Jose Mourinho has demonstrated his commitment to youth by spending some time with Manchester United’s Under-14s this week.
The 53-year-old arrived at Old Trafford in June with an unwelcome reputation for not placing faith in youngsters, preferring to splash money on established talents instead.
However, upon taking the reigns at Man United, Mourinho insisted that using academy products would serve as a fundamental aspect of his managerial strategy at Old Trafford.
The Portuguese was pictured with United’s Under-14 side earlier today.
Good to see Mourinho take an interest and coach United u14s this week pic.twitter.com/dSubTyappG
— James Scowcroft (@scowy1975) October 28, 2016
It is worth noting that Mourinho brought the same number of academy products on United’s pre-season tour as Louis van Gaal did during his first season in charge at the Theatre of Dreams.
And yet, in spite of this, one manager is lauded for upholding his long-standing tradition of investing in youngsters, whilst the other is lambasted for ignoring such an important facet of the club’s culture.
The reason behind this, of course, is that Mourinho’s career has been largely defined by his stints with Chelsea and Real Madrid – two clubs that thrive off a desire to prioritise big names over developing talents. At United, however, the emphasis couldn’t be more different: the Special One has handed new contracts to Marcus Rashford, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Timothy Fosu-Mensah, whilst also involving the likes of DJ Buffonge and Axel Tuanzebe in training sessions with the first team.
Not bad for somebody who doesn’t care about youth, eh?