Mourinho is favouring his current defensive options
Mourinho explains why United star Pogba will never win Ballon d’Or
And, with first choice pairing Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly available for selection again after injury troubles, Mourinho doesn’t feel the need to splash the cash on another big money signing.
The Red Devils will be without Bailly again for the upcoming African Cup of Nations but Mourinho seems convinced that Jones, Rojo and Smalling will provide adequate cover in his absence.
This dramatic change in mind-set is a stark contrast to Mourinho’s attitudes earlier in the season when a United exodus during the January transfer window seemed a certainty.
But, while some have fought their way back into Mourinho’s future plans, the 53-year-old is still expected to shed some of his squad’s dead weight next month.
Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay have been linked heavily with moves away from Old Trafford after failing to make any impression on Mourinho since his arrival in the summer.
- Stood tall when his defence could’ve done a lot better early on and did well to deny Anichebe. Had little else to contend with until Borini’s consolation strike.
- A dynamic presence down the right-hand side throughout, but especially in the opening stages, when the rest of his team-mates were struggling to get going.
- Began shakily but increasingly grew into the game to maintain his impressive form since returning to the side.
- Nice marauding run to set off the move for Blind’s opener, though the odd nervy moment at the back.
- A sluggish start, one poor header in particular should have been punished by Anichebe, but applied an excellent finish to open the scoring.
- His usual, patient self in the middle of the park, though United could’ve done with a little more impetus from him at times.
- Busy as ever and won his battle against his opposite number but, like Carrick, could have eased the burden on the attacking talents in front of him.
- When things were not quite coming together, the midfielder kept creating chances out of nothing. The stand-out performer.
- Couldn’t seem to find a rhythm and only really showed his class in flashes. Ibrahimovic should’ve done better with one excellent through ball by the Spaniard.
- His most notable contributions were ill-tempered clashes with Kone and Denayer. Replaced by Mkhitaryan on the hour mark.
- Struggled to make an impact and wasteful for much of the afternoon, but left the pitch with a goal and two assists. Even when he’s not at his best, he punishes teams.
- Sublime, but offside, goal. Injected a threat in United’s off-colour front line as soon as he was introduced.
- Equal to much of what United could throw at him. Brilliantly denying Ibrahimovic at one point with his boot.
- Shut down Lingard for much of the afternoon, but could perhaps have got a block in on Blind’s finish.
- Let himself down with several basic errors, but is showing the potential to be a good Premier League-level defender.
- Could have conceded a penalty for barging Mata but challenge was judged to be fair by Martin Atkinson, then could’ve seen red late on. Lucky boy.
- Tested De Gea with a free-kick early on. Not afforded the license to attack from full-back.
- One of the visitors’ better performers, shackled United’s attacking talents well in the first half, but was let down by those around him.
- Bullied by Herrera at times and too often failed to do the same to United’s attacking midfielders. His mistake allowed Ibrahimovic in for the second.
- Had the chance to open the scoring after Anichebe’s chance, but mis-kicked the rebound. Fantastic consolation goal, at least.
- Battled but lacked any invention. A disappointment, subbed late on for Khazri.
- Should’ve put his side in front in the first-half but was denied by De Gea, but was not undeterred by his miss. Caused problems for United’s backline throughout.
- With Anichebe chipping in defensively, he was left isolated for large parts and only showed what he could do in brief moments.
Ronald Koeman is interested in signing the United duo and is the front runner to take the pair to Goodison Park despite West Brom already lodging an £18million bid for Schneiderlin.
Maroune Fellaini is also subject to interest from West Ham but the chances of a move seem unlikely following Mourinho’s recent backing of the Belgium midfielder after the Old Trafford crowd turned against him for conceding a late penalty against former club, Everton.