Woodward’s mistakes: £56m duo must be replaced with a certain type of player at United – opinion

It could be a busy transfer period at Old Trafford next month as the club is reportedly willing to listen to offers for Nemanja Matic and Marcos Rojo, according to The Times.

What’s the word, then?

There has been a lot of change in personnel since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over but results haven’t necessarily improved. However, that doesn’t mean the United boss is going to change pace, as apparently both Matic and Rojo will be moved on next month if an appropriate offer is made.

The Times suggest that the club is keen to pick up a fee for the former, as his current contract runs out next summer, having signed a three-year deal when he arrived at the Theatre of Dreams for £40m back in 2017.

Rojo has also struggled in his spell in Manchester, mainly due to injuries, and it appears he has run out of time to convince Solsjkaer that he deserves his place in the squad, having made just three league appearances this campaign. Only one of those outings were starts.


Solskjaer hasn’t been afraid to make difficult decisions since coming in and although his project hasn’t been too fruitful yet, he has at least stuck by his plan and the direction he wants to take.

Offloading the pair would once again help to reduce a huge wage bill and possibly make funds available to sign young, hungry players – like Erling Haaland.

Youth players like Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams have been given a chance and impressed in recent weeks, though with Manchester United lying eighth in the table they would benefit hugely from some experience.

The loss of Matic and Rojo would see that aspect of the squad erode further, as both have played at international and Champions League level.

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Solskjaer, therefore, should be careful not to put all his eggs in one basket and instead look to bring in players with a lot of games and know-how under their belt, as their guidance could be key for the younger players.

Neither Matic or Rojo have really lived up to their transfer fee, with the Argentine costing £16m, so they are also examples of expensive mistakes that have been signed under Ed Woodward. Coming to a combined total of £56m, neither have delivered on a regular enough basis.

Solskjaer is right to take the step to make them available for transfer, particularly as Matic has played only three times in the league in 2019/20.

In other Manchester United news, the defeat to Watford was bad, but one player in particular stood out for his shocking display.

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