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Antonio Valencia has looked great..

Three Manchester United players shining under Jose Mourinho

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It was always going to be a question of, when not if, Jose Mourinho was given a crack at managing Manchester United.

As expected, there have been sweeping changes since Louis van Gaal was axed in May with Mourinho keen to make his mark at the club. However, despite quite a few marquee signings, he hasn't completely overhauled the squad, choosing to improve and develop the players he already had at his disposal.

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If United do go on to win the Premier League, their detractors will understandably point to the crazy money they have splashed out this summer; £89million on Paul Pogba, £30million on Eric Bailly, to name but a fraction of their spending.

Considering their disappointing fifth-placed finish last season, that's understandable, as there was plenty of work to be done to get United back to where they belong.

All the same, Mourinho can rest safe in the knowledge that much of what he is achieving has been done without him spending a single penny because after all, there's no substitute for good old-fashioned hard work on the training ground.

In partnership with DraftKings, GiveMeSport takes a look at three players who have been outstanding since the Special One took his long-awaited place in the Old Trafford hot seat.

Antonio Valencia

Now, Ander Herrera thinks Antonio Valencia is the best right-back in the world. Dani Alves might have something to say about that, but it's fair to say the Ecuadorian has at least improved since Mourinho took over. The 31-year-old has now been at the club for seven years, but he is displaying some of the best form United fans will have ever seen from him.

It's a testament to Mourinho's system that United are finally utilising their full-backs properly after two years of pedestrian football under Van Gaal. Even as he enters his thirties, Valencia can still often be found in the opposition half, but it's his defensive work which has notably improved. Tackles won are worth 1 fantasy point, while interceptions come with 0.5 points, so it's vital he keeps that up so United aren't left exposed.

Wayne Rooney Testimonial: Manchester United v Everton

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Luke Shaw

After that horrific leg break, Luke Shaw needs to be managed carefully but all the indications are that he is tentatively edging back to his best. The left-back has made a pretty solid start so far and isn't just sitting back. Against his former club Southampton, he was rapid down the wing, putting in two decent crosses, which earned him 0.75 points each.

It'll definitely be interesting to see how the 21-year-old fares when he has a bit more to do defensively, as in United's opening exchanges, he hasn't really been tested. The Red Devils' back line as a whole is looking reasonably solid, though, and it's worth remembering defenders pick up 3 points for keeping a clean sheet.

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-SOUTHAMPTON

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Any United fans who thought Zlatan Ibrahimovic was going to end his career with a whimper and one final payday have been proved very, very wrong. Signing the Swedish superstar on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain has to be considered the bargain of the summer so far as he has already found the back of the net three times in the Premier League.

Ibra is about as solid a choice as you can make when it comes to DraftKings, notching up 10 points for every goal. The Southampton game won him 29.5 points, and those kind of stats aren't a fluke; for PSG last season, he averaged a superb 21.8 Fantasy Points per Game (FPPG).

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Topics:
Luke Shaw
Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain
Antonio Valencia
Football
Premier League
Jose Mourinho

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