While all teams were scrambling and hurrying to get their deadline day deals through the line, Manchester United had a quiet day in the office. It has been the feature of Mourinho’s transfer business throughout his career.
He tried to get new players to arrive at the club as early as possible and has always tried to avoid signing players on the deadline day.
Although Mourinho would have ideally liked United to make 4 new signings, he still must be pleased with United’s transfer business this summer.
With players and clubs involved themselves frantically in this year’s crazy summer transfer season, United quietly went about their business, and the Board must be pleased that it has or more less played according to the plan.
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Last year saw United show massive improvement in their performances, but it was still not enough for United to be considered a serious challenger for the title. While their defensive structure improved by a margin, they lacked productivity in the final third in the opposition half.
They often lacked the goals to show for their quality, which was a major reason why Mourinho oversaw 15 draws at Old Trafford.
They also lacked squad depth, as Mourinho soon came to realise, when first team players started getting injured and he had to rely on his younger players to step up.
2 trophies( Or rather, like Mourinho claims, 2 and a half including the Community Shield) overshadowed the fact that United finished 6th in the league, even though one could argue Mourinho placed Europa League a priority and did qualify for Champions League.
Mourinho realised that, and had claimed towards the end of last season that he had already given the list of players he needed for next season to United executive Vice-Chairman Ed Woodward before March. He realised that there is more work to be done on this current United squad, and that’s exactly what he has set out to do.
Hailed by Swedish and Benfica fans, 31 million pound worth Victor Lindelof looks like a steal in the current transfer window, with the likes of Virgil Van Dyk being valued at 70 million.
With a team consisting of injury-prone Phil Jones, a rash-minded Rojo and an inconsistent Smalling, Mourinho realised he needed another quality centre back to partner Eric Bailey, a similar signing made in Mourinho’s first season with the club.
Although the Swede was reported to be arriving at Manchester way back in January, United cooled their interest in him as they were unwilling to spend 52 million on a 22 year old centre back.
However, when Benfica accepted a much more realistic price for the defender, Mourinho quickly pounced on him and made him the first signing of United’s new season.
Although Lindelof hasn’t had the greatest of the starts and Mourinho has not been too willing to include the Swede in his starting squad , claiming that Lindelof will be given all the time he needed to adjust to a new league, there is no doubt about his quality and is certain to play key roles in near future for the Reds.
United’s lack of goals last season doubled with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s injury meant that United had to cash in on a striker who could solve their final product issue.
While much of the summer went by with reports claiming Morata would be Zlatan’s replacement at Old Trafford, Real Madrid’s stubbornness to let Morata join United resulted in Woodward taking an U-turn and opting to go for Lukaku instead.
Premier League proven, strong and pacey, Lukaku is an ideal replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Nobody has scored more goals by the age of 24 than Lukaku, and his first big team move since leaving Chelsea would only make him improve on the record.
At the same time, United announced last week that Zlatan signed a new contract that would extend his stay at the club for an another year, giving Mourinho multiple options up front, including the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
Perhaps United’s best and important signing this summer is Nemanja Matic. This almost impossible signing , which even caught the United boss by surprise, wouldn’t have gone through had it not been Matic’s desire to play for his favourite manager again, having fallen out of favour at the Bridge with the arrival of Bakayoko.
Mourinho was in desperate need for a defensive midfielder so as to give Paul Pogba freedom to balance his offensive and defensive duties. How Chelsea sold a key player to a potential title contender is beyond everyone, and the fact that Chelsea fans are still fuming over the deal says a lot.
Mourinho has also deemed fit to let go of players who he felt couldn’t contribute to the squad much anymore . The most high profile of them being , of course, Wayne Rooney.
He handled the Rooney dilemma to perfection over the last year or so and has allowed Wayne to revive his career at the club where it all started.
He has also allowed talented youngsters on loan for valuable experience including the likes of Fosu-Mensah and Sam Johnstone.
Here is the list of all the 17 players involved in United’s transfer business this summer :
New Arrivals :
Victor Lindelof (Benfica)
Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
Nemanja Matic (Chelsea)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Free agent, new contract)
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (Leeds, loan)
Kayne Deidrick-Roberts (released)
Tim Fosu-Mensah (Crystal Palace, loan)
Josh Harrop (Preston)
Dean Henderson (Shrewsbury, loan)
Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad)
Sam Johnstone (Aston Villa, loan)
Faustin Makela (released)
Regan Poole (Northampton, loan)
Devonte Redmond (Scunthorpe, loan)
Wayne Rooney (Everton)
In contrary to United’s previous seasons filled with panic buys and , as Gary Neville puts it, ‘players who didn’t fit the profile of a United player’ , Mourinho has clearly revolutionised United’s transfer policy in the market and it’s seen on and off the pitch.
United has made a terrific start to the new campaign and the squad looks more confident than ever before. Mourinho-led United’s transfer business over the two seasons has put all the other top 6 clubs to shame and they could do well to take a note or two from them.
As for United fans, they can be really optimistic about United’s future, the Jose Mourinho Era.