Five problems Jose Mourinho faces at Manchester United

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Football News

Jose Mourinho will be confirmed as the new Manchester United manager before the weekend - all going to plan - but it won’t be all plain sailing for the Portuguese tactician when he begins his work at Old Trafford.

In fact, it could prove to be his toughest job yet.

United have endured three difficult seasons in this bizarre post-Sir Alex Ferguson era and it remains to be seen whether Mourinho can help the Premier League giants get themselves back on track.


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The 53-year-old will have the utmost confidence in his own ability, both as a coach and a manager, to mastermind United’s route back to the top of English football.

But here are five problems he faces on arrival.

1) What to do with Wayne Rooney

We know that Jose Mourinho is - or, at least, was - a huge fan of Wayne Rooney’s. He tried to sign him after returning to Chelsea in the summer of 2013.

However, Rooney is three years older now and no longer the explosive player he once was.

With Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and probably Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the squad next season, there no longer appears to be space upfront for the United and England captain.

He has failed to perform consistently at No. 10 and hasn’t always looked convincing when he’s played in central midfield.

With £200 million to spend on new additions this summer, Mourinho may struggle to find a place for Rooney in his first-choice starting line-up.

Will the Portuguese coach be brave enough to drop him?

2) Does he take the No. 7 off Memphis Depay?

Reports suggest that Memphis Depay will lose the number seven shirt this summer.

Martial will reportedly take the iconic number, with Zlatan taking the No. 9 jersey.

However, stripping Memphis of the No. 7 would be a devastating blow to the talented Dutch winger’s confidence.

Memphis clearly has huge talent and Mourinho could help bring the best out of the 22-year-old next season.

But taking away the number previously worn by the likes of George Best, Eric Cantona and Cristiano Ronaldo would suggest Memphis has no future at Old Trafford.

3) Keeping David de Gea happy

Reports linking David de Gea with a move to Real Madrid refuse to go away.

Until the summer transfer window closes at the end of August, there will always be a niggling doubt amongst the United supporters that the Spanish giants could finally get their man.

De Gea is reportedly happy to work under Mourinho but that could change if the former Chelsea boss decides to axe or ostracise his close friend Juan Mata.

If only to keep De Gea on side, Mourinho may need to offer Mata an opportunity to prove himself next season.

4) Staying in line with Man Utd’s traditions

Some United fans are already concerned that Mourinho will effectively ignore the club’s talented youngsters when he arrives.

Marcus Rashford, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Andreas Pereira, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Adnan Januzaj, Axel Tuanzebe, Regan Poole - there’s a whole bunch of talented players on the Red Devils’ books at the moment.

Mourinho, in order to appease the club’s supporters, can’t afford to ignore of all these starlets. It’s important he gives them minutes, particularly Rashford, who has been superb since making his first-team debut earlier this season and could yet go to Euro 2016 with England.

Staying in line with United’s long-standing traditions will be imperative for Mourinho.

5) Getting rid of the deadwood

One of Mourinho’s first tasks on arrival at Old Trafford will be to get rid of the deadwood.

Louis van Gaal had a pretty extensive clear-out during his two-year tenure, but the likes of Phil Jones, Marouane Fellaini and Ashley Young remain.

Mourinho may also decide to get rid of a few of Van Gaal’s signings including Marcos Rojo, Sergio Romero and possibly even Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is no longer the world-class midfielder he once was.

Which players should Jose Mourinho axe this summer? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

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Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League
England Football
David de Gea
Premier League
Jose Mourinho
Juan Mata

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