Five things Jose Mourinho must do to turn Manchester United into contenders

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Jose Mourinho was officially confirmed as the new Manchester United boss on Friday, and the Portuguese tactician will be under immediate pressure next season.

Given his track record, expectations will be high as he looks ahead to locking horns with the likes of Pep Guardiola, Arsene Wenger, Antonio Conte and Jurgen Klopp.

However, before he begins to look at his rivals, there are various issues within the United camp that he must address and get right in pre-season.

From unsettled players to inspiring the club as a whole, the 53-year-old will be seen as the man that puts the last three years firmly in the past and creates a brighter future. Here are five things he must sort out:

Secure David de Gea’s future

The Spaniard was involved in a transfer saga last summer, and came close to sealing a move to the Spanish capital. According to Sky Sports expert Gullem Balague, Real Madrid could return this summer.

Given how important he was again this season, United need to hold on to their shot-stopper as he has the ability to make game-changing interventions and they can ill-afford to lose such world class players.

Clear out deadwood and bring in quality

It remains to be seen who is offloaded this summer, as Mourinho will naturally have his own ambitious plans for the transfer market and that could see individuals forced out.

Those that don’t offer the ‘Special One’ enough quality must be shipped out, and rather than look to add quantity, he has to add quality, flair, experience and a winning mentality to the squad to avoid further disappointment both in displays and results.

Find a way of balancing youth and experience

Mourinho has been criticised in the past for his lack of faith in youngsters, but aside from Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne, are there really many other high-profile individuals that were snubbed and have gone on to become significant success stories?

If they’re good enough, Mourinho will play them. While he does have a preference for adding tried and tested individuals, he’ll have to balance that with not stunting the progress of the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial as well as continuing the club’s tradition of giving their academy players a chance.

Wayne Rooney’s position

The England captain has long been tipped to revert to a midfield role in the latter stages of his career, and perhaps the time has now come.

Having been deployed there by Van Gaal at the end of this past season, Rooney may have to shuffle back and use his quality in midfield to allow younger options and more prolific forwards to make the difference in the final third.

Restore fans belief in team

Through a combination of lack of success and style of play, many United fans were left disillusioned at times last season under Van Gaal as there was an obvious departure from the culture that was built by Sir Alex Ferguson and those before him.

Mourinho isn’t going to play beautiful and expansive football a la Guardiola, but he’ll bring about a change that makes United more watchable for the most part. That in turn will get the supporters back onside, although results will ultimately be the determining factor.

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