Jose Mourinho’s honeymoon period at Manchester United appears to be over as his side have won just one of their last four Premier League fixtures, leaving them trailing leaders and local rivals Manchester City by five points going into the international break.
Mourinho invested heavily in his side throughout the summer, breaking the world transfer record to bring Paul Pogba back to Old Trafford. However, there are still one or two areas of his squad that are failing to live up to the required standards to be successful in the Premier League therefore the Portuguese boss could be set to splash the cash again once the window re-opens in January.
October is set to be a big month for United. Once the league returns from the international break, the Reds travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool. The Merseyside club are fourth in the table, just two points behind Manchester City. Jurgen Klopp’s men got off to a slow start to their campaign but have since won their last five games in all competitions.
United are also on the road in October to Chelsea. Although the Blues have not made the best start to their season either under new boss Antonio Conte, Stamford Bridge is always a tough place to travel to as Mourinho knows better than anyone.
Mourinho will be keen to make up for his loss to Manchester City in the league when the two sides meet again in the EFL Cup fourth round at Old Trafford. United are 8/5 to win that game in the League Cup betting markets and book a spot in the quarter-final of the competition Mourinho has won three times as a manager.
The Europa League could end up being a hugely important competition for United this season as it may be their only hope of qualifying into next season’s Champions League if they fail to make the top four. The Reds are at home to Fenerbahce this month where they’ll be aiming for maximum points and to make up for their defeat to Feyenoord away from home earlier in this tournament.
Although we are more than two months away from the January transfer window, the United manager will already be identifying players who can improve his squad. The Reds have been linked with a move for Frenchman Antoine Griezmann. The Atletico Madrid forward was one of the star players at Euro 2016 and has also been a key player for his Spanish club in recent years.
One area of his squad Mourinho will be desperate to strengthen is his defence. Leonardo Bonucci was linked with a move to United in the summer and if that deal can be made in January, the Portuguese manager will no doubt look to make it happen.
Another option for Mourinho is Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane. During his spell with the Spanish giants, Mourinho showed great confidence in the young defender and he has since flourished into a first-team regular for Real and France.
The 23-year-old would cost at least £60 million if Real agree to letting go of the player, although that may then free up some transfer funds of their own so they can try and pursue Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang once their embargo is lifted.
It could still be a productive season for the Red Devils but January’s transfer window will be pivotal.