Revealed: Jose Mourinho's Manchester United axe list

Now entering the latter stages of February, you can get a good understanding of a club’s current squad and what is and is not working.

It has been interesting to watch Jose Mourinho work with this current crop of Manchester United players – especially his handling of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Wayne Rooney and Luke Shaw.

Not to mention his very strict policy of ‘no youth to play under my watch’.

But, alas, young Marcus Rashford has made 33 appearances this season. The England international only has one Premier League goal since September and so it’s not because he’s young that he’s not being picked.

Schweinsteiger is one player that looks certain to be leaving Manchester this summer. It was clear that the Red Devils’ hierarchy wanted the World Cup winner to exit last year, but an appropriate offer did not come in.



The former Bayern Munich midfielder might have worked his way into the Europa League squad and featuring in a few FA Cup games, but that does not make his future safe. Man United will still be looking to offload him in the summer with a year left on his contract.

It is a shame as not only is Schweinsteiger a fan favourite at Old Trafford, he could have offered the Red Devils something unique: a plethora of experience to pull on and composure in the middle of the park. If Mourinho’s men go into the deep stages of the Europa League, they must use Schweinsteiger one final time.

Ashley Young’s career in Manchester looks all but over. It appears the winger does not have a position cemented down under Mourinho. This season, he has been used at right-back and as a left attacking midfielder – two very different positions. To be frank, Young’s not good enough to start over anyone in the current line-up and will be leaving this summer.

There was strong interest from China in January but Young would rather stay at the club until the summer and then make a decision. His preference is to stay in England.

Ashley Young's Old Trafford career looks over
Ashley Young’s Old Trafford career looks over

Perhaps for a long time coming, but, Rooney’s legacy is nearing the end at Manchester United. He is now decorated as the all-time top goalscorer for club and country and will be looking to move on with that still firmly in the forefront of people’s minds.

Mourinho’s handling of Rooney has been exemplary. Everyone could see Rooney is not the same player he once was – he hasn’t been for many years now – and so the Portuguese manager slowly, over the course of months, reduced his game time to the point where he’s only appearing off the bench for a handful of minutes.

From now until the end of the season, the Manchester United captain will play in the FA Cup, Europa League and perhaps even in the EFL Cup final next weekend against Southampton. With the Red Devils still in, technically, four competitions, Rooney can still offer his services one last time.

Full backs have been a bit of an issue for Manchester United this season. Surprisingly, it is Antonio Valencia who is by far the best wing-back the Red Devils possess. Shaw and Matteo Darmian have traded blows in who has been more of a disappointment.

For Shaw, it is perhaps understandable that he has not regained the form he showed before his horrific leg break, and the mental resilience he will need to show must not be undermined. The England left-back has a long way back into the first-team and has a huge few months.

If he does not show signs of improvement to the coaches, there might well be a shock departure on our hands come the summer.

Darmian looks set to return to Italy. In January, Manchester United received informal approaches from Inter Milan enquiring about the right-back. He has mostly been played as a left-back due to United’s lack of options there and has looked out of his depth.

There will be a hefty turnover this summer and that revolving door will continue until the summer transfer window closes.