Did the signings of Zlatan and Lukaku stall Rashford and Martial's development?

charlenefan

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Or another way of phrasing the same question did Mourinho?

They've both had career best seasons under Ole this season but are they behind where they could/should be due to the 2 and a bit years between 2016 and 2019?
 

davidmichael

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I wouldn’t say Zlatan did as everyone knew he was very much a short term signing and was someone they could both learn from, Lukaku on the other hand was signed as our long term number one striker with Martial and Rashford expected to support him but alternating as Jose believed Martial and Rashford couldn’t play together.

It’s definitely something that Ole should be credited for as he was the man who switched Martial and Rashford around positionally and got the results we’ve seen from them whilst having the balls to sell Lukaku, it took a while (and signing Fernandes) but our style of play improved and now Rashford and Martial have developed a very promising partnership.
 

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Of course it did, the only way for developing players to gain consistency is by getting meaningful minutes under their belt. One could argue United's league standing would have been no different had they not signed either Zlatan or Lukaku and played Rashford and Martial over that duration.
 

bosnian_red

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I don't think so. They're both very young and while they may have developed a bit differently, I always think coming back and responding to some adversity makes you better in the long run. Like if it was all easy and plain sailing for them, they might not have reached their current level.
 

charlenefan

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I don't think so. They're both very young and while they may have developed a bit differently, I always think coming back and responding to some adversity makes you better in the long run. Like if it was all easy and plain sailing for them, they might not have reached their current level.
For the record this is my belief as well
 

bosnian_red

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For the record this is my belief as well
Part of the added benefit signing someone to start ahead of Greenwood will help him as well. Can't make the kid an instant starter at 18. He'd still turn into a top player probably but its natural to push yourself more and more if you have to fight your way in and have these set backs when you're young (along with develop more fight mentally).
 

Tiber

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At the very least stripping Martial of the no 9 shirt was a blow to his confidence.

When he first got into the team Martial was an exciting, confident player, he lost that for quite a long time.
 

Idxomer

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Martial scored 11 goals in the league in his first season, only this season he has been able to score more. The three years in between have been mostly a huge waste where he didn't really develop much of his game. Actually, it's kind of amazing he was able to perform as well as he did this season in a position he's barely played since his debut season. Also, nothing much in his game today could be attributed to Mourinho and this is the coach he worked with the most.

Rashford is more difficult to say as he always played, but I would've liked to see how he would've developed under LVG.
 

Lord Megadrive

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I would say it more with Martial than Rashford. Martial is coming to the stage of his career where he should be getting the consistency, and game time. Would more game time have helped? Possibly, but Martial seems to be a hot and cold player. Not saying lazy but he does drop in and out of form. He does carry on working though. But, looking back I would say the signing of Sanchez did more damage to Martials development than Zlatan or Lukaku.
 

andersj

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Or another way of phrasing the same question did Mourinho?

They've both had career best seasons under Ole this season but are they behind where they could/should be due to the 2 and a bit years between 2016 and 2019?
Playing them in a system and in positions that did not suit them did. Martial would have been a lot better if he had more minutes as a striker today. He was wasted out wide and lost understanding for the striker role.
 

dove

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Probably not. Both still got plenty of minutes.
 

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Possibly. Both were shunted wide and/or benched for the other while our high profile strikers played up front.

That said, on the other side of the coin you don’t know what Zlatan did for their development either. They might have learnt a lot from him. Also, when we signed Zlatan, Rashford and Martial were 19 and 20, and you’d never rely on either of those to lead the line anyway. Most forwards seem to have a stint playing wide at that age, just to get minutes and experience. Otherwise they wouldn’t play at all. So no, I don’t think they’ve been adversely affected.
 

Leftback99

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Not really. Signing Sanchez to play left wing when they were getting decent game time between did though.

Zlatan was needed at the time, as was Lukaku or another striker when Zlatan got injured.
 

Sandikan

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Without any shadow of a doubt we can absolutely celebrate the setup we have now.

Those days where Sanchez was keeping both out seem almost crazy now.

Lukaku has an odd legacy though. Scored a lot more in a season than Martial and Rashford ever have, yet left with the perception of him being a crap footballer.
 

Ali Dia

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The signings themselves, no. The coach behind the signings, absolutely.
this. there would have been no point in jose sticking with them while slaughtering them in the press for every sub par performance. they are young players and need the arm around the shoulder and patience. they also need leaders around them in the dressing room.
 

Sayros

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Not really. Signing Sanchez to play left wing when they were getting decent game time between did though.

