JOSE MOURINHO HOPE OF MANCHESTER UNITED TITLE: ALEXIS SANCHEZ, PAUL POGBA - Soul 2 Soul Mates Blog

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8/15/2018

JOSE MOURINHO HOPE OF MANCHESTER UNITED TITLE: ALEXIS SANCHEZ, PAUL POGBA


With the new season underway, who are the risers and fallers?...At the beginning of last season, we looked at the 15 potentially most important players for Manchester United.

This list is not extensive and has been ranked according to varying factors. Some players still with a part to play, like Mateo Kovacic, have been omitted. Performance, potential, the ability to make an impact and influence the course of a game, other options in that area of the field, the ability or inability to replace them and market value have all played a part in revising the 15.

The Chilean is the type of player who could be the difference between a title challenge and another season spent watching Manchester City run away with it. If he can rediscover the form that saw him score 24 league goals for Arsenal in 2016-17, United will be a lot closer to Pep Guardiola's team come May.


The Frenchman is one of United's best players and, because of that, one of their most important. He was fantastic against Leicester on opening night and if he can re-create that week after week, United will be a much better team. Pogba's talent is not in doubt, just the consistency of his performances. He proved against Manchester City last season that he can also be the difference in the big games, scoring twice from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and ruin their supposed title party.


Lukaku is the only genuine centre forward in Jose Mourinho's squad and so the responsibility in front of goal will fall primarily on his shoulders. He scored 27 in all competitions last season -- a good return in his first year at Old Trafford -- but he will be expected to build on that this year. A tally of around 25 league goals this season is a fair target for someone of his ability and should put United much closer to Manchester City.


The Spaniard is always important to United -- he's won the player of the year award in four of the past five seasons. Some of the things he makes look routine are far from it and Mourinho will need his goalkeeper to be at his best again this season. United had the second best defensive record in the league last year and that had a lot to do with De Gea's form.

Mourinho tried desperately to bring in another centre-back in the summer but didn't manage to do it. Because of that there will be extra responsibility on Bailly, generally considered to be the best of United's five centre-halves. He has rarely had a bad game since arriving at Old Trafford but there is a question mark over his injury record. He only managed 13 league games last season and Mourinho needs the Ivorian to stay fit.

The Serbian will be first-choice this season and if Mourinho isn't entirely convinced by his centre-back pairings, Matic's job shielding the back four will be important. He had a good first season at Old Trafford and despite turning 30, will be expected to be ever better this term.



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