It’s finally official.
On Monday, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was let go after two years at the helm. His time on the west side of Manchester United turned out to be a mixed bag of results. The team suffered horrible losses — the 4–0 loss to M.K. Dons in the League Cup in 2014 and the 5–3 defeat to Leicester earlier this season certainly come to mind — but also had success, including their 12th FA Cup title on Saturday.
But now, he’s gone and likely entering in his place is Jose Mourinho and with it, the chance to finally get Manchester United back into the conversation for the Premier League title on a yearly basis.
Mourinho is a world-class coach no matter which way you slice it, just like former manager Sir Alex Ferguson who now seems like a demigod given what the past two managers have done. Mourinho boasts a 66 percent winning percentage, 505 wins, a Europa Cup title and two Champions League titles … and that’s on top of eight league titles (three of which came in the Premier League).
And that’s the type of guy United needs to step into a position that will always stand in the shadow of Sir Ferguson for the remainder of time. Mourinho is no stranger to the pressure that comes with being the top guy at a premier club. He’s spent two stints at Chelsea and also coached at Real Madrid and Inter Milan and managed to come away with some sort of silverware at each stop. Heck, he even won a Champions League title with Inter Milan, which seems like an absolute miracle given where that club is today.
And it’s not like Mourinho is coming into the club with a bare cupboard. United certainly showed flashes of brilliance, especially on the offensive end. Anthony Martial led the team with 11 goals this season, while Marcus Rashford busted on to the scene late in the season with five goals. Memphis Depay also showed signs of being dangerous in the attack, while Wayne Rooney, well, is still Wayne Rooney. Mourinho will likely have to find a way to either keep or replace David de Gea and the defense will definitely need to be shored up this offseason as well. But those are small issues compared to a complete rebuild.
Of course, Mourinho’s latest stint at Chelsea, didn’t exactly end well. Despite winning the Premier League title in the 2014-2015 season season, he didn’t even make it past the new year this season, being sacked on Dec. 17 and with Chelsea sitting in 16th place in the league. And that could be a red flag for United bringing him in to get
But it’s a small blip on what is otherwise a great resume for Mourinho and it’s well worth the risk bringing him in to get Manchester United back in the title race. And this moment with van Gaal leaving and Mourinho entering might just be the signing of the summer.