David de Gea, Jonny Evans, Reece James and Nick Powell. Just four players who started the 4-0 Capital One Cup defeat against MK Dons are still at the club following a mass exodus at Old Trafford orchestrated by Louis van Gaal.
Michael Keane, Marnick Vermijl, Saidy Janko, Anderson, Javier Hernandez, Shinji Kagawa and Danny Welbeck have all left Man United either on loan or on a permanent basis. Ben Amos and Wilfried Zaha, on the bench that day, have also followed suit.
The result was an unacceptable one for United as they were made to look like a pub team by a League One side who played well above themselves.
Watch out Evans, Van Gaal's coming for you… pic.twitter.com/WV2Pzsh4Rj
— The Peoples Person (@PeoplesPerson_) February 2, 2015
Note – Janko has since gone on loan
Will Grigg and Benik Afobe both scored twice and it was just reward for an MK Dons performance full of endeavour and purpose. United looked meek in comparison.
The club has since recovered having reached the fifth round of the FA Cup and third place in the Premier League. The result clearly still resonates with Van Gaal though given he has offloaded so many of the players who featured.
It goes to show the ruthlessness of a manager who accepts nothing less than perfection. Van Gaal often speaks of how he wants his Man United side to dominate games from start to finish and has been prepared to drop players such as Adnan Januzaj and Ander Herrera in order to achieve that vision.
The stance is an exciting one for fans given David Moyes’ lack of charisma last season and it will keep players on their toes as the club heads into the summer and beyond.