While Man City continues to impress and dominate every week in the Premier League questions are beginning to be asked of Jose Mourinho and his players; are they good enough to challenge next season? As Man City are set to strengthen to their already world class squad, who are the weak links in the Manchester United squad that the club cannot afford to have next season?
Two of those whom don’t meet the requirements to play for this club are:
Transfer fee: £27,500,000
Marouane Fellaini has been a controversial signing ever since he walked through the doors of Carrington alongside ‘The Chosen One’ David Moyes.
The Belgium International has been used as a somewhat go to player under José Mourinho’s tenure so far with direct plays and long balls being used as a way back into the game. However, the 6’4 midfielder never has had the skill or the ability to play for a club of Manchester United’s stature.
He was a panic buy from the Scotsman who missed out on targets such as Cesc Fabregas and by doing so over spent for a mid-table wreckless midfielder. Fellaini will always be a liability to the defence with his wreckless challenges and flailing arms. With rumours a new contract is trying to be negotiated for him the Belgian is playing hardball and is demanding a higher salary than what has been offered.
My Verdict: He never has and never will be good enough to play for Manchester United and therefore should be let go in the summer. If Mourinho needs a tall bushy haired midfielder; we have an exciting 6ft tall teenager, Tahith Chong who every fan would rather see step onto the Old Trafford turf alongside the first team.
Transfer fee: £17,000,000
Ashley Young, bought in his prime in 2011 from Aston Villa by Sir Alex Ferguson he was used sparingly as an in and out left winger. Of late the experienced ex England International has been playing in deeper wing back roles and on either flank.
The transition from right midfield to right back for United skipper Antonio Valencia has been a revelation with the Ecuadorian finding his feet and putting in mammoth performances every week for the past few years, becoming an integral rock in the united defence. However, the transition for Ashley Young has not been quite as smooth. With a few months of fine performances almost solidifying his left back position under Louis Van Gaal delivering fine crosses into the box on either foot making the defence guess was a joy to watch for the small period that he produced it.
But with poor performances being turned out each week the fans are left questioning why Mourinho keeps starting the aging Englishman over the young and exciting Luke Shaw who has bags of potential but is just not been shown the same faith from the manager as is from the fan base.
My Verdict: Ashley Young is now too old and doesn’t have the nohow to play in the left back role. His defensive positioning is terrible and recovery is not good enough. His recent performances remind me of an even worse aging Patrice Evra who just didn’t have the legs to get back anymore. The difference is the fans still love Patrice whereas i don’t fully think Ashley has ever won over the fans at Old Trafford in his seven year stint. He needs to leave and allow Luke Shaw and others such as Joe Riley a chance and let the club grow and get stronger especially in the defensive areas.
With Manchester United visiting, Roy Hodgson’s Palace have got to impress as their run of six games without a win may set to continue with the home side failing to win any of their 17 Premier League meetings with Manchester United (D3, L14) which is a Premier League record for most games against an opponent without winning.
The Eagles will want to put on a good show in front of their home fans after a demoralising late 0-1 home defeat to Tottenham Hotspurs last time out. They will need goals from somewhere as Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke’s six league goals between them will not spark their home crowd with confidence going against the leagues most resilient defence.
United Injury News:
United are missing six first team regulars for Monday night’s fixture.
Ander Herrera will miss out due to his recent muscle injury , while Daley Blind remains in rehab from an ankle problem which has kept him out of the side for sometime; possibly to the happiness of some fans.
Centre back pairing of Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones are also ruled out with knocks, with
Jose confirming that they have not been considered for selection.
Regarding Fellaini, Mourinho explained on Friday: “He’s still a young player, his injury had a little surgery, a minor surgery, and he will be back to play again in a couple of weeks.” Which will give the squad a greater depth in midfield alongside Ander’s return as the United midfield three could begin to strain with the accumulation of matches.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has recently returned back to first team training but will be unlikely to be involved in the fixture despite being confirmed that the Swede is not currently ‘injured’. The experienced striker has reportedly stated that he doesn’t believe he will be of value in his current physical state and will continue to train hard and be back soon.
