Manchester United look set for a big summer transfer window, as Jose Mourinho looks to put the finishing touches on a squad that has consistently improved at a steady rate throughout the course of his debut season at Old Trafford.
But could the club’s immediate future lay in its not so distant past? The Red Devils coughed up a world-record fee to bring Paul Pogba back to the club last summer and considering the sheer number of talented players who’ve passed through the doors at Carrington, it’s likely stars of similar ability have also fallen through the net in recent years.
With that in mind, we asked United fans earlier this week to vote for which former stars they’d like Mourinho to re-sign in the coming window. The results of our exclusive poll are now in, so here’s a rundown of the top three.
The Memphis Depay who showed world-class potential as he fired PSV to the Eredivisie title simply didn’t turn up at Old Trafford – and Jose Mourinho’s arrival was unsurprisingly the nail in the coffin for the workshy winger. But the Netherlands international has been nothing short of phenomenal since moving to Lyon in January, bagging two assists and five goals in just nine Ligue 1 appearances – including the above effort from the halfway line that’s sure to get a nomination for this year’s Puskas Award. Third in our poll, it seems a significant chunk of Red Devils fans think a failure to realise his full ability with United was as much down to the club as the 23-year-old.
Well-liked during his time at Old Trafford, it’s no surprise to see Manchester United’s former super-sub Javier Hernandez ranking second in our poll. Despite predominantly featuring from the bench, he reached double figures in three consecutive Premier League campaigns before a loan stint at Real Madrid and a permanent move to Bayer Leverkusen; which has given the Mexico international the platform to prove the kind of hauls he’s capable of when given a place in the starting XI. Indeed, since moving to the BayArena in summer 2015, Hernandez has netted 38 times in 71 appearances across all competitions – and earned himself a spot in last term’s Bundesliga Team of the Season.
Always the one that got away, United fans still clearly respect Angel Di Maria’s ability even if he did leave the club on rather frosty terms, struggling to settle in Manchester and departing just twelve months after his club-record arrival. Nonetheless, the Argentine was mesmerising during his first half-season at Old Trafford and has continued to excel since signing for PSG in summer 2015, notching up ten goals in Ligue 1 last term and really producing the goods in the Champions League this year with four goals in seven outings – including a brace in a 4-0 battering of Barcelona last month (above). Signed by Jose Mourinho in 2010 during his first transfer window as Real Madrid boss, the Portuguese would surely love to work with the attacking midfielder once again.