Cup in Qatar, and there are reports that Juventus are dissatisfied with his fitness, leaving his future uncertain. Pogba may regret not signing a contract extension at Old Trafford during his previous deal, as he possesses the talent to thrive under a manager like Ten Hag.

Edinson Cavani

Similar to Pogba, Cavani also departed Old Trafford as a free agent last summer. While it was time for the 36-year-old striker to move on, his time at Valencia has not gone as planned. Injuries have limited Cavani to only 18 appearances for the club in all competitions this season.

Although Cavani has a good scoring record in Spain, having netted seven goals so far, Valencia has been having a dismal season. They are currently just one point above the relegation zone in LaLiga and could face an unexpected demotion this season. It may be time for Valencia to consider bringing back former coach Gary Neville.

Jesse Lingard

During his last two seasons at Old Trafford, Lingard appeared in only 16 Premier League games for United before departing when his contract expired last summer. He signed with Nottingham Forest soon after leaving United, but the move has not gone as expected.

Lingard has yet to score a goal in the Premier League for Forest, who are currently struggling to avoid relegation. As a result, the 30-year-old is set to become a free agent again this summer, and he may find it challenging to secure another Premier League club unless he improves his form quickly.

James Garner

Garner was considered a promising talent at Manchester United before deciding to join Everton on a permanent deal last summer. The 22-year-old midfielder’s move followed a fantastic 2021/22 season at Nottingham Forest, where he played a key role in helping the club secure promotion to the Premier League.

However, injuries have limited Garner to just seven appearances this season, with his most recent game taking place in November. He has since recovered from his injury and has been on the bench for the last three games, but he may have regrets about accepting Everton’s offer last summer.

Garner told The Times in November, “In the moment it is very disappointing. That was the club that I trained with five times a week for years and years and years, that I made my debut with. But I didn’t want to stagnate.”

Garner went on to say, “I know in myself I wouldn’t have played if I had stayed. I knew it was the perfect time now, at 21, to move on and try and stake my claim somewhere else and hopefully find a home, which I have now in Everton.”

Daniel James

When Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Manchester United in August 2021, James was considered surplus to requirements and was subsequently sold to Leeds for £25 million. Despite having the option to stay at Old Trafford and fight for his spot, the Welsh international chose to move to Leeds.

James played frequently for Leeds last season, but in a surprising move, he joined Fulham on loan in September. However, he has only played 14 minutes of football in Fulham’s last seven league games, leaving his future uncertain. Another loan move may be a possibility.

Ander Herrera

When Ander Herrera joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer in the summer of 2019, Manchester United’s midfield struggled to replace him, with players like Fred and Scott McTominay failing to fill the void. However, the arrival of Casemiro and Eriksen has since addressed this issue.

Unfortunately, Herrera’s move to PSG did not work out for him either. The 33-year-old Spain international played only 58 league games during his three-year spell at the French club and has now returned to Athletic Bilbao, the club he left to join Louis van Gaal’s United in the summer of 2015.

Recently, Herrera was asked about his biggest regret when leaving Manchester United. The dynamic midfielder said, “That [winning the Premier League] was one of my dreams. I have won some trophies, but the league is something I wanted to win.”

Ashley Fletcher

Fletcher may not be well-remembered by Manchester United fans, as he turned down a contract offer from the club in the summer of 2016 and instead joined West Ham. He has since established himself as a Championship striker, currently playing for struggling club Wigan.

The 27-year-old had previously played for Middlesbrough, Sunderland, and the New York Red Bulls. Although his career has not gone according to plan, there is still time for Fletcher to work his way back up to the Premier League.

“At the time the manager was Louis van Gaal – a real character and a great guy, to be fair,” Fletcher told the Judy podcast. “But if you weren’t playing in the first team you had to play in the U23s that week, so that was killing me, [Marcus] Rashford and Will Keane.”

Fletcher has revealed that at the time he left Manchester United, he was not even assured of a spot on the under-23 team, let alone the senior squad. He explained that this was due to senior strikers moving down to the lower level to regain their fitness. Fletcher felt that he was waiting for an opportunity to play at the under-23 level and was concerned that he might not see a first-team opportunity until he was 21 years old. “It was like waiting for a chance to play in the U23s and I’m like, I could be 21 by the time I play,” he added.

7 players who regret departing Man Utd amid Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard struggles

7 players who regret departing Man Utd amid Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard struggles

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