Jose Mourinho - the next manager to try and restore United to their former glories?.

Hiring Jose Mourinho would destroy Manchester United's identity

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With the 3-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur over the weekend effectively snuffing out Manchester United's chances of coming in fourth and qualifying for the Champions League next season, Louis van Gaal's stock at the club has never been lower while rumours circulate about Jose Mourinho's impending arrival.

Indeed, the media is awash with stories about the players that Mourinho has on his wishlist should he eventually land the job at Old Trafford.

Yet hiring the brooding combative Portuguese is exactly what Manchester United should not be doing. His appointment would only serve to destroy one of the few positives of Van Gaal's reign - the promotion and development of young players.


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While his managerial record is the envy of all managers, Mourinho's track record with young players stands in stark contrast. Throughout his career at FC Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, it is apparent that his strength lies largely in building a team for the present that will burn brightly for a brief period of time.

Mourinho's appreciation of young talent has come under increased scrutiny with a number of former Chelsea players blossoming after Mourinho decided to jettison them.

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Romelu Lukaku's 18 goals in the Premier League this season is seven more than what Diego Costa has managed with far less disciplinary baggage. Kevin De Bruyne's return from injury has revitalised a Manchester City side that looked to have lost their way in recent weeks.

Mohamed Salah was barely given a chance before being shipped off on loan to first Fiorentina then AS Roma, where he has since flourished. With John Terry the last academy success at Chelsea, clearly Mourinho has an aversion to grooming younger talents, especially when he is expected to bring instant success.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford. These players, amongst many others, have been given an opportunity to make the step up under Van Gaal this season and have, at times, even overshadowed their more illustrious teammates.

While a crippling injury list might be in part the reason why Van Gaal threw them into the deep end, it is undeniable that Marcus Rashford was only able to shine because United did not bring someone in during the January transfer window.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Premier League

The emergence and blossoming of young players has always been a source of great pride for supporters. Spurs fans lustily sing that Harry Kane is one of their own and the recent brilliance of 18-year-old Alex Iwobi has been one of the few bright sparks for disillusioned Arsenal supporters in yet another season of disappointment.

At United, the importance of youth is arguably even more important, after all, both the Busby Babes and Fergie's Class of '92 hold a special place in the hearts of all United fans.

Having handed 14 academy players their debuts during his time at the club, if United now dispense with Van Gaal and draft in Mourinho, it would not only mean flushing Van Gaal's last two years of youth development down the drain in exchange for the hope of instant success, it would also send a strong signal that Manchester United's proud storied legacy of youth development is nothing more than a thing of the past.

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Manchester United
Louis van Gaal
Ryan Giggs
Cristiano Ronaldo
Jose Mourinho

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