Luke Shaw, a promising full back, who since his horrific leg break, has looked a shadow of his former self. Injuries and loss of form have contributed to a turbulent season. Even after clear the air talks with Mourinho, Shaw still suffered the bad luck of injury, to curtail his season.
Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, both signed by Sir Alex Ferguson, looked to have great futures at United. Phil Jones was quoted by Ferguson as being the next Duncan Edwards. A massive statement from the ex boss. Jones has never managed to stay away from injury. Spells knocking him out of important stages of the season, both this year and last. Smalling divides opinion amongst United fans. Some say he is a great heart on sleeve player, others question his ability to represent a team of United’s magnitude. I am of the latter opinion. Smalling is always caught ball watching, the Kane goal in the recent 2-1 defeat is an example of this.
Matter Darmian is a right back who plays regularly at left back, it seems that he is not very good at either. Offers very little going forward, and usually gets booked within the first ten minutes, which isn’t ideal when facing a tricky forward.
The shining light in a rather dismal end of season is the emergence of Axel Tuanzebe. The young centre half given two starts in the last two games, and although he was played out of position in both, it’s clear that he is very much in the boss’s plans.
United seem to be rather top heavy in forwards, and with more speculation around new signings in those positions, Griezmann, Rodriguez and Bale, it seems that even a blind man can see that United are crying out for a defensive rebuild. Mourinho is far from silly though and normally prides himself on a staunch defensive unit, which United had been until the recent waving of the white flag in the league.
At Christmas, Mourinho stated that he didn’t want a big turnover of players through the door each year. This summer though might well be different. Mourinho would of had a year in which to asses each and every players strengths and weaknesses. Rooney will most probably leave, even after making noises about staying. The moment you have to start shoehorning a player into the side is when you known the game is more or less up.
The Final in Stockholm looks to be a last audition for some players. Ed Woodward and Jose will both be very busy during the summer. Let’s hope the foundations are already in place with a Champions League spot in the bag.
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