David de Gea, Harry Maguire and the five players Man Utd must FINALLY show the exit door this summer

The Red Devils have made great strides forward under Erik ten Hag, but must clear out some deadwood in order to get back to the very top

Manchester United have undoubtedly made significant progress under Erik ten Hag this season, but the pitfalls of the squad were laid brutally bare against Sevilla in the Europa League.

The Red Devils were stewed in the cauldron that is the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, crumbling against a side languishing in 13th place in La Liga and exiting the Europa League quarter-finals with 3-0 defeat and a whimper.

🏆 TOP STORY: Ronaldo faces NO punishment for obscene gesture

📣 HAVE YOUR SAY: Who should replace woeful De Gea at Man Utd?

🚨 MUST READ: What UCL return means for Arsenal

Centre-back Harry Maguire and goalkeeper David de Gea were the culprits for two calamitous goals, while they were dominated in pretty much all facets of the game by their struggling hosts.

If more new faces are to arrive at Old Trafford this summer, it will be necessary for a few stragglers to be cut loose, and GOAL has identified five players that should definitely be on that list of potential outgoings...

  1. David de Gea

    David de Gea

    De Gea has been a great servant for Manchester United, there is certainly no doubt about that.

    Since being lured to Old Trafford from Atletico Madrid by Sir Alex Ferguson in 2011, the Spain international has appeared in 530 games for United, which puts him ninth in the club's all-time list.

    He surpassed Peter Schmeichel's clean sheet record after recording his 181st shut-out for United in their Carabao Cup final victory over Newcastle, and also has Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League winners' medals on his CV.

    However, De Gea has been costing United points on a regular basis for the best part of the last five years. His standards began to slip in Jose Mourinho's final year at the helm, with lazy errors becoming a regular occurrence.

    The general consensus among a large section of supporters and pundits is that De Gea has returned to form this season - but those mistakes have not been cut out. His pair of horrendous errors against Sevilla brutally exposed his lack of ability with the ball at his feet, in an era where keepers are expected to do far more than simply make saves.

    The reality is, the 32-year-old doesn't offer anything beyond the occasional camera save, and he is actually holding back the current squad. His distribution remains poor and he doesn't command his box, with United's defence often left alone to deal with high balls that would be bread-and-butter for most top-level keepers.

    De Gea's current contract is up this summer, but he has made it clear he wants to remain in Manchester, and it has been reported that negotiations with the club are progressing well. United would be wise to pull out of those talks immediately and focus on signing a new No.1 - with the man who has replaced him in the Spain national team, Brentford's David Raya, among those reported to be on the club's radar who would be a much better fit for Ten Hag's side.

  2. Victor Lindelof

    Victor Lindelof

    Lindelof joined United from Benfica back in 2017, and has since featured in 213 games for the club, with the majority of those outings coming as a starter.

    His playing time has been significantly reduced this season, though, with summer signing Lisandro Martinez getting the nod alongside Raphael Varane more often than not under Ten Hag.

    Luke Shaw has even been deployed at centre-back ahead of Lindelof at times, with the Swede now filling a backup role that has left him frustrated.

    Lindelof spoke out on his future while away on European Championship qualifying duty with his country last week, telling reporters: "Of course, like every player, you want to play every game and obviously I haven’t done that this season. In the summer we’ll re-evaluate and see what is best."

    United could let Lindelof remain on the bench until he becomes a free agent in 2024, but cashing in this summer seems like the best option.

    It has been reported that Inter could move for the 28-year-old, who might thrive if given a fresh start in Italy in the same way that his former team-mate Chris Smalling has done at Roma.

    Lindelof has never quite been up to the required standard of a top United defender, and that remains evident whenever he does feature in Ten Hag's line up. His career at Old Trafford is already as good as over, and he should pursue a new challenge before his stock drops too low.

  3. Scott McTominay
    Getty Images

    Scott McTominay

    McTominay has often been compared to United great Darren Fletcher since breaking into the first team at Old Trafford, due to his combative style of play and never-say-die attitude.

    The 26-year-old could never be accused on not giving his all, but he lacks the same footballing IQ that made Fletcher such a key part of Ferguson's squad in the final decade of his reign.

