It’s fair to say that it has been a turbulent couple of seasons for Manchester United under Jose Mourinho. The Special One came to Old Trafford in 2016, with the job of returning former glories to the club, which hadn’t been seen since Sir Alex Ferguson’s time at the club, and certainly hadn’t been recreated by David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.
Mourinho’s first season was a relative success, winning the double of the League Cup and Europa League, therefore qualifying for the Champions League, making up for the disappointing sixth place finish in the Premier League.
It was expected that Mourinho would look to go big in his next year, and continue the excellent record he has in the second season at a club. He did lead his side to second place, but they were comfortably behind Manchester City, and there was clear disharmony amongst the squad.
That particular disharmony mainly involved Luke Shaw, who was constantly, and harshly, publicly criticised by Mourinho, with some even suggesting it was humiliating for the young full back. The likes of Matteo Darmian, Chris Smalling and Anthony Martial also came in for regular criticism in public.
All four of them could be sold this summer, but that will not rid Mourinho of all his problems. He still needs to work out how to get the best out of Paul Pogba, as France have done at the World Cup this summer. He will also hope for more consistency from his attacking players, who often failed to produce when Mourinho needed them to the most last season.
Manchester United have already signed Fred, Diego Dalot and Lee Grant so far this summer. They are all good players, but none of them are game changers who will take them to the Premier League title. Here are five men who could make the difference for United.
#1 Alex Sandro (Juventus)
One area where Mourinho should really be looking to strengthen is left-back. Ashley Young played there for much of last season, and although he did a decent job, he isn’t a natural there, and occasionally looked out of his depth against the strongest opponents. It might be useful to keep him around as a squad player, but he isn’t a good enough full back to start for a team challenging for a title.
United will want a top left back if they are to close the gap on Manchester City, and there aren’t many better in the world than Alex Sandro. The Brazilian has been a key man for Juventus during his three seasons in Italy, and at 27, is approaching the peak of his powers. He is the perfect modern full back, and is as good in the defensive third as he is in the attacking third. He wouldn’t come cheap for United, but he would certainly be worth the fee.