Jose Mourinho is prepared to ring the changes ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur.
Sunday’s shock defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion handed the Premier League title to Manchester City, and the abject performances from some of his bigger players did not go unnoticed by the Man United boss.
The Telegraph have reported that, in particular, Alexis Sanchez, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Ander Herrera are all in danger of being left out the squad to face Spurs weekend, as Man United prepare for what is now the biggest game of their season.
Speaking to the media on Monday ahead of Wednesday night’s Premier League clash at Bournemouth, Mourinho confirmed that several fringe players would feature in order to give them a chance to impress before the big clash at Wembley, while underperformers from last weekend might well find themselves left out:
“Rotating is not the right word – if I play a player against Bournemouth and the player is phenomenal, he plays the semi-final. So it is not rotating, because rotating looks like a player that plays against Bournemouth is to give a rest to somebody that is going to play against Spurs in the semi-final.
“So the word is not rotation – it is an opportunity for people, for some people to play and to try to get a place in the team for Spurs, and some of the guys who played [against West Brom] don’t have a place in that team [against Spurs]. They don’t have a place in that team.
“What is the criteria for a manager to choose a team? I only know one criteria: is the way you play. Or do you want me to go for the price they cost, or their salary, or their beautiful face? The only way is to go with performance.”
Herrera was replaced by Jesse Lingard at half time against West Brom, while Pogba was taken off for Anthony Martial on the hour mark after a performance that was night and day compared to his strong second-half display against Man City the week before.
Should Mourinho leave out some of his underperforming big names, the likes of Martial, Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford will be first in line pushing for a start in the Wembley decider.