By 90Min
July 08, 2019

Manchester United have landed in Perth, Australia to kick-off the club's 2019 summer tour. New signings Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are part of the 28-man squad led by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but so too is all of last season's deadwood.

Two months on from a truly dreadful end to the 2018/19 Premier League season during which United routinely blew their chances of finishing in the top four - having remarkably clawed back an 11-point deficit, this is definitely not the squad preparing for 2019/20 that fans wanted to see.

United finished last season by winning just two of their final nine Premier League fixtures. They won only once in April and not at all in May, and their last two games alone were against relegated Huddersfield and relegated Cardiff.

Too many of the players appeared not to care and Solskjaer had publicly warned in April following the atrocious 3-0 defeat against Everton that while he would be 'successful' at United, "...there are players here that won't be part of that."

The only first team players who have actually left the club since then are captain Antonio Valencia and Ander Herrera, both released after not agreeing new contracts. As far as Herrera is concerned, he was one of the few that United could actually rely on.

BERTRAND GUAY/GettyImages

Everyone else is still around because United have failed to remove the rotting deadwood.

There are 10 midfielders in the tour squad. Three are teenagers who have played fewer than 10 first team games between them. One is Paul Pogba, who doesn't want to be there. Of the rest, it speaks volumes that Jesse Lingard, a player who works hard but lacks quality, is the best there is.

Scott McTominay is likeable but limited. Andreas Pereira is already 23 years of age and still not a regular. And Nemanja Matic was just dreadful last season.

Up front is hardly any better, nor is defence. There are just four attackers, one of whom, Romelu Lukaku, is seemingly keen to leave, and another, Anthony Martial, is a player that two successive managers are reported to have wanted to see the back of.

Wan-Bissaka is the only addition to a defence that leaked a club record 54 goals last season and Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling are still stumbling on. How on earth Rojo was rewarded with a new contract remains a mystery, while faith in Jones seems to have hardly even wavered despite just 216 appearances in eight incredibly frustrating years.

The sad part is that this is not a pre-season squad that has been weakened by numerous players being absent through international duty. It is very nearly full strength. Only Fred and Alexis Sanchez were not included, the latter with Chile at the just concluded Copa America. The jury is still out on Fred, but to suggest Sanchez would improve the squad is laughable.

I almost forgot about Matteo Darmian, he'll join up with the squad at a later date. Remember him, the guy who any competent club would have sold two years ago?

Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

This was supposed to be the summer of rebuilding with a brilliant new vision.

James and Wan-Bissaka offer hope for the future. Solskjaer also spoke shortly before flying to Australia about the club working on one or two more signings, at least one of which may be for an immediate boost rather than just sticking to the new long-term project. But with virtually everyone from last season still present, how are things actually any different?

And on top of that, how are things therefore going to get any better in 2019/20?

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