Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is trying to force out Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw, according to Sky Sports pundit Andy Walker.
The pair were left out of the squad to face Swansea City on Sunday, with Mourinho revealing that he had not included them as they were out with injury niggles before later being critical of players who weren’t willing to play with minor fitness issues.
Walker believes that the Portuguese tactician has grown accustomed to players going through the pain barrier for him to show their commitment in previous jobs at Chelsea and Real Madrid, and in this case he has now gone about pushing the pair out of the Old Trafford door.
“Look at the players he’s used to working with. John Terry, [Frank] Lampard, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, you can tell these guys are playing through the pain barriers,” Walker told Sky Sports.
“I think what it does tell you is he cannot trust Luke Shaw, he cannot trust Chris Smalling. When a big game comes along they won’t be considered, because he’s clearly trying to get them out of the club I think.”
Walker on to explain that obviously it all depends on the type of injury, but if it’s something that Mourinho feels as though they can play through, then it will be a sign that he isn’t able to call on them and rely upon them moving forward.
Whether or not it results in the pair being sold remains to be seen as that still seems slightly far-fetched at this point, but Mourinho’s comments will certainly split opinion.
Some will argue that his public criticism of his players is again a negative move, especially after his side secured such a positive result to put an end to their recent poor run of form.
On the other hand, perhaps it’s just a part of his no-nonsense style now that he should publicly reveal which players aren’t committed to the club and let the supporters decide for themselves.