Where Man Utd's nightmare 2014 Carabao Cup squad against MK Dons are now


Chelsea and Liverpool lock horns in the Carabao Cup at Wembley Stadium this afternoon, vying to lift the season’s first major trophy. So in the spirit of the competition, why not take a trip down memory lane and revisit one of the most famous nights of the competition’s history?

On the night of August 26, 2014, Manchester United had signed Real Madrid superstar Angel di Maria in a then-British record £60million deal earlier in the day and were primed for a routine night in the cup.

Louis van Gaal took a young squad to MK Dons in the Carabao Cup second round, looking for his first win as United manager after disappointing opening results against Swansea City and Sunderland.

But the horrors that unfolded produced one of the biggest shocks in English cup history. Will Grigg and Benik Afobe both scored braces as the then-League One outfit romped to a 4-0 triumph.

Express Sport takes a look at where each member of the Red Devils’ 18-man squad from that fateful night in Milton Keynes are today.

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Goalkeeper: De Gea

What a way to start, eh? David de Gea was only three seasons into his now-11-year tenure at Old Trafford when he started against MK Dons.

The Spaniard was in the middle of three successive seasons as United’s Player of the Year in 2014/15, and that campaign was the first of four consecutive mentions in the PFA Team of the Year.

Since that night, he has won three trophies as United’s first-choice goalkeeper and will go down as one of the greatest stoppers the club and Premier League have ever seen.

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Defence: Vermijl, Evans, Keane, James

Now onto the defence, in which all four players who started the night were academy graduates.

Marnick Vermijl’s outing was just his second and final appearance for the first team, and now 30, he plays for Belgian National Division 1 side Thes Sport.

Jonny Evans and Michael Keane will be more recognisable names for Premier League viewers, and both have done well for themselves since United.

After seven seasons as a first-team player at Old Trafford, Evans left for West Brom at the end of the season, whilst Keane joined Burnley before the summer transfer window closed.

Evans is currently a crucial part of Brendan Rodgers’ defence at Leicester, whilst Keane is just as important for Everton, with 12 England caps to his name.

Reece James, no, not that one, made his only United appearance at MK Dons and has enjoyed a solid career in the EFL. He’s currently playing for Championship club Blackpool.

Midfield: Janko, Anderson, Powell, Kagawa

Saidy Janko also made his only appearance for the club that night before joining Bolton Wanderers on loan and Celtic permanently the following year. He currently plays for Spanish second-tier side Real Valladolid.

On the opposite flank, Shinji Kagawa returned to Borussia Dortmund later in the summer transfer window after three seasons at United. The Japanese playmaker is currently at Belgian top-flight outfit Sint-Truiden.

In central midfield, Anderson was another victim of Van Gaal’s mass exodus at Old Trafford and returned home to Brazil in 2015 after eight years with United. He retired in 2020 and is now the assistant manager of Adana Demirspor.

Nick Powell struggled to showcase his initial promise and made just two more appearances after the MK Dons loss before leaving for Wigan Athletic in 2016. Powell has been a solid Championship player since and currently plies his trade at Stoke City.

Attack: Hernandez, Welbeck

Javier Hernandez became a cult hero at United in the four seasons prior but failed to win over Van Gaal and spent the remainder of the 14/15 season on loan at Real Madrid.

Chicarito is currently enjoying life in the MLS with LA Galaxy, scoring 17 goals in 21 games in 2021.

Danny Welbeck ended a 13-year spell at United shortly after the MK Dons defeat, joining rivals Arsenal, where he spent five years.

After playing a season at Watford following his stint with the Gunners, Welbeck joined Brighton & Hove Albion, regularly featuring under Graham Potter.

Substitutes

United’s bench at MK Dons was made up of seven Academy graduates: Ben Amos, Tom Thorpe, Paddy McNair, Andreas Pereira, Adnan Januzaj, Wilfried Zaha and James Wilson.

Amos has enjoyed a good career goalkeeping in the EFL and is now at Wigan Athletic. Thorpe most recently joined Indian club ATK, signed by United icon Teddy Sheringham, but is currently a free agent after leaving in 2019.

Paddy McNair has established himself as one of the Championship’s best players since joining Middlesbrough in 2018. He played at Old Trafford earlier this season when Boro dumped United out of the FA Cup.

Andreas Pereira has made 75 appearances for United, heavily used by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but is set to turn his current loan at Flamengo permanent.

Adnan Januzaj, Wilfried Zaha and James Wilson all failed to fulfil their true potential at Old Trafford. However, Januzaj left United for Real Sociedad in 2017 and has established himself as a key player for the La Liga side.

And after returning to Crystal Palace in 2015, just two years after joining the Red Devils, Zaha has stayed there since and is a threat whenever you face him in the Premier League.

Wilson left United for Aberdeen in 2019 after injuries stifled his development. After a forgettable time in Scotland, he played for Class of 92-owned Salford City before joining League Two rivals Port Vale last summer.

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