Jose Mourinho seems wedged in an insistent stream of speculation about his departure from Manchester United. The last time the Portuguese gaffer was stuck in such turmoil, Chelsea had suffered a miserable season under him, leading to his eventual sacking.
However, one does wonder what would have occurred had the Special One remained at Stamford Bridge, and how things would have differed.
Here are the seven probable effects of him having retained the top spot at Chelsea:
1. Hazard Would Have Excelled
Eden Hazard’s sole PFA title came under the tutelage of Mourinho. In fact, it was the former Real Madrid manager that really ensured that the Belgian’s brilliance was aptly deployed, helping the talent develop into the formidable forward that he is today.
In a recent interview with HLN, Hazard openly stated: “If I’m now asked one coach with whom I want to work again, then I say: Mourinho.”
The duo would have certainly ensured more laurels had things turned out differently.
2. LVG At Old Trafford
The domino effect is quite a pertinent factor in football, and it was significantly important in the events leading up to Louis van Gaal’s sacking at Old Trafford.
Mourinho being out of a job had spurred on the initial rumors doubting the Dutchman’s position at Manchester United. When results at the Mancunian club began to falter, the higher-ups at the Theatre of Dreams kept the Portuguese gaffer on notice.
Eventually, despite seeing off his tenure with an FA Cup title and arguably the most stable side post-SAF, LVG was given the ax. However, it is safe to assume that United would have had to stick with LVG had Mourinho not been available.
3. Matic And Costa Wouldn’t Have Been Sold
Jose’s departure and Conte’s eventual appointment resulted, amongst other things, in Chelsea losing two of its most vital players.
Selling Matic was arguably one of their worst mistakes, tactically speaking, and the damage was openly seen in their season bereft of the holding midfielder.
As for Costa, the striker occupied a pivotal role under Mourinho, and it is difficult to see how he’d have become worse under the gaffer’s tenure. Both being tactically important in Jose’s set-up, a sale would have been highly unlikely.
4. Lukaku A Blue
Had he secured his job that season, Mourinho would have likely stuck on until Diogo Costa began to falter in quality by virtue of his age. As of such, when the Spaniard would have been inevitably offloaded, Chelsea would have been in prime position to re-sign their youth academy product, Romelu Lukaku.
Seeing how the Belgian striker has flourished under Mourinho at Old Trafford, the pair could have really struck a chord and functioned brilliantly at the Bridge.
Of course, this would also have ensured Morata not ending up with the Blues, as the whole saga came up primarily due to the Red Devils lapping up Lukaku quickly.
5. No Return For David Luiz
David Luiz completed one of football’s more lucrative returns when the Londoners re-signed him from PSG, with the Brazilian still remaining an important cog in Sarri’s Chelsea.
However, had Mourinho remained at the helm, it would have been almost impossible for Luiz to pen down the return deal.
Mourinho’s whole logic behind the centre-back’s sale in the first place was his lack of discipline to function defensively. Luiz’s adventurous flair wasn’t Mourinho’s style at all, and a return would have been assuredly unlikely.
6. Terry Assistant Manager
John Terry now serves as the assistant manager at Aston Villa, the next step in his footballing evolution. However, had it been Mourinho occupying the manager’s chair at Chelsea, the English legend would have likely continued on under the tutelage of his favored boss.
In fact, given how welcome Mourinho has been to the idea of Michael Carrick serving under him at Old Trafford, it isn’t unfathomable to think that Terry too, could have been occupying the assistant managerial position at his former chomping grounds.
7. ‘Judas’ Still The Special One
Mourinho was subject to one of the more harsher moments of his career in 2017, when Chelsea fans chanted “Judas” and “You’re not special any more” at their former manager during an FA Cup encounter that United lost.
In contrast, if Mourinho had managed to stick through the turmoil and remain at the London outfit, there’s no saying what he’d have done to ensure further success with the then Premier League champions.
His third season curse would have been dispelled, and it wouldn’t have been hard to imagine even more success for him, as he would’ve continued his tenure as Chelsea’s most successful manager and remained the Special One he’s fondly baptized as, particularly in the hearts of the Blues’ faithful.