Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has suggested that England could triumph in this summer’s World Cup in Russia. The Portuguese, who will be working on Russian television as a pundit during the summer tournament
“They have a good group of young but experienced players,” said Mourinho in an interview with Sky Sports. “All of them play in the most competitive competition in the world, the Premier League, all of them playing for the best teams with experience of playing in the Champions League, which is a high level of football, obviously. Yes, I think they can do it.”
England’s current squad features four of his own United players, in the forms of Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard. Those players have experienced differing fortunes this season, with Young and Lingard becoming trusted players under Mourinho, whereas Jones and Rashford have frequently found themselves behind others in the manager’s pecking order in the centre of defence and up front respectively.
Mourinho’s comments on England’s chances certainly could offer encouragement to his charges, but this remains a deeply important summer break for the manager and his players having finished 19 points behind Premier League champions Manchester City last season. United’s transfer strategy has already taken shape, with the signings of Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fred and FC Porto’s Diogo Dalot strengthening both the club’s midfield and defence, but more reinforcements will be required if United are to challenge for the top honours in this upcoming campaign.
The former Chelsea boss will also surely need start getting the best out of his young players on a more regular basis if the likes of Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial stay at Old Trafford, as appears to be on the cards. Both Shaw and Martial have felt the sting of public criticism from their manager at times over his tenure, and will be hoping that this next season offers them a shot at redemption.