From a Manchester United supporter’s perspective, May 27, 2016 will hopefully be a turning point in the club’s history as it was the day Jose Mourinho arrived.
Just over a month has passed, and the Portuguese tactician has wasted little time in getting to work as he prepares for his first campaign in charge at Old Trafford.
Eric Bailly has been signed from Villarreal, pre-season plans are taking shape and more new faces are expected in the next week or so.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has now confirmed that he will be a United player next season, and there are suggestions that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will complete his big-money move from Dortmund next week as noted by ESPN FC. In turn, it’s going to be a busy old summer in the red half of Manchester.
That is unlikely to be the end of the transfer activity too, as several other top names have been linked with a switch to the Premier League giants, with Mourinho’s revolution well and truly in full flow.
So how will it all fit together? On the basis of what we know will likely happen in the coming weeks, Mourinho will be strengthening his attacking options significantly.
As proven at Paris Saint-Germain last season, Ibrahimovic still has plenty left to offer having scored 50 goals in 51 appearances in all competitions.
In turn, he will spearhead the United attack and look to play an influential role in their overall play, with Anthony Martial expected to keep hold of his familiar role on the left flank.
Unfortunately, Mkhitaryan’s arrival could see Marcus Rashford have a more limited role despite his impressive efforts last season, although Mourinho will likely rotate and there should be enough chances for the England international to shine and continue his development without too much pressure on his shoulders.
Aside from his poor performance against Iceland, Wayne Rooney looked good in a midfield role in the opening two games of Euro 2016, but it remains to be seen who partners him there as more movement in the transfer market is expected.
It’s a similar scenario in front of David de Gea in terms of his defence, with Bailly possibly just the first of a few reinforcements in that department.
Raphael Varane has been given the green light to move to United, according to The Sun, and so perhaps the French international could end up being Chris Smalling’s partner at the heart of the defence.
United have been disappointing in recent years, and the entire club needed a lift this summer. Mourinho’s arrival was just the first step towards doing that, and Ibrahimovic’s signing will be another big leap in the right direction.
Mourinho is adding quality, experience and panache to his team, and coupled with his tactical brilliance, it’s looking very promising for United in the early stages of his reign even though results will of course be what matter.