Louis Van Gaal's Manchester United legacy: What happened to the players he sold?
Louis van Gaal's stint in charge of Manchester United was a short but memorable one - mostly for negative reasons.
Brought in to try and steer the Red Devils - who were suffering post-David Moyes - to safety, the Dutchman splashed cash, sold players and attempted to instill his philosophy on the first XI.
He went some way to doing exactly this but was sacked once the board - and fans, for that matter - decided his methodical philosophy wasn't the one they wanted.
Here we look back on the top 10 highest profile sales Van Gaal made at United and ask, with the benefit of hindsight, were his decisions justified or were they terrible mistakes?
Robin van Persie
Sold for: £3.8million
Sold to: Fenerbahce
What he's done since: Scored 36 goals in 87 games for Fenerbahce before returning to boyhood club Feyenoord earlier this year.
Now 35, Van Gaal seemingly decided that he didn’t want a second season of both his compatriot and Wayne Rooney - and thus elected to get rid of the elder Dutchman. Van Persie showed signs in 2014-15 that he was slowing down - despite 10 goals in 27 Premier League games - and certainly his best days were behind him.
Sold for: £7.2million
Sold to: Borussia Dortmund
What he's done since: Very little, bar the odd sublime goal.
No. Probably the best player in the Bundesliga before he joined United, he failed to show anything like his best at Old Trafford and has never got back to his 2011 pomp at the Westfalenstadion since returning.
Sold for: £2million
Sold to: Burnley
What he's done since: Shone for the Clarets as they secured promotion to the Premier League and then starred in their debut campaign, securing a £25million switch to Everton. Had an initially bright start at Goodison Park but had a bad slump in the second half of the campaign; however, has started this term brightly.
Not sure. Was excellent in a low block defence at Burnley, but has struggled with a higher line. Is he an improvement on any of United’s current centre-back quartet? Lindelof perhaps.
Sold for: £9million
Sold to: Bayer Leverkusen
What he's done since: Been sold on to West Ham where he is not first choice under Manuel Pellegrini.
No. He was a fan favourite based on things he had done previously, but he scored only four league goals the year before Van Gaal’s arrival and had he still been at Old Trafford in 2015-16, then would Marcus Rashford have been given a chance? Had a decent scoring record at Bayer in his defence, but noticeable that upon his return to England none of the so-called ‘big six’ were really interested.
Sold for: £7.5million
Sold to: West Brom
What he's done since: Evans was awarded West Brom's Player of the Year award after a fine debut season at the Hawthorns. He then helped guide Tony Pulis' side to 10th in the Premier League in 2016/17 before it all went sour.
Evans was handed the captaincy at the start of last term but struggled as the Baggies were relegated to the Championship. Links to Manchester City and Arsenal came to nothing as he joined Leicester this summer.
Maybe. Evans was linked with a host of big clubs after West Brom's relegation. Pep Guardiola was believed to be a big fan, so that tells you all you need to know. United have struggled in central defence in recent years too but whether Evans is an upgrade on Jose Mourinho's current options is up for debate.
Angel Di Maria
Sold for: £50million
Sold to: Paris Saint-Germain
What he's done since: Mourinho made it very clear how frustrated he was that Manchester United parted company with Di Maria before he arrived at the club. He'd managed him at Real Madrid, and was well aware of his potential, but never got the chance to work with him at Old Trafford.
Di Maria won a Champions League earlier in his career, but hasn't done much else since at Paris Saint-Germain, despite winning the title twice and a couple of domestic cups - things you'd expect the Ligue 1 giants to do.
Yes and no. Di Maria never really looked settled in the Premier League - the reason for his short stint - and hasn't set the world alight since leaving. Still feel Mourinho could have got him firing on all cylinders though, but we'll never know.
Sold for: £1.7million
Sold to: Juventus
What he's done since: The Frenchman won two Serie A titles in as many years at Juve, despite joining the club at the age of 33.
He returned to France with Marseille in 2017 but after an altercation with a fan, which saw Evra launch a kung-fu kick, he was released. A brief spell at West Ham followed with the left-back yet to officially announce his retirement.
Not really. Evra was a brilliant servant to United but he probably left at the right time. He was struggling with the demands of the Premier League and Van Gaal brought in Luke Shaw to replace him. There have been concerns over the left-back role since but Evra was not the answer.
Sold for: £3million
Sold to: Crystal Palace
What he's done since: Transformed into one of the Premier League's most proficient forwards, garnering attention from Europe's elite clubs.
Yes, a massive one. While United have stockpiled wide forwards in recent years and have some quality ones on their books - Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial stand out - something is still not quite right, and neither of the players mentioned above are out-and-out stars for the Red Devils.
Zaha, meanwhile, has become Palace's best player by a country mile. He's intelligent, quick, dangerous, exciting and knows where the back of the net is. In short, he's everything this sometimes slow and lacking-in-ideas United team need right now.
Sold for: £16million
Sold to: Arsenal
What he's done since: Nursed injuries and sat on the Gunners' bench.
Like with Di Maria, Mourinho claimed the club did make a mistake in selling the striker to a direct rival, but in hindsight they didn't.
Since signing for Arsenal Welbeck has suffered non-stop with injuries and has featured very little in what has been a steady decline in north London in recent years. Wouldn't get into United's team now, so definitely not a mistake.
Sold for: £5.4million
Sold to: Fenerbahce
What he's done since: Since leaving United on a permanent basis in 2015, the Portuguese has had four different clubs. He initially joined Sporting on loan for the 2014/15 season and returned to the club where he made his name this summer.
Nani had a decent spell at Fenerbahce but it didn't quite work out at Lazio or Valencia. Now 31, the Euro 2016 winner has bagged two goals in two games at Sporting
Probably not. On his day, Nani was brilliant for United but there were too many inconsistent performances and frustrating moments. He wasn't great in his final season under David Moyes either and was never going to be a Van Gaal kind of player. The fact he hasn't settled anywhere since leaving Old Trafford suggests United made the right call.
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