Pre-season is going well so far for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United.
Three wins in a row before a penalty shootout victory over Real Madrid means that the United squad is shaping up nicely ahead of the upcoming season.
Mourinho can also be happy with his new signings Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku. The pair are getting a vital first pre-season with their new club.
All this isn’t to say that Mourinho is fully satisfied with his squad. He will be eager to add to another fresh face in what has become a difficult summer for Ed Woodward, the man charged with delivering the goods requested by Mourinho.
Reported moves for Ivan Perisic and Alvaro Morata have dragged on for most of the summer with Manchester United refusing to be held to ransom despite their known riches to acquire any player they should wish, which makes the process all the more frustrating for Woodward, Mourinho and every Manchester United fan checking online for updates.
Speaking after Manchester United beat their rivals Manchester City in Houston last week, Mourinho has highlighted the need for another player, heaping the pressure on Ed Woodward and perhaps further strengthening Inter Milan’s stance on the Croatian winger, but has acknowledged he may have to revise his summer plans in the current climate.
As reported in the Irish Independent, Mourinho said:
“When I look to the team and when I look to Lukaku and Lindelof, I would like my squad to be here – my whole squad,”
“If we manage to get one more player… I am not even crying for two but if we get one player as soon as possible (that would be great) because we can see the way Lindelof is in a team, you can see Lukaku is in a team.
“The understanding between the players – the Paul pass for Lukaku’s goal, the way Lukaku holds the ball and waits for support…..”
Mourinho credited Woodward for the recruitment he has already done, but encouraged him to get another body to help in the clubs pursuit of their first Premier League title since 2013.
The real question now is if Mourinho can only add one more player to his squad, should the club just pay up what Inter Milan are asking for Ivan Perisic or is their another area of the squad that needs more reinforcement.
While the role of a midfielder such as Matic is crucial to the side, Mourinho has cover in that area. The alarming amount of chances created and missed last season saw the club finish in an embarrassing sixth place. The addition of Romelu Lukaku will aid the clubs search for goals as he has already shown in pre season.
However, the addition of a winger such as Perisic could get Mourinho’s men to the next level and challenge the champions Chelsea in what will be a crucial season for the Mourinho United project.
Last season the Croatian international played 6.6 crosses per game. compared to Jesse Lingard 1.0, Anthony Martial 2.24, Henrikh Mkhitaryan 2.0. Manchester United’s squad boasts many players over six foot in what looks a more physically stronger Mourinho squad ready to rectify last season’s poor showing domestically, Perisic would have plenty of targets to aim for.
The former Borussia Dortmund winger may be 28-years-old and cost a lot of money but Manchester United have lost the experience of Rooney and Ibrahimovic in what is a very youthful setup. Michael Carrick and Antonio Valencia are now the seasoned pro’s and although the Inter Milan winger is still the right side of 30, he too could prove to be a very useful acquisition for Mourinho both on and off the field with the experience of playing in both Germany and Italy.
While many will feel the club should be after a so called bigger name, Perisic ticks all the boxes that the club were lacking last season and if signed could prove to be Mourinho’s best piece of business so far.
Damien McEvoy Pundit Arena