5 Problems that Mourinho must resolve ahead of 2017-18 season
The Manchester United season has already begun. Six weeks after lifting the Europa League trophy in Stockholm, Jose Mourinho’s fleet has returned to training.
Paul Pogba and colleagues will spend a week at UCLA, California, ahead of the pre-season games against LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valerenga and Sampdoria.
Mourinho has seven games to decide his best team before the UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid in Macedonia on 8 August. In addition, Mourinho still has many problems to face.
Who should be a captain?
Wayne Rooney’s departure to Everton put United in search of a new captain. Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, Antonio Valencia and David De Gea have been named as candidates and it is Mourinho’s job to determine who is most suitable for the role.
Michael Carrick has been holding the armband before. But, at the age of almost 36 years, he does not seem to be playing much next season. Herrera said in May that she was not ready yet. And if Pogba gets it, it will give him more pressure than last season which has the potential to re-complicate him to show his best performance. So, will it belong to De Gea or Valencia?
Who’s the best left-back?
Left back became a problem for Mourinho last season. He initially trusted Luke Shaw but seemed to quickly lose faith. Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young alternately became the choice before Mourinho finally survive on Matteo Darmian, although the Italian is a true right back.
Shaw got into the squad for the United States though not completely fit. And currently Mourinho only has Blind, Darmian and young Demetri Mitchell players to be coatings in that position.
Defense is not a problem United last season. Their problem is on the front lines. Victor Lindelof came to United with a hefty price tag but there was no guarantee he could instantly become a starter.
Eric Bailly will retain his place after undergoing an impressive debut season. Rojo was injured, but Blind, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling offered three options for Mourinho.
Smalling and Blind performed impressively in the Europa League final against Ajax Amsterdam. While Jones looks solid when he is in shape. His performance in November and December became a sure thing for Mourinho to delay Lindelof’s transfer until this summer.
Should Andreas Pereira be part of the first team?
Mourinho looked and decided last season that Andreas Pereira better loaned to Granada. The Spanish side were relegated from La Liga last season, but Pereira is one of the best players in his team.
Her appearance has given her a place in the squad for a tour of the United States. Now the Brazilian-born midfielder has three weeks to show Mourinho that he is fit to stay at Old Trafford next season.
Who, between Romero and De Gea, will play in the Champions League?
Mourinho decided last season that Sergio Romero will play in the Europa League and De Gea will take place in the Premier League. Romero made a series of rescues in the second leg of the semi-final against Celta Vigo at Old Trafford to ensure United made it to the final.
Mourinho insisted towards the end of last season that De Gea and Romero’s ability was almost equal. Given his contribution last season, the Argentine goalkeeper may find it worth keeping his place for next season’s European match. (Source: ESPN)