Is the time right for this Manchester United mainstay to depart from Old Trafford?

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With speculation mounting regarding his future is now the right time for versatile defender John O’Shea to leave Manchester United?

Having made 393 appearances for the club and scoring fifteen goals the Irishman is still considered a squad player and in recent years has moved down the pecking order with the emergence of players such as Rafael and Fabio.

Along with Darron Gibson and Wes Brown he is apparently the subject of a £12m package bid from Sunderland and may well see the Stadium of Light as the ideal place to resurrect his career, especially under the guidance of former United captain Steve Bruce.

At the age of 30 O’Shea will surely know the next contract he signs will possibly be the most important of his career and also more than likely his last. Having been in the North West since the age of 17 he has lived and breathed United for thirteen years of his life so the decision to leave may not be as straight forward as some people believe.

Though with Sir Alex Ferguson having agreed around £50m worth of deals already in this summer’s transfer market it is clear that the wind of change is blowing through Manchester United as he prepares to compete against the might of Barcelona.

As a result of this there will be no room for sentiment as the manager looks to yet again rebuild another great United team. With the retirement of players such as Edwin Van Der Saar, Gary Neville, and Paul Scholes it is clear that its time for the old guard to move on and O’Shea is one that could certainly be in this category.

Having made just 40 appearances in the last two seasons his chances have certainly been limited and with the arrival of Phil Jones from Blackburn and the possibility of highly rated Lens defender Raphael Varane he will find opportunities even rarer during the next campaign.

Even if he was to leave for Sunderland Steve Bruce would certainly be getting value for money and a player capable of playing anywhere across the back four and in midfield. O’Shea has even played in goal for United against Tottenham when keeper Van Der Saar was forced off with a broken nose, with all substitutes having been used O’Shea went in for the final seven minutes of the game.

There is no doubting his ability and pedigree in his time at Old Trafford he has won 15 major honours including five Premiership titles and one European cup as well as receiving 70 international caps for Ireland.

All these things considered O’Shea may consider Sunderland as a step back and may wait to see if a better offer comes along or even to decide to stay and fight for his place at United. One thing is for sure if he does agree to move to the North East he will for the first time in a long time be guaranteed first team football and Bruce would certainly welcome such an experienced player with open arms. are seeking new writers to join the team! If you’re passionate about football, drop us a line at “” to learn more.

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