What happened to the 19 Man Utd players sold by Louis van Gaal #ManUtd

What happened to the 19 Man Utd players sold by Louis van Gaal




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During his tenure at Manchester United Louis van Gaal was not exactly blessed with a Midas touch in the transfer market.

While he’ll never be allowed to forget the fact that he was in charge when United spent a then-British record £59.7m on Angel Di Maria – in return for which he got one lovely dink against Leicester and not much else – he also brought in Marcos Rojo, Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin for upwards of £85m.

None of those transfers could be described as a great success (and that’s not even to mention a ludicrously expensive loan move for Radamel Falcao).

So what happened to the players who were sold during his tenure?  On the anniversary of his FA Cup triumph, we take a look…

Some ground rules: that’s not including players who were released, like Rio Ferdinand, or those who departed on a free transfer, like Darren Fletcher.

We’re sticking to those who left for an actual fee.

Louis was once king of Old Trafford..

Alexander Buttner

One of Sir Alex Ferguson’s last signings, Buttner was not a hit at Old Trafford.

After a handful of appearances across two seasons, Van Gaal allowed him to depart for Dynamo Moscow for £4.4m.

After a spell back at Vitesse Arnhem, where he re-launched his career, he agreed to join MLS side New England Revolution in November.

Alexander Buttner never quite made the grade at Old Trafford

Patrice Evra

Evra left for Juventus shortly after Van Gaal’s appointment, though he later claimed that the Dutchman wanted him to stay.

He won two Serie A titles with the Bianconeri before moving to Marseille, where he was sacked for fly-kicking an abusive fan. Finished his career with an unremarkable spell at West Ham.

Bebe

An enigma, a legend, Bebe is often cited as one of the most puzzling United signings in recent memory.

Sold to Benfica not long after Van Gaal’s arrival, he struggled back in Portugal and, after several loans and a spell with Eibar in La Liga, he now plays for Rayo Vallecano.

Shinji Kagawa

After a glittering spell at Borussia Dortmund under Jurgen Klopp, Kagawa was meant to be the man to reinvigorate United’s midfield when he arrived in 2012. It didn’t quite work out that way, sadly, and Van Gaal let him return to Dortmund for a cut-price fee.

After a less successful second spell in Germany, Kagawa departed for Real Zaragoza last summer and now plays in Spain’s Segunda Division.

Tom Lawrence

Sold to Leicester City near the close of Van Gaal’s first transfer window, Lawrence went on a series of loans before joining Derby County in 2017.

Involved in a drink driving incident along with teammates Mason Bennett and Richard Keogh back in September, he has mainly been in the headlines for the wrong reasons this season.

Danny Welbeck

Van Gaal’s decision to sell Welbeck to Arsenal for £16m did not go down well with United fans at the time.

A local lad and something of a fan favourite, Welbeck’s departure was widely perceived as a ruthless decision from above.

Though his time at Arsenal was blighted by injuries, he did knock United out of the FA Cup in 2015 on the way to a second triumph in as many years for his new team.

He joined Watford last August, but this season has also been badly disrupted by fitness issues.

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Danny Welbeck was a fans’ favourite at United

Michael Keane

Sold to Burnley for around £2m in 2015 after failing to impress Van Gaal, Keane went on to establish himself as a consistent performer under Sean Dyche before moving to Everton for an initial £25m two years later.

Now an England international, he no doubt feels that he proved the Dutchman wrong quite emphatically.

Marnick Vermijl

Along with Keane, Vermijl went down in Van Gaal’s estimation thanks to featuring in the United team which lost 4-0 in the League Cup to MK Dons.

After bouncing between Sheffield Wednesday, Preston and Scunthorpe in the Football League, he now plays for MVV Maastricht in the Netherlands.

Wilfried Zaha

Zaha’s spell at Old Trafford remains a bizarre footnote to his career and, having made only four appearances under David Moyes, Van Gaal allowed him to return to Crystal Palace on loan before the deal was made permanent for around £3m.

One of the most in-demand players in the Premier League over the last few seasons, Zaha is now valued at anywhere up to £80m.

United could probably have done with a winger of his quality in recent years.

Angelo Henriquez

Having signed for United in 2012, Henriquez failed to make a single appearance for the club and moved on to Dinamo Zagreb three years later.

He now plays for Universidad de Chile in his home county and is still, somehow, only 26.

Nani

Loaned out to Sporting Lisbon in Van Gaal’s first season, Nani did well at his new club and scored 12 goals in 37 appearances.

A permanent move to Fenerbahce came the following year, where he continued to enjoy a low-key renaissance.

Not a big fan of Van Gaal, Nani later criticised him for treating United’s players like “kids”.

Nani did not take to Louis van Gaal’s methods

Robin van Persie

Given their Dutch connection, Van Gaal was meant to be the man who could get the best out of Van Persie. Instead, their one season together saw United’s star striker dogged by injury and increasingly out of form.

After a conversation Van Persie later described as “ruthless”, he was moved on to Fenerbahce in 2015.

A reasonably prolific spell in Turkey was followed by a swansong with Feyenoord, before he retired last year.

Reece James

James left Old Trafford in the summer of 2015 with one senior appearance to his name, joining Wigan for an undisclosed fee.

He now plays for Doncaster Rovers in League One, having spent last season at Sunderland.

Rafael

Though twin brother Fabio left United on Moyes’ watch, Rafael stayed and was a bit-part player in Van Gaal’s first season.

Leaving for Lyon the following summer, he has since established himself as a mainstay in Ligue 1 and has made 138 appearances for Les Gones.

Angel Di Maria

Perhaps the worst thing about the Di Maria debacle is that, having left Old Trafford, he was suddenly good again.

With his wife making headlines earlier this month for describing Manchester as a “s***hole”, it would be fair to say that he didn’t take to life in England. Over the last five seasons with PSG, he has scored 81 goals in 217 appearances and rebuilt his reputation as one of the world’s most dangerous wingers.

Jonny Evans

Allowed to join West Brom for £8m in 2015, Evans maintained his individual cachet even as the Baggies were relegated three seasons later and was, at various points, linked with a move to Arsenal and even Manchester City.

Snapped up by Leicester in the aftermath of West Brom’s relegation, he has been a regular this season as they have soared to third under Brendan Rodgers’ management.

That’s two places above United, which says it all really.

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Javier Hernandez

Hernandez is another player who, upon leaving Old Trafford, suddenly found his form again.

Loaned out to Real Madrid in Van Gaal’s first season, he had a respectable season at the Bernabeu before making a permanent move to Bayer Leverkusen.

He had the most prolific spell of his career in the Bundesliga, though less successful stints at West Ham and Sevilla followed and he now plays for LA Galaxy.

Ben Pearson

Sold to Preston North End for an undisclosed fee in Van Gaal’s final January transfer window, Pearson has been a regular there ever since.

Liam Grimshaw

Grimshaw also moved to Preston North End that January, though he now plays for Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership.

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