It’s not been the greatest twelve months for a number of Manchester United players, and following a vote of over 100,000 fans, three of them have been handed places in Marca’s Worst XI of the year:
MARCA: The Worst XI after almost 100,000 votes pic.twitter.com/NFqrYyGbI2
— M•A•J (@Ultra_Suristic) September 24, 2019
Phil Jones’s inclusion won’t come as a shock to anyone. Due to both injuries and form, he has moved well down the pecking order under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The likes of Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Axel Tuanzebe, Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo are all ahead of him for a place in the starting eleven.
The 27-year-old was handed a new four-year contract in February last year, but poor performances have gradually seen him move out of the first-team picture. The England international has been at United for over eight years, but it appears his time at Old Trafford could come to an end soon.
Fred’s presence in the eleven will be a sore point for many supporters. After nabbing the Brazilian ahead of Manchester City last summer for £52m, much was expected of the midfielder, but he has struggled to adapt to English football.
A damning assessment of the 26-year-old’s abilities was made by Gary Neville when the midfielder came on as a substitute against Arsenal in the 1-1 draw on Monday night. The TV pundit is not sure where he fits into United’s midfield:
“He looks like he takes the ball, he’s tidy on it. But I don’t see a goalscorer, I don’t see a defensive-midfield player, I don’t see a runner. So I’m not quite sure what I see.”
Some players can take a while when they move to a new country, but despite spending 16 months with the club, there are no signs that Fred will establish himself as a first-team player at the club.
When it comes to Alexis Sanchez’s selection in the Worst XI, there can be no surprises either. The Chilean scored just five goals in 45 appearances for United over an eighteen-month period.
The winger never looked settled and struggled to stay fit for long enough to make a significant impact. However, he has found some form since switching to Inter Milan on loan.
Sanchez scored in his last league outing, before being sent off in the 3-1 win against Sampdoria. He also provided the assist for Lautaro Martinez’s opener against Barcelona last night before Inter succumbed to a 2-1 defeat.
It’s disappointing that he didn’t show that type of form in a United shirt, and it will be interesting to see what happens if he has a good season with the Italian side. His loan deal does not have an option to buy in the summer.