It’s been a rough few years for Manchester United since the retirement of legendary manager Alex Ferguson. Following yet another disappointing season, the team is pulling out all the stops to get back on top. It’s look like next season will be nothing if not an interesting time to watch the Red Devils as the team prepares to undergo a massive overhaul.
Louis van Gaal significantly improved the squad during his brief tenure and quickly put United back in the running for Champions League competition. After the disastrous 2013 season with David Moyes, the team missed out on European football altogether for the first time since 1990. Van Gaal also proved shrewd on the transfer and youth-squad fronts, snagging up French forward Anthony Martial and calling up the revelation that is the young Marcus Rashford. But ultimately, it wasn’t enough.
Although the team won its 12th FA Cup trophy (tying Arsenal for all-time wins), they finished in fifth place, losing to bitter rivals Manchester City on goal differential and missing out once again on Champions League football. Unable to satisfy both supporters and the front office, van Gaal was sacked two days after winning the FA Cup.
Now the club is working with its third manager since 2013 following the hiring of José “The Special One” Mourinho. The Portuguese manager was unceremoniously pushed out of Chelsea last season after winning the Premier League the year before. In 2015-16, the Blues had a disappointing finish in 10th place and Mourinho was fired halfway through the campaign. He’s now moved on to his self-professed dream job, where he hopes to make quite the statement in his first season.
Manchester United seems to be making all the right moves to reassert its dominance. The team signed Zlatan Ibrahimović on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain. According to the BBC, the man often known simply as Zlatan broke the PSG club record for goals scored in a season last year with 38, and he ultimately scored 50 goals in 51 matches. Even though the striker is now 34-years-old, it’s done nothing to diminish his deadliness as a finisher and United has been desperate for a reliable forward for some time. The prospect of combining Zlatan’s maturity and finishing ability with the youth and speed of Marcus Rashford already has plenty of Red Devils supporters excited for next season.
There are also rumours from Bleacher Report that the club is coming very close to completing a deal with Paul Pogba, Juventus’ midfield maestro. He’d be quite the pick-up for the Manchester midfield and would do much to help take some weight off of the shoulders of the rapidly ageing Wayne Rooney. Given Pogba’s recent performance in Euro 2016 for France, he’d be a huge signing for United and would pair well with fellow Frenchman Anthony Martial up top.
In looking toward next season, Betfair is already running some in-depth articles and predictions for the upcoming Premier League action. Their writers are quick to note that expectations will be as high as ever for Manchester United. And it’s easy to understand why with the arrival of one superstar and the pending signing of another along with a top-tier manager.
We’ll have to wait and see if these changes can help to bring the Red Devils back to their former glory. The squad has made radical adjustments to appease a rabid fanbase that has come to expect nothing short of excellence. Only time will tell if Mourinho can regain his own former glory and help bring the Premier League trophy back to Old Trafford.