José Mourinho’s Summer Transfer Priorities At Manchester United

Posted: February 26, 2017 in Chelsea, European Football, Football, Jose Mourinho, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
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When he arrived at Manchester United it seemed fairly obvious where the problems lay.

After two years with Louis van Gaal in charge, the football was stale and boring. One-dimensional with the tendency to try and keep possession without actually going anywhere. The United faithful quite quickly got fed up watching their team passing sideways and backwards then, eventually, either giving the ball away or simply running out of pitch.

The United board or, more particularly, Ed Woodward finally ran out of patience and even an FA Cup win wasn’t enough to earn van Gaal a contract extension. It didn’t help him that José Mourinho was out of work and available and, more to the point, was the popular choice of the majority of United supporters.

So van Gaal departed and in came the Special One. Mourinho inherited some ageing players past their best and some of the Dutchman’s buys from his scatter-gun approach to the transfer market.

Now gone are Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin. Next to go will probably be the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Matteo Darmian. Possible departures could be Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind although these two have been getting some game time recently and Mourinho appears to appreciate their flexibility.

Luke Shaw seems to be struggling to make an impact but has time on his side if Mourinho is prepared to stick with him. The same applies, to a lesser extent, to Anthony Martial.

So where does he need to strengthen or replace? Well, at present, he doesn’t appear to have any full backs he feels he can trust. This has been epitomised in the last few games where he has used Ashley Young, an out-of-form winger, as a left back, and Antonio Valencia, now a has-been winger, as a right back.

Daley Blind has been used as centre back although this has been partly due to the injuries suffered by Smalling, Jones and Bailly.

The midfield area, even with the departures of Depay and Schneiderlin and the impending departure of Schweinsteiger, is still strong and it looks as though Antoine Griezmann could be added to the mix, further improving it.

Upfront, a long term replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a must. Marcus Rashford is not yet ready to play every game with the goalscoring responsibility on his shoulders. Anthony Martial is playing some of his best football from the wing and will not score 25-30 goals from that position. Wayne Rooney is past it and should be moved on as soon as possible.

That leaves just Zlatan as the main striker, a situation which must be rectified in the next transfer window.

So, in conclusion, United need to strengthen the full back area, possibly buy another centre back because, in truth, Smalling isn’t good enough and Jones is injury-prone. They also need to buy a world class striker.

Mourinho has said that he wants three more players so, hopefully, these are the positions he is thinking of.

This season could end up being a very good one for United. They are still in contention for four trophies and they have a realistic chance of winning three of them. These three, unfortunately, do not include the Premier League title.

Any one of these trophies would be seen as the icing on the cake. The problem being that United don’t yet have the cake and will probably have to wait for at least another season to get it but, with the aforementioned additions, there shouldn’t be too long to wait.


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