With Chelsea dropping points and falling to 5th place United could stretch the gap to 9 points with a win tonight and will give them great momentum going into the derby weekend game against on-form Liverpool.
Mourinho may be tempted to play Eric Bailly to regain fitness ahead of the Liverpool game on Saturday. Also the right midfield spot could be anyone’s with Martial out, Rashford could be tipped by Jesse Lingard or Juan Mata.
The Chilean winger, Alexis Sanchez, will now have to wait until next Friday to make his debut for Manchester United as his deal continues to be stalled.
The deal has failed to be completed in time to meet the Premier League’s registration deadline if they were wanting him to make his first appearance in what is rumoured to be the number seven jersey in the famous united colours. As well as Sanchez, Henrikh Mkhitaryan will too be unavailable for Arsenal’s 3pm kick-off against Crystal Palace even if the announcement were to come later this day due to the cut off time of midday earlier today.
United fans especially will see this as a massive blow as they were wanting to see their new man make his debut against a tough opposition in Burnley, in a game that he would have made an immediate impact and improved the squad a great deal. Burnley, despite not winning a game in their last seven fixtures are still sitting seventh and pose a real threat against the United defence.
As both showed up for training for their current respective sides this morning, there is a feeling that the spark of this transfer is beginning to dwindle with many fans losing patience and excitement about the announcement. Manchester United fans will be hopeful that their club can announce this deal quickly and in an impressive fashion such as Pogba and Ibrahimović deals alike.
On the day the exciting fan favourite Jesse Lingard took over the clubs official Instagram account; the attacking midfielder couldn’t resist joining in on the action and rumours surrounding the impending transfer of Arsenal and Chile winger, Alexis Sanchez.
While in charge of his club’s official account most fans were sure for some antics from the player due to his pranks and jokes seen on other occasions on his own personal Instagram and Snapchat accounts at the cost of his fellow teammates; with many hoping the announcement will come from the player himself.
Can't wait for Messi Lingard to announce Alexis Sanchez. 👀
Lingard couldn’t resist teasing the fans by making it appear that a certain player is there at Carrington training complex ready to complete their medical. By ‘talking to the club doctor’ introducing himself “Morning Doc” followed by “Oh hello, welcome. Are you okay? How are you? I hope you enjoy your time here. Enjoy your medical.” Jesse had a real laugh before training just as expected from the 25 year old.
The Manchester united academy product is known for his upbeat and fun character and has been in the form of his life as he starts to add goals and assists to his performance on a regular basis. But the fan’s are hoping Alexis Sanchez can soon join him, as rumours of a debut on Saturday look more and more likely.
José has a tough decision to make for their opening fixture against West Ham United at Old Trafford this Sunday with many great stand out performances during the US Tour.
Andreas Pereira has really gave José a selection headache to make for the opening game. It’s always vital to get off to a winning start in the Premier League and this decision is key as to who you put on that pitch to start the campaign as you need to be confident as a manager that those eleven plus three key possible substitutes later on will do enough to secure the three points.
Will José stay with the more experienced central midfielders of Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic or trust a younger more inexperienced but very tenacious and skillful Brazilian in Pereira?
After a very solid loan spell at Granada last season he was the shining light in a relegated side that should little passion throughout and after impressing the La Liga faithful in Spain, big things are expected this season from him with many United fans hoping he’ll play a big part in the depth of the squad when the team progresses deeper into multiple competitions.
José Mourinho will be without Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young and Luke Shaw who are all still sidelined with injures, with the later two being close to returns after training with the squad the past week.
This weekend could see the Premier League debut’s of all three summer signings in Nemanja Matic, Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof. This season’s opener against West Ham United can be seen live on Sky Sports Super Sunday with kick off at 4pm.
Those who are in with a chance of starting are: Chris Smalling, Andreas Pereira, Michael Carrick, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford.
With Manchester United back in the Champions League this season and hoping for a strong and successful campaign both domestically and in Europe let’s have a reminder of what José’s side will be trying to emulate with the last time the Red Devils lifted the prestigious trophy back in 2008.
It’s safe to say that the club has seen a ‘few’ changes since the last time they won this competition and with only having one sole remainder from the match squad still at Old Trafford it’s hard to keep up with what everyone is doing now.
