Manchester United have started their preseason tour in the United States, but they have to play these games without many of their crucial first team members, including Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku. And the boss Jose Mourinho is naturally worried about this.
A few days ago, while talking to the press at a news conference at University of California, Los Angeles, Mourinho revealed that missing the key players will be very important for the start of the upcoming season. Seven first team players, including the aforementioned ones, reached the FIFA World Cup semifinals, and they are now set to start the first parts of the new season, for the club has granted them a three-week break.
Mourinho sounded concerned about this, and emphasized that the preseason tour is mostly about seeing the young players perform.
“I’m worried because I’m not training and then I go to the Premier League without lots of players, but it is what it is and we have to try and make the best out of it with the players we have here,” the Portuguese said. “I’m not worried about playing Liverpool here or Real Madrid or Milan, I’m not worried if we lose badly.”
“The preseason is very bad, the positive thing of the preseason is only for the young boys that have fantastic opportunity to train with us.”
Manchester United have started their tour with back to back draws against Club America and San Jose Earthquakes. Mourinho’s side will further face AC Milan, Liverpool and Madrid during the US tour. Unfortunately for the team, Antonio Valencia has got an injury scare against San Jose. The management will reveal more details about him soon.
On the other hand, Mourinho is relieved that Alexis Sanchez has joined the squad. Previously, he was denied entry to the US because of visa issues. Following his arrival on Friday, the Chilean was slotted in to the first team right away on Saturday. He played a cameo and impressed the fans, albeit he could not find the nets.
The boss will also be happy that reliable custodian David de Gea and midfield duo Nemanja Matic and Fred are joining the squad this week. A lot of attention will surely be on the Brazilian, who is the main new signing for United this season.
Following this preseason tour at the States, the team will head back to Europe to play another friendly against Bayern Munich, before kicking off their Premier League campaign against Leicester City at Old Trafford. With the main players on break, questions were inevitably raised on whether the league giants are considering any other new signing.
So far, except for Fred, Mourinho has brought in talented youngster Diogo Dalot and veteran goalkeeper Lee Grant. But the team surely can use some more fresh blood. While addressing this issue, Mourinho said, “One thing is what I would like, another thing is what is going to happen. [If you had any wish…?] I would get two more players.”
He, however, did not mention any potential target. But, given that the central defence appears to be an area Mourinho is keen to strengthen, Harry Maguire, Toby Alderweireld and Leonardo Bonnuci continue to be on top of the speculation list.