It is clear that Mourinho doesn’t fancy the transfers made by his predecessor Louis van Gaal. The Dutchman brought over a dozen players to Old Trafford and among them there’s only one or two that could be considered starting players under Mourinho, writes Tippat .
Back in early July Mourinho said that he’s “more a manager that likes specialists and not so much the multi-functional players”. Quite the opposite of Louis van Gaal who likes players that are comfortable to play in several positions. The list of players that Louis van Gaal brought into the team is quite long:
- Marcos Rojo
- Angel di Maria
- Matteo Darmian
- Bastain Schweinsteiger
- Sergio Romero
- Victor Valdes
- Memphis Depay
- Morgan Schneiderlin
- Anthony Martial
- Daley Blind
- Ander Herrera
- Luke Shaw
Di Maria and Valdes were sent out the door before Mourinho had a chance to say anything. And Romero was supposed to be a backup for de Gea from the beginning. But that leaves nine players that van Gaal intended to be starting players.
Three players on the way out
Mourinho has made it very clear that Bastian Schweinsteiger has no future at all at Old Trafford. And Matteo Darmian has not played a single minute in this season of the Premier League. Instead Mourinho has opted for Valencia as his primary right back alternative. Marcos Rojo is played during Europa League but in the Premier League he has not played in a single game and is rarely named as a substitute.
Fight or leave
Two players who need to make up their mind if they want to leave or serve as rotation players are Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin. Schneiderlin has only featured during the less important games just like Rojo. Pogba, Fellaini, Herrera and Carrick are above the Frenchmen in the pecking order for a place in the centre midfield.
Memphis Depay is still young but Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are both younger and according to Mourinho also better alternatives as wingers. And soon Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be fit to play. That means that Memphis has to improve immensely if he’s going to stand a chance to be a start player under Mourinho.
Starters or semi-starters
Martial, Blind and Herrera are semi-starters. Martial has had some minor injuries and when he’s fit he’s definitely a contender for the starting eleven. Martial is two years older than Rashford and is going to be played a bit more.
Blind has played a lot of games and at the very start of the season it seemed like Mourinho opted to play Blind-Bailly as centre backs and keep Chris Smalling on the bench. That has changed now and Smalling-Bailly is now the preferred centre back pairing. Blind has not been put on the bench though much thanks to Luke Shaw being sidelined. The question is if Blind will lose his starting place when Shaw returns.
The third van Gaal transfer that could be a starting player is Ander Herrera. The Spaniard is very popular among the fans and he’s been playing fairly well the last couple of games. He’s still a bit too attacking-minded and not the ideal partner for Paul Pogba at this moment. If Herrera improves defensively he can be a great asset for Mourinho’s team though.
New players likely to arrive soon
Manchester United want to get back to the top desperately. Mourinho probably needs to bring in some new players that will fit into his style of play. A good guess would be that he’ll try to get a hard tackling defensive midfielder that could give Pogba the freedom to engage more in the attacking space. Recently N’golo Kante said that Mourinho wanted him to join him at Manchester United but he liked Chelsea better. Mourinho is also rumoured to be looking for another defender. His attacking options should be good at this moment, especially if Pogba can get the room to attack more and Mkhitaryan finds his form.