Zlatan was needed at the time, as was Lukaku or another striker when Zlatan got injured.
This for me. Zlatan and Lukaku didn't stop Martial from getting on the field, even if they occupied the position he preferred but, when Sanchez was signed, Mourinho shifted an in-form Martial from the left wing to the right one where he's never had any success to accommodate a new player that actually made his name for a while playing from that right wing. It took a long time for Mourinho to then realize his mistake and drop Sanchez. Overall, it's definitely Mourinho, the man has been nothing short of a devastating virus to this club and it has been a relief to see Ole come in and at least put some things right in regards to Martial and Rashford's development and ending this silly notion that they couldn't play together.

What a dinosaur Mourinho has become, it's pretty incredible just how quickly he has fallen to a mediocre manager at best.
 

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Ofcourse it did. Back then the LVG fans were telling everyone that the next step right for the United would be a homegrown manager who understands the club. In comes Ole and smacks all fans who were crying for Mourinho (and later on Pochettino) a new one.

Mourinho stalled the club by valuing less technical players, using the complete different tactics that was appreciated within the club only to play tactics that were associated with more physically bullying types of players. The club went from trying to build around team work to a team that values individual ability and performances much more. Mourinho has never used a non physical centre forward due to him being very reliant on a few tactics - he will build a club to fit his tactics than making a good tactic out of the players available. Whilst I loved Zlatan during the AC milan period - I hated him by the time he came to United because he was a selfish, one centred unit of a centre forward.

Jose should have come before LVG to work on the ageing players of SAF whilst LVG and Ole come in afterwards to build a more technical side. Pochettino would have ruined Martial and Rashford as well because he is so reliant on a strong physical centre forward in every club I have seen him at.
 
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Not Zlatan. I’m sure playing and training with him would have had a positive effect on the lads.

Lukuku clearly had a negative effect. Can you imagine training all week, and him being selected ahead of you.

As others have also said, the effect of Jose on Martial (in particular) and Rashford, whilst not necessarily negative, but certainly not as positive and nurturing as it should have been.
 

United58

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Lukaku has an odd legacy though. Scored a lot more in a season than Martial and Rashford ever have, yet left with the perception of him being a crap footballer.
He was kept up top and expected to be our main goal source; Martial and Rashford have 22 this season each, sharing goals with Bruno and Greenwood in recent months. All four are great in the build-up too; Martial's interplay especially has taken amazing leaps in the past 18 months
 

SAFMUTD

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Im from the ones who think if the player is good enough he will find his place no matter what, if a youngster didnt developed because he had someone who was better before him then he wasnt good enough in the first place.
 

JJ12

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They were stunted by both signings and the boss
 

Eddy_JukeZ

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Jose did.

Jose also misused Zlatan. He barely rotated him and it caused him to burn out the last 2 months of the season and then get injured.
 

Idxomer

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Ibra's time here is overrated. I don't think the team should've been this dependent on a 35 years old striker where everything had to go through him for an entire season. No wonder, we gave up on the league with six games or more to go.

The trouble is Lukaku was even a bigger mistake because we had a striker whom Mourinho tried to make him play like Ibra when he never was able to do that in his career and again our season seemed to have ended in March. The irony is he had someone who was could've played this role much better and instead shunted him wide and even when he performed there, he went and bought Sanchez to play in his place. The Sanchez debacle is still the most infuriating thing to happen post-Fergie.
 

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Nope, neither of them were ready to be relied upon for a full season... And football is a squad game. You need players / competition to compete.

I would say the fact that they're both now coming into themselves as footballers is a testament to them both developing at the right pace.
 

lex talionis

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As fantastic as Zlatan was for us, we reverted to relying on him too much to win a trophy when we really should have been focusing on developing team chemistry that was sustainable for a 2-3 year run for CL and even CL trophies. It was sensational to watch Zlatan rule the pitch, but everyone around him stagnated. We can thank Mourinho for putting on unwatchable football and letting Rashford and Martial drift along.

As for Lukaku, he put up decent numbers over the course of a season but he never did score an important goal against a top level opponent, did he? Maybe one or two, but I never got the sense that Lukaku could ever develop into a clutch goal scorer. Maybe he has now, but that was definitely not the case at Old Trafford.
 

Sandikan

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He was kept up top and expected to be our main goal source; Martial and Rashford have 22 this season each, sharing goals with Bruno and Greenwood in recent months. All four are great in the build-up too; Martial's interplay especially has taken amazing leaps in the past 18 months
Actually looking at the stats, Martial has more league goals than Lukaku did in his 27 goal season. 17 plays 16.
And Martial's 5 goals fewer has also come in 6 games fewer.

I've always much preferred Martial, so i'm glad the stats actually show him no less effective than Lukaku who like you say was the main man up front.
 

