Jose Mourinho Has Strengthened Manchester United In All The Key Positions

Posted: August 19, 2016 in European Football, Football, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
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In contrast Louis van Gaal strengthened the midfield by finalising the purchase of Ander Herrera and buying Daley Blind, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin. These players were to add to Michael Carrick, Jesse Lingard, Adnan Januzaj, Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata and anybody else I may have missed.

He also bought a full back, Matteo Darmian who, at the time, seemed a good acquisition as he was the Italian national team’s full back, a teenager called Anthony Martial who will probably turn out to be the best buy of the van Gaal era, Marcos Rojo and he rubber stamped the purchase of Luke Shaw although it is likely that any incoming manager would have done the same.

Of the players to arrive under van Gaal the regular starters under Jose Mourinho have been Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Marouane Fellaini and, a little surprisingly, Daley Blind.

So it is fair to assume that, having now seen all the players available to him, Mourinho has decided that one or two of van Gaal’s buys are not of the required level to play for him. Whether or not he chooses to keep them for the sake of squad size remains to be seen but it does look like there will be some departures.

He seems quite intent on bringing in another centre back, which is good thinking as Bailly will need a reliable, experienced partner at some stage. This means that one of Rojo, Jones or Smalling will depart. My heart wants it to be Smalling but my head says it will be Rojo.

Schweinsteiger will definitely depart as will Darmian. Daley Blind, Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini seem to have done enough to remain United players for another season at least. Schneiderlin can’t get a game but also seems to be a player Mourinho would like to keep.

All this means that, of the £300 million or so spent by van Gaal, roughly £36 million of that will be sold by Mourinho. When you also take into account the fact that he spent around £59 million on Angel Di Maria only to sell him a year later, then his theory of spending a lot of money on a lot of players doesn’t hold much water.

Mourinho, on the other hand, doesn’t mind spending a lot of money on a few players, as long as they are world class. In many respects this can make more sense than the van Gaal model.

In a very short time Jose has strengthened the areas which really needed strengthening. He has bought a young defender, Eric Bailly, who is already looking the part in a United shirt. He has brought some steel and no little skill to the midfield by purchasing Henrikh Mhkitaryan from Borussia Dortmund and Paul Pogba, arguably the best midfield player in the world, from Juventus.

Up front he has Zlatan Ibrahimović, signed on a free transfer. So for roughly half of what was spent by his predecessor Mourinho has identified and acquired four world class players who will all contribute to the future success of United. Not for him the scatter-gun approach favoured by others which now means he has players who he needs to move out of the club.

If Manchester United have to play through the season with the current squad they are quite capable of winning the title. Another centre back, such as Jose Fonte or Leonardo Bonucci would just make the possibility a little more of a probability.

This transfer may very well happen as Mourinho does like to have a solid defence with experienced players at the heart of it. If he can get one of these two in then the squad would have a real champion’s look about it and who knows what may happen between now and the end of the season.

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Comments
  1. Vincent says:

    “…and Paul Pogba, arguably the best midfield player in the world, from PSG.” I thought you wanted to write from Juventus.

    Like

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