Starting Lineup: Edwin van der Sar, Patrice Evra, Owen Hargreaves, Rio Ferdinand (c), Wes Brown, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Nemanja Vidić, Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes, Carlos Tévez.
Substitutes: Tomasz Kuszczak, Anderson, Ryan Giggs, Nani, John O’Shea, Darren Fletcher, Mikaël Silvestre
Coach: Sir Alex Fergsuon
Edwin van der Sar (GK)
The dutch keeper made 266 appearances between the posts for Man United keeping 135 clean sheets in the process. The current United keeper [David De Gea] has played three games more but falls 39 clean sheets short of Edwin. Give David a few years, he’ll even beat Schmeichel’s.
He is now the current Chief Executive at Ajax whose side lost to Man United in the final of the Europa League this past May.
Wes Brown (RB)
Wes Brown made an impressive 232 appearances netting 3 times during his fifteen years at the club. The Mancunian had an up and down spell at his boyhood club lifting considerable amounts of trophies but also finding himself in the treatment room more times than not. But the most shameful thing that took place during his time at Old Trafford had to be his haircuts…
Most recently himself, Shay Given and Alex Bruce all joined pre season with National League side Macclesfield Town to stay fit as they are undertaking their coaching badges. Wes was released by Blackburn Rovers at the end of last season.
Rio Ferdinand (CB) (c)
Rio Ferdinand was bought for a then record fee for a centre back at £30 million from Leeds United in 2002 where he stayed for a further twelve years leaving in 2014 for QPR. The leader and captain of the squad made 455 appearances and scoring 8 times in the process.
Recently Rio has had a tough few years with the passing of both his wife and mother which both saddened the footballing world. A fantastic documentary of Rio in recent months talking about the effect of his wife Rebecca Ellison and how he and his children are coping (A must Watch!).
Currently Rio is a pundit on BT Sport having the opportunity to interview world stars alongside his studio role during matches and football based shows on the channels.
Nemanja Vidić (CB)
Signed in 2006 and left in 2014 making 300 appearances and scoring an impressive 21 times. He was known for being a terror in the box from corners and a rock pairing alongside Rio Ferdinand; possibly the best pairing in the leagues history still holding the record for 14 consecutive clean sheets in the league.
He retired from football on the 29th of January 2016 with immediate effect after his contract was mutually terminated with inter only 8 days previous. He is currently an ambassador for Man United but mainly staying out of the spotlight in a footballing since, enjoying his retirement.
Patrice Evra (LB)
Also signing in 2006 the Frenchman stayed until 2014 leaving for Italian champions Juventus. Patrice Evra made 379 appearances causing havoc up and down the left flank scoring 10 goals.
He is currently playing for Marseille in League 1 in France. Now-a-days the former out of the media left back has taken to social media more and more showing his charismatic and bubbly side which was not on show too often at Old Trafford due to his concentrated and determined expressions mainly on show.
With the catchphrase “I love this game” he makes everyone smile in what they do, especially on Mondays making sure everyone is ready for the week. Thanks Pat.
Owen Hargreaves (RM)
Hargreaves was signed from Bayern Munich for £17 million in 2007 and stayed until 2011 only making a total of 39 appearances and scoring twice for the club. The season in which the Champions League was won was his first season in a united shirt and his only complete season before injuries ended his career. In the three seasons following champions league success he made an overall five appearances with only one a piece in the last two.
He has been doing punditry for a few years now and is a regular on BT Sport alongside former teammate Rio Ferdinand.
Michael Carrick (CM)
The former English international was signed from Spurs for £18.6 million in 2006 and has made 459 appearances scoring 24 goals. The most under rated player I think I’ve ever seen in a Man United shirt.
The thirty-six year old has now gained the arm band for the season ahead and can lift his first trophy without the help of Wayne Rooney this season on Tuesday when his side plays Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup. Lets hope he can continue performing like he has always done in which looks to be his final season at Old Trafford.
