New Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho revealed today that he had identified four specialist players the club needed to turn its fortunes around as they would provide a ‘balance’ to the squad he inherited from the sacked Loius Van Gaal.
Mou was speaking at his first press conference which followed his official unveiling at the Old Trafford today (July 5, 2016).
He said, “I want specialists. We decided four targets and we have three already. Until we have the fourth, we are still working hard. Myself, the structure, Mr Woodward, the owners – we are working hard on that. When we have the fourth, I breathe, we all breathe. We will not get the fourth on 31st August. We will get it before that and then we are stable.
“I am very clear in my approach and model to play and I need specialists in that.”
Here are the specialist players United and Jose are banking on to return the club to its glory days…
Eric Bertrand Bailly (Central Defender) – The towering Ivory Coast international became the first signing of the Mou era on June 8, 2016 after Manchester United confirmed his capture from Villarreal. Bailly agreed a four-year deal with the option of a further two years with the FA Cup holders.
The transfer, is believed to be worth £30million, subject to securing a work permit.
“Eric is a young central defender with great natural talent. He has progressed well to date and has the potential to become one of the best around.” Mourinho said.
Bailly, 22, made 47 appearances for Villarreal since joining on 29 January 2015. He has made 15 appearances for his country and was part of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations-winning team, having appeared in all six matches during the competition.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Center Forward) – The signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a free transfer on July 1 sent Manchester United fans into wild jubilation. They had every reason to be excited as the giant Swede has plundered goals with reckless abandon in every team he has played in. He is reunited with manager Jose Mourinho, having worked with the Portuguese during their time together at Serie A club Inter Milan. Ibrahimovic is United’s second signing of the summer after Villarreal defender Eric Bailly joined for £30m.The former Barcelona and Juventus player has scored 392 goals in 677 games and won a trophy every season of his career since 2001, including 13 league titles.
Last season was his most prolific, scoring 50 goals in 51 matches, a record for PSG. His tally of 38 league goals was also a club record.
In his four seasons at the French club, he won 12 trophies, including the domestic quadruple twice. On announcing he was leaving the Ligue 1 club, he tweeted: “I came like a king, left like a legend.”
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Attacking Midfield) – Though he is yet to be officially unveiled by Manchester United, Mkhitaryan’s former employers, Germany’s Borrusia Dortmund confirmed Mourinho’s third signing on their website on Saturday, July 2, revealing that the Armenia international expressed his wish to join United in “intensive discussions” with the Bundesliga club. “This transfer was made on the basis of starting a new challenge. Manchester United made a tremendous offer, which matched the player’s value. Had we rejected it, the player could have moved for free in 2017,” said CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.
Mkhitaryan began his career at Armenian side Pyunik, before playing for both Metalurh and Shakhtar Donetsk, prior to his move to Dortmund.
Paul Pogba? (Central Midfielder) Paul Pogba has been linked with a return to Old Trafford after his acrimonious exit as a teenager under Sir Alex Ferguson’s tutelage. Mourinho has reportedly identified him a top target for the board who are willing to match Juventus’ £80 million asking price for the talented prayer. It remains to be seen how that would work out as the player’s heart is reportedly set on a switch to Real Madrid.
- Daniel Fayemi for encomium.ng