Jose Mourinho has confirmed that he is not looking to sign a defender in the January transfer window despite strong reports predicting that Manchester United have agreed a £38 million deal with Benfica for defender Victor Lindelof. It has even been suggested that the 22-year-old has been handed the Number 2 shirt at the club. BBC reported just before the start of the transfer window that United would not be going after the defender, as Jose Mourinho increasingly saw his existing complement of defenders like Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo more than capable of doing the job.
Now, it has proven to be the case, as Mourinho has himself confirmed that he is more than happy with the defenders at his disposal. Even though Eric Bailly has left the club in order to play at the 2017 African Cup of Nations and will be unavailable for up to a month, and Mourinho says that it is not an issue. As quoted by the Daily Mirror, he said:
“No [no defender signings in January], I wait for Bailly. I hope the three can control the situation in those eight matches.
“We’ll try to make a rotation between these three. We still have Daley Blind as the fourth in case we need him to play there. We have Michael Carrick, so let’s try.”
United certainly have a number of players capable of playing in the central defence with Michael Carrick and Daley Blind amongst some of the names. As a result, the Red Devils are certainly not stretched in this regard even if it may seem so at the moment. Chris Smalling returning from the long-term injury is a major boost. After spending almost 2 months on the sidelines, the England defender has featured in the last couple of matches.
The 27-year-old may have to wait a little more in order to get some first-team action in the Premier League considering that Jones and Rojo have been performing exceptionally well as partners. Manchester United have managed to win the last six matches in the league.
Even though they remain outside the top five even after this tremendous run of form, they have been able to close the gap on Liverpool to just five points. Bigger tests for the club wait in the next few weeks with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City are to be played.
Mourinho also has the task of maintaining the good form in the FA Cup. Even though the club are in the semifinals of the EFL Cup, Mourinho would like to win the competition which holds a special place for United and himself. United are the record holders of the FA Cup after having won the competition 12 times – a record shared with Arsenal.