Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Manchester United has drastically improved the club’s appeal.
The Red Devils have been able to entice Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba to Old Trafford despite the absence of Champions League football this season.
It’s a far cry from the club’s situation under Louis van Gaal, where the only direction United were headed was down.
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Van Gaal was sacked in May after two stagnant years at the Theatre of Dreams. An FA Cup success couldn’t hide the cracks that had developed under the Dutchman.
His departure paved the way for Mourinho’s arrival and all of a sudden, United are among the favourites to win the Premier League title.
They probably wouldn’t have that tag if Van Gaal were still around, though. Partly because he wouldn’t have been able to lure Ibrahimovic or Pogba to the club.
Not only that, but he didn’t want either, according to The Sun.
LVG would have blocked Pogba's signing
The British newspaper claims the Dutchman blocked high-profile signings, including that of the £89 million Pogba, before his dismissal.
According to sources close to the former United boss, he didn’t believe in spending extravagantly and instead planned to continue to develop the club’s young players.
Van Gaal had his own vision
One lasting memory of his time at United will be his promotion of Marcus Rashford into the first-team. Given how that worked out, it’s no surprise that he wanted to nurture the young talents.
But executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was always searching for that marquee signing who would make United relevant again and would make the club a ton of money in commercial activities.
It took appointing Mourinho to seal that big-name signing. In fact, he brought two superstars to the club in one transfer window.