Performance over ego are the characteristics Jose Mourinho looks for

The summer transfer window is getting close to the period where it starts to get busy after a period of a few weeks where clubs were signing players and Manchester United just sat back and watched. Since then, Victor Lindelof has signed from Benfica for a fee of around £30.7 million, with the player being linked to the club during the Christmas period and throughout the January transfer window, nothing transpiring at that time. United manager Jose Mourinho is looking for a number of positions to be filled this summer, solving his defensive issues, or at least that is the plan, but still needing a striker to take over from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who ended the season on the sidelines through injury, another midfielder, a winger and maybe even a full-back.

Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, United seemed to have gone in a different direction to find players to boost the club from the £59.7 signing of Angel Di Maria, the loan signing of Radamel Falcao, the return of Paul Pogba for a world record £89 million fee and the signing of free agent Ibrahimovic on the 1st July last year. There have been other names coming into the Old Trafford club, but I think you get the gist of what I am talking about. Falcao failed at United, scoring just four goals throughout the 2014/15 season with his loan spell not being made permanent, he continued to falter at Chelsea the following season, heading back to AS Monaco where he seemingly set the world alight again.

Angel Di Maria left United after one season, failing to show why the club broke their transfer record for the Argentinian and him then being sold to the club he wanted to leave Real Madrid for, Paris Saint-Germain, a league where he has shown his ability, just like Falcao, with many suggesting that United were just not good enough for him, despite him playing in a league whereby the is a massive void between the top two or three clubs and the rest, possible a reason why both Di Maria and Falcao have flourished in that league. Paul Pogba and Ibrahimovic are the only two players United have signed, who were prominent players, who have managed to maintain their expectations, although Pogba’s expectations were set too high because of his fee.

This summer, Jose Mourinho seems to be heading in a different direction in terms of transfer targets. United have previously set their sights on the likes of Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Cesc Fabregas, Toni Kroos and others, ending up with Marouane Fellaini, Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin. Granted, three of those players are no longer at the club, but that should be the type of player United should be looking for, the ones who are under the radar of the top players in world football, but players who put in just as much effort as the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar Jr and Ronaldo. Most players can be winners, they don’t have to be at the top of their game and of a profile such as the names mentioned.

Look at AS Monaco. For years now they have seen their star players being sold. Anthony Martial left for an initial £36 million fee on deadline day in 2015, a player that could have left the club in the lurch, but one who vacated a position and some months later, Kylian Mbappe comes through the ranks and now he is a player that clubs such as Arsenal, Liverpool, Real Madrid and others would spend more than €100 million on. Mbappe is not the only player at Monaco to come through in similar circumstances, just look at the likes of Bernardo Silva – starting his career at the club on loan from Benfica in 2014, moving the following year and now leaving for Manchester City for £43.5 million with a possible £17.5 million in add-ons.

Benjamin Mendy is another, signing from Marseille last summer and rising his potential with a decent season for the principality club, winning the Ligue 1 title and beating Paris Saint-Germain to their fifth in a row. Thomas Lemar is another, signing from Caen in the summer of 2015 and showing his abilities last season. Monaco are not the only club you should look at, Anderlecht, a side which put the pressure on Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League are another. Youri Tielemans, not at Monaco for a €25 million fee, which in this day and age for a player with his potential is a good investment as if he develops throughout the next season and beyond, United and other teams will be looking to get the player and they will have to pay massive amounts for him.

So far this summer, after signing Lindelof, United have been linked with Alvaro Morata, a player that seems to be in the bag for United, depending on who you believe, Eric Dier and now Nemanja Matic again, Ivan Perisic and if reports from Portugal are to be believed, Nelson Semedo – another player from Benfica. It would seem that Mourinho is not looking for star players, more so players who can become stars, but ones who fit his playing style, ability both on and off the ball and more importantly, players who share his mindset. Seeing the foursome of Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba arrive last summer and the low self-esteem levels of United’s players in the previous three seasons, that spark added something and created more.

Manchester United should be looking to develop players, they have some good ones of their own, but bringing in younger players who will develop into some of the best players in Europe and maybe the rest of the world, keeping them at the club and pushing for glory would be so much better of an achievement. I don’t get why people suggest that star players bring glory to the club, it is proven that with many seemingly failing at the club, which would be on them rather than the manager at the time, it shows that star players are not the be all and end all. I don’t want Manchester United to become a selling club, training players only for them to have aspirations to play for Real Madrid and Barcelona, but cutting out the middle man and starting something good would be better.

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copyright: JW

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