With it being the week of the UEFA Europa League final, now seems an opportune time as any to check out how Manchester United looked when they last competed in the competition’s final.
Of course, many will remember that the Red Devils were only in the final as recently as 2017, when they were up against AFC Ajax, with some likely to have used gambling sitesÂ when they were placing their wagers on the match.
Under Jose Mourinho’s guidance, Manchester United managed to go on and win the game comprehensively as they secured a 2-0 victory at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.
However, despite being just four years ago, how much have Manchester United changed since that win?
This is how their starting XI looked under Mourinho:
Sergio Romero, Antonio Valencia (C), Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian, Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Marouane Fellaini, Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford.
The substitutes bench consisted of the following individuals:
David de Gea, Phil Jones, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Jesse Lingard, Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial.
Clearly, fans will not need to dig too deep to realise that the last four years have seen a rather huge change to the Old Trafford outfit since that win, with just a handful of players still at the club, whilst many other do not even appear to be on the fringes of the first-team at the moment.
Of course, one of the biggest changes since that 2017 UEFA Europa League Final is the change in manager as Jose Mourinho was sacked in December 2018 and was subsequently replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Naturally, the Norwegian would have wanted to make his own impact on the team that he took over, whilst the Portuguese boss prior to him would have also made some changes of his own, which is evident when you look at where the players involved in the game against Ajax are now. Many are actually probably playing at the best online casinos UK has to offer.
Romero is expected to leave this summer and has not even been involved by Solskjaer; Valencia, Smalling, Blind and Darmian are all continuing their careers elsewhere; Ander Herrera moved on to Paris Saint-Germain a couple of years later whilst Fellaini left in early 2019 after Mourinho’s sacking.
Juan Mata and Paul Pogba still remain at the club, as does Marcus Rashford, whilst Mkhitaryan has been at Arsenal and AS Roma since their final appearance.
In regards to the substitutes, De Gea is battling for his number one spot with Dean Henderson currently, whereas Jones has become a forgotten figure. Fosu-Mensah is at Bayer Leverkusen, Lingard is at West Ham on loan, whilst Rooney and Carrick have both since retired. Martial is still at the club and continues to play a role.