A number of Manchester United players are set to get their marching orders as Jose Mourinho looks keen on reshuffling the squad and especially their defence. Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian are the likeliest candidates to get the axe as United prepare bids for a suitable centre-back and right-back.
The Red Devils have only played nine games in the Premier League so far but their Portuguese manager already seems convinced that changes have to be made if the team is to do well. After all, United have conceded the second highest number of goals among the top 10 teams in the league – 12 in all and four of them came just last weekend as Chelsea beat them 4-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Only Eric Bailly has impressed the former Chelsea manager who seems to have made the position of centre-back his own but is likely to be out for two months after he picked up an injury last Sunday.
Chris Smalling (£7m signing from Fulham) and Daley Blind (£14m signing from Ajax) have uncertain futures at Old Trafford as Mourinho is unimpressed with their performance. The two defenders were noticeably responsible for United’s heavy defeat as the pair made glaring mistakes against the Blues.
A moment’s hesitation from Chris Smalling allowed Pedro to score Chelsea’s first goal of the game within 30 seconds of kick off and the mistakes didn’t just stop there. The two can be directly traced back to all the goals conceded that night.
Full backs Marcos Rojo (£16m signing from Sporting Lisabon) and Matteo Darmian (£12.7m signing from Sporting Lisabon) could be sold as early as the January transfer window as the two have seen their playing time reduced to next-to-nothing, especially Darmian who has started just one game under the new management.
Mourinho and his backroom staff are already looking into new recruits and if rumours are to be believed, Mourinho has zeroed in on Roma defender Antonio Rudiger as one of their transfer targets. However, the Italian club is hesitant to let go of their German international and could demand up to £35 million for his services.
The ‘Special One’ is also unhappy with the performances of Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw. Mourinho is keen to sign a natural right-back, unlike Valencia who used to wear the number 7 shirt for United and played as a right winger.
It’s not just his defenders who have failed to impress him. Zlatan Ibrahimovic seems to be going through a goal-scoring drought, he hasn’t scored in five games and Paul Pogba is yet to prove his very tangible value of £89 million.