It’s your lucky day
The news of Jose Mourinho’s departure as Manchester United boss on Tuesday was sweet music to large sections of an Old Trafford support that had grown tired of the sulking Portuguese tactician.
However, it’s not just the supporters who stand to benefit from The Not-So-Special One’s exit. It could be a turning point for several members of United’s first team squad, who for one reason or another have failed to deliver their best performances in the last two-and-a-half years...
The obvious place to start, Pogba has struggled to reach his best form under Mourinho and could get the lease of life he needs to shine under a new manager. Now there are no excuses.
United supporters have been waiting for the midfielder to fulfil his potential and pay back the £89m fee they handed Juventus for two-and-a-half-years now.
The France World Cup winner had a stormy and often bitter relationship with the Portuguese boss, which eventually culminated in him being dropped to the bench for Mourinho’s final two league games in charge.
Fred has more right than most to be confused by Mourinho’s constant complaining about his team’s transfer activity.
The club spent £52m on the Brazilian in the summer, the fifth-highest transfer fee in their history, but he has been confined to the bench for most of the campaign so far.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder has been understandably frustrated by his lack of opportunities, with just eight league games to his name so far, but new management could offer him the chance to start living up to his hefty fee.
Shaw was a strange target for Mourinho throughout his rein, and the left-back is sure to be relieved at his departure. Their relationship had shown signs of reparation this season, but the former Southampton man still admitted that "you need a thick skin to play under this manager and for this club".
He has succeeded in outlasting the Portuguese at Old Trafford and can now look forward to continuing his development without the threat of unfair treatment.
The Argentine defender is said to have been one of the few players who backed Mourinho until the very end, despite the fact that he was rarely given opportunities by his boss.
Rojo has featured just twice in the league this season and, considering United’s defence has been a cause for concern throughout the campaign, he could get a chance to regain his place under the new man in charge. It's not like the Reds' other defenders have been excelling.
Who knows if Rashford would’ve developed into a superstar by now under different management, but there’s no doubt that Mourinho has failed to get one of England’s most promising talents firing consistently.
Rashford, along with Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard, was accused of ‘lacking maturity’ by his manager. He now has the opportunity to prove the Portuguese wrong by flourishing under someone else and kicking on to the next level.
Sanchez is yet to replicate the form he showed in an Arsenal shirt for Man United, with injuries and bad form making his year at Old Trafford an uncomfortable one. The Chile international, therefore, could simply benefit from a new regime bringing renewed energy and optimism.
His talent is indisputable and while Mourinho can’t, and shouldn’t, be blamed entirely for Sanchez’s struggles in Manchester, his exit could help the former Barcelona man take on the challenge with extra motivation when he regains fitness.
Darmian recently admitted that he is missing Italy, sparking a swirl of transfer speculation in his home country about a return.
However, Mourinho’s exit could change the outlook for the full-back, who has been marginalised this season with just four appearances.
The defender, along with other peripheral figures, now has the chance to prove to a new man in charge that he still has what it takes to play a big part in future success at Old Trafford.
With just six goals to his name this season, Lukaku has looked devoid of confidence and often isolated in United’s attack. The striker failed to even attempt a shot on goal in the defeat to Liverpool last weekend and a new boss could succeed where Mourinho has failed in bringing out the best from a striker who has shown in previous years that he can be devastating in the Premier League.
The disintegration of Martial’s relationship with Mourinho nearly resulted in his departure from Old Trafford in the summer.
Things have since improved and the Frenchman’s form has been one of the few positives of United’s recent run of results, but his cousin’s reaction to the news of Mourinho’s sacking said a lot about how the manager is viewed in the Martial household.
“Smile on my face,” Jema Martial posted on Twitter.
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