Paul Scholes (CM)
Part of the class of ’92 and a key part of the treble winning 1999 squad, Paul Scholes has done it all in a United shirt. In fact, twice as he retired in 2011 only to be brought back two seasons later to play the 2012/13 season under Sir Alex in his final year in charge. Scholes made 718 appearances for United scoring an incredible 155 goals from the middle of the park.
He is yet another former player from this squad to join the BT Sport punditry team alongside already mentioned Rio Ferdinand and Owen Hargreaves, sensing a trend here…
He’s known for his stone face expressions and straight forward approach to his work in the studio as he says how he feels at that moment in time. He also currently owns the English Non-League club Salford FC with fellow mates and ex ’92 players: Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt.
Cristiano Ronaldo (LM)
The Portuguese super star signed when he was only a teenager in 2003 and made 292 appearances scoring an impressive 118 goals during his 6 year stay at the club. He was later sold after agreeing to stay the season after the Champions League success as a promise to Sir Alex but left for his current team in Real Madrid for a then world record fee of £80 million (sure that’s only pennies compared to Neymar’s…)
The winger has went on to become the most prolific player in the world and continues to battle his fellow La Liga winger Lionel Messi to the Ballon D’or every year.
He is currently back in training for his clash against the Red Devils on Tuesday but also is in the middle of his court battle against tax allegations made in Spain. Rumours are circulating about a possible move back to Old Trafford as he was rumoured to say that he wants to move back to England last week, however I think that ship has finally sailed and wont be returning anytime soon.
Carlos Tevez (ST)
The Argentine was never a fully contracted Manchester united player as he was only on loan for two seasons but did not stay after that instead moved to bitter rivals Man City, so lets keep this short and sweet.
He played 99 times whilst at United scoring 34 goals between 2007 and 2009. He currently resides in China where he moved to this year to become the highest paid player in world football with reports stating an annual salary of $41 million. He has been slammed with the headline a ‘colossal waste of money’ by many across the world as his attitude towards his new surroundings has not gone down well only making 12 appearances and scoring only the two goals.
But it’s not about the money Carlos is it? Even ask Neymar he’ll agree.
Wayne Rooney (ST)
Wayne Rooney the clubs all time leading goal scorer and a legend of the club regardless of what people may claim. He signed in 2004 from Everton and made 559 appearances scoring 253 goals finally surpassing the all time other scorers for the club this season.
He has most recently moved back to his boyhood club in Everton FC where everyone from the club wishes him all the best.
Manchester United are set to face Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday 8th August at the Philip II Arena, Skopje before turning their attention to their first game of the Premier League season with a home draw against Slaven Bilic’s West Ham United just five days later.
After completing three signings so far in the current summer transfer window, José Mourinho has stated how we would be elated if they could manage to get a fourth before the window shuts. But the question on everyone’s lips is who could it possibly be?
Gareth Bale: 4/10
It’s not a secret that Manchester United have been keen admirers of Gareth Bale since the unforgettable David Moyes reign. Ed Woodward is known to be in awe of the welsh superstar and believes he could be the catalyst the squad has missed for too long.
However, with Mourinho publicly stating “You have contacts, you have feelings, you understand things, I think it was clear that Bale likes Madrid, the challenge, the situation, he’s in a club in a very good situation now, I never felt a desire from him to leave, so why lose time and energy on that? No.” Despite stating this less than a fortnight ago, most UK media outlets are claiming that Mourinho believes he can obtain Bale for less than £90 million?!
I cant see this deal becoming a reality this summer as Bale wouldn’t have any real reason to leave the Spanish
capital and return to the Premier League. Despite being amazing for the league itself, I think its clear that it would be a strange decision to make from a Madrid starting 11 player (when fit) who has an opportunity to help Real Madrid retain the La Liga crown for a second time running for the first time in over 10 years and be the first to win the Champions League for the third year in a row in over 40 years whilst also getting his fourth personal champions league medal just because they might sign an 18-year-old from France.
Ivan Perišić: 7/10
A lot of rumours are spreading as to whether or not this long anticipated signing will actually happen or not. News began to circulate that Manchester United had finally given up the battle to sign the Croatian winger from Italian side Inter Milan in recent days as Inter’s sporting director Piero Ausillo stated “I don’t understand where some of these stories come from”…”[he] is an important player and we are currently discussing a new contract with him.”
