Manchester United had a great summer transfer window with three big names coming in.

The strong summer has raised expectations at the club and the team are now expected to compete strongly for silverware.

Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo are all dream additions.

But United were not very active in terms of sales, and the large squad means not every players is left in as great a position as they would have liked.

Here is a look at five players who had a transfer window which left them in a weaker position than they would have hoped…

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Juan Mata

Manchester United renewed Juan Mata’s deal at the start of July, feeling the Spaniard could provide valuable cover.

What United probably did not count on, was Jesse Lingard staying put.

Having seemed set for an exit after a successful loan, Lingard decided to stay, which leaves Mata even further down the pecking order.

If the view is that Lingard will struggle for regular playing time, then Mata’ situation is even worse.

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Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial started the 2020/21 season as Manchester United’s first choice striker.

A year on he is way down the pecking order after Cristiano Ronaldo signed and Edinson Cavani chose to stay.

Mason Greenwood’s form shifts Martial down to fourth choice. United have real depth at last.


Cavani will leave at the end of the season and Martial has to fight to show United don’t need to sign a replacement. He will have to seize every chance he gets.

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Eric Bailly

This was the transfer window Eric Bailly feared after signing a contract extension.

United signed a new centre-back, the best one possible, Raphael Varane.

Bailly is going to struggle for game time as fourth choice, and a loan move or exit was never an option after United let Axel Tuanzebe go instead.

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Teden Mengi

One of Manchester United’s brightest defensive prospects, Mengi started three pre-season games.

But while other academy centre-backs secured loan moves, Di’Shon Bernard and Will Fish, along with Tuanzebe, Mengi was left at United.

Mengi has not yet made a matchday squad and he may even be behind Phil Jones in the pecking order.

He will have to revert to under-23 football and hope to secure a January loan.

Manchester United v Brentford - Pre-season Friendly
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Tom Heaton

New signing Tom Heaton is among the players who ended the transfer window in a weaker position than he would have hoped for when he signed his deal to return.

Heaton may have expected one of David de Gea or Dean Henderson to be sold or loaned.

This would have made him second choice and allowed a few appearances in cup competitions.

The window ended with both goalkeepers staying and once Henderson is fully fit again, he will take Heaton’s place as second choice.

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