Jose Mourinho, while praising Harry Maguire on his Man of the Match performance against Chelsea, took a veiled dig at Manchester United.
Manchester United began the season in style, with an impressive 4-0 win over Chelsea. While both of Sky Pundit, Jose Mourinho’s former clubs faced each other, the Portuguese was talking behind the scenes in the post-match program. The Mirror have quoted Mourinho’s comments, where he seems to have aimed a dig at Manchester United and their transfer activity during his time.
Manchester United’s emphatic victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford had many standout performers. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial’s displays and Paul Pogba’s midfield mastery all proved crucial. However, it was Harry Maguire’s performance at the heart of the defence that proved pivotal. The Englishman won the Man of the Match on his Manchester United debut, as a result.
Maguire joined Manchester United from Leicester City in a world record deal for a defender right at the end of the window. With United chasing him the entire summer, they finally got their man and he instantly repaid some of the faith with a massive performance. Mourinho, who was reportedly interested in the defender during his time at Manchester United, praised the defender’s display.
On Maguire’s performance he commented, “I think it’s fully deserved, the man of the match. I think he was solid like a rock, and as we know, he’s very important for a team. Not only to have that tactical knowledge, to have that personality, that sense of reading the game, of being alert all the time, of confidence to play. He was fantastic, absolutely deserved.”
While he praised Maguire for his display, Mourinho did not shy away from lauding his partner, Victor Lindelof. On the Swede and his partnership with the England international, Mourinho said, “Maguire was good, Lindelof was good. As I always said, Lindelof can be a very good player, and with Maguire, I think they can make a very, very good couple.”
However, by the end of the reel, Mourinho was made to re-visit the last summer window where the Portuguese was frustrated by the lack of transfer activity at Old Trafford. Mourinho, in particular, was enraged at the club not being able to land a solid central defender, despite Manchester United’s links to several high-profile names, including Maguire.
He was then asked if the Maguire signing happened a year too late and he said, somewhat jokingly, “You’re right, one year later!”.
While it may have been a light-hearted comment, Mourinho might come across as aiming a thinly veiled dig at his former employers. Going by the performances of Maguire against Chelsea, he would have been an asset for United even a year ago.
Maguire could, in turn, might have helped Mourinho keep his job, although it only seems like conjecture at this point. For now, the Englishman seems to be a smart investment for Manchester United, despite the heavy price they had to pay to sign him.