Mourinho is a fan of the winger and would want to purchase the winger for around £45 million which would help fill the gap of the left wing back/winger position.
The established and highly reliable Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio began to start confusion between Man United fans today has he replied to one eager fan. The Italian seemed to state that the deal was off but then later reassured fans that United are still keen but have still not came back with an improved deal and may well be losing grip on the signing.
I understand those of whom would be inclined to make this signing to take place as they see a well rounded, hard working, two footed winger who would be committed to do the gritty ugly defending and tracking back on the flank. However, I have full faith in Antony Martial to make that Left Wing role his this season as the young Frenchman is showing signs of improvement under José throughout the pre-season and become one of the first names on the team sheet come the end of the season.
Serge Aurier: 8/10
Aurier has two years left on his contract with PSG, but is understood to have a preference to leave the French club this summer and explore options abroad, despite being offered a new contract.
With the arrival of Dani Alves the Ivory Coast International has extra pressure and has the threat of reduced game time. The 24-year-old has pace, power and provides a great attacking threat which will make him one of the most ideal players to man the right wing-back slot. He will be a strong choice for the United back line if the deal does go through. Signing a quality right-back has been a top priority for Jose Mourinho this summer and Aurier can easily make the cut. After having to rest Antonio Valencia on several occasions last season due to the hectic schedule Aurier will have the opportunity to play more frequently than in PSG and may see him succeed the Ecuadorian right back in the future.
Serge Aurier has his court hearing scheduled to take place on Monday August 7th as he has appealed against his conviction of assault, following his arrest in May last year; attempting to be cleared to enter the UK to be able to sign for the English team.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 1/10
He will not sign.
He moved from 0/10 because he was quoted by Cadena SER saying ‘In England I never had problems, that’s why I’d like to come back,’.
This isn’t big news but it gives the papers more articles to claim how he’s definitely coming back.
Who is most likely to sign this summer out of these options?
It’s clear that the fans aren’t happy with what has happened so far and will certainly hope that Ed can make some big deals in the coming week. As everyone knows, José likes to complete his business early in a shrewd manner but only having completed the signing of Victor Lindelof from Benfica, the manager surely could not have predicted this little action once the transfer window officially opened yesterday on July 1st.
Many people believe José handed Woodward his list of ideal targets alongside second and third choices in April others believe as far back as February.
Manchester United have been trying to lure Ivan Perisic to Old Trafford all Summer from Inter Milan. However, after the Italian side managed to gather the required €30 million to comply with UEFA’s financial fair play regulations without selling their Croatian winger, they have reportedly taken their star man off the market. This will come as relief for most fans who don’t believe the Croatian is the standard that is required to take the side to the next level and help regain the title in this upcoming campaign.
A winger that the team and fans alike would love to sign this season is Dortmund Winger and French International, Ousmane Dembélé. The 20-year-old has had a fantastic season playing 49 games, scoring 10 goals and providing 21 assists in all competitions.
Recent reports state that the young Frenchman has snubbed a move to Barcelona, however the Spanish team remain favourites to sign him. Many clubs have been put off by the €70 million price tag but in this market many fans believe Manchester United should pay the fee immediately as they would be getting one of the best young prospects in the world.
A signing like this is what is needed by the end of August but knowing Mourinho and the way his sides always wrap up their negotiations quickly he will want his targets in preferably before the tour.
The more likely signings that could happen over the next week is the capture of Real Madrid front-man Álvaro Morata who will return home from his honeymoon/holiday with new wife Alice Campello in the next few days. After taking a short time out of his trip to return to Madrid to reportedly finalise the switch, he has returned to his new wife in Ibiza and now fans ask the question as to why there hasn’t been any announcement for the player as of yet.
The second potential signing of the next week will likely be in the Central Defensive Midfield position with many targets being reported such as: Eric Dier, Nemanja Matic, Renato Sanches, Blaise Matuidi and Fabinho. Or higher up the pitch, James Rodriguez.
United fans were in deep discussion last night questioning who landed at the airport; hoping a new signing is on the horizon.
