Now that all the hoopla is over, Jose is in the building and the awkward reconciliation photo opportunity with Sir Bobby Charlton is done, we can get down to some reality. How are Mourinho and Woodward going to improve the team this summer? What three great players are going to sign for United and play in the Europa League rather than Champions’ League, while also reinforcing United’s quest to reclaim the Premiere League championship?
Rashford and Borthwick-Jackson have signed their well deserved long-term deals, Fosu-Mensah waits to further his ambitions, and presumably Mourinho and Woodward’s relationship with super agent Jorge Mendes assures De Gea stays. So if the spine of the team is De Gea, Smalling, Shaw (if he recovers mentally as well as physically), Rooney, Martial and Rashford, who are the rest of the players to deliver a Mourinho resurgence?
Every club in the Premiere league gets 170 million pounds from the TV deal this season. No club is short of cash. Now it’s down to reputation, emotion and money to attract the right players.
We’ve all watched the supposed blunderings of the past two summer transfer windows, but maybe they weren’t blunderings? Why would Toni Kroos or Cesc Fabregas for instance choose United over Madrid or Chelsea? We’ve also seen the failure of paying a bundle to a superstar like Angel Di Maria crushed by the combination of a threatening break-in at his home and the inability to use him on the pitch. We’ve bought players like Mata, a genius footballer but without the pace or power to impose himself on a league where strength and athleticism are the paramount qualities.
Now we have the ultimate power coach. Educated by Bobby Robson whose best teams always had height, physicality, and normally played with a big , strong centre forward. We know the kind of players to expect, the question is will they come? The papers will have a field day as usual, but hopefully the deals are done. Mourinho’s had almost six months to study United’s needs. He is prepared, that’s his modus operandi. Woodward has a list that will have been refined, tailored, colour coded, organized, depth charted, and all the targets and their agents will have long been spoken to.
So let’s see what the allure of Mourinho’s reputation and United’s check book can deliver.