Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho may not admit it, but the club’s year so far has been somewhat disappointing.
Pairing Romelu Lukaku with Paul Pogba was meant to launch a new era for the Old Trafford side, but with fierce rivals Manchester City all but champions domestically, and an embarrassing exit to Bristol City in the Carabao Cup ruling Jose’s men out of another competition, just the FA Cup and Champions League remain. United have winnable ties in the next round of both competitions, with a trip to League Two Yeovil a comfortable draw whatever the romantics may say, and a two-legged match-up against Spanish side, Sevilla. Fans here in The Transfer Tavern are confident of securing silverware this season, but know that their side has a long way to go before they lift the Premier League trophy once again.
Our landlord caught up with fans over a game of pool to discuss the United squad, and fans were quick to express their desire to witness a massive overhaul over the next couple of windows. New faces are required of course, but this bunch were keen to stress that the squad must be trimmed of its deadwood in order for progress to be recognised. Several names were mentioned as the first to go, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan appeared most regularly. The Armenian attacking midfielder has been a total flop since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund bar one short spell at the start of the season, and his half-time substitution in the FA Cup win over Derby surely marks the end of his Old Trafford career.
While Mourinho revealed he apologised to the former Borussia Dortmund man after hauling him off, it shouldn’t disguise the fact that the midfielder has been a total flop.
However United must be clever with the player’s sale, and perhaps use him as a makeweight in potential deals for new additions to the squad. Europe’s elite are likely to show an interest in the player, with United certain to be interested in some of these club’s players. If Mkhitaryan can be offloaded in a player plus cash deal, United could find reinforcements easier to come by.
United fans, who else must go in the coming months? Let us know!