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

Jimmyheals

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I don’t think it was Zlatan and Lukaku, I think it was down to José having no idea, or desire how to properly utilize either one. His entire plan was a large target man #9, and funneling our entire attack through him. While Rashford and Martial are better at creating in space. I got the feeling they were being discouraged from take-ones, and it was preferred they play safe and through #9. Taking creativity out of their game would be what I think hurt them most. Jose has no idea how to develop young creative attackers, that was the problem.
In addition, as many have pointed out Sanchez signing probably did the most damage. At least the other two provided quality and goals at times.
 

paulscholes18

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Yes, along with Sanchez & Jose, Mourinho is the worst manager you can have when you have talented youngsters. Ole has to get much credit for making Matial his no9 and Rashford left wing
 

SadlerMUFC

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The signing that made no sense to me was Sanchez. At the time Martial was playing really well from the left wing and Rashford was his back up. Bringing in Sanchez made absolutely no sense unless he was going to play on the right. As for Lukaku and Ibra, I don't really think they had much of an affect on their development. Both players are strikers and if we look at Martial and Rashford, the only one of those two that anyone thought would play in the #9 was Marcus, but as young as he was, he wasn't going to be doing that role week in and week out. As it turns out, Tony is a fantastic #9 and it's a good thing that Ole is here, because if Jose was still in charge, you can guarantee that he would be at another club right now...
 
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Zlatan - no

Lukaku - yes

although neither player is responsible. Jose stalled their development
 

WR10

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Yes. But he made the right decision. They were still kids and were performing like kids. They still hadn't developed the ability to carry games like they did now and he had to get proven performers.
 

DannyDee

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Lukaku did, and it was a dick move to take Martial's number. I will say though, Lukaku was a symptom, not the cause. If it wasn't Lukaku it would have been someone else. Mourinho had no faith in youth. Which is why, he would have probably worked replacing SAF with a veteran team (to carry us one or two more years before a full implosion) but wasn't really built for when he was hired. He was never going to be the guy to take Martial, Rashford, and Shaw to the next step. That just isn't him. The only young players he seems to work alright with is young CBs.
 

BAMSOLA

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No, giving young players a clear path to the first team with absolutely no competition is not the way to go.

They will have learnt from watching two accomplished professionals do their thing.

Can we stop assuming that competition for places holds back young talent?

Close thread.
 

Idxomer

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No, giving young players a clear path to the first team with absolutely no competition is not the way to go.

They will have learnt from watching two accomplished professionals do their thing.

Can we stop assuming that competition for places holds back young talent?

Close thread.
Competition is healthy but Mourinho didn't bring Lukaku and Ibra for that. He let Martial and Rashford both fight it out between them while being positive they had no chance of displacing the main man. The main man who could no wrong in the eyes of the manager.

Healthy competition is Teves in 2007 or when RVN was being phased out in favor of Saha because the former was hindering the young talent development and playing style.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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Let's be real here. During Mourinho 2nd season, we were expecting us to sign Griezmann and play him as no 10 behind Rashord. And instead, what we got is not a second striker or no 10 but actually a 24 years old no 9 Lukaku and we spent massive fees for that role. Lukaku's signing was clearly means no good at all for both Rashford & Martial development. Mourinho doesn't know how to coach & improve these young attackers, he said you can’t work on your finishing, you’re born with it [natural qualities]. That was his principle.

Ole took in charge and told Lukaku that you won't be guaranteed starter and need to compete with Martial & Rashford. He didn't like the idea and choose to leave for a manager that can give him the guarantee spot like Jose & Conte
 

Ekeke

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Yes and I thought they would when it happened. The problem is not competition. Its that Mourinho didnt like putting a young forward in as a striker. He likes his older players he's signed himself. Competition is great, but not when there's clear favourites and bias that mean it isnt a competition at all.
 

rcoobc

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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).
Why not, plenty of others have played at 18!
 

DannyDee

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No, giving young players a clear path to the first team with absolutely no competition is not the way to go.

They will have learnt from watching two accomplished professionals do their thing.

Can we stop assuming that competition for places holds back young talent?

Close thread.
I agree competition is good, but he bought a younger striker with the clear intent to block them. It was pretty obvious Mourinho wasn't going to have a fair competition between Lukaku and the other two.
 

ghaliboy

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Martial's movement was still dreadful well after Zlatan and Lukau left and has only really shown improvement since the restart this year. The improvement you could probably put down to himself or working with the current setup. So I'd say its a flat out no on this one.
 

treble_winner

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I agree competition is good, but he bought a younger striker with the clear intent to block them. It was pretty obvious Mourinho wasn't going to have a fair competition between Lukaku and the other two.
I don't understand what does it mean "intent to block them"? Because Lukaku was young, that's why you assume it would block Martial's progress?
Then why did Ole approach Haaland before he chose Dortmund? Pretty clear our intention regarding Haaland was solid. Assuming we succeeded in the last Winter Transfer and landed Haaland, do you think it would "block" Martial/Rashford in the same way? Considering we may have Sancho soon also.
 

