02 August 2017

Mourinho’s €300m obsession with defensive midfielders including Michael Essien


Nemanja Matic has been confirmed as a Manchester United player, signing for the Red Devils in a deal that could rise to 45 million euros, after the Serbian international chose to leave Chelsea and reunite with his former manager. Matic’s arrival is another of Mourinho’s defensive midfielders, a position that he has become obsessed with over the years.

The former Real Madrid and Inter boss has never failed to strengthen that position at every club he has managed, sooner or later. In total, he has spent over 300m euros on ten players in this position, far more than he has splashed out on strikers for his great sides.

Mourinho was keen to make his mark at Stamford Bridge, and make an impact in the Champions League, under the watchful eye of Roman Abramovich. He bought a favourite of his, Michael Essien from Lyon for 38m euros, and during his first spell in London he also bought three others for that role: John Obi Mikel (20m euros), Tiago (12m euros) and Lassana Diarra (4.5m euros).

Inter (2008-2010).

After several failed attempts to conquer Europe with Chelsea, Jose moved on to Italy, and Inter. At the Estadio Giuseppe Meazza he won his second Champions League, following success with Porto, with Thiago Motta in a deep midfield role, alongside Wesley Sneijder. The Brazilian-Italian had landed at the Milanese side from Genoa for 12m euros. The other player in that position to make a move to Inter under Mourinho was Sulley Muntari, signing for 16m euros from Portsmouth.

Real Madrid (2010-2013)

The Estadio Santiago Bernabeu was where Mourinho spent the least on defensive midfielders, with Sami Khedira his only buy in that area of the field. He brought in the German international from Stuttgart for 14m euros, and he was a key man during Mourinho’s three years in Spain, despite not always being a fan favourite.

Chelsea (2013-2015)

The coach’s return to Chelsea saw him managing a very different side to the one he had left in 2008, and he did not hesitate to bring in reinforcements in his first winter transfer window. He brought Matic back to the club from Benfica, and the Serb became a fixture in the side.

Manchester United (2016-)

Mourinho is such a fan of Matic that he has moved for him again. Mourinho made several changes during his first season at Old Trafford, particularly in midfield. Paul Pogba came in for 105m euros, as an offensive midfield player, however he was asked to play a deeper role alongside Ander Herrera, with Marouane Fellaini playing at the midfield tip.

Source: Marca


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