Manchester United: All of Jose Mourinho’s Signings Since 2004 – who are the best 5?

TFF has often considered Jose Mourinho to be one of the best managers in terms of finding and acquiring players.

You only need to look at his signings since he came to Manchester United to realise that he has a great eye for a player. He obviously has an excellent team of scouts and coaches working with him to sign the crème de la crème of world footballing talent.

But the Manchester United manager is the man to give the final green light to transfers and he has done so brilliantly wherever he has worked.

In his first year at Manchester United alone, Mourinho signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic who went on to score 28 goals for the club before his injury.

Eric Bailly looks like one of the best young players in the world. Henrikh Mkhitaryan took time to settle in at Manchester United but he has quickly become integral to their attack. And Paul Pogba could well become United’s captain over the next few years.

TFF found a list of all Jose Mourinho’s signings since 2004 and we have pulled out who we believe to be the best of the bunch.

Michael Essien (Ghana and Chelsea)

The Ghana international of some 58 caps and nice goals has to be regarded as one of the finest midfielders ever to play in the Premier League. He was relatively unknown when Jose Mourinho signed him for Chelsea from Lyon in 2005 for a princely sum of 24.4m GBP.

But Chelsea weren’t the only party interested in his signature – Manchester United would also have dearly loved to sign him – and the fee spoke of a player who was fully expected to become a superstar.

And he duly accepted the challenge to become the stalwart of Chelsea’s midfield for almost a decade. He was calm, imposing and physically sensational. Essien never seemed to break a sweat but at once bossed games and controlled midfields on an almost weekly basis.

He was comfortably one of Jose’s best signings.

Didier Drogba (Chelsea and Ivory Coast)

Another capture during Mourinho’s golden era at Chelsea. The Ivory Coast international, who finished his career with 104 caps and 65 goals, was an absolute sensation at Stamford Bridge in two spells at the club between 2004 and 2015.

Drogba terrorised defences and battered in goals from all angles – 164 of them in total over the span of 381 glorious games for the club.

Raphael Varane (France and Real Madrid)

The 24-year-old still hasn’t reached his peak but he’s a Rolls-Royce of a player who would walk into pretty much any side in the world of football. The France international is pure class.

Diego Costa (Spain and Chelsea)

He may not have had the smoothest ride at Stamford Bridge but there is no doubting the quality or efficacy of the Spanish international. In three seasons at Stamford bridge he has scored 57 goals in 115 games and was key to Chelsea’s title charges in 2015 and 2017.

Eric Bailly (Ivory Coast and Manchester United)

Jose Mourinho’s latest club, Manchester United, could prove to be his biggest challenge yet as he looks to reignite the Red Devils post Sir Alex Ferguson.

And the capture of Eric Bailly could yet prove to be one of his best ever. The 23-year-old Ivory Coast man is built like a rock and seems to be tailor made for Premier League defending.

Chelsea – 2004-05
Paulo Ferreira (Porto) – £13.2m
Mateja Kezman (PSV Eindhoven) – £5.5m
Didier Drogba (Marseille) – £24m
Tiago (Benfica) – £10m
Ricardo Carvalho (Porto) – £19.8m
Alex (PSV Eindhoven) – £5.7m
Nuno Morais (Penafiel) – free
Jiri Jarosik (CSKA Moscow) – £3m
Total: £81.2m

Chelsea – 2005-06
Asier del Horno (Athletic Bilbao) – £8m
Lassana Diarra (Le Havre) – £2m
Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City) – £24m
Michael Essien (Lyon) – £24.4m
Total: £58.4m

Chelsea – 2006-07
Michael Ballack (Bayern Munich) – free
Salomon Kalou (Feyenoord) – £3m
Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan) – £30m
John Obi Mikel (Lyn Oslo) – £16m
Khalid Boulahrouz (Hamburg) – £9m
Ashley Cole (Arsenal) – £5m + William Gallas
Total: £63m

Chelsea – 2007-08
Claudio Pizarro (Bayern Munich) – free
Tal Ben Haim (Bolton Wanderers) – free
Steve Sidwell (Reading) – free
Florent Malouda (Lyon) – £13.5m
Juliano Belletti (Barcelona) – £3.7m
Total: £17.2m

Inter Milan – 2008-09
Hernan Crespo (Chelsea) – free
Mancini (Roma) – £10.3m
Luis Jimenez (Ternana) – £4.7m
Sulley Muntari (Portsmouth) – £12.7m
Ricardo Quaresma (Porto) – £14.7m + Pele
Victor Obinna (Chievo) – free
Total: £42.4m

Inter Milan – 2009-10
Diego Milito (Genoa) – £11.6m + Robert Acquafresca + Riccardo Meggiorini
Thiago Motta (Genoa) – £3.6m + Francesco Bozoni + Leonardo Bonucci
Kerlon (Chievo) – free
Lucio (Bayern Munich) – £6.8m
Samuel Eto’o (Barcelona) – £17.2m (transfer included Zlatan Ibrahimovic moving to Barcelona)
Wesley Sneijder (Real Madrid) – £15.5m
Goran Pandev (Lazio) – free
McDonald Mariga (Parma) – £4.3m
Total: £59m

Real Madrid – 2010-11
Sergio Canales (Racing Santander) – £3.8m
Angel Di Maria (Benfica) – £20.9m
Pedro Leon (Getafe) – £8.4m
Sami Khedira (Stuttgart) – £10m
Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea) – £6.7m
Mesut Ozil (Werder Bremen) – £12.5m
Total: £62.3m

Real Madrid – 2011-12
Nuri Sahin (Borussia Dortmund) – £8.8m
Hamit Altintop (Bayern Munich) – free
Jose Callejon (Espanyol) – £4.4m
Raphael Varane (Lens) – £8.8m
Fabio Coentrao (Benfica) – £26.5m
Total: £48.5m

Real Madrid – 2012-13
Luka Modric (Tottenham) – £33m
Diego Lopez (Sevilla) – £3.2m
Total: £36.2m

Chelsea – 2013-14
Andre Schurrle (Bayern Leverkusen) – £18m
Marco van Ginkel (Vitesse) – £9m
Mark Schwarzer (Fulham) – free
Willian (Anzhi Makhachkala) – £30m
Samuel Eto’o (Anzhi Makhachkala) – free
Kurt Zouma (St Etienne) – £12m
Mo Salah (Basle) – £11m
Total: £80m

Chelsea – 2014-15
Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona) – £30m
Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid) – £35m
Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid) – £16m
Didier Drogba (Galatasaray) – free
Loic Remy (Queens Park Rangers) – £8m
Juan Cuadrado (Fiorentina) – £27m
Total: £116m

Chelsea – 2015-16
Asmir Begovic (Stoke City) – £8m
Baba Rahman (Augsburg) – £21.7m
Pedro (Barcelona) – £21m
Kenedy (Fluminense) – £6.7m
Papy Djilobodji (Nantes) – £2.2m
Michael Hector (Reading) – £4m
Marco Amelia (free agent) – free
Total: £63.6m

Manchester United 2016-17
Eric Bailly (Villarreal) – £30m
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain) – free
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Borussia Dortmund) – £26m
Paul Pogba (Juventus) – £100m
Total: £156m

Overall total: £883.8m


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