Manchester United formally announced the sacking of Louis van Gaal on Monday evening, which has now sparked speculation that Jose Mourinho is on the brink of taking over at Old Trafford.
Victory in the FA Cup final wasn’t enough for Van Gaal to secure his job, and after holding positive talks with Mourinho, the club are expected to announce the Dutchman's replacement in the next few days.
Despite the negative press following the Dutchman during his time at Old Trafford, Van Gaal’s policy of youth promotion has been excellent and it was only fitting that Jesse Lingard, who debuted in Van Gaal’s first match in charge, scored the winner in what is to be his final match.
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Now, with Mourinho set to take charge, we look at what this could mean for the team that won the FA Cup and the 14 players that were involved at Wembley.
David De Gea
Manchester United’s Player of the Year for the third consecutive season and widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world alongside Manuel Neuer. This is one player who will have absolutely no worry about his position in the team.
It will be in fact a challenge for Mourinho to keep him away from the clutches of Real Madrid.
Originally a winger, Valencia has done a commendable job whenever deployed as a wing back.
Beast of a player in terms of strength and speed, Valencia’s return from injury has stabilised the team to an extent. May not start all the matches should United bring in a more conventional right back, but Mourinho will keep him for his versatility.
May not start all the matches should United bring in a more conventional right back, but Mourinho will keep him for his versatility.
Has come a long way from his red card in the Manchester Derby two seasons ago.
While there are moments where he still seems to lack a killing edge, this is a player who is currently the best of the lot from English defenders.
One of the faces of the Van Gaal regime, his versatility saw him shift to partner Smalling at centre-back.
Has done great justice to the faith of Van Gaal and has brought a sense of calm in that defensive four.
That being said, his lack of pace and Mourinho’s plan to bring in a strong centre-half, possibly Raphael Varane, could see him lose his spot in the side. Left back could be an option, though.
A good show in the World Cup meant that much was expected of him, but due to on-and-off performances he hasn’t been a hit in the squad. Likely to stay, however.
Carrick has effectively played his final game for Manchester United.
Despite his age, he could still control the game and tempo. The veteran should wait and see if a managerial change would bring about a change in his situation
Physically strong and tall players have always been a trademark of Mourinho’s teams and this would favour the big Belgian.
Though limited in terms of talent and not exactly a fan favourite, Fellaini has proved his worth as a physical presence in recent games against West Ham United and Crystal Palace.
One of the players who will be the most concerned about the arrival of Jose Mourinho.
He is a joy to watch when he clicks, but his lack of strength and failure to consistently trackback doesn’t suit Mourinho’s teams. Should be genuinely concerned about his future, especially given the way he was sold by Mourinho at Chelsea.
One of the gems unearthed by Van Gaal, he has become an instant fan favourite. Will definitely be a major player in Mourinho’s plans and a player to watch out next season.
Mourinho has always been a great fan of Rooney.
He was the first player Mourinho wanted when he began his second stint in Chelsea. Though his powers as a forward have somewhat waned, his work ethic, leadership and vision are exemplary and could be Mourinho’s game controller in his new found deep-lying playmaker role.
An extraordinary couple of months saw him break into United’s starting XI and even get a call-up to the England team for Euros.
Mourinho is not famed for giving a chance to youth and that should worry him, but United’s academy rolls out more talented players than anywhere he has worked before.
Will be interesting to see what stance he takes and Rashford will be one of the early indicators.
An out-and-out left winger. His direct approach is something Mourinho likes. Though not expected to start frequently, could stay in the team to provide valuable and reliable backup.
Made a good start to his life at United before injuries hit him. Hasn’t been very consistent but could become better given the defensive nature of Mourinho’s teams.
Another one of Van Gaal's regime. Has performed considerably well when called upon, but should be looking over his shoulder as a new manager walks in.
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