Revealed: Mourinho’s first impression of these 5 Man United stars
Jose Mourinho has opened up about his first impressions of several members of the Manchester United first team
Speaking whilst the majority of his squad are away on international duty, the Portuguese manager took part in a funny video in which he tried to decipher which United star was which based on pictures from their childhood.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Paul Pogba, David de Gea and Anthony Martial were all spotted. More interesting than seeing the Premier League players in their younger days, however, this was Mourinho’s revelations about his first impressions of each of them.
First up was the under-pressure Wayne Rooney. Whilst Mourinho might have taken the unprecedented step of benching the United and England captain, it is clear that the former Chelsea boss has had a lot of respect for him.
“He’s a great kid,” said Mourinho. “I still call him a kid. He doesn’t behave like a star. He doesn’t behave as the top scorer in the England national team.
“He doesn’t behave as the captain. He’s just a very nice kid.”
Next up was a man who’s outward persona is one of an arrogant star who many still see as a prima donna. A certain Mr. Ibrahimovic.
“My first impression was a long time ago…My impression as a player was ‘wow’ – he is much better than I thought.
“Again, a guy that sells an image to the world that is not him. A very nice guy.”
Next in line was Paul Pogba – the world record signing who has struggled to adapt to life back at United so far this season.
However, judging by Mourinho’s impression of him, the Frenchman’s inconsistent form won’t be weighing too heavily on his mind.
“One of the happiest guys I’ve found in football,” the Red Devils boss said after having mistaken the picture of young Pogba for Marcus Rashford and Eric Bailly.
“He is a guy in love with life…He enjoys so much to be the star. He’s a great, great boy.”
The final two players under the microscope were David De Gea and Anthony Martial.
On United’s number one, Mourinho harked back to when he first came across him whilst managing Real Madrid.
“I thought immediately that that skinny guy was fantastic.”
And on Martial, Mourinho explained that whilst the Frenchman might seem shy at first, that is far from the case.
The Portuguese manager is still relatively new to the United job so his impressions of his squad could easily change over the next few months.
A few of those listed about – particularly Rooney and Martial – will be hoping that the first opinion they can change is whether or not they deserve to be in Mourinho’s starting XI.
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