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Marcos Rojo has no future at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho?

On the 20th August 2014, Manchester United signed Argentinian defender Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon for a fee of €20 million (£16 million), which also included former United winger Nani joining his former club on a season-long loan deal. Many thought that United defence would be solid, especially with the fact that the club had also brought Luke Shaw that summer, and with United, at the time having a resurgent Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, whose injuries at the club had stopped him from growing, but instead continued. Rojo was expected to offer competition in the left-back role for Shaw and also fight to form a partnership with Smalling. Daley Blind also arrived that summer, a player who was actually a midfielder, but could also play at left-back and in central defence, where he himself formed a magnificent partnership with Smalling last season. At the time of signing for United, under Louis van Gaal, Rojo said:

“It is such an honour to say that I now play for Manchester United. The Premier League is the most exciting league in the world and to have the chance to play in it for the world’s biggest club is a dream for me. I am young and am very keen to continue to learn the game, so playing for such an experienced technical coach as Louis van Gaal is a fantastic opportunity for me. I have joined United to work hard with my team-mates to win trophies and I know that the manager shares that ambition.”

Two seasons into his five-year contract at the Theatre of Dreams, The Sun are reporting that the Argentinian will be the first casualty of Jose Mourinho’s regime at the club. Rojo struggled last season, even during the time where he was covering for the injured Luke Shaw, who had his season ended almost as quickly as it began. Rojo just has not adapted to the Premier League, perhaps the management style of Louis van Gaal did not help, but he certainly did not help himself at times. During the last two seasons, Rojo has made 54 appearances (26 in the 2014/15 season, 28 in the 2015/16 season). Rojo scored one goal, against Cambridge United in the FA Cup fourth-round replay at Old Trafford on the 23rd February 2015.

Rojo had a good first season at Manchester United in the 2014/15 season, with United earning UEFA Champions League football again. In the Premier League alone he made 22 appearances, created 10 chances for his team-mates, won 47% of his duels, had a pass success rate of 85% and made nine defensive actions, with four defensive errors. In his second season at the club, the 2015/16 season, Rojo was not as prolific, making only 16 Premier League appearances, but also creating ten chances for his team-mates, winning 47% of his duels, has a pass success rate of 73% making four defensive actions, making no defensive errors.

Injury wise, this has not been good for United and Rojo with him suffering six separate injuries at the club, which led to him missing 43 matches in all competitions, which is a lot of matches to miss, especially for a player that would have been considered as experienced, despite that experience not being in the Premier League. United have been ravaged by defensive injuries for the last three years after Sir Alex Ferguson retired with Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw, and Marcos Rojo all suffering at some stage. Even during Ferguson’s time at the club, Smalling, Jones, Vidic and Ferdinand all suffered many injuries, which at times just cannot be helped.

Rojo is currently playing for Argentina in the Copa America held in the United States of America for its centenary year – with Argentina in the final against Chile, a rematch of the 2015 Copa America final, where Chile won the cup on penalties. The Argentinian defender has made four appearances so far in this summer’s tournament, beating Chile, Panama, Venezuela and the United States of America. Rojo did miss the victory over Bolivia – the third group stage match of the tournament. Argentina will be looking to beat Chile, just like they did in the group stages – winning a trophy this summer, their first since 1993, which is something they have missed out on over the past few years, also losing to Germany in the FIFA World Cup final in 2014.

Duncan Castles, the man who has stated that Rojo has been told his future is no longer at Manchester United, is where these reports are coming from. Some see Castles as unreliable, but he has been reliable at times. He is also seen as anti-United based on articles he has written in the past. We will see if he is right this time. Based on the fact that Rojo has not managed to become a regular started at United in the two seasons he has played for the club, this could be true, especially in the fact that Jose Mourinho has already signed Ivorian defender Eric Bailly and is reportedly keeping Phil Jones at the club, despite his inability to shake off injuries and develop at the club since his 2011 move from Blackburn Rovers. It is said that Rojo has offers from Italy, Spain and China, with the Old Trafford club likely to take a financial hit on the sale of the player, accepting around £10 million for him.

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