The transfer market has got to be one of the toughest tasks that managers have to face once they take on a new club. Jose Mourinho came to Manchester United knowing that if he is to succeed he needs to face the transfer market one way or another, and he has had immense pressure to deliver to the expectations of the fans. Now that Mourinho has acquired his four transfer targets, he has opened up about how he feels the transfer market has gone so far.
In an interview with MUTV, Mourinho discussed that he believes his transfer strategy has been successful, as well as discussing how he was able to make up his mind on deciding where the team needed strengthening. He also discussed the importance of his interaction with the board of the club. Mourinho stated:
“First of all, I didn’t buy these players. I don’t have enough money to pay these amounts! Credit should go to the club and the potential the club has, not just financially, but in what the club means to the world of football, which helps attract players.
“I think I gave a contribution because I was very objective. I think some managers have doubts and find it difficult to decide. The clubs get the impression that you are not so sure on a signing. I was objective from day one.
“Of course, I have been in the country for many years and was able to watch United many times from December, so I had an idea about the squad. When I arrived, I was ready to be objective and could say what I wanted to have and explain the numbers I wanted for each position. That way, if you could not get option one, you go for the second or third.
“Every time, I made a written report to the board, the board could feel consistency in the analysis,” he continued. “The targets were there on the table, so, after that, the club’s powers did everything. They were very strong, doing everything before the 14th. They could do it by 30 August, but no, they did everything much earlier. I am very happy with the market.”
In the past, United’s board has been heavily criticized for sticking too much to the roots of growing homegrown or youth players and promoting them into the first team, rarely “splashing the cash” for players of high quality which were heavily needed. Fortunately, in the last two to three years this has begun to change. This summer Mourinho has worked hard with the club to keep this going and bring players of a very high quality that will enable United to get back to where they deserve to be. From Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has won trophies everywhere he has played, to Paul Pogba, who the club had to pay a new transfer record fee of £89 million to attain we can see that Mourinho sees a bright future ahead for the team and is willing to make it the best that it has ever been.
Today’s performance proved just how beneficial the new signings can be to the club. A 3-1 victory away to AFC Bournemouth showed only a portion of what is yet to come from the new signings. From an offensive perspective, Zlatan Ibrahimovic showed once again why he is, and can still be, one of Europe’s top strikers. His beautiful goal from outside the box came as yet another debut goal on an outstanding career and his presence in the box ensured yet another great performance. Further on in the season, I am sure that we will witness the great impact Ibrahimovic can have on the squad, as he will be able to mentor fellow players around him on and off the field. From a defensive perspective, Eric Bailly showed how he is ready for the challenge that the Premier League brings, often showcasing his speed, physicality and technical ability when given the opportunity.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan was unfortunate not to start the game, however, did enter the game as a substitute. His ability to create chances for his teammates will be something to look forward to in the upcoming weeks. Paul Pogba is the final transfer and is, arguably, the one that the fans should look forward to the most. Judging by today’s performance, not only does it show that Jose Mourinho has new players to choose his lineups from, but the new signings also seem to raise the performances of other players, as was seen by Juan Mata and Ander Herrera. Being only the first game of the season, fans should remain calm, but a very bright light seems to be shining at the end of the tunnel for the future of the team.