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Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal: where are they now?

Tuesday 19th December 2017

It's a game no Manchester United fan will ever forget; it is a game every Arsenal fans want to forget. The Gunners were humiliated 8-2 at Old Trafford in August 2011, hitting the back of the net that day for the Red Devils was Ashley Young with a brace, a hat-trick from Wayne Rooney and singles for Nani, Welbeck and Park, in response for the Gunners was Walcott and RvP.

But what has happened to the starting XI for Manchester United that glorious - or painful if you are an Arsenal fan - day?

David De Gea 

De Gea would have a shaky start at United and was criticised heavily for his lack of strength in the air; coupled with a discernible absence of commanding qualities, many felt the Spaniard would not cut it at United. 

How wrong were they?  De Gea has become one of - if not the - best goalkeepers in the world. Sublime shot-stopping abilities, a presence at the back and a cornerstone of the current United side, the ex-Athletico Madrid keeper is the envy of the league. 

Chris Smalling

While Smalling has yet to live up the expectation placed on his shoulders, he has still evolved into a reliable centre-back. Under Jose Mourinho, he has cut a steady and reliable figure and has been awarded the captain's armband on a number of occasions. 

Phil Jones

Perhaps more naturally talented than Smalling, Jones is a gifted defender; though his unconventional style might make him appear a clown at times, he has a keen tactical awareness and is resolute at the back. 

His progression has been hampered by a number of serious injuries. Yet under Mourinho he is showing the potential he demonstrated so long ago and there is hope that he can finally materialise into the defender he promised to be. 

Johnny Evans

Sold by Louis van Gaal - much to the dismay of SAF - Evans joined West Brom. Evans has since developed into a consistently reliable defender with a well rounded overall game. 

His improvement had gone under the radar until recently, but the interest from Manchester City attests to his sound defensive abilities.

Patrice Evra

Another player sold by LVG, despite the Frenchman signing a one-year contract extension just two months prior to his exit. 

Evra then moved to Juventus where he continued to show he still had the quality to cut it at the top; decline inevitably came and he moved to Marseille, where game time was hard to come by. Sacked by the club after kicking out at a fan, Evra is yet to find a new club or reveal his intentions. 

Nani

A mercurial talent who on his day could beat anyone. There were glimpses of world-class potential at United, but the Portuguese winger failed to deliver on his burgeoning talent. 

Sent out on loan to Sporting Lisbon for a year, Nani would then move to Fenerbache; after impressing, he would land a move to Valencia, where he scored five goals in 25 games. He is now on loan at Lazio after falling out of favour. 

Tom Cleverley

Unfairly scapegoated during most of his time at United, Cleverly has since moved to Everton and Watford. 

The Englishman possessed good technical ability at Old Trafford - his limitations were exposed but the criticism he received was unjust. He is now flourishing under the tutelage of Marco Silva at Watford. 

Anderson

Anderson's tale is as sad as it is regretful. A former Golden Boy winner, the Brazilian was tipped for big things. Indeed, he was a regular for a good few years at United and was a powerful, strong and dynamic midfielder. He had all the potential to be the heartbeat of the team for years to come. 

He sadly wasted his talent through a lack of fitness and never really recovered from a string of injuries he suffered. After an unsuccessful loan spell at Fiorentina, Anderson moved back to Brazil and is now on loan at Coritiba from parent club Internacional. 

Ashley Young

Still, at United, Young has experienced a career renaissance and has blossomed into a fantastic utility player who has carved out a starting spot at left-back. 

Mourinho clearly trusts the Premier League veteran and he has warmed himself to the United faithful with a string of excellent performances. 

Wayne Rooney

His United career ended sourly, with his deficiencies sadly highlighted for several years. The fact his decline coincided with United's worst two seasons in recent memories simply exacerbated the problem. 

Now returned to his boyhood club Everton, Rooney is the top scorer and is thriving at Goodison Park. 

Danny Welbeck

Another player that was sold by LVG, Welbeck moved to Arsenal, with many United fans disappointed to see him leave. 

Ultimately, it proved to be the right choice, with a number of injuries hamstringing his progression. He is arguably a worse player now than he was at United. So LVG did do something right.

Michael Jones

Football & political writer with a predictable love of everything retro. English Literature undergraduate at the University of Exeter, looking to pursue a career in sports journalism. For a collection of my work, visit. http://mikejonesmedia.wordpress.com

Follow me on twitter: @jonesmichael_97


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