    Ten Hag asked McTominay to push higher up the pitch and man mark Newcastle's star man Bruno Guimaraes at St James' Park on Sunday, but had to abandon that plan after just 15 minutes.

    Guimaraes ran rings around the Scotland international, and he was unable to recover when dropped back into a deeper role alongside Marcel Sabitzer as the hosts took full control of the game.

    Newcastle have been strongly linked with McTominay in recent months, but he spectacularly failed his audition. He's not good enough to be a regular in the Magpies' midfielder - let alone United's.

    McTominay isn't even close to the level of Casemiro, who injected much-needed quality into the Red Devils' engine room after his move from Real Madrid last year. He became a figure of ridicule due to his ineffective partnership with Fred during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's reign, as the Brazilian was unfairly tarred with the same brush.

    Fred isn't always first choice under Ten Hag now either, but he is technically astute and his passing range often helps to drive United forward, while McTominay is nothing more than a willing runner.

    It has been apparent for some time that he does not belong at this level, and it makes little sense for United to keep him in their ranks, even as a squad player.

  4. Anthony Martial

    Anthony Martial

    Martial finally returned to action for United off the bench against Newcastle after missing 14 consecutive games due to a hip injury, replacing Burnley loanee Wout Weghorst.

    Ten Hag has had no choice but to use Weghorst as his first choice No.9 due to Martial's fitness struggles, which have ultimately prevented him from delivering on the huge potential he showed in his debut season at the club back in 2015-16.

    The France forward has only appeared in 15 games in all competitions this term, scoring six goals, leaving Marcus Rashford to shoulder the main goalscoring burden for the Red Devils.

    Martial was given a clean slate after returning from a dismal loan spell at Sevilla last summer, but Ten Hag knows he cannot rely on the 27-year-old to lead his attack, in the short or long term.

    After almost eight years in Manchester, Martial's time is finally up. He's had more than enough chances to prove himself under a whole host of different managers, but has always come up short.

    United are reportedly prioritising a new striker in the summer window, with Tottenham's Harry Kane and Napoli sensation Victor Osimhen said to be on their radar. Even when fully fit, Martial would not see any game time ahead of either of those two players.

    His body hasn't held up to the demands of elite-level football, but that only tells half the story. Question marks over Martial's attitude have always been there and he's not going to change now.

    United have the option to extend Martial's contract beyond its 2024 expiry date, but he is already taking up a valuable spot in the squad - all while pocketing a reported £250,000-per-week in wages.

    The time has come for both parties to say au revoir.

  5. Harry Maguire

    Harry Maguire

    How many successful teams play week in, week out with their captain on the bench?

    It is certainly a new situation for United, whose long list of previous skippers includes iconic figures such as Steve Bruce, Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Nemanja Vidic.

    Maguire once had his heart set on emulating them, but he is now a captain in name only. Ten Hag has refrained from taking the armband away from him, but current vice-captain Bruno Fernandes is the player that holds the most weight in the dressing room now.

    One of Ten Hag's first big decisions as United boss was to drop Maguire, whose flaws were on full display in the team's shocking pair of losses to Brighton and Brentford at the start of the season. The nadir came courtesy of his awful mistake against Sevilla.

    Varane and Martinez have since formed a strong partnership in the heart of the defence, forcing Maguire to accept a reduced role that has seen him start only 11 games in 2022-23.

    Speaking after one of those outings against Real Betis in the Europa League last month, the England international dismissed any suggestion that he is now surplus to requirements at Old Trafford. "I’ve an important role on and off the field at this club," he said. "Every day I try to make this club succeed, whether I’m playing or not. That’s my main focus at the moment."

    Maguire is very much in denial. United look a better side when he is not playing, and it's only a matter of time before Fernandes is made permanent captain.

    Leicester City have been tipped to try and re-sign the 30-year-old - who initially left the King Power Stadium to join United in a world-record deal back in 2018 - and he has also been mooted as a potential target for Aston Villa.

    Maguire is a solid defender, and would fit in well at any club of that stature, sitting just outside England's top six. But the last four years have proven he is not up to United's standard - not if they are serious about returning to the very top of the game.

    Ten Hag is said to have started preparations for a "ruthless" summer clearout already, and Maguire is on his list of unwanted troops. He should swallow his pride and cooperate during that process, unless he wants to completely waste another year of his career.