The France international scored his side’s first goal as they came back from behind late on to beat Middlesbrough
Martial and Pogba late show spares United blushes
“He played, he created, he scored, he fought, I think he was very positive,” said Mourinho, the United manager, of Martial. “I know that he is a top talent, I knew that Mkhitaryan was a top talent and I was not playing him. In this moment he [Mkhitaryan] even plays left-back when the team is winning, to defend with a little bit more balance.
“Anthony has to listen to me and not his agent. He has to listen to me. He has to listen to me in training every day, in every feedback I give to try to improve players. The Mkhitaryan process, I was having almost every day Mkhitaryan’s agent calling me and saying he will be a better player with you, keep going.
“With Martial, every day I read the newspaper; Martial goes to Sevilla, Martial goes on loan, Martial is not happy. Martial has to listen to me. He is a player with amazing conditions to be a top player.”
On his side’s fifth successive league victory, Mourinho added: “We managed to do something that is amazing which is to bring the fans to the pitch, I think we did that in the last 15-20 minutes. We played with 70,000. We played with them, they were on the pitch. It was too much for a very organised team [Boro]. It was phenomenal. The fans were on the pitch. It was a very good match to finish the year.”
The 21-year-old Uruguayan has already played 21 times for his country and has been touted as a future world-class centre-back. Currently on the books of Atletico Madrid, Gimenez is not a regular and a move in January for first-team football would surely appeal to him.
The most recent player to be linked with the Red Devils, Lindelof is a 22-year-old centre-back currently plying his trade at Benfica. The Swedish international has been in fine form this season and could be tempted by a move to England in January.
The German midfielder has emerged as a shock transfer target for the Red Devils as the Arsenal playmaker demands a substantial increase to his current £140,000 per week contract in North London.
The French forward had a brilliant season in Spain last year and was top scorer and Player of the Tournament as he helped his country to the final of Euro 2016. Atletico Madrid would certainly not let him go on the cheap however.
The third Atletico Madrid player reported to be on Mourinho’s wish-list, Carrasco is one of Belgium’s new generation of talent and, at just 23 years of age, has a long career ahead of him. The Belgian is an attacking midfielder who has added a ruthlessness in front of goal to his repertoire this season, contributing nine goals in all competitions.
Galatasaray’s fleet-footed winger is rated at around £21.5m and has impressed in the Turkish league this season, receiving five Man of the Match awards in just ten starts so far. Bruma is a fantastic dribbler who would certainly provide competition for places on the left wing.
Sir Alex Ferguson was in the stands on his 75th birthday and Old Trafford was rocking by the end. Aitor Karanka, Mourinho’s former apprentice at Real Madrid, praised Middlesbrough’s performance and said there were many positives despite the result.
“I don’t like to lose but I thought the performance was really good against a top team. Once again we’ve competed against a top team, we were winning with five minutes to go,” he said.
“We had a consistent game and we had chances to score. I’m really pleased with the players, I’ve told them that they have forget the result. Thy have to be very proud with their performance. He [Mourinho] said sorry because he always wants to win.”