Red Star One

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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).
Plenty depends on the player I guess. You’ve had a few super talented strikers that were definitely good enough at 18-19 (Owen, Rooney, Mbappe to name a few) and I think regular game time allowed them to become great players. So far I don’t think we’ve seen anything that would suggest Mason has any attitude issues that would make him complacent due to the fact he’s one of the first names on the team sheet. If Ole think he’s good enough to be our regular starter, he should be our regular starter.
 

hmchan

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I agree competition is good, but he bought a younger striker with the clear intent to block them. It was pretty obvious Mourinho wasn't going to have a fair competition between Lukaku and the other two.
All these descriptions make Mourinho look more toxic than he really was, and hence the inexplicable hatred towards him. It's true that he didn't trust in Rashford and Martial, and he yes lacked the ability to improve them, but why on earth would he intentionally block their development?
 

DannyDee

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All these descriptions make Mourinho look more toxic than he really was, and hence the inexplicable hatred towards him. It's true that he didn't trust in Rashford and Martial, and he yes lacked the ability to improve them, but why on earth would he intentionally block their development?
He intentionally blocked their path to the first team in the #9 role by buying someone only 2 years older than Martial. He had limited interest in giving Martial a fair shot at that role deciding to drop 75m on Lukaku to play it. He had almost no faith in Martial as a #9, which seems to be his idea long-term role. He misjudged him as a winger or didn't trust him at all.
 
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No, giving young players a clear path to the first team with absolutely no competition is not the way to go.

They will have learnt from watching two accomplished professionals do their thing.

Can we stop assuming that competition for places holds back young talent?

Close thread.
Poor post.

Nothing wrong with competition, but when Lukuku plays every game, despite going months without scoring, that’s not competition, that’s being blocked.

As an example, bring in Sancho, and you have him, Greenwood, Rashford and Martial in competition across the front three, and that will bring the best out of them.

Lukuku wasn’t an accomplished professional. If they learnt anything from him it was how not to be unprofessional, how not overeat, how not to throw your team mates under the bus, how not to have the first touch of a non league striker, and how not be be knackered after 20 mins. Imagine training with him all week, and him being picked ahead of you, demoralising.

They would have learnt a great deal from Zlatan, as he’s the consummate professional and an absolute legend, the complete opposite to Lukuku.
 

ZupZup

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Mourinho is at fault really. In terms of Lukaku, he was basically undroppable regardless of performance. That was an issue.

Martial is the better player and this season he’s had the chance to show it.
 

midnightmare

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Getting these two was not the issue. For example, Ole himself seems to want to add more strikers / forwards (this after the form our forwards have shown this season) and I reckon we can all agree wholeheartedly that he is absolutely right as we need depth and competition for places. The issue was the manager and his approach to things. It was up to the manager to ensure that the games were spread around fairly, that there was genuine and fair competition for spots and that the clearly talented young guys got eased in (like how Mason has been this season) and improved (as Martial, Rashford, Mason and co. have done this season).

Instead, what we got was a manager that went by the credo of "That's why always Lukaku". He had absolutely no intention of making it a genuine competition for the starting spot (Lukaku's) and he proceeded to take a very public dump on Tony and Rashford at every given opportunity. I won't go into the "improving players" aspect at all. If they're not playing and are being run down in public, this becomes pretty much moot.

Competition doesn't stunt players - it's how it's managed.

PS (Edited to add): Focused on Lukaku here. Zlatan signing was something I saw as good when it was made. I was naive enough to think that Zlatan was being taken with the short-term aim of mentoring Martial and Rashford (then both very young and raw indeed) and helping them to gradually and comfortably step up and take over the mantle of starters as he himself slowed down. I still feel Zlatan being the pro he is, the two of them probably learned a bunch about being a forward from the big man. The massive issue really was the following season.
 

The Siege

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Were they ready at that point to lead the attack for United? Not even close.
So we bought players who were, and expected Rash and Martial to grow and get closer to their level.
Lukaku and Zlatan were very good signings for us. We just built absolutely unsustainable systems around them. Mourinho hoped we'd have enough firepower at an individual level and enough defensive organisation to concede 1 less than we scored. And he failed at that, it's simple. He tried to win something quick, instead of building a team that could make winning a habit.
 

minas

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The signing of Mourinho stall Rashford and Martial's development!
 

hmchan

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He intentionally blocked their path to the first team in the #9 role by buying someone only 2 years older than Martial. He had limited interest in giving Martial a fair shot at that role deciding to drop 75m on Lukaku to play it. He had almost no faith in Martial as a #9, which seems to be his idea long-term role. He misjudged him as a winger or didn't trust him at all.
If Mourinho wanted to block Rashford and Martial's path, he would have gone for a young striker instead of the verteran Ibrahimovic at the first place. The only reason why Lukaku had been bought was Ibrahimovic's injury and he didn't feel Rashford and Martial mature and consistent enough to lead the line, not to intentionally block their development.
 

