Erik ten Hag’s banished Manchester United players have finally left the club after a painful banishment.
Erik ten Hag’s revamp of Manchester United continues with the departure of two players.
During his first year at Manchester United, Erik ten Hag has displayed his ruthless side on multiple times. The Dutch manager was not afraid to dismiss Cristiano Ronaldo and terminate the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s contract, before dismissing sensation Marcus Rashford for being late to a team meeting.
Ten Hag made his presence known to the United squad early on, exiling many marginal players from the first-team squad at the start of the season. According to reports, five players were demoted due to the changing facilities at Carrington, United’s training base, only being able to accommodate 24 players.
Ten Hag had to have painful meetings with Phil Jones, Axel Tuanzebe, Brandon Williams, Shola Shoretire, and Tegen Mendi before the quintet was kicked out. Two of them are now officially on their way out.
Jones and Tuanzebe were named to the retained list alongside Ethan Galbraith, Di’Shon Bernard, Charlie Wellens, Eric Hanbury, and Manny Norkett, while David De Gea’s future remains uncertain as he was not named to the retained list and his contract expires at the end of the month.
Jones is United’s longest-serving player, however owing to injuries, he has only made 13 appearances since the start of the 2019/20 season. Before the 31-year-old’s release, he declared his departure from the club and composed an emotional note.
“It’s been very difficult, the last couple of years,” Jones said in his farewell. “There’s no denying that. There is no hiding away from that. My family have been instrumental in keeping me on the straight and narrow and keeping me focused, to try to get fit and try to play more.
“To wear this shirt, even just once, to wear this badge and represent everyone associated with it, has been an honour. I wish I could have played more. I wish I could have given more to the many squads I played amongst. I will say, from the bottom of my heart, I did everything I could. I did everything the medical team asked of me.”
Tuanzebe joined Stoke on loan in January after remained at Old Trafford for the first half of the season despite being banned by Ten Hag, but worsened a back injury and was unable to play more than four Championship games after initially showing promise at the Bet365 Stadium.
In their statement about Tuanzebe, United emphasized his struggle with Kylian Mbappe more than his exile by Ten Hag. “Tuanzebe, who famously got the better of Kylian Mbappe in our group-stage victory over Paris Saint-Germain in 2020/21, has been hugely unlucky with injuries during his time at United but returned to action on loan at Stoke City last season,” it continued.