To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Roy Keane praises Manchester United for getting rid of FOUR 'energy sappers' from Old Trafford

Roy Keane praises Manchester United for getting rid of FOUR 'energy sappers' from Old Trafford

Roy Keane insisted that there is a "new energy" at Manchester United after players left last summer and Erik ten Hag arrived at Old Trafford

Manchester United legend Roy Keane has praised his former club for letting four “energy sappers” leave Old Trafford last summer.

United manager Erik ten Hag endured a tough start to the 2022-23 Premier League season after a 2-1 defeat to Brighton at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils went on to suffer a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Brentford, but Ten Hag has since seen a turn of fortunes at Old Trafford.

United are in contention for a top-four Premier League finish and have reached the League Cup final, as well as still competing in the FA Cup and Europa League.

Ten Hag recruited heavily last summer with the arrivals of Antony, Lisandro Martinez, Casemiro, Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia at United.

The Red Devils also saw the departure of several first-team players last summer, including Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Jesse Lingard.

Pogba left Old Trafford to complete a stunning free move back to Juventus, while Mata became a free agent last summer and went on to sign for Galatasaray.

Matic and Lingard, who were both out of contract at the end of last season, completed moves to Roma and Nottingham Forest respectively.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Keane welcomed the departure of the likes of Pogba, Mata, Matic and Lingard after United’s run of form under Ten Hag this season.

“When the manager came in, United were rock bottom and we had to talk about the recruitment, but what I think was key as well as the five or six players that left,” he said.

Former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has seen a turn of fortunes at Manchester United.

“I’m not knocking all these players, Pogba, Mata, Matic, Jesse Lingard, lads who’d been around and knew they were leaving. They knew they’d be leaving and their contracts were up for most of them and I think that wasn’t helping.

“There definitely feels around the club a new energy, the new manager has put a few markers down after a bad start to the season, and that momentum and that feel-good factor is back at the club. The energy levels are different.

“I think that’s helped [Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure] the manager and the club. No-one wanted that to be hanging over the second half of the season and it should have been dealt with in the summer.

“That whole Ronaldo situation, he obviously wasn’t going to sit on the bench and be happy with it.

“They’ve now dealt with it and now it’s not hanging over the club anymore. But also the other five or six lads that left, [Edinson] Cavani another one.


“Those who were fringe players, coming off the bench, and when they were coming on they weren’t bringing anything because they felt they should have been starting.

“Those subs and fringe players have to come on and be ready, whereas the fringe players last year, you just felt they were energy sappers.”

Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports/Alamy

Topics: Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Manchester United, Premier League, England, Football, Roy Keane