Manchester United failed to win once again, this time against Burnley. It was a hard-fought draw for the Reds, after Clarets had a two-goal lead. However, Jesse Lingard’s brace was enough for a consecutive draw, third match in a row in all competitions without a win.
After the match, Jose Mourinho made sure people started talking about him after the press conference was over. However, this time he did not criticize Man United players. It was something different.
Asked about the amount of money United have spent since his arrival, Mourinho said: “It is not enough. And the price for the big clubs, the price for the big clubs is different from the other clubs. So the big, historical clubs are normally punished in the market for that history.”
So, is the manager right? Was a sum of close to 300m pounds not enough for him to rebuild this team?
Manchester United Were A Mess When Mourinho Arrived
It is true that Manchester United squad was not good enough for the club’s standards when Mourinho became the manager. Plenty of average players came to the club and the team got into problems. The Champions League football was not easy to achieve and Louis van Gaal left the club with the team going to Europa League.
Mourinho did not have an easy job. Players like Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian and Morgan Schneiderlin were being brought in. They are all decent players, but not on the level needed for Manchester United to chase titles.
What it did was that Mourinho inherited a team with plenty of average players and that is not easy to clean up. Yet, did Manchester United did well enough during transfer windows since his arrival?
It Could Have Been Better
Of course, things can always be done in a better way. Still, that does not take away from the fact Manchester United was not always buying top class players. The club made a paid a then world record fee for Paul Pogba and that made sense. He improved the team instantly and that is what the team needed.
Nemanja Matic was bought from a rival team for 45 million pounds and his effect on the team was the same. Eric Bailly was a good investment too for similar reasons, while Victor Lindelof might prove himself to be that as well.
However, if Mourinho and the club actually wanted to challenge for the title this season, then some of the money was necessary to be spent on players like Matic. Someone who will undoubtedly improve United and give them a boost in a title race. This way, with Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku, United got two players that were always going to need time.
Lukaku is a great striker, but he did well only at Everton. His 20+ goal-scoring records per season were also great, though they were masked by plenty of goals being scored in already resolved score-lines (Lukaku directly earned Everton only 16 points last season with 25 goals scored).
Mourinho has a point that it is not the same as it used to be for Premier League clubs. Money needs to be spent. However, that money also needs to be spent in a better way, with good scouting and wiser negotiations. Teams like Bayern Munich should be a model of well-planed business in the market.
It is never black or white. The answer this time is more of a grey.