A look into every Manchester United signing under Jose Mourinho

Mourinho's reign ended in spectacular fashion but in his two-and-a-half-year, he delivered two major trophies in the Europa League and EFL Cup.

Manchester United and Ed Woodward turned to Jose Mourinho in 2016 - a man with a track-record of winning trophies.

During his time at the club, Mourinho made 11 signings, including a world-record transfer fee, a Swedish great and an expensive flop from Arsenal.

Here, we follow up every signing made by Louis van Gaal and David Moyes' transfers by assessing every signing made by the Special One.

Eric Bailly

The first addition to Man United under Mourinho was centre back Eric Bailly from Villarreal in La Liga. The Ivory Coast international joined for a fee of £30million.

Mourinho had always built his teams on solid defences with top class defenders, including John Terry, Lucio, Sergio Ramos and Pepe so Bailly's arrival was seen as a significant one.

Bailly had a brilliant debut season at Old Trafford making 38 appearances in all competitions and putting in dominant defensive displays.

The season saw him start in the EFL Cup final win over Southampton and an important player in the Europa League, although he missed the final through suspension.

His career has been blighted by injuries since his debut season with Bailly playing less than 20 games in all competitions in each season since 2016/17.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

The first signing covered in stardust to arrive under Mourinho was prolific striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Ibra arrived on a free transfer after his contract expired at Paris Saint-Germain.

Having worked under Mourinho at Inter Milan, Ibrahimovic would have felt this was the right move for him despite him arriving in the Premier League at the age of 34.

Like Bailly, Ibrahimovic had an excellent debut season at Man United scoring 28 goals in all competitions. This included a long range freekick in the EFL Cup final win against Southampton.

His first season was cut short when he sustained a knee injury in a Europa League game against Anderlecht, forcing him to miss the remainder of the campaign.

Ibrahimovic was released by the club after just a season but re-signed during the 2017/18 season to provide backup to new striker Romelu Lukaku. He eventually left in 2018 to join MLS side Los Angeles Galaxy.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Mkhitaryan was another of Mourinho's first season purchases as he joined the club from Borussia Dortmund for a fee that may have raised to £30million.

Expectations were high as the Armenian winger scored 23 goals across all competitions in his last season at Dortmund.

Unlike Bailly and Ibrahimovic, Mkhitaryan failed to get up and running early in his Man United career as he was often left out of the matchday squad in his early months at Old Trafford.

The Europa League provided an opportunity for the Armenian as he scored six goals on Man United's way to winning the competition, including a goal in the final. Going into Mourinho's second season at the club, Mkhirtyan looked to have become a key piece in the side.

Mkhirtyan started the following season tremendously as he registered five assists in the first three league games, with the whole team impressing and looking like a title contender.

However, Man United dropped off in their performances and Mkhitaryan's output stalled as he was benched for a lengthy period.

Eventually Mkhitaryan was included in a swap deal involving Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal with the Armenian being sent to the North London club.

Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba resigned for Manchester United in a then-world record fee of £89million
Paul Pogba resigned for Manchester United in a then-world record fee of £89million

The biggest transfer of the 2016 summer window saw France international midfielder Paul Pogba complete a sensational return to Old Trafford for a then-world record fee of £89million.

Pogba previously played for the Man United academy and made a few senior appearances before leaving for free to Juventus in 2012.

Pogba's arrival was met with pure excitement from Man United supporters and there was an expectancy to deliver the club back to its previous winning ways. Much of the media also expected big things from him.

It truly is hard to judge Pogba's time at Man United as of now. On one hand some will say he has not offered enough, especially in the big games and that he has not always been committed to the team.

Some will argue, however, Man Utd have not strengthened the rest of the team so there has always been too much of a responsibility on his hands.

Whatever people think of Pogba's second spell at the club, there have been some brilliant moments, including his first season back where he was named as the UEFA Europa League Player of the Season.

Pogba remains at Old Trafford for now but the loudmouthed nature of his agent Mino Raiola means the Frenchman is never far from controversy and an exit always seems near.

Victor Lindelof

Victor Lindelof was signed from Benfica in 2017 for £30.8million with an additional £8.8million in potential add on fees. Lindelof was a long term target of Mourinho's as the club remained interested in the player for many months before the signing.

Lindelof initially struggled to cement himself in the Man United defence as many noticed the physical weakness and lack of aggression.

It took roughly a season for Lindelof to settle as by the 2018/19 campaign, he became the team's primary centre half and looked to be growing into the player Man United thought they were buying.

