Wan Bissaka, Van de Beek & the six players who could leave Man Utd in the January transfer window

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Aaron Wan-Bissaka Donny van de Beek Manchester United GFX
It promises to be a busy month for the Red Devils as Erik ten Hag seeks to bolster his attacking ranks, but there may also be a few departures...

Manchester United have re-emerged as a formidable force at the start of the season and finally boast the strength in depth to cope with the demands of competing across four different fronts.

New manager Erik ten Hag signed six new players in the summer and all of them have integrated seamlessly into the squad, but pre-existing stars have fallen down the pecking order as a result.

It may be necessary for the Dutchman to trim the fat in the winter market, particularly as there may not be enough room for any further signings until the club's overall wage bill is reduced.

Permanent departures could be arranged for those who no longer appear to have a long-term future at Old Trafford, while others may be forced to go out on loan to continue their development.

GOAL runs down the players that may not be a part of United's plans in the new year...

  1. Aaron Wan-Bissaka

    Aaron Wan-Bissaka

    Wan-Bissaka was a guaranteed starter in his first two seasons at Old Trafford under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and arguably one of United's most consistent performers.

    However, questions have always been asked of the former Crystal Palace man's contribution going forward, as he has often been accused of playing with his head down and lacking the technical ability to take players on and deliver decisive passes.

    Wan-Bissaka has dropped completely out of favour since Ten Hag's arrival, playing only four minutes in the first half of the season, and United are reportedly ready to cut their losses.

    The 25-year-old won't fetch anywhere close to the £50 million he cost the club in 2019, but he's unlikely to go for peanuts either, given his contract is still due to run until 2024.

    A potential return to Palace has been mooted for Wan Bissaka, which might suit all parties concerned, and open up room for United to sign a new right-back to challenge Diogo Dalot for a regular starting spot.

  2. Facundo Pellistri

    Facundo Pellistri

    Pellistri was touted as a future star for United after joining from Penarol for £9 million in October 2020, having been followed by club scouts throughout the early stages of his career in Uruguay.

    Fast forward to the present day and the talented young winger, who was reportedly recommended to Old Trafford officials by former United striker Diego Forlan, is still waiting for his first senior appearance for the Red Devils.

    Pellistri returned to the club in the summer after a second loan spell at Alaves, and has been named among Ten Hag's substitutes on a number of occasions this season, but the Dutchman has been reluctant to hand him any minutes.

    Uruguay boss Diego Alonso took the decision to take the 20-year-old to the World Cup despite his lack of action in Manchester, and he was one of the few positives for La Celeste as they suffered a group-stage exit.

    Pellistri's efforts in Qatar are unlikely to change his situation at Old Trafford, with it reported that United are planning to send him back out on loan as soon as the transfer window re-opens.

    A permanent exit could even be on the cards for Pellistri, who looks as though he has very little chance of making it to the June 2025 expiry date in his contract.

  3. Tenden Mengi

    Tenden Mengi

    Teden Mengi looked destined for a swift introduction to the United first team after graduating from the academy in 2019.

    The centre-back was handed his senior debut for the Red Devils in a Europa League clash with LASK in August 2020, but failed to kick on and ended up joining Derby County on loan the following February.

    Mengi signed a new contract at United a month later, but had to return early from Pride Park due to injury, and his fortunes did not improve in the first half of the 2021-22 season.

    Due to United's plethora of options in the heart of the defence, with Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane all well ahead of him, Mengi once again struggled for a breakthrough after getting back to full fitness.

    Another loan move was arranged in January, this time to Birmingham City, but after an impressive start with the Blues, a recurring hamstring issue brought him crashing back down to earth.

    Mengi made a long-awaited return to the first-team fold during the World Cup break, but he suffered yet another injury in a friendly loss to Real Betis, and it has been reported that United could cut their losses on the 20-year-old in January.

  4. Donny van de Beek
    Getty Images

    Donny van de Beek

    The post-Sir Alex Ferguson era at United has produced a number of flops, including the likes of Angel Di Maria and Alexis Sanchez.

    The curious case of Donny van de Beek trumps them all, though, as few supporters understood why he was even a target when he arrived in Manchester from Ajax for £35 million in September 2020.

    Bruno Fernandes had already taken on the role of United's chief midfield creator after joining the club the previous January, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also had Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Fred and Scott McTominay to call upon in the middle of the park.

    There was never a spot open for Van de Beek in the first place, and he was restricted to just two Premier League starts for United before being loaned to Everton at the start of 2022.

    The 25-year-old was tipped for a major boost after reuniting with his former Ajax boss Ten Hag in the summer, but he has once again played a bit-part role for the Red Devils this season.

    Ten Hag has made it clear Van de Beek won't be loaned out again, but he could well be on the club's 'for sale' list in the new year. The United boss told reporters in November: "A loan doesn’t make sense. It’s either he finds himself and he proves himself in this atmosphere or he goes."

  5. Shola Shoretire

    Shola Shoretire

    Next up is the youngest player to ever appear for United in European competition, the promising English forward Shoretire.

    The teenager made his first-team debut for the Red Devils in a Premier League clash with Newcastle on February 21, 2021 - one week after his 17th birthday.

    Shoretire broke Norman Whiteside's club record four days later when stepping off the bench in a Europa League tie against Real Sociedad, and went on to finish the season with a total of five first-team appearances to his name.

    A number of Championship clubs were reportedly interested in signing Shoretire on loan in the summer, but Ten Hag kept him at Old Trafford amid a lack of central striker options.

    The England Under-21 international is still waiting for his first appearance under the Dutchman, however, and may be tempted by a temporary winter move if interest in his services starts to build once again.

  6. Brandon Williams
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    Brandon Williams

    Williams has quickly discovered the harsh nature of life at one of the top clubs in Europe since taking his senior bow in September 2019.

    The left-back made an instant impact and finished his first full season in the United first team with 37 appearances across all competitions. He kept Luke Shaw out of the starting XI for much of 2019-20, but his minutes gradually began to reduce the following campaign.

    United bolstered their defensive options further with the addition of Alex Telles from Porto in October 2020, which ultimately led to Williams being loaned out to Norwich City some 10 months later.

    The England U21 international played 26 Premier League games for the Canaries but his stock didn't really go back up given their relegation to the Championship, and he has so far been frustrated in his pursuit of a first-team role under Ten Hag at Old Trafford.

    It has been reported that Williams, who is still under contract at United until 2024, won't be sold outright in January, but another loan could be on the cards for a player who looks in desperate need of a fresh start.