Race for Manchester United's worst player of the season is heating up: Six contenders

Manchester United’s player of the season award feels particularly farcical this year. Nobody has stood out.

David de Gea may land it by default for doing his best to put up with a terrible defence. He hasn’t been bad by any means, but there is still a feeling United need to move on from the Spaniard.

Far more intense is the battle for Manchester United’s worst player of the season.

A made-up, unofficial award, this unwanted prize has more runners and riders than are healthy.

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A race to the end

It says so much about Manchester United’s campaign that the race for the ‘worst player of the season’ could go multiple ways.

Harry Maguire: There was something symbolic about Harry Maguire being sent off in the game which sent Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hurtling towards the sack. Maguire had been woeful since the season began, but claims of a Euro 2020 hangover can only be indulged so long.

The centre-back has been so error prone that Phil Jones looked like an upgrade when he came in for his one start. The captaincy is clearly weighing on one of his shoulders with the fee of £80 million on the other.

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Luke Shaw: Maguire has got most of the flak but Shaw has regressed majorly since his European Championships. Last season Shaw was voted as United’s Players’ Player of the Year. This season he will not even be in contention.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka: Last season there were some positive signs from Aaron Wan-Bissaka as he ended the season with two goals and five assists. This campaign he has gone backwards and stands with zero goals and zero assists, while losing his place for stretches to Diogo Dalot. Together with Maguire, his transfer fee now represents a very questionable investment.

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Paul Pogba: On the opening day of the season Paul Pogba looked like the best midfielder in the world. Since then he has barely contributed. The Frenchman goes missing when it matters, and also managed to miss almost three months with injury after a farcical red card against Liverpool. His time at United is nearly over, thankfully.

Edinson Cavani: The perception of United fans towards Cavani right now is of a striker who seems like he simply can’t be bothered.

The Uruguayan scored 17 goals last season and this season has contributed only two. He has missed more games than he has started, and his latest injury with Uruguay felt like the final straw. With his contract due to expire in June, United ought to tell him not to bother coming back.

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Marcus Rashford: Marcus Rashford looks like one of the NBA stars in Space Jam who has had the talent zapped out of them by aliens. How else do you explain the forward’s drastic loss of form?

For consecutive seasons he scored 20 goals plus, and this time around he won’t even break the 10 goal mark. Rashford has also deservedly lost his place in the England squad too, and fans have begun to even question his future at the club.

And then there’s this bunch: Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek and Jesse Lingard could not even get into the team despite the dross served up by the players in front of them. What does that say about them?

Martial and Van de Beek have gone out on loan and struggled, which tells its own story, while separately, the decision to keep Jesse Lingard in both transfer windows is as perplexing as the one to extend Juan Mata‘s contract.

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