One of the things that Ed Woodward said about Manchester United’s poor summer transfer window was that new United boss David Moyes wanted to “spend time with the squad” to understand what he had before deciding on what he needed to add via the transfer market.
Well four months later and Moyes should have a pretty good idea by now about who fits into his plans and who doesn’t so that he can now start to shape the squad the way he wants. And one of his first steps will be deciding what United players get new contracts.
United have 12 first team players whose contracts expire in the next 20 months. They are:
- 2014: Fabio, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs
- 2015: Darren Fletcher, Wayne Rooney, Antonio Valencia, Tom Cleverley, Anderson, Ben Amos
While the Rooney contract will garner all the headlines, Moyes has to make some big decisions on the future of Ferdinand, Vidic, and Carrick in the next 60 days as they can start to talk to other teams on January 1.
While Giggs is destined to eventually become a coach at Old Trafford and Evra has already said that he is leaving, the decisions on Carrick, Ferdinand and Vidic are huge.
If the contracts of Carrick, Ferdinand and Vidic are not renewed and Evra leaves that is 21 Premier League winners’ medals lost from the United dressing room. Can United really allow such experience to leave all at once?
It was less than 30 months ago when United lost the 2011 Champions League final to Barcelona. That night at Wembley United’s line-up was: Van Der Sar, Fabio, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Park, Rooney and Hernandez.
There is a very real possibility that by the start of next season that Wayne Rooney might be the only one still playing in the United first team on a regular basis. That would be a massive dismantling of a team that reached three champions league finals in four years.
The big challenge for David Moyes will be who he brings in to replace all these players. One of the strengths of Sir Alex Ferguson was his ability to rebuild United will maintaining a title challenge. Can David Moyes do the same over the 18 months as he overhauls the United squad.