With the recent news that Jose Mourinho is wanting to save David Luiz from his situation at Chelsea by bringing him to Old Trafford as soon as January, the wonder of how he would fit into the current United side. The 30-year-old is reportedly unhappy with how he is being treated at Stamford Bridge at the moment and is open to linking up with his former manager. If the Brazilian did make the move up north how would the Manchester United back line look?
Valencia – Bailly – Luiz – Young
This would be the most likely formation that Mourinho would play with Luiz added to the back line. The enthusiastic centre-back would fit in alongside the impressive Eric Bailly. The defence would more than likely play a higher line with both centre-backs more than able to travel out with the ball at their feet. With skipper Antonio Valencia and Ashely Young in the full-back positions, they will provide more defensive cover than the likes of Luke Shaw, Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind.
The negative side of playing both Bailly and Luiz would mean that the defence could be vulnerable with both players wanting to meet the ball first. That is not how Jose Mourinho sets up his defence as he creates stubborn teams.
Valencia – Jones – Luiz – Young
Manager Mourinho could be tempted to bring in Phil Jones instead of the Ivorian to provide more defensive cover than the more gung-ho combination of Bailly and Luiz. Jones looks like he is finally showing the potential that he showed at Blackburn, as he has prospered under the Portuguese manager. He has forced his way back into the England reckoning, and his last-ditch defending would provide a solid partnership with the former PSG man.
Bailly – Luiz – Jones
Valencia – Matic – Pogba – Young
With a choice of three international class central defenders on offer at Manchester United, the manager might be tempted to go to a back three to allow all three of his central defenders to play in the same team. It would allow Valencia and Young to attack more vigorously knowing they have three players behind them. With such high-quality defenders in defence, United would be hard to beat.
The negative to this could be the use of Paul Pogba. He might feel stifled and become more defensive just like he was at times last season. They have their expressive multi-million-pound man, and they need to play their game around him.
Who would miss out?
Even though Luiz would add an extra bit of quality to the side, if he plays as he did for Chelsea in the previous season, then that means the game time at the heart of the defence would be limited for Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and the recent signing Victor Lindelof. The Brazilian will not come cheaply, and it would be a step backwards if Mourinho is willing to sign a 30-year-old rather than nurture a 23-year-old like Lindelof; who is an international in his own right.
This would not be the first player that Mourinho resigned as he would join Matic and Zlatan Ibrahimovic who have previously played for the former Porto manager. But with the centre back left for PSG in 2014, after just one season with the manager has the bad blood been cleared for these two to reunite at Old Trafford?