Manchester United’s season is coming to an end, albeit it may have already been over for some.
United will play their final game of the season on Sunday when they travel to Crystal Palace. United travel to Selhurst Park knowing that a win could still be required to guarantee a spot in the Europa League, with West Ham just two points behind and threatening to drop them into the Europa Conference League.
It may be an opportunity for the players who appear in this weekend’s final game to capture the attention of incoming manager Erik ten Hag. For others, that chance has long since passed – here’s a look at the 12 players who may have already played their final game for United.
Grant was never recruited to United to compete for the number one spot, therefore his outings for the club have come as a surprise. After four years with the club, the 39-year-contract old’s expires in the summer.
The former Stoke City goalkeeper has only appeared twice for the first team during his time at Old Trafford, with the latter coming in the Europa League defeat to Astana in 2019. It’s safe to presume he won’t play against Palace on Sunday.
Henderson, 25, appears to be on his way to the northeast this summer, with a move to Newcastle on the cards. After missing out on a loan transfer to St James’ Park in January, the academy graduate appears to be getting his desire to obtain vital game time next season.
A season-long loan has been discussed, but a permanent transfer is not out of the question. If such is the case, Henderson’s last game would have been the FA Cup fourth-round defeat to Middlesbrough in February.
Bailly has gotten so anxious for playing time this season that he has resorted to responding to supporters’ requests to play on social media. The Ivorian has had a tough few months, having not played for United since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations.
The 28-year-old is said to have informed his teammates of his plans to leave this summer. His final appearance appears to have been in the 3-1 win over Burnley in December, when he was hurt shortly after the hour mark, effectively ending his United career.
Jones’ recovery appears to have been fleeting. After making a surprising return against Wolves in January, the 30-year-old has only made four more appearances, including that disastrous start against Liverpool at Anfield. He appears to have left on a positive note, with his final appearance coming in the win over Brentford earlier this month.
Pogba has most certainly played his final game for United, but he is far from finished. As the summer approaches, there will undoubtedly be considerable conjecture about his next destination, with Juventus, PSG, and Real Madrid all being linked.
The midfielder’s second stint at Old Trafford failed to live up to the hype, and many fans are now eager to see him go. His final game will not be remembered fondly, as he was substituted less than 10 minutes after Liverpool’s 4-0 defeat last month.
Mata could play against Palace on Sunday, albeit following the thrashing at Brighton a week ago, he may have fallen further down the pecking order. This season, the 34-year-old has faded into obscurity at Manchester United.
His recent performance in the 3-0 win over Brentford indicates that he should have been given more chances this season, especially considering United’s midfield woes. The 4-0 loss to the Seagulls a week later may have proven to be a false dawn.
In football, there have been more elegant exits. Lingard’s long history with United appears to be ending on a low note, with family members criticizing the club for the way in which he will depart.
The 29-year-old did not receive the farewell he had planned for at Old Trafford. Instead, his final outing appears to have been a 3-1 loss at Arsenal, effectively ending United’s top-four ambitions and leaving a bitter taste in the England international’s mouth.
Nobody knows where Pereira will finish up next season. The midfielder’s chances of a permanent move to Flamengo at the end of his loan stay appear to be dwindling, having fallen out of favor with the Brazilian club following his high-profile error in the Copa Libertadores final.
If the deal falls through, he still has a year left at United, albeit he virtually probably has no future there. His last appearance for the club was in August 2020, when he appeared in the delayed second leg of the Europa League last-16 tie against Austrian side LASK, which United won 7-1 on aggregate.
Matic has a high possibility of playing on Sunday, despite the fact that we already know he’ll be departing the club.
After largely serving as a backup to Fred and Scott McTominay for the first half of the season, Matic has resurfaced and proven to be United’s finest midfield option. His inability to play frequently has been a problem, and he may well hope to play at Palace if only to avoid having the defeat to Brighton be his final game for the club.
Donny van de Beek
Van de Beek’s future appears to be questionable. His loan at Everton has not gone as planned, and it will not have done him any favors back at Old Trafford.
Ten Hag’s arrival may provide him with a lifeline, but with United looking for new midfielders this summer, they may be forced to make a difficult decision on the 25-year-old. With three years remaining on his contract, he is likely to continue, but if the club decides to cash in, his farewell appearance will have been indicative of his time at the club, having come on in the final minute against Aston Villa in January.
Martial was a miserable figure at Old Trafford before being sent out to Sevilla. Things haven’t gone as planned since then.
Only two goals in 23 appearances for both clubs this season says a lot about the French forward’s form. It’s quite likely that United will try to unload him this summer, despite the fact that he did play a role in his previous outing for the club, setting Edinson Cavani away to set up Marcus Rashford’s winner against West Ham in January.
Cavani, speaking about Cavani, is one of the few players whose contract expires this summer. He could play against Palace but considering his track record at United, he might just as easily pull out hurt.
Most supporters were undoubtedly astonished to see him at all in recent games, but his final appearance could be that defeat at Brighton. The 35-year-old will be remembered as another example of Manchester United’s poor transfer strategy in recent years.