Jan Molby

Five players United must offload this month to save their season

Manchester United’s turbulent first season under David Moyes has been well documented, both here on my blog and across the Eurosport website.

Now the January transfer window is open, many names have been linked with Old Trafford as potential saviours for the 2013/14 season, before it fast becomes the worst in the giant club’s recent history.

But before you can add, you usually have to clear out dead wood and make space for new arrivals. So instead of suggesting signings, I am going to list five players United need to offload this month, as fast as they can, in order to pave the way for new blood.

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Rio Ferdinand

Ferdinand in his day was one of the finest centre-backs to grace the Premier League, no doubt. But at 33 and after several big injuries, we must face up to the fact that the current demands at this level of the game are too much for the veteran.

Not only has he seen better days, but the longer he sticks around and tries to repeat old performances, the more he risks ruining his legacy built up over almost a dozen seasons at the club. If playing in another division just doesn’t appeal to him, perhaps he should just call it a day.

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Patrice Evra

Evra, for me, is probably disappointed he’s still at United. He looked set to head back to France a while back and that probably would have been a perfectly-timed move in hindsight.

Don’t get me wrong – Patrice remains okay and is particularly dangerous going forward but for me his defending has regressed as he has aged and with the club in its current state, they can’t afford to be so charitable to veteran players based on prior reputations.

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Anderson

Anderson has been at the club long enough, and more importantly, has been linked with a move away long enough – which says it all, really.

I still believe he could be a fantastic player for someone else. While such moves are classically seen as demotions, the likes of Anderson could probably switch to, say, Everton and not only play for a team with less pressure and expectations, but who are actually higher up the league table.

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Nani

A very similar case to that of Anderson. I recall seeing some of Nani early in his career at Sporting Lisbon and thinking he has all the tools to be a world-beater, but it’s likely that he’ll never ascend higher than the quality level just beneath that.

The thing about a move such as Everton rings true for Nani as well as Anderson, but to be honest I think a move to a different top flight could be just the spark they both need while also funding United’s quest to solve their current issues. Giuseppe Rossi and Diego Forlan are great examples of that type of United player.

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Javier Hernandez

Chicharito situation at Old Trafford is an unfortunate case. You get the impression that 10 years ago he would have been the perfect player for United, but now he finds himself marginalised by RVP and Wayne Rooney and as a result it’s cost him some of his edge.

He too could have a Rossi or Forlan-esque rebirth abroad, with his compatriot Carlos Vela a good example of how some players just slot in better in La Liga, for example, than the PL. He of course would carry significant value, more than my other four suggestions, which can go straight into re-investment.

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Usually teams struggle when they undergo a complete makeover on the pitch – look at Tottenham’s teething issues despite £100m of re-investment. But at the moment, David Moyes’ term cannot get any worse. Offloading the following five players, maybe more, and ushering the club’s current January targets is a risk worth taking because it frankly cannot go any worse for them at the moment.