Analysing Manchester United's underwhelming summer transfer business

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FOOTBALL Analysing Manchester United's underwhelming summer transfer business

Mark Kinyanjui 15:09 - 31.08.2023

There have been a host of departures at the club headlined by David de Gea while Mason Mount, Rasmus Hojlund and Andre Onana are the ins.

In what has been a relatively underwhelming transfer window for Manchester United whose owners have refused to sell the club, the Red Devils still managed to bring in some fresh new faces to their ranks.

Their first signing of the transfer window was confirmed on 5 July, when England international Mason Mount officially put pen to paper after sealing his move from Chelsea.

Jonny Evans agreed to a short-term deal after training with the club, ahead of the 2023 Tour in the United States.

Goalkeeper Andre Onana joined from Internazionale on 20 July, after being the club's top choice to replace the departed David de Gea. 

Denmark striker Rasmus Hojlund was presented to the crowd at Old Trafford on 5 August, minutes before the Reds Devils played Lens in the team's penultimate pre-season friendly.

The club have tried to let Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay leave for West Ham United, but their efforts have proved furtile.

But how many players have departed? Pulse Sports brings you all of United's departures this summer.

David de Gea (Free Agent)

After 12 years of service, David de Gea decided to call time on his career as a United player, leaving an indelible mark as an icon of the club.

In his place, Erik ten Hag opted to complete the signing of Andre Onana from Champions League finalists Inter Milan.

The Spaniard is however yet to find a new club as a free agent.

Phil Jones (Free Agent)

Phil Jones, who played for the club for over a decade, has also been let go after years of injury issues.

Fred (Fenerbahce)

Brazilian midfielder Fred decided to join Turkish side Fenerbahce after a five-year spell at United, where he constantly polarised opinion with his hot and cold performances.

He joined the Turkish giants on a 9.7 million pound deal, freeing up space for United to try and sign a new midfielder, with the club hoping to tie down Morocco World Cup hero Sofyan Amrabat on loan before the end of the window.

Donny van de Beek (Lorient)

It has been a very underwhelming stint for Donny van de Beek at Manchester United since joining the side in 2020.

He has struggled to nail down a place in the squad, and not even his reunion with former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag helped him out.

He was set to move on loan to Real Sociedad, but he will instead be joining Ligue 1 side FC Lorient for the season as he attempts to rejuvenate his career.

Dean Henderson (Crystal Palace)

Dean Henderson is set to complete a move to Crystal Palace worth up to 20 million pounds, as he seeks to establish himself as the new permanent first-choice goalkeeper at a Premier League club following spells on loan at Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest.

Anthony Elanga (Nottingham Forest)

The Sweden international became a fans' favorite in 2022, rising to prominence under Ralf Rangnick.

Elanga received reduced playing time under Erik ten Hag after the signing of Brazilian winger Antony. The issue worsened for the 21-year-old due to the meteoric rise of Alejandro Garnacho and the promise shown by Facundo Pellistri.

Opportunities proved to be too rare for Elanga and a bid of £15m from Forest was enough to secure the move away from Old Trafford for the winger.

Alex Telles (Al Nassr)

Brazilian full-back Alex Telles signed for United from Porto. He established himself as decent competition for Luke Shaw but ultimately failed to dislodge the Englishman from the starting left-back position.

After the signing of Tyrell Malacia, Ten Hag’s first at United, Telles was told he would be third-choice if he were to stay on at Old Trafford. This was the catalyst for last season’s loan move to Sevilla.

The Saudi Pro League claimed yet another Premier League scalp when they plucked Telles from United for £6m in July.

Zidane Iqbal (FC Utrecht)

Iqbal made his debut for United in December 2021 in the Champions League clash against Young Boys, becoming the club’s first South Asian player. It was a landmark moment for the club and the 18-year-old.

The Iraq international was tipped for big things but found his first-team chances limited. In June, it was announced he was to leave the club.

Ethan Laird

Laird left Old Trafford for £750,000 as he joined Birmingham. After a series of loans across the Football League, including last season's switch to Championship side Queens Park Rangers, Laird was allowed to move on permanently by Ten Hag. The England Under-19 international had been at United since he was just 10.

Brandon Williams (Ipswich)

After failing to live up to the hype, Brandon Williams has been sent out on loan to Championship Club Ipswich.

Released/secured permanent moves


Rasmus Hojlund - Atalanta

Mason Mount - Chelsea  

Andre Onana - Inter


Di'Shon Bernard - Sheffield Wednesday

Nathan Bishop - Sunderland

David De Gea - TBC

Anthony Elanga - Nottingham Forest

Fred - Fenerbahce

Ethan Galbraith - Leyton Orient

Eric Hanbury - TBC

Bjorn Hardley - Utrecht

Zidane Iqbal - Utrecht

Noam Emeran - Groningen

Phil Jones - TBC

Matej Kovar - Bayer Leverkusen

Ethan Laird - Birmingham City

Ondrej Mastny - FC Vysocina 

JihlavaManni Norkett - Nottingham Forest

Charlie Savage - Reading

Alex Telles - Al-Nassr

Axel Tuanzebe - TBC

Charlie Wellens - TBC


Will Fish - Hibernian

Brandon Williams - Ipswich Town