It has been made very clear that Manchester United are desperate to add Álvaro Morata to their squad as goals have been hard to come by and the young Spanish International could be the goal threat they need. Manchester United manager José Mourinho is determined to be reunited with Morata seven years on since he gave the Spaniard his first team debut.
Despite Florentino Perez’s denials of their being talks for the 24-year-old, Manchester United have continued talks after having an offer over £60m rejected. The Madrid president is keen to receive the biggest possible fee for Morata as he wishes to use the income to fund their world record attempt for Kylian Mbappé. The French starlet will reportedly cost over £100m.
“I think we’re not in negotiations with Manchester United, which is not to say that there are people around you who are talking, which is normal,” Perez stated to esRadio. However other reports from Spain claim Morata has an agreement with United and is just waiting on the clubs to agree a fee.
Morata has been in the Spanish capital trying to push the deal through as quickly as possible. The Striker cut his Honeymoon short to ensure the deal is finalised in order for him to return to his new wife Alice Campello who stayed in Ibiza.
According to Flight Aware a private jet took off from Madrid and landed in Manchester last night, giving hope that a deal is near completion. The Manchester Evening News have a picture of the plane from today however did not clarify whether it was Morata on board.
James Rodriguez has also been continuously linked to a move to Manchester united. However rumours that José Mourinho is not as keen as the Colombian to make the deal means that deal is unlikely to happen, unless Manchester United fail to secure their priority signings.
The transfer window has been frustrating for the club and their fans as Victor Lindelof is currently the only deal to be done after his £30.7m switch from Benfica.
José will be hoping to add another three to the squad before they leave for the US Pre-Season Tour.
After his first season, which split the opinion of both Manchester United fans and football fans alike, José Mourinho will look to further add to his squad and push on for greater success both domestically and in Europe. After finishing in a measly 6th place in the league, one position less than Louis Van Gaal achieved in his last season in charge, some were quick to jump on the media bandwagon and begin to ridicule the Portuguese’s season as a complete failure; however, if they were to sit and look at the season they would find the outcome was harsh for the twenty-time champions of England.
Having drew 15 games, 10 of which were at home, the team quickly began to lose touch of the title race as they began to face the result of failing to put the ball into the net. One match in particular was the Burnley game at the end of October when Manchester United had 38 attempts at goal 31 of which were on target but could not get a goal throughout the 90 minutes as they subsequently drew 0-0.
José Mourinho’s side however did go on to lift the EPL Cup and the Europa League (alongside the curtain-raiser the Community Shield).
It is the second season that the United faithful should be looking forward to as ‘The Special One’ usually delivers in abundance in his second season in charge of his club. José Mourinho has won the league title in the second season in charge at every club including: Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and once more at Chelsea.
Although only averaging just over 2 years at each club its clear to see the dedication and commitment José has put into the past 12 months in charge has he projected a very drained and exhausted figure coming the end of the season. Also what is evident is that he, along with the United board, have every intention of him finishing his 3-year-deal and possibly adding more with rumors emerging after his Europa League triumph of a further bumper five-year-deal to be offered. That might be a touch premature with many managers (as you can see with Liverpool’s brilliant business with Jurgen Flopp) but with the Portuguese I don’t see it being a risk. After four seasons of domestic disappointment, despite winning both the FA Cup and EFL Cup the club have still yet to win the Premier League since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. I believe that the board will give the team and José the time, this summer transfer window is extremely important and once it closes José should have the squad he needs to challenge for the illustrious prize.
First season: Portuguese League, Portuguese Cup, Uefa Cup
Second season: Portuguese League, Champions League
First season: Premier League, League Cup
Second season: Premier League
First season: Italian League
Second season: ltalian League, Italian Cup, Champions League
First season: Spanish Cup
Second season: Spanish league
Second Season: Premier League
First Season: Community Shield, EFL Cup, Europa League
Second Season: …?
It is looking bright for the Red Devils next season and here’s hoping ‘The Special One’ and his squad can deliver on every stage bringing back the trophies the club is used to winning and bringing back the sense of stability has his reign starts to really take shape.