The January transfer window has been an interesting one for Manchester United over the years.
With successful signings like Bruno Fernandes to failures like Alexis Sanchez, it’s been a period of mixed fortunes for the club.
United have also conducted a fair amount of business going in the other direction and, while it’s usually youngsters going out on loan who leave Old Trafford in the winter, there have been some significant departures in recent years.
Here are the 11 players who left United permanently in January in the years since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club:
Fabio – Cardiff City – Free
Eighteen months before his twin brother Rafael followed him out of the door, left-back Fabio joined Cardiff City in January 2014. Two years in Wales were followed by two years in Middlesbrough before joining Nantes, where he still plays, in 2018.
Darren Fletcher – West Brom – Free
Fletcher left United on a free transfer in February 2015 after making just five Premier League starts for United in the first half of the season. He stayed in the Midlands until 2017 when he then joined Stoke before retiring in 2019. He is now back at United as a technical director.
Anderson – International – Free
Brazilian Anderson called time on his seven-and-a-half-years in England when he also left on a free in February 2015, returning to Brazil with Internacional. The midfielder returned to Europe with Turkish side Adana Demirspor in 2018 before hanging up his boots in 2020.
Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace – £3.42million
Zaha called time on his failed move to United just 18 months after joining the club. The winger returned to Palace on loan in the summer of 2014 but the move was then made permanent in the winter. Despite his efforts to leave, he remains at Selhurst Park.
Morgan Schneiderlin – Everton – £20.7m
After failing to find the form he showed at Southampton at Old Trafford, midfielder Schneiderlin left 18-months later to be reunited with former manager Ronald Koeman at Everton. I have left Goodison for Nice in 2020.
Memphis Depay – Lyon – £14.4m
Memphis was yet another player who struggled after a big-money move to United and swiftly left after just a season-and-a-half. He went to Lyon where he established himself as a decent striker before signing for Barcelona in the summer.
Henrikh Mkhitayran – Arsenal – Swap deal
After failing to live up to the hype following his move from Borussia Dortmund, Mkhitaryan was used as a makeweight in the deal that brought Sanchez to Old Trafford from Arsenal. I have moved to Rome permanently in 2020 following a loan and is still there now.
Marouane Fellaini – SD Luneng – £6.48m
Fellaini fell out of favor under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and moved to Chinese side Shandong Lueng in 2019, where he is still enjoying his football to this day.
Ashley Young – Inter – £1.53m
United captain Young was a surprise target for Inter in 2020, where he then went on to help them win Serie A under Antonio Conte the following season. He returned to former club Aston Villa on a free in the summer.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah – Bayer Leverkusen – £15.3m
A series of terrible injuries halted the promising Fosu-Mensah’s progress and after two non-eventful loans at Crystal Palace and Fulham he left for good in 2021 for Germany. He suffered another cruciate ligament injury shortly after the move and has struggled to get into the team since.
Marcos Rojo – Boca Juniors – Free
Rojo brought his six-and-a-half-year stint at United to an end last year when he once again returned to Argentina with Boca Juniors.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.