Man Utd trio who outscored Liverpool’s famous attack splitting up for good | Football | Sport

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Man Utd trio who outscored Liverpool’s famous attack splitting up for good | Football | Sport

The Manchester United attack that once scored more goals in a season than the iconic Liverpool trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are set to split up at the end of the campaign. The Red Devils are set to say goodbye to some big names in their forward line this summer.

Bild claim Jadon Sancho, currently on loan at Borussia Dortmund, has no interest in returning to Old Trafford if Erik ten Hag is still the manager next season. Sancho rejoined old club Dortmund in January after falling out with Ten Hag.

And Sancho, 23, isn’t the only expected departure in the summer transfer window. Fabrizio Romano reports that Mason Greenwood, who is impressing for loan club Getafe in Spain, is likely to leave United with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid among those keen to sign the 22-year-old attacker.

Anthony Martial will also depart after the Red Devils decided against triggering an option in his contract to extend it by 12 months. The injury-hampered Frenchman has only managed 629 minutes of football for United this season.

But it wasn’t always this way for these three. In 2019-20, Martial and Greenwood were part of a vibrant United attack alongside Marcus Rashford that delivered 62 goals in total en route to finishing third and reaching the semi-finals of three cup competitions.

Martial netted a career-best 23 times under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer while Rashford was just one behind him on 22. His return of 17 in the Premier League was a joint-high number in the league. Mason Greenwood, only 18 then, scored 17 times and only captain Harry Maguire played more times than him.

The 2019-20 season was the year that Liverpool won the league. Salah scored 23 goals – incredibly, his lowest in a full campaign – with Mane on 22. Firmino managed only 12 and didn’t score a single one at Anfield until the final game. They racked up 57 in total.

Yet the three-pronged Liverpool attack would go on to win more trophies while United’s has desperately failed to meet expectations. As of next season, it appears only Rashford will remain. Sancho – signed by Solskjaer in 2021 – could be another big-name exit.

United had high hopes for Martial, Sancho and Greenwood but all will leave in underwhelming circumstances. Sancho had been billed as the future of United’s right wing but hasn’t been nearly the same player they signed from Dortmund.

Martial enjoyed a promising 17-goal debut season in 2015-16 and was excellent in 2019-20 when he was named Players’ Player of the Year under Solskjaer. But in his other seven years, he has struggled for consistency and fitness.

Greenwood’s on-pitch performance hinted he could score hundreds of goals for United but it will be difficult for the 22-year-old to resume his career at Old Trafford following allegations of attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault against him, all of which he denied.

The one-cap England international is expected to continue his career away from England if he does leave United permanently. The charges were dropped against him because there was « no longer a realistic prospect of conviction » after key witness withdrew their co-operation from the investigation.

And it will be a sad end to the tale if all three players leave in such circumstances, forever cast as players with massively unfulfilled promise. The challenge for United now will be to make sure their replacements fare far better than they did in Manchester.

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