Jose Mourinho has failed to get the best from any of his most expensive signings as Manchester United boss.
The 55-year-old has spent close to £420 million on new players since taking the reins at Old Trafford in the summer of 2016, though has little to show in return.
Alongside Alexis Sanchez and his £500,000-a-week contract, Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Fred represent his most significant investments in terms of transfer fees.
At the collective cost of £250 million, it’s fair to say all four are yet to deliver what’s expected of them.
Their struggles are thought to have strained their respective relationships with Mourinho, but as has been well publicised, none more so than Pogba.
The Frenchman was meant to be the marquee arrival to complement Mourinho’s appointment and despite showing flashes of brilliance, they’ve simply been too infrequent.
It’s reasonable to assume the bad blood between Pogba and his manager would be less prevalent if United were performing better on the pitch.
However, the worse their struggles become, the more focus is directed at the animosity between the pair.
Unsurprisingly, the situation has led to rumours Pogba could potentially leave the club as soon as January, if not the end of the season.
Reflecting on what’s a complex situation involving a very powerful player and manager, Emmanuel Petit has a strong message for his compatriot.
“I don’t know about the future of Paul Pogba. I still believe when you come back to a club you left, this is because you have a good reason to come back,” the 1998 World Cup winner said, per talkSPORT.
“I think the story between Manchester United and Pogba is not finished. If he leaves at the end of the season just because of his relationship with his manager, for me, that’s not a good reason.
“Manchester United is bigger than the problem they have together.”
While Mourinho has regularly been singled out as the root of the Red Devils’ woes, Petit insists he deserves to remain in charge so long as his players back him up.
“Well, even if Jose Mourinho has been living with criticism and big pressure recently, I still believe he’s one of the best managers in the world.
“He has won so many trophies - he repeats that in the press conferences. They won the Europa League last year - they won a trophy where all the managers didn’t win anything.
“So, what we’re asking of managers is to win games and titles and this is what Mourinho does. But we all know it’s becoming difficult after three years in the same club.
“His methods in management are sometimes a little bit hard for the players to cope with. He’s got his own responsibility for his relationships with some players.
“But I still believe, at the end of the day, the players have to take their own responsibility on the pitch as well. The responsibilities, for me, are shared.”
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