Manchester United’s shambolic investments lack a grand design | Jonathan Wilson

Jose Mourinho’s side were astonishingly passive against Juve but amid his post-match bluster there was the kernel of a point

The problem with modern European football is how stratified it has become. With resources now divided so unequally, how, realistically, are the lesser sides in the group stage supposed to compete when playing the elite? Little wonder then, that plucky Manchester United, the poorest little richest club in the world, were so thoroughly outclassed by Juventus at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

What’s a José Mourinho to do? As he pointed out post-match, Juventus have lots of good players. He spoked of “amazing Chiellini” and “amazing Bonucci”. That’s Giorgio Chiellini, bought for £4m in 2005, and Leonardo Bonucci, initially signed for £14m in 2010, although having been sold to Milan to for £37m in 2017, he was brought back in the summer as part of a swap deal for a notional value of £31m. That’s a net transfer cost of £12m for the pair. That’s an awful lot of bottles of You-C1000, even in the vibrant Indonesian isotonic drinks market. Little wonder United cannot compete, and are reduced to spending £60m on Victor Lindelöf and Eric Bailly.

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