Six players might have played their final Manchester United game after victory vs Wolves

  The players mob Mata, who might be among the departures A number of players might have made their final Man Utd appearance in the clash wi...


The players mob Mata, who might be among the departures
A number of players might have made their final Man Utd appearance in the clash with Wolves on the final day of the Premier League season

It was always inevitable Manchester United would make extensive changes to their line up against Wolves on Sunday, but a first appearance for Phil Jones was always going to be a far stretch despite the occasion.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer almost went as far as to admit his sole focus was on this week's Europa League final in Villarreal, you can't blame him at all for being in that frame of mind.

The final match of the season was a chance for the Norwegian to once again promote his youth philosophy, with the feel-good attitude he has instilled at Old Trafford a key reason why he could soon be rewarded with a new contract.

For those high up at the club, Solskjaer has already done enough to showcase why he deserves longer to transform his cultural rebuild into a culture of winning trophies, but for some fans it will take silverware in Gdansk to convince them of his suitability going forward.

Another key component of Solskjaer's success so far is that behind his smile and upbeat nature he possesses a ruthless streak which will once again need to be demonstrated this summer.

Just as he ruthlessly showed no mercy to opposition defences during his playing time, it is now a perfect platform for the baby-faced assassin to once again show such merciless operations in the summer transfer window.

If that is the case then six players might have played their final game in a United shirt.

The Jones no-show should reaffirm the fact he has likely represented the club for the last time, that being when he scored in a 6-0 win vs Tranmere back in January 2020.

Elsewhere there could be more tear-jerking departures from the senior set-up with Juan Mata out of contract this summer, while dressing room favourite Lee Grant has not been offered fresh terms to extend this stay.

Mata was bombarded by his United teammates as he celebrated converting his penalty just before half-time at Molineux, with every outfield player joining him to commemorate perhaps his final goal in a United shirt.

The scenes certainly suggested that might be the case, while the fact he was eventually replaced by Hannibal Mejbri could carry a poignant message that it is out with the old and in with the new for United this summer.

Brandon Williams and Axel Tuanzebe could both be loan departures in the months ahead after tricky seasons which has seen playing time at a premium. Williams is effectively third-choice at left-back and could go further down the pecking order on the right if either Ethan Laird or Diogo Dalot stay in the team after their respective loan spells away from the club this season.

Both will still dream of long-term futures at the club, but it's safe to say the season has not gone how either of them had envisaged when they set their own personal targets last September.

Williams was unfortunate not to cap his display with a goal when an effort was saved well with Rui Patricio, but after a taste for first-team football last season he will be desperate to play regularly when domestic football resumes in the late summer.

Perhaps the biggest underlying issue is that one of Solskjaer's senior goalkeepers is also a potential departure in the summer months, with the current rotational situation still untenable going forward. De Gea remains the better talent right now, but in the long-term logic suggests backing Henderson to come good, it's an unenviable decision that the United manager will have to make.

Right now Solskjaer will be eager to look to the future as academy stars once again stole the show in victory at Wolves, but in their shadows there can be no ignoring the elephant in the room.

The future is certainly bright for the latest crop of youngsters at Old Trafford, but in order for them to get their chance others will have to make way.



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item Six players might have played their final Manchester United game after victory vs Wolves
Six players might have played their final Manchester United game after victory vs Wolves
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