Manchester United fans seem delighted that the club are about to do some more business in the transfer market. Jose Mourinho has already worked his magic in terms of incomings and now it appears that he is managing to shift some of the clubs less important players.
With United already bringing in Eric Bailly this summer and reportedly eyeing another experienced defender, the club knew they had to sell before they could buy. Phil Jones had been the defender to be linked with a move away, but Mourinho was quick to deny those suggestions, saying that Jones was in his long term plans. It seems 26-year-old Marcos Rojo will be the one to go and it will be the latest in a long line of Manchester United signings that haven’t worked.
Reports from Spain suggest that Valencia have made contact with Manchester United regarding the sale of Rojo. The Argentinean defender doesn’t appear to be in Jose’s plans and so he could be allowed to leave as the manager attempts to trim his squad. The report says Peter Lim, Valencia’s owner, has a close working relationship with Manchester United and it is also worth noting that Rojo and Mourinho have the same agent.
The reports say that Rojo will cost Valencia £10.3million. The cash-strapped La Liga club are set to re-invest part of the £35million fee they are set to receive following the sale of Shkodran Mustafi to Arsenal.
Here’s what some Manchester United fans thought about the rumours of Rojo to Spain.
— Allan McEwan (@ASMcEwan) August 25, 2016
If Arsenal signing Mustafi from Valencia results in Valencia signing Rojo, is that Wenger's biggest favour to United since signing Silvestre
— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) August 25, 2016
These comments may be a tad harsh: is Rojo all that bad? I had a look at his statistics from previous seasons and compared them to some of the other Manchester United defenders…
A look at last seasons stats show why the fans may be so happy to see the back of Rojo. He won just 2.16 aerial duels per 90, Smalling was ahead on 3.46 and Blind, with his obvious height difference, was last on 0.98. Smalling is again on top in terms of interceptions with 2.77, Blind just behind on 2.31 and Rojo rock bottom with a miserable 1.95 per 90. Smalling, who was really impressive for United last season, tops the list in terms of clearances too, with an enormous 5.23 per 90, Blind 3.67 and Rojo 2.74. Although none of the defenders made a serious error that led to a goal, it’s clear that Rojo performed nowhere near the level of his teammates. With Bailly now signed, and Mourinho keen on retaining the services of Blind and Jones, Rojo’s game time is likely to be extremely limited.
The Argentine’s ability to play at left-back made him indispensable in Luke Shaw’s injury absence, but with Shaw back and firing and Blind now able to cover on the left, there is no real need for the Rojo to stick around.
Although £10million isn’t a lot in this market, Mourinho will gladly recoup some cash after investing more than £150million in the squad this summer, despite Manchester United having no Champions League football. Mourinho knew he had to balance the books somewhat, more in terms of wages rather than transfer fees. The United wage bill is currently thought to be amongst the highest in world football after the high-profile additions of Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who are all earning in excess of £150,000 per week.
Rojo has never looked too comfortable in England and a chance to move to Spain would probably be good for his development. Follow us on @FreshFootball on Twitter to stay close to the comings and goings in the final few days of the window.