Saturday 17 March 2018

Jose Mourinho's first match-day squad a mix of the old, new and those with plenty to prove

Juan Mata, Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw
Juan Mata, Eric Bailly and Luke Shaw

Tom Rooney

This afternoon Jose Mourinho will take charge of his first game as Manchester United manager in a pre-season friendly against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.

For many fans of the Red Devils this day has been coming since Alex Ferguson relinquished the post he held for over a quarter of century a little over three years ago.

For others, including certain board members, the thought of the controversial Portuguese coach leading United was spine-chilling.

However, after the indifferent tenures of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, Mourinho was called upon to rebuild Ferguson’s crumbling empire.

Indeed, the journey will begin in relatively underwhelming surrounds against newly promoted Championship side Wigan.

Mourinho has named a match day squad bereft of United’s Euro 2016 participants, including new signing Zlatan Ibrahimoiv, though other recent recruits Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have been included.

So too have players thought to be at risk of being offloaded by Mourinho, including Juan Mata, Memphis Depay and Daley Blind.

After a 10 month injury enforced absence, Luke Shaw makes a welcome return to action, as does defender Phil Jones, another with plenty to prove. United will depart for China next week where they will meet Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund in the International Champions Cup .

Kick off is at 1 30 this afternoon. 

Courtesy of @RobDawsonMEN

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