Manchester United is due for a significant squad rebuild this summer. The situation at Old Trafford seemed to look fairly positive after manager Erik ten Hag’s first campaign at the helm. The Dutchman took the team to third in the Premier League table and collected the Carabao Cup during the 2022/23 season.

Nevertheless, the Red Devils have struggled throughout the campaign and Ten Hag’s future is now up in the air. United previously finished bottom of their Champions League group and currently sits sixth in the standings. While they still have an FA Cup final against Manchester City, United’s 2023/24 season has been disappointing overall.

Finishing in the top four of the English top flight is typically seen as a minimum requirement for United. However, this is now mathematically impossible as they are now 13 points behind Aston Villa with just four fixtures remaining in the schedule. As a result of the failure, United brass will likely want to revamp a majority of the squad.

United has five players to structure rebuild around

At the moment, there may be just five United players that the club will want to build around. Bruno Fernandes, Kobbie Mainoo, Rasmus Hojlund, Lisandro Martinez, and Alejandro Garnacho are all rated highly by team brass. Fernandes and Mainoo are now most likely the two most important players in the entire squad. While the club may be fielding offers for a plethora of players, these two will undoubtedly remain on the roster.

Hojlund was only just brought in last summer for around $80 million. While the striker struggled at the beginning of his time in Manchester, he has shown glimpses of what he can bring to the table. 19-year-old Garnacho has also performed fairly well considering his age and inexperience heading into the season. Martinez, on the other hand, is undoubtedly the top defender at the club. The center-back endured a tough campaign due to injuries, but he is a quality defender when fit.

A few players that will almost certainly be on their way out come June are Anthony Martial, Raphael Varane, Jonny Evans, and Tom Heaton. The quartet will all be out of contract once the season ends. Sofyan Amrabat is going to return to Fiorentina after a disappointing loan spell in England.

Arsenal, Chelsea also revamped squads but heading in different directions

Perhaps the most prominent player to potentially depart United this summer is Marcus Rashford. The England international was untouchable just last year. Nevertheless, the club will likely listen to offers over a possible transfer in the coming months. Although the Red Devils may be open to selling Rashford, the market for the star is not exactly large. As a result, the attacker could remain with the team for the 2024/25 season.

Much of the transfer business this summer at United will settle after the club decides on Ten Hag’s future. The club may sack the manager after the current campaign depending on results in the FA Cup and the Premier League. If so, team executives must build a squad that appeases a new potential head coach.

Overhauling a team, especially one with major expectations such as United, is a tough task. Fellow top English sides Arsenal and Chelsea both recently underwent similar moves. The two teams, however, have since gone in different directions. The Gunners are fighting for a Premier League title after changing the majority of their squad. Chelsea, on the other hand, currently finds itself in the middle of the table despite spending $1 billion on new players.

Impatient fans of the Red Devils will hope the club can avoid comparable issues as Chelsea and instead take a page from Arsenal’s book. United needs to be fighting for a league title again as soon as possible.