Why Man United will be glad to say goodbye to Marcos Rojo
Reports have emerged that Argentine defender Marcos Rojo has agreed a deal with Boca Juniors to return to his homeland and end a torrid time at Old Trafford.
Rojo arrived in Manchester for £18m back in 2014, following an impressive World Cup campaign that saw him help his country reach the final, before succumbing to winners Germany.
Capable of playing either centre-half or left-back, Rojo was viewed as a solution to Manchester United’s defensive woes; with the side finishing seventh in 2013/14, and both Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra leaving the club that summer, it was most definitely needed.
The defender made 22 Premier League appearances in his maiden campaign, but his rashness in challenges and poor defensive awareness ensured it was all downhill from there.
Rojo made just one Premier League start, and three appearances off the bench, in 2019/20, but he still managed to pick up two yellow cards, that’s only four less than Harry Maguire who played every minute of the campaign.
Perhaps the most damning statistic on Rojo is the fact that, in 2019/20, he lost possession more times per 90 (20.8) than the first choice pairing of Maguire and Victor Lindelof did combined (18.9).
A good defender on his day, Rojo lacks concentration, and is far less composed on the ball than all three of Ole Gunna Solskjaer’s other options.
Marcos Rojo’s defensive stats for Manchester United
|2019/20||Marcos Rojo||Harry Maguire||Victor Lindelof||Eric Bailly|
|Fouls per 90||1.3||1.0||0.6||1.0|
|Duels won per 90||5.5||6.8||3.9||4.5|
|Aerial duels won per 90||2.7||4.6||2.7||3.1|
|Possession lost per 90||20.8||9.6||9.3||8.6|
|Pass completion rate||79%||92%||93%||86%|
Since the start of the 2017/18 season Rojo has made just 11 Premier League starts; it’s telling that despite United’s recent troubles, Rojo never managed to cement his place in their backline.
Rumours of an exit have been floating around for several years now, with Everton reportedly close to a deal back in 2019, before refusing to pay United’s £25m asking price; Rojo has been almost impossible to shift, and earning a reported £80,000 per week, it’s no surprise United want to get rid of him.
Even a loan move back to boyhood club Estudiantes didn’t work out, with Rojo playing just once in a six month spell that ended in the summer of 2020.
But with only six months left on his contract, and interest from Boca Juniors, it appears United may finally be able to say goodbye to the Argentine.
Perhaps the surprising stat about Rojo is the fact that he’s never received a red card for United, something that would surely have changed had VAR been in place when he was in favour at Old Trafford.
His erratic nature, and lack of recent involvement will surely mean United fans will be glad to see the back of another failed transfer.