Who Has Been A Success At Manchester United And Who Hasn’t? The Signings Of José Mourinho And Louis Van Gaal Discussed

Posted: October 7, 2016 in European Football, Football, Managers, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
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In the last three transfer windows Manchester United have spent in the region of £410 million. Louis van Gaal was responsible for around £260 million whilst José Mourinho has spent about £150 million. This is not accounting for the paltry £65 million spent by David Moyes in being no worse than van Gaal although, admittedly, not winning anything.

Considering the number of wins achieved by van Gaal during his time at Old Trafford he was expensive, each one costing about £10 million.

The team is now beginning to take shape. The players seem to be more in tune with each other and also appear to know what is expected of them on the pitch.

Mourinho, while still having the time ahead of him to increase his spending considerably, has gone for fewer players than van Gaal, but he has gone for top quality rather than the quantity the Dutchman always expected to get for the money.

In spending the £260 million previously mentioned, van Gaal brought in twelve players. Of those twelve, only Anthony Martial, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind and Luke Shaw can be considered regular first teamers and some of them are not as regular as they would like to be.

Angel Di Maria, who should never have been signed, has gone, as has Victor Valdes. These two sales prove, to an extent, something I have always thought, which is that Real Madrid and Barcelona do not sell or release good players!

Soon to be out of the door, if the press is to be believed, will be Memphis Depay, Marcos Rojo, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Matteo Darmian and maybe even Morgan Schneiderlin. Sergio Romero may choose to leave in order to get some first team football somewhere otherwise he will be in danger of losing his international place.

The van Gaal signings average out at £21.7 million per player.

Mourinho, on the other hand, has brought in only four players and, even allowing for the fact that he got one free and paid a world record for another one, the average per player is only £37.5 million, not bad business when you consider who he has bought.

Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Eric Bailly are already established first team regulars and it is only a matter of time before Henrikh Mkhitaryan becomes one. He has been a little unlucky with injuries otherwise he would have already played several games for United.

As to the question of success it is quite a difficult one. Judging the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger when they don’t appear to be in the manager’s thoughts is difficult. They are not going to get games with United, therefore they will have to move on, therefore they have to be considered failures.

It’s a little more obvious with Matteo Darmian, Memphis Depay and Marcos Rojo. They have been given game time and, in truth, don’t look the part. They have also to be considered failures but with little or no doubt about it.

Of the others, Daley Blind has been a success under both managers as would have been Luke Shaw had he not had his injury problem. Anthony Martial had a dip in form but can also be considered to have been successful under both managers.

Ander Herrera had his moments during the van Gaal reign but he has really come of age since Mourinho took over, so much so that he has received his first Spain international call-up.

Of the twelve players brought in by van Gaal two have already left. It would appear that another five could follow them out of the door. Add to this Sergio Romero, who would leave of his own choice if he goes, and eight of the signings made by the previous manager will have left the club, leaving only four still at the club.

This represent s a success rate of 33% or, conversely, a failure rate of 66%. Yet another damning indictment of one of the dourest, most boring managerial appointments in recent years.

In conclusion, and to recap, only four of the van Gaal signings have had any form of success at United while Mourinho looks as though he will be able to boast a 100% record in the not too distant future and so, based on that fact his spending, although higher per player, has proven to be considerably wiser.


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