With the arrival of a new manager, changes in the squad are inevitable, and the same is happening at Manchester United under José Mourinho.
According to the reliable Manchester Evening News, this change may see many players axed, and this list may include Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones.
In his very first press conference, Mourinho made it clear that he’ll be making four specialist signings to raise the overall quality of the squad. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly signed, it is assumed that the fourth would be Paul Pogba, or someone of similar calibre in midfield.
Ibrahimovic, Mkhitaryan and Pogba – who looks very likely to join the Red Devils – are all top class players, with experience in playing for top class teams. The exception to this case is Eric Bailly, who has only played 40 senior games in his career. Mourinho has admitted that there are question marks about whether the defender from Ivory Coast can handle a whole season of Premier League football.
As it occurred with Dutch winger Memphis Depay, a lack of experience in a top class team or a league can cause a lot of problems. Depay arrived as the top scorer in Netherlands with a lot of expectations from the Manchester United fans, but had an extremely underwhelming season, and was even omitted from United’s FA cup final squad.
Mourinho may sign another experienced defender, but until then, Jones and Rojo have a chance to prove themselves. Phil Jones, who played only 625 minutes of football last season, will have to work a lot on staying fit.
In comparison, Marcos Rojo fared better, by taking part in 16 games and playing a total of 1249 minutes. In comparison with the other central defenders, however, both the players hardly played last season, mostly owing to injuries.
In the pre-season games so far, both Jones and Rojo have been underwhelming. And with Mourinho giving Bailly as much time as possible before the season begins, coupled with the possibility of another defensive signing looming, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones will either have to pull up their socks, or leave Manchester United.