Lentwood

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No, we have to stop thinking that senior players stall the development of younger players.

The club have shown that if you're good enough you'll get a chance
 

VeevaVee

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I'd say maybe so, but I'd also say that's how it works. You can't just play inexperienced players that are perhaps out of form and low on confidence at times too (yeah I know SAF did). It's not all about the future. It has to be somewhat about the now too.

The biggest issue though, in my opinion, has been a number of our managers not having a clue where to play people. A good few on here had Martial down as a winger for a long time because of one good season there, and it seemed a few supposed world class managers couldn't see past that either.
 

cyril C

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No, 50% and the wrong answer.

NO Ibrahim did not hinder their progress because he is always presented as a temp. With result coming in, there was less pressure on both of them. Remember why we sacked LVG?

With Lukaku on board, Rashford and Martial had to be rotated and get 50% game time. Not a serious impact IMO as both get game time.

The real impact, game time, morale, and possibly the last straw, was Sanchez. You can see how we fell off the cliff in 2nd half of the season, and never bound back.
 

Untd55

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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.
He was the reason we beat PSG and gave Solskjaer the permanent job.

I think the biggest shame is that Ibrahimovic got injured.
 

MalcolmTucker

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He was the reason we beat PSG and gave Solskjaer the permanent job.

I think the biggest shame is that Ibrahimovic got injured.
Apart from the two goals vs. PSG (which came from opposition mistakes), his record vs. top teams was atrocious. 1 goal in 22 games vs. the top 6 in the league.

I think it's extremely generous to say he is the reason we beat PSG and got Ole the permanent job.
 

Rampant Red Rodriguez

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The signings themselves, no. The coach behind the signings, absolutely.
Aye, this. The coach with his defensive 'don't shoot tactics', but I think Lukaku and especially Ibra helped shape 2 young strikers into the world beaters we potentially have today. M


Mourinho though did inadvertently develop our mental toughness imo, but his idea of football is just crap
 

Untd55

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Apart from the two goals vs. PSG (which came from opposition mistakes), his record vs. top teams was atrocious. 1 goal in 22 games vs. the top 6 in the league.

I think it's extremely generous to say he is the reason we beat PSG and got Ole the permanent job.
I wouldn't say it is generous; he scored two goals in that game; we were dominated in the rest of it. Would Solskjaer have got the job permanently without the PSG win? Judging by the end of that season, I doubt it.
 

MalcolmTucker

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I wouldn't say it is generous; he scored two goals in that game; we were dominated in the rest of it. Would Solskjaer have got the job permanently without the PSG win? Judging by the end of that season, I doubt it.
The unbeaten run preceding it might have had something to do with the appointment...
 

roonster09

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I wouldn't say it is generous; he scored two goals in that game; we were dominated in the rest of it. Would Solskjaer have got the job permanently without the PSG win? Judging by the end of that season, I doubt it.
Yes, Solskjaer would have got job irrespective of PSG result.
 

amolbhatia50k

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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.
I agree with the premise of blending experience with youthful and both parts of the football team working in tandem to improve one another. But I do think in this case it proved detrimental to Martial and Rashfords development as it involved a coach who was mediocre at developing young attacking players, who clearly put experience (Ibra) ahead of youth and function (Lukaku) ahead of flair (Martial). I'm sure another could make both flourish together but we had Jose and I think the impact was negative especially in Martial's case. I mean, how could a languid-ish player ever be good?!
 

lex talionis

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He was the reason we beat PSG and gave Solskjaer the permanent job.

I think the biggest shame is that Ibrahimovic got injured.
Point taken. But might that have been the only goal against in a crucial match against a top opponent he ever faced as a United man?

The bigger shame was Zlatan going down. We played everything through him and he was brilliant for us. A shame that in the end there was no way to keep Zlatan and develop Martial into the player he's since become.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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I think Rashford is developing fine. Martial was stalled by Mourinho.
When developing, it's not just about giving them playing time but also coaching. Mourinho made the statement before that you can't work on your finishing, it's just natural. On the other hand, Ole is the opposite of Mourinho when it's about man management & coaching on attackers.
 

Nori-

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Most likely with Lukaku but defo not with Zlatan.

The guy is a footballing legend and has incredible experience with so many clubs/leagues.

Rashford would train with