RedWat

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Without any shadow of a doubt we can absolutely celebrate the setup we have now.

Those days where Sanchez was keeping both out seem almost crazy now.

Lukaku has an odd legacy though. Scored a lot more in a season than Martial and Rashford ever have, yet left with the perception of him being a crap footballer.
Well in league games only both Martial & Rashford have scored more in a season than Lukaku has ever did for United.

In the case of Martial in particular we have to thank two often maligned people that he is here. The first is LVG. Martial is probably LVG's greatest Utd legacy when he bought him, and said he was for Utd's next manager (in reality he was for Utd's next manager after Mourhino).
And the other is Woodward who refused Mourhino's request to sell him. It was clear to see that Martial's confidence took a big hit during Mourhino's reign, constantly criticising him publicly and not playing him, and when he did play him and Martial scored in 5 consecutive games equalling a Utd record(and most likely saving Mourihno's job at the time), he still drops him when he gets Sanchez.
 

Bilbo

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Martial is never going to every managers cup of tea, just like certain managers won't be his. He needs an arm around his shoulder and Ole is obviously doing that. Its a good marriage.

As far as stalling his development, there is no way of knowing. Some players simply mature later than others, not just in ability but also mentally. This season is the first one where I've been confident that his head was in the right place, and its showing on the pitch. He'll get better too. Could be a big, big player next season
 

Njord

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Imo. if players have the correct attitude, competition for places shouldn't be a problem. If you're not playing, you can work harder in training and focus on taking your chances when you get them.

But when players work hard and take their chances, but don't get rewarded with more playing time, it might impact their confidence, motivation and as a result, their development.

In this sense I think signing Zlatan and Lukaku was okay, but playing them for 90 minutes every week, regardless of their performances was the problem. And even more so with the Sanchez signing, when Rashford and Martial were having good seasons alternating on the left.
 

Suedesi

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Or another way of phrasing the same question did Mourinho?

They've both had career best seasons under Ole this season but are they behind where they could/should be due to the 2 and a bit years between 2016 and 2019?
Mourinho stalled AM big time. Martial played his best football under LVG and now Ole.
  • He was marginalized under Mourinho - first had to give up his number and make way for Zlatan.
  • Then he became a chess piece for Mourinho to land Perisic (thankfully it didn't happen)
  • Then had to make way for Lukaku
  • Had to learn how to become a defensive forward as the Portuguese maestro no doubt wanted it
  • Mourinho kept moaning and jibing at the player - think the last straw was about Martial flying early from the US preseason to be with gf/wife during childbirth - I thought Mourinho was needlessly being a cnut (but then again he is a moaning cnut so it comes natural).
JM/AM didn't have a good realtionship - glad JM is gone. Now he can try and transform Kane into a defensive forward.
 
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MalcolmTucker

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While I think it was stupid for Mourinho to strip Martial the number 9 and give it to Zlatan, I have no problem with the signing of Ibrahimovic at that time. It was always short term and while I do think his time here is slightly overrated, he was still good for us.

Signing Lukaku was stupid, because even then he wasn't as good as Martial and he didn't fit Mourinho's style of football. Beyond his height and weight, Martial is a much better Mourinho number 9 due to his first touch, strength, finishing and hold up play. Martial was wasted under Mourinho, but as the poster above said, perhaps the struggles of the Jose years has made Martial the striker we see today. I fully expect Martial to score 30 goals next season in all competitions.
 

meamth

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Martial scored 11 goals in the league in his first season, only this season he has been able to score more. The three years in between have been mostly a huge waste where he didn't really develop much of his game. Actually, it's kind of amazing he was able to perform as well as he did this season in a position he's barely played since his debut season. Also, nothing much in his game today could be attributed to Mourinho and this is the coach he worked with the most.

Rashford is more difficult to say as he always played, but I would've liked to see how he would've developed under LVG.
Spot on, absolutely exciting seeing Martial from one trick pony to this complete, robust forward.

His strength at least doubled up since his first season with the club.
 

Raoul

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They both helped both of them imo. We shouldn't be in the business of avoiding signing experienced stars because we think it may hurt the development of players who may in the end not wind up good enough.
 

Dahmmy

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They both helped both of them imo. We shouldn't be in the business of avoiding signing experienced stars because we think it may hurt the development of players who may in the end not wind up good enough.
agreed

older experienced players can help rather than hinder younger players, a feature of our teams has always been a mix of experienced and youngsters.. Ibra was as many others stated a short term necessity, but he bought a winning mentality that would have rubbed off on others..( we hope!) in SAF days we bought players like Laurent Blanc and Larsson, no spring chickens....