Prior to the Premier League season, Manchester United activated a 12-month contract extension in on Luke Shaw. This would see Shaw become a free agent in June 2019, however he now has an extra year to earn a long term deal. With the 22 year-old currently in a strong run of form, the strategy seems to be paying dividends.
Manchester United have now activated one year contract extensions for four first team regulars. Daley Blind, Juan Mata, Ashley Young and Ander Herrera are now on the books until 2019. However, their futures with the club may still be in jeopardy.
Four first team players receive contract extensions
Ashley Young has developed into a first choice wingback for Manchester United. However, he turns 33 in the offseason and the Red Devils are in the market for fullbacks. Fortunately for Young, Matteo Darmian is likely on his way out which could see the Englishman spend his twilight years providing much needed depth to the position.
Juan Mata’s long term future in Manchester’s red largely depends on that of Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenian is a year younger and much pacier than Mata. But, he is in a horrible run of form; failing to record a goal or assist since September 27th. Mata has been playing well as of late; he was nominated for Manchester United’s December Player of the Month. He could remain at Old Trafford playing second fiddle to Jesse Lingard if Mkhitaryan is sold on in January or the summer.
Ander Herrera has been one of this season’s biggest disappointments. His WhoScored.com rating of 6.63 has him ranked 19th among Manchester United players. Extending his contract is the smartest play for a player in his situation. If Herrera can recapture the form which made him a fan-favourite, he will likely be rewarded with a longer deal. However, if he continues to decline Manchester United can move him on the coming transfer windows.
Finally, extending Daley Blind’s contract is likely for profit’s purpose. Blind has spent the entire season on the periphery of Jose Mourinho’s plans. The Dutch international has made just 14 appearances this season and only 5 have come in the Premier League. Yet a player with Blind’s versatility should attract many suitors. Manchester United will likely seek to capitalize on their commodity.
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