This January transfer window was a quiet one as compared to previous years. Last year saw Bruno Fernandes join The Red Devils, a monumental coup for the club. This season was much more about shifting on ‘dead wood’ and helping the youngsters progress. In this article, I will look at each of United’s departures in detail. We will also look at how it impacts the club going forward.
Very much the antithesis of what it meant to be a Man Utd player in this era. Ighalo was a boyhood Utd fan who got the chance to fulfil his dream at the age of 30. Brought in to some mumbled disappointment last January, Ighalo was keen to prove fans wrong and set about doing so when he got his opportunities.
Ighalo scored 5 times in 23 Utd appearances over the 19/20 season. His best being without doubt a smashed half-volley against LASK in the Europa League. Ighalo’s loan ended this year with the striker returning to China. I’m sure in his time at United, Ighalo gained lifelong football followers.
Ighalo on his time at Man Utd coming to an end“It’s so hard to see this dream come to an end.But I give God the glory for helping me fulfil this lifelong dream of putting on a Manchester United shirt as a player and represent this great club, it was indeed an honour I will forever cherish and be grateful for.”
The most controversial departure of the winter for United, Jesse Lingard has gone out on loan to West Ham United. He will of course link up with former United boss David Moyes and he will get the chance to play some minutes this season. Over the last couple of years, Jesse has had off-the-field issues that have hindered his performance.
It is easy to forget the great moments that he had at Man Utd over his 20-plus years at the club. He of course famously turned The Emirates into a dancefloor when he scored twice vs Arsenal in December 2017 – a feat which is still talked about today.
Whilst he may not have had the most highlight reel-type career at Man Utd, he will be remembered. Lingard showed a lot of heart for the club at a time where the ‘Man Utd way’ was questioned as being a thing of the past.
After joining the club’s youth ranks in 2014 Fosu-Mensah waved goodbye to The Old Trafford Faithful in January. Manchester United accepted an offer of £1.8 Million for the Dutch defender from Bayer Leverkusen. With this move, he should get to play more top level league football and really kick on with his career.
Despite only making 30 appearances for Utd’s senior squad, Timbo was a fan favourite. Lauded by many to be our next defensive great he will always have a place in our hearts. Seen by many to be capable of providing cover for Wan-Bissaka, the jury is still out on whether Utd will regret the decision to let him go.
Unlike his loan stints at relegation battlers Palace and Fulham, Fosu-Mensah is playing for a top team. He has a chance to really show what he can do on his new adventure.
One of the most passionate players you are ever likely to see on a football pitch. Rojo joined Man Utd from Sporting CP in 2014 for £16 Million and at the time was a young defender with the footballing world at his feet.
Sadly this never came to fruition, and this deadline day Rojo moved back to his homeland to play for Boca Juniors on a permanent deal. Always a player plagued by injury, Rojo was unfortunate in his time at Man Utd. Playing only 76 games in his 6 and a half years at the club and failed to ever settle himself in the Man Utd defensive line.
He showed a love for the game that many few have, always smiling when on the pitch and giving 110%. He will be remembered by the loyal fans as a player with so much potential that never quite clicked.
Mengi and Laird
Two players whose Man Utd careers are still very much on the up. Ethan Laird and Teden Mengi both found developmental loan moves in England during this window.
Mengi has gone on loan to Championship side Derby County. This is a fantastic opportunity for one of Utd’s best young talents to get some first-team football. He will have great mentorship there too from the newly-appointed head coach and United legend Wayne Rooney.
Ethan Laird has joined MK Dons on loan. This a great move for the young talent. He will get to play in a very physical league before returning back to the club to compete for a spot in the first team. With ex-Premier League players such as Andrew Surman and Cameron Jerome at the club, Laird will be a sponge for knowledge. We should see a noticeable improvement during this loan spell.
“That is going to be good for him. Wayne has been a top striker and I’m sure he will go in there and show him a few things himself.”Ole on Mengi’s loan at Derby County
Now onto a player who had to go a little further afield for first team development this window. Pellistri has joined La Liga side Deportivo Alaves on loan until the end of the season.
Pellistri made a mere 6 appearances for Man Utd’s U23 side in the Premier League 2 and scored 2 goals whilst assisting 1. These contributions along with more impressive performances left Ole to search for a top league for Pellistri to develop in.
Having joined in the summer of 2020 for a reported £8.5 million it is clear that Utd think he has a bright future. Fans can’t wait to see what he brings to the team upon his return.