By Ollie Cranham-Young
- Mourinho has already signed Bailly, Ibrahimović and Mkhitaryan
- Who will be for the exit door?
Following the arrival of many new faces at Old Trafford we look at the United players whose careers maybe under threat following the arrival of Jose Mourinho.
After three arrivals already and many more suspected to come with French star Paul Pogba a likely addition to the squad, we discuss what players could be departing Old Trafford this summer to make way for Jose’s new purchases.
Deja Vu for Mata
Possibly the most obvious player whose career is under threat is Spanish star Juan Mata.
Since the announcement of Jose Mourinho’s appointment as manager at the end of May, Mata’s position in the squad came under immediate scrutiny.
In January of 2014 as Chelsea boss Mourinho happily sold Mata to United for a fee of £37.1 million.
Mourinho claimed he had many players that could play in Mata’s position already and it was rumoured that he preferred Brazilian playmaker Oscar to him instead.
Mourinho regularly left Mata out of his Chelsea starting line-up as he claimed Mata did not fit his style of play and didn’t defend enough.
Despite this since his transfer in January 2014, Mata has still managed 21 goals in 86 appearances for United averaging a goal nearly every 4 games and appearing as a sub often.
We categorise Mata as the most likely departure from Old Trafford following the appointment of the Portuguese boss.
Will Moyes first signing be surplus to requirements?
Another player that is likely to be leaving Old Trafford and axed by Mourinho is fellow midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
Despite the frustration from many United fans surrounding his abilities, Fellaini was a keen favourite of previous boss Louis Van Gaal.
Fellaini often featured up front for United although many questioned his attacking abilities.
His best moments for United are arguably the time he scored the goal to go 2-1 ahead against Manchester City last season or scoring the first goal in the FA Cup Semi-Final victory over Everton.
But Mourinho does not appear to value the player bought by Moyes three years ago much.
Although he has had some important moments for the club, there has been question marks over the Belgian’s ability to consistently provide for United ever since he was purchased from Everton for £25 million.
Chelsea legend Desailly believes Fellaini is in danger by claiming “I’m sure Fellaini won’t be playing in midfield. He has a lot of things to work on”.
Van Gaal signings under threat
In addition, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Bastian Schweinsteiger have all been deemed surplus to requirements by the new boss.
Mourinho has claimed he wants to trim the size of the squad he inherited from Van Gaal so he can recruit what he describes as “fundamental” and “supplementary” footballers.
He also recently said in an interview that he believes in players with a “speciality” as oppose to a “multi-functional” man.
Rojo was Van Gaal’s headline defensive signing in the summer of 2014 from Sporting Lisbon but has consistently struggled with injury problems since his arrival at the club.
Rojo did perform well at the 2014 World Cup however this did not guarantee the Argentinian a starting place featuring only 16 times in the league last season.
Bastian Schweinsteiger only benefit last season was to help provide experience to the younger players in the team.
He cost Van Gaal only 9 million euros which proved how eager Bayern Munich were to part ways with their former legend.
He only managed 13 starts before succumbing to injury again in January.
It seems apparent that Mourinho is bringing in plenty of new faces to bolster his midfield, and Schweinsteiger could definitely be on the way out following the little service he can now provide at the age of 31.
Finally, Daley Blind could also be looking to depart Old Trafford this summer. Blind was a £15 million purchase from Ajax and played the second most amount of league minutes last season, second only to Chris Smalling.
Mourinho does not believe the Netherlands international possesses the physique to be a first-choice option in his defence and following Mourinho’s recent purchases may be down the pecking order for a midfield start.