Since then Lindelof has not done too much wrong although question marks remain as to whether he is dominant enough to lead Man United to a title.

Lindelof has become a better player over the years at Old Trafford but his appearances may have to become limited if the club want to return to the glory days going forward.

Romelu Lukaku

With the club not bringing back Ibrahimovic, Mourinho needed another goal getter in his team. Romelu Lukaku was that man as impressive seasons at Everton was enough to convince Man United to splash out a whopping £75million on the Belgium international in 2017.

Lukaku got off to a flying start at Old Trafford as he netted a brace on his debut against West Ham United in a 4-0 opening day league win. Lukaku had a successful first season at the club as he managed to get 27 goals across all competitions that season.

There was criticism aimed at Lukaku in his two seasons at Man United due to his lack of efficiency in the very big games. Lukaku only managed one goal against the traditional top six - them clubs being Man City, Liverpool, ArsenalChelsea and Tottenham Hotspur - with the sole goal coming against Chelsea in a 2-1 victory.

Lukaku's best moments for the club include scoring two of the goals in a remarkable comeback against PSG in the Champions League round of 16 tie in 2019. His goal against Swansea in 2018 also meant he joined the illustrious club of scoring 100 Premier League goals. In 2019, he joined Inter Milan.

Nemanja Matic

Former Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic made the move from Stamford Bridge to Old Trafford in 2017 for a fee of £40million. Matic had previous success with Mourinho as they lifted the Premier League in 2015 with Chelsea.

Matic was signed as a short term option joining the club one day shy of his 29th birthday. Matic made an instant impact as he provided an element of balance to the Man United side in 2017/18.

Matic's age has meant he has slowed down in recent seasons and his appearances are much more limited now. However, when the midfielder does step out for The Red Devils, his composure on the pitch is clear to see.

Matic has at times been criticised by his own team's supporters for being too slow to get around the pitch and unadventurous in his passing. His time at the club will likely be up soon but it should be remembered by Man United fans as a solid and efficient chapter of his career.

Alexis Sanchez

In one of the biggest and shocking moves of the last few years, Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez joined Man United in the 2018 January window in a swap deal involving Mkhitaryan. Sanchez was considered one of the elite players in the Premier League at the time of the move.

Alexis Sanchez is remembered as the most expensive flop in Premier League history
Alexis Sanchez is remembered as the most expensive flop in Premier League history

The Chile international was following Robin van Persie in making the switch from Arsenal to Man United. Van Persie's move was justified as he almost single handedly led Man United to their 20th league title.

Sanchez's move was anything but successful. And it was a costly mistake signing him on the financial side of it with the winger reportedly earning more than £500,000 per week.

Sanchez managed just five goals in two seasons at Man United and his time at the club has led to him being regarded as the worst big-profile signing in Premier League history. He has since moved on and plays for Inter Milan alongside Lukaku and Ashley Young.


Brazilian international Fred was the first arrival in the 2018 summer window. The midfielder joined from Shakhtar Donetsk for £47million.

Lots was expected of Fred with Man United reportedly beating rivals Man City to his signature. He was a part of the Brazil squad for the 2018 World Cup, although he did not make an appearance at the tournament.

Fred got off to a very shaky start at Man United and despite improving in his debut season, not much was made of his ability in the middle of the park.

The following season saw Fred turn into the player the club thought they were getting as he struck up a midfield partnership with Scott McTominay.

The pair of them were trusted in the big games by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their intensity and tenacity levels added a fresh input into the side.

Fred has improved dramatically since signing but there are still question marks over his future at the side.

Diogo Dalot

Diogo Dalot had made just eight senior appearances for Porto before his £19million move to Old Trafford in 2018.

Dalot went on to make an impressive 23 appearances in his first season. Notably he came on in the fantastic comeback away to PSG and won the penalty which led to Marcus Rashford's winner.

The following season Dalot struggled to kick on as injuries halted him regularly and his defensive displays came under question. Ultimately there was not enough from Dalot to convince Solskjaer that he was a better right back option than Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Dalot was loaned out to AC Milan for the 2020/21 season and it remains unclear what will happen with his future when his loan expires.

Lee Grant

Experienced goalkeeper Lee Grant was brought to Man United in 2018 to be third choice keeper at the club. Not much attention was paid to this move as Grant was not expected to play at all really.

And so it lived up to its expectation with Grant playing just two games since his arrival.

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