José Mourinho has created a solid spine at Manchester United with six ‘chosen ones’, claims Danny Blind

by Harry Robinson

José Mourinho has already built a solid spine to his Manchester United side, according to Danny Blind, father of Reds utility player, Daley.

Blind believes the Portuguese boss has a core of six ‘chosen ones’ who form his side, with the rest of the Man United squad fighting for the remaining five spots in most games.

No player has played every minute of the season so far for United, with Nemanja Matić playing every minute of the Premier League and UEFA Champions League, having joined for £35million from Chelsea in the summer, alongside David de Gea and Romelu Lukaku.

But Blind singled out a group of six players whom Mourinho relies upon as the core to this side.

Speaking to ZiggoSport, he said, “they are David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, who is currently injured, Romelu Lukaku and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.”

“For Mourinho, that is the frame of his side. Valencia is also his captain. Around these six chosen ones, he keeps changing the players.

“Sometimes he makes a choice between Marcus Rashford or Anthony Martial. Sometimes it is [Daley] Blind or Ashley Young or, rarely, Matteo Darmian.”

Mourinho, at every club he’s managed throughout his career, has focused on building a solid spine to his side. Often, these spines have been large, physical presences with ‘flair’ players around them.

At United, that’s not quite the case as it was at Chelsea in his two spells at Stamford Bridge. However, it’s coming close to that with Romelu Lukaku leading from the front, Matić in midfield and Eric Bailly as first-choice centre-back.

A regular spine is a great positive for United, given the far too frequent chopping and changing experienced under Louis van Gaal and David Moyes, particularly in defence.

Mourinho has shown he is willing to change that core to the side, with Valencia rested on a number of occasions, and his squad management so far this season has been spot on.

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