With the klaxon sounding on just four new Manchester United signings this summer and 17 players heading for the Old Trafford exit, 12 of them permanently, it’s fair to assume boss Jose Mourinho saw his new squad as a bit bloated.
Quite a few have gone in job-lots, with Sunderland shelling out £6m for Paddy McNair and Donald Love, while borrowing Adnan Januzaj for a season, and Hull picking up Will Keane and James Weir for small money.
The trio below have been kept on the books by Mourinho and could strengthen their cases for Old Trafford careers on loan this term.
Much has been expected from this 20-year-old since he joined the Theatre of Dreams youth set-up from PSV five years ago, with former boss Louis van Gaal handing Pereira Premier League minutes during both his seasons in the north west.
The Belgium-born Brazil U21 fired home a fine free-kick in the EFL Cup against Ipswich last September, and doing the same semi-regularly at La Liga side Granada would certainly raise eyebrows in Mourinho’s world.
It worked for David Beckham at Preston all those years back.
The Uruguayan had become a feature of Van Gaal’s side in the middle of last term, whipping in the odd quality cross from right-back over 11 appearances between early December and mid-March.
One mistake in United’s 1-1 Europa League last-16 second-leg draw at home to Liverpool proved costly, with Varela hauled off at half-time and never seen or heard of again under the ‘Iron Tulip’.
Now at Eintracht Frankfurt for the season, the 23-year-old has one last chance to stake his claim on a United number two jersey that hasn’t yet been filled.
On the other side of defence, Borthwick-Jackson can consider himself somewhat unlucky not to be Luke Shaw’s understudy for 2016/17, after impressing in seven starts for Van Gaal last January/February before succumbing to injury.
He won’t be too far from Mourinho’s eyeline down at Championship Wolves, where the 19-year-old is pushing for gametime after making the bench for the past two matches.
With little in the left-back locker behind Shaw and enigmatic Argentine Marcos Rojo, Borthwick-Jackson should be gunning for a quick return to his local club.