Manchester United have made some huge strides towards getting back to competing for titles in the coming years by making arguably their biggest signing in the summer – the Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho. A man who is revered and hated in equal measure for his infectious desire to win which goes down well with the fundamentals at United has now been handed the keys to the Old Trafford juggernaut and if anyone could handle the monstrosity of everything that comes with being the manager of Man United – it’s him.
It’s a slightly misleading title in that, people might think, or form an opinion if they haven’t already, that Jose Mourinho does tend to keep young and promising stars waiting while he readies a side full of experience to churn out of trophies in the short term, or quite simply whilst he is in charge. If that was indeed the case, then they could be in for a shock this season and during his time at Manchester United.
One of the few upsides of Louis van Gaal’s tenure at United was the fact that by conviction or coincidence, the amount of youngsters that made their debuts during his two-year reign. While he was constantly criticised for not getting the best out of their record signing Angel Di Maria, he responded by unearthing someone like Marcus Rashford who could become that multi-million pound player in the future.
And it doesn’t stop with Rashford, there have been plenty of promise from the Warren Joyce and Nicky Butt led academy in Cameron Borthwick Jackson, Ashley Fletcher (scored for Barnsley in the play-off final) and Jesse Lingard who scored the winner in the FA Cup final not long ago. Add to it, the versatile Timothy Fosu Mensah and Andreas Pereira – the players who have been brought in from the continent in recent years, Mourinho could have just been given the best bunch of talent in his whole managerial career – to play with.
Maybe for the Portuguese, who has won a staggering 8 league titles in 14 seasons with an unparalleled home record in all the clubs he has managed – it could just be the biggest challenge in his impeccable career to mould the kids at his disposal into players who could fit into his more robust, resilient and generally counter attacking style of football that he prefers to employ. One such player, who I think, he would absolutely to love to work with, is Marcus Rashford who is now an England international, after his breathtaking debut against Australia at the Stadium of Light.
Rashford has been one of the success stories for United under the Dutchman, someone that could be vitally important to the Old Trafford club for years to come. Not only is he a precocious talent, the fact that he is from Wythenshawe, Manchester and having supported the club from a young age, coming through the ranks – he quite simply managed to restore the identity of this football club which, to be honest, has been under serious threat in the last three years – changing managers, short-termism and a style of football in the said period that did not bode well with the glamorous past.
This is why even a manager like Jose Mourinho, who is the ultimate pragmatist in football cannot stifle the growth of someone like Rashford who could genuinely be the face of this club in the future. Having scored 8 goals and created 2 in 18 appearances in all competitions for United since making his debut in February, he’s now opened his account with his first shot on goal for England. Under a world class manager like Mourinho, he could only improve – both physically and mentally.
Reports from the Telegraph claim that Rashford has indeed agreed to sign a new four-year contract which will see him earn an improved wages of £20,000 a week including add-ons. The feel good factor in the red half of Manchester has been boosted since since the defeat at West Ham and it could only get better from now on, by the look of things. Players like him come about very rarely in this day and age and there is no denying that the 18-year old is meant for special things with this special club and hopefully, under the special one.