Paul Ince encourages Jose Mourinho to invest in attacking talent this summer

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Ince has called on Jose Mourinho focus on bolstering his side’s attacking frontier this summer.

The 54-year-old has been in pursuit of a replacement for the outgoing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and is reportedly in the process of negotiating a fee for Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata.

He has also, according to reports, offered a lucrative package worth £6.6m per season after tax to Roma’s Radja Nainggolan, who claimed 15 goals from midfield last season.

And Ince, speaking to the Mirror, has encouraged Mourinho to break the bank for attacking talent this summer.

“I’d like to see him sign two or three – and I’d like those two or three to be able to come up with plenty of goals,” he said.

“Another midfielder, ­preferably one that scores. And I’d like to see them sign another striker – an A-lister. They were so reliant on ­Zlatan last season. If you look at the really successful ­Manchester United teams over the past 20 years, then they used to get goals from all over.

“We had midfielders who scored goals. Giggsy, Scholes, Roy Keane, myself. We had ­defenders who scored goals – Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister. You could rely on Denis Irwin grabbing a few from left-back.

“Did anyone else get to ­double figures last season? Ander Herrera doesn’t score enough. Juan Mata doesn’t score enough. I know Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard are kids – but they don’t score enough, ­either. And Jose’s signed Paul Pogba. But if you pay ­£89million for a midfielder, then surely it’s not too much to ask for him to find the net on a more regular basis?

“Whatever he [Mourinho] does, he needs some more goals. But he knows that.”

It is no secret that, domestically, United simply weren’t good enough in front of goal last season. Only Zlatan Ibrahimovic reached double figures in the Premier League, and only three others (Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford) managed such a feat in all competitions.

The chances were there, make no mistake: if each player managed to take just five more of the innumerable opportunities that came their way, Mourinho’s men would have not needed to count on winning the Europa League to secure a place in next season’s Champions League group stages.

It essentially boils down to a question of ruthlessness. Who can Mourinho count on to deliver under pressure in the final third next season? Such a question surely has to be at the forefront of his thinking as he seeks to bolster his squad this summer.

 

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