Until 2018, Jose Mourinho had never failed to win the league title during his second season at a club and, though the Portuguese was widely tipped to continue that trend at Manchester United during last year's Premier League campaign, Manchester City ultimately proved far too strong.
After putting a somewhat strange first season at Old Trafford behind him – United finished sixth: seven points off the top four; 24 points behind champions Chelsea; but won two trophies and qualified for the Champions League – Mourinho made no secret of his belief that he had the squad to launch a bid for the club's first Premier League title since 2013, only to be upstaged by his old enemy Pep Guardiola.
Against a rampant and relentless City side, putting the 20-time champions back on top of a Premier League that they dominated for so long would surely rank among Mourinho's greatest managerial achievements, yet sections of supporters remain sceptical that the former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter manager is the man to help United regain that swagger and fear factor of the Fergie era.
Make sure you're at Old Trafford to see Mourinho's men launch their assault on the Premier League, Champions League and domestic trophies by getting your Manchester United tickets at StubHub today.
Man Utd transfers: more big money signings this summer?
The additions of Everton's Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku (£75m), Nemanja Matic from Chelsea (£40m) and Swedish defender Victor Lindelof (£31m) in last year's summer transfer window certainly added goals, guile and sheer power to the Manchester United side; though the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic wasn't as successful as his first season.
Add to that the fact that recent recruits – Eric Bailly and club record signing Paul Pogba – have all had a year to adjust to English football (and acclimatise to the Manchester weather) and United were a formidable outfit for a large parts of last season.
The addition of Brazilian playmaker Fred – will add composure and guile to the midfield to replace the class of the retired Michael Carrick. The chance of further arrivals seems likely, and with the club under no pressure to sell, United are likely to only get stronger between now and the end of the summer window.
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