Have Manchester United found Mourinho’s successor in Nuno Espirito Santo?


Share post:

It was billed as a meeting between master and protégé when Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo squared up against his former boss. Nuno was the third-choice goalkeeper in José Mourinho’s Porto team as the well decorated Manchester United manager began his rise to the top of the football world.

So, long before the 44-year-old made the transition from the goal posts to the dugout in 2010, Mourinho was already helping to fill the trophy cabinets of clubs around Europe.

But that has not stopped Nuno from building his own profile as a manager of note. Like his countryman he also started his journey to managerial success in Spain before consolidating from back home in the Portuguese league.

He took over Rio Ave in 2012 and in his second season in charge qualified the team to both the Taça de Portugal and Taça da Liga finals. He also took it to the UEFA Europa League for the first time in its history thereby showcasing his ability as a manager who can make history.

He returned to Spain as Valencia manager in 2014 and led the club to a fourth-place finish in his first season in charge. Another tenure back home, this time with Porto in 2016 came to an end a year later after the club failed to win any trophy despite finishing second on the league table.

Then came the chance to move to England. It however, came in the form of Championship football with Wolves. Now boasting of new owners and ambition to play in the top echelon of English football, the Portuguese was considered the best man to take the club back up after six seasons away from the top flight.

He did not disappoint. He even surprised many by leading the club to the Premier League in his very first attempt. The West Midlands side was crowned Championship champions in the close season.

Back in the big time, the Wanderers have continued to play the same brand of football that saw them achieve promotion with four games to spare.

The highlights of the season so far have been draws against the Manchester clubs as both Pep Guardiola’s City and Mourinho’s Manchester United were not able to beat Nuno’s team. Against both teams Wolves were neither overrun nor outplayed despite the huge difference in resources and expensive acquisitions between them.

Nuno’s win rate as a manager has continuously been on the increase, showing tremendous improvement on the job. He has gone from a win rate of 39.7% at Rio Ave, to 51.6% at Valencia, 55.1% with Porto and 61% at Wolves. At this rate, he has proven to be a top-class manager that to do a good job at a top club.

Mourinho remains a manager whose future at Manchester United is constantly the subject of speculations. His history of not staying beyond the third season at any club may well be working against him. That has not been helped by the kind of football he is playing at Old Trafford and the often less than satisfactory results.

Many fans of the club will rather see him leave. And for a capable replacement that can take the club forward, the 44-year-old fits the bill.


  1. Why would Nuno leave the Wolves project and building to be better than man U, they maybe big but that’s were it ends, Nuno is building his team so why leave.

  2. But… Nuno is going nowhere, not even to Manchester United!
    He is happy at Molineux, the fans adore him and the players continue to listen to him and produce results.
    Nuno to Old Trafford?
    United are having a ‘Liverpool’ time, many possible years of decline and no trophies whereas Wolves?
    Well who knows where the club can reach?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recommended Articles

Latest Articles

Transfer Window 2024: Under the Shadow of Financial Fair-play

The football transfer window has barely been open for a month and already there has been plenty of...

Three alternative options to Joao Cancelo for FC Barcelona

Barring any surprises, FC Barcelona will be looking to manage their finances carefully from now on. The Catalan...

Who Can Be Next Ronaldo: Joao Felix, Goncalo Ramos OR Andre Silva?

In all forms of life, everyone looks for a superhero. Cliche, but in my adolescence, I saw my...

England: Given The Role of Mufasa But Behaving Like Simba

USA, Scotland and now Denmark, guess what they all have in common? They have been England’s second opponents...

Players Likely to Be in New Kits after EURO 2024

With the T20 World Cup in full flow, some may be forgiven for forgetting that Euro 2024 will...

Premier League 2024 – A Look at Campaign of Everton, Man City and Tottenham

Winning and losing in sports can be a habit in their own right. When a team wins one...

January Transfer Window – Donny van de Beek and Sasha Kaljadzic Leave for Frankfurt

The January transfer window is a week old and surprisingly there have been many transfers to date. Sure...

Why Ten Hag is living on borrowed time

After an encouraging first season, Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag, like other managers before him is struggling....

Trent Alexander-Arnold Shines in Dogged Liverpool Performance

Nothing quite divides opinion like Trent Alexander-Arnold. The Liverpool academy product and this year’s vice-captain has seen an...

Sir Jim Ratcliffe Partly Taking Over United – A Fan’s Perspective

It's a saga which ran over the summer and even well before that, but as per several media...

What’s going on at Manchester United? 

A new season, but the same question remains. What is going on at Manchester United? The 20-time Premier...

Why Manchester United Will Struggle This Season

The new footballing season is barely two games old, but for Manchester United already it promises to be...