LONDON, Dec 18 (Reuters) - While in charge of Manchester United, Jose Mourinho would regularly claim that the Old Trafford giants were somehow unable to compete with their Premier League rivals in the transfer market.
More to the point, however, is the hit-and-miss nature of the signings he did make, which totalled 400 million pounds ($506 million) since his arrival in 2016.
Below is a list of Mourinho’s major signings and their impact at the Manchester United.
Eric Bailly - Villarreal, 30 million pounds - June 2016
Ivorian centre back Bailly was Mourinho’s first recruit and initially looked the part. But after struggling with injuries last season he has started only five Premier League matches this season as Mourinho continually chopped and changed lineups.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Paris St-Germain, free - July 2016
The charismatic Swede served Mourinho well in his first season and gave United the kind of “star quality” the fans have become used to seeing at Old Trafford. Scored 28 goals in his debut campaign and helped United back into the Champions League.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan - Borussia Dortmund, £27m - July 2016
The Armenian flattered to deceive in his only full season at United but was impressive in the Europa League and scored in the final against Ajax Amsterdam.
Ended up joining Arsenal midway through the following season as part of a deal that took Alexis Sanchez to Old Trafford.
Paul Pogba - Juventus, £89m - August 2016
Mourinho’s biggest signing has never really become a dominant force in the Premier League, and this season the Frenchman appears to have fallen out with Mourinho after making his views felt about United’s style of play.
Mourinho accused him of losing focus this season and started him on the bench in United’s last three Premier League games. Issued a cryptic social media post after news emerged of Mourinho’s exit, but then quickly removed it.
Victor Lindelof - Benfica, £31m - June 2017
The Swede has slowly begun to establish himself in United’s defence but has not been helped by the constant shuffling at the back as Mourinho tied and failed to find a way to stop the goals going in. The jury is still very much out.
Romelu Lukaku - Everton, £75m - July 2017
The powerhouse former Everton striker began with a bang at United and he could not stop scoring in the early months before his form dried up. He managed 24 goals in his first campaign, but this season he has struggled to recapture that form, not helped by United’s defensive tactics.
Nemanja Matic - Chelsea, £40m - July 2017
It was a surprise when Chelsea allowed the holding midfielder to leave to a Premier League rival.
He was a good match for United’s system last season, and Mourinho remained loyal to him this season despite a dip in form. Has made some mistakes this term and is portrayed as a pragmatic player rather than one to add much-needed flair.
Alexis Sanchez - Arsenal, swap deal, January 2018
Regarded with envy throughout Europe while he was at Arsenal, Sanchez has nevertheless been a huge flop at United.
Injuries and poor form have restricted the Chilean’s appearances this season in which he has started only five times in the Premier League, scoring once.
Diogo Dalot - Porto, £19m, June 2018
The young right-sided player had to wait for his chance but has impressed since making his Premier League debut as a substitute against Southampton recently.
Tipped as a successor to Antonio Valencia, Dalot is an exciting prospect for the future.
Fred - Shakhtar Donetsk, £52m, June 2018
So far the Brazilian has looked like an expensive misfit with Mourinho apparently unconvinced that he justifies a place in the team. Did not even merit a place on the bench in last week’s defeat by Liverpool. May get a chance to shine once a caretaker manager is in place.
— ($1 = 0.7907 pounds) (Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Hugh Lawson)