Jose Mourinho officially extended his contract with Manchester United on Friday. The club and the manager have agreed to a new, improved deal which will see Mourinho stay at the club until June 2020. In the contract, there is a clause for an option of another year, until June 2021. In honour of that, here are our top five moments of Mourinho’s tenure.
Europa League Win
The list is not a numerical one, but nevertheless, the Europa League win had to go to the top of it. Manchester United won their first European trophy after nine years, beating Ajax 2-0 in the final. It was a typical Jose Mourinho match, with United making the most out of their strengths and opponent’s flaws.
Victory in Stockholm enabled United to return to the Champions League caravan and the team is so far doing well in the competition. The double header against Sevilla could see Manchester United finally reach the quarter finals, after four years.
Improving Jesse Lingard
It was often said Mourinho is not improving his players as much as some other managers. However, in Jesse Lingard we got a confirmation that the manager knows how to get the most out of attacking-minded players. Lingard improved drastically during the course of this season, making a real impact on team’s performances.
The 25-year old was often criticized, but this season he showed everyone what he is capable of. Playing just over 1000 minutes of Premier League football, he scored seven goals and made four assists. Lingard pulled the team forward in the absence of Paul Pogba and showed he is a much better option for this team than Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Signing Nemanja Matic
Was this another classic Jose Mourinho thing? Yes, of course. Manchester United bought Nemanja Matic from Chelsea for 45 million pounds. At the time, there was a lot of skepticism around the deal, but both Mourinho and Matic proved everyone wrong.
Tiemoue Bakayoko often looked out of his depth in Matic’s former role at Chelsea, while Matic excelled in Manchester from day one, even without proper preparations for the season.
Winning League Cup
This win proved as a key one for Manchester United. It was the first trophy in the Jose Mourinho era (Community Shield excluded as it is a one-off match competition entered on the basis of previous season’s success). The team realized how good it feels when you lift silverware and hunger amongst the players was increased. After that, the team managed to win Europa League, making a poor Premier League campaign to be forgotten among two new trophies in the cabinet.
Signing Alexis Sanchez And Paul Pogba
Should we really explain this? Manchester United got a midfield powerhouse in Paul Pogba, getting him back to his old club. He keeps proving to everyone how valuable he is to this team, while Alexis Sanchez transfer just happened recently.
While we still do not know how that will work out, we know it shows great intent from both the club and the manager. It shows Manchester United are eager to constantly improve and the club were decisive in the market once again. With Sanchez and Pogba in the team – and Mourinho in the dugout – Manchester United could really build something big.