By Dave Marshal
Few people will forget the manner in which Jose Mourinho bemoaned his lack of quality strikers for Chelsea in the 2013/2014 season. The likes of Demba Ba, Samuel Eto’o and Fernando Torres ultimately proved not effective as the Blues finished third, some four points behind eventual winners, Manchester City. In the next transfer window, he acted accordingly on the needs of his team and signed Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa, players who were exceptional for the Blues, as they led from week 3 till the end of the campaign. At Manchester United, Jose has inherited a squad of players who are not tough and willing to buy into his philosophy and has identified some positions which need strengthening. We run the rule over such positions
At Chelsea, Mourinho had a back line of Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry and Azpilicueta, men who would give the last drop of their blood to ensure that they kept clean sheets. The options at United don’t comprise of such personalities. Mourinho has identified the likes of Michael Keane, Virgil Van Dijk and Antonio Rudiger as the players who are committed and willing to give their all on the pitch of play. Smalling, Rojo and Blind are not the archetypal Mourinho defenders as they are too feeble-minded. Mourinho also needs to work on the defensive aspect of Luke Shaw’s game as well as get a viable competition for Antonio Valencia at right back.
Mourinho will be casting envious gnaces at his former club, Chelsea who secured the signing of perhaps the best defensive midfielder in the whole of Europe, N’Golo Kante. Mourinho teams have always possessed a destroyer to break opposition plays and launch brilliant counter attacks. Makelele, Stankovic, Khedira and Alonso all readily come to mind in Mourinho’s previous clubs. A goal scoring winger is also a priority in the mould of Eden Hazard. The Belgian enjoyed two hugely successful years under the tutelage of the Portuguese at Stamford Bridge. Memphis Depay and Anthony Martial will have been suited to this role, but both have been very below par.
Every title winning team needs a 20-goal a season striker and Manchester United, at the moment don’t have such. Ibrahimovic is on the last legs of his career, Rooney is on a steady decline while Rashford is still too young to be burdened with such massive expectations. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang,Harry Kane and Antoine Griezmann have been mooted as signings.
Mourinho needs his perfect team and if granted his heart desires, United could find themselves in ruthless trophy-winning fashion in the years to come.