Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has taken a swipe at Manchester United after midfielder Jesse Lingard and goalkeeper Dean Henderson failed to leave the club during last month’s transfer window.
Both Lingard and Henderson were strong candidates to leave Old Trafford this winter with Newcastle United reportedly keen to offer both players a route out of Manchester.
Lingard will be out of contract at the end of the season and after failing to convince interim manager Ralf Rangnick that he is good enough, the Englishman is now expected to depart the club on a free transfer in the summer.
The Red Devils were offered the chance to recoup some money for the midfielder though but after demanding Newcastle United agree to a ridiculous £12m ‘survival clause’, Lingard saw his chances of going out on loan dwindle (Telegraph).
Elsewhere, Henderson, who has played second fiddle to number one David De Gea, for much of his United career, was also rumoured to be keen move on in search of regular game time (TalkSPORT).
However, that didn’t happen either after the club refused to let him leave despite also having the likes of Tom Heaton and Lee Grant at their disposal.
Reacting to what turned out to be a very disappointing deadline day for Lingard and Henderson, Whelan, who spoke to Football Insider, believes United are in disarray and have hampered the careers of both players.
“Man United have been in an absolute mess during that window,” the former Leeds forward said. “They’ve held players to ransom – Jesse Lingard and Dean Henderson in particular. It’s been really unfair, and really unprofessional from the club.
“You expect a club of that stature to treat their players better and with a bit more respect.
“Lingard would have loved to go out and play football, but they’ve stuck to their guns and been a bit stubborn – even when the manager has said he’s happy to let him go.
“It’s cost them money as well in the process because they were simply holding Newcastle to ransom for a fee they were never going to get.”
Whelan isn’t the only person to take issue with how United have dealt with potential outgoings.
Louie Scott, brother and agent to Lingard, recently took to his social media and posted a message appearing to criticise the Red Devils’ handling of his sibling’s career.
While Lingard will likely have plenty of options at the end of the season, the future of Henderson, whose contract does not expire until 2025, remains up in the air.