When Jose Mourinho took over the job at Old Trafford, coming from an unremarkable second spell at Chelsea, the Portuguese was keen to return to winning ways with Manchester United.
Despite inheriting an aging United squad, Mourinho’s major signings since joining are Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahmovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Eric Bailey and Victor Lindelof. But there have been some players who have had outstanding periods under Mourinho.
Marcos Rashford made his debut under former manager Louis van Gaal, but has had more playing time under Jose Mourinho. The 20-year-old England striker has grown in confidence and has improved tremendously. The same could be said of his country mate, Jesse Lingard.
Despite Lingard’s slow start to life under Mourinho, the 25-year-old has become an integral part of Jose’s second place position on the log so far. His 6 goals in December played a big part in that not to mention the sublime finish against Everton on New Year’s Day.
Mourinho has been bashed severely by fans and pundits, especially ex Manchester United stars, claiming that his style has not been a progressive improvement on the squad but that’s quite untrue as highlighted by Lingard’s recent renaissance.
Paul Pogba, 24, who has scrutinized by critics due to his high transfer fee, has become an integral member of the squad. He is obviously been brought to lead the team and win titles but his influence in United’s Europa League win last season has been a big plus for United.
He has had some mixed performances this season but his return to the United line up after his injury and suspension have added more life to the way the team plays. For a player that has only played 12 games in the league, to have 7 assists and 3 goals is not a bad return for a midfielder.
Despite the shaky start to life at Old Trafford, Romelu Lukaku has a lot of time ahead of him to improve. At 24, the Belgian international has already scored 10 league goals along with 4 assists since joining United.
One thing Mourinho is definitely getting right is that he’s building a team that will perform at the highest level for years to come.
Anthony Martial is another player that has considerably upped his game. Having loads of attackers in their early and mid 20s shows the huge amount of faith Mourinho has shown in them and letting Rooney leave for Everton was a bold step just for the younger players to get more playing time.
If Mourinho wants to stay a while longer at United, he has to continue with the project he’s building around players like Pogba and co. The desire to win the league and compete with neighboring club Manchester City will always be a point of discussion especially after spending over £300m in just two seasons but I strongly believe that what his team needs is more understanding than more new signings.
City is benefiting from the synergy that has been created amongst the likes of Silva, De Bruyne and Sterling to create havoc in the league rather than reckless spending. Only three of the players signed by Pep is guaranteed a starting position at the moment (Walker, Stones and Sane) which highlights the synergy that has been built under Pep.
Mourinho could also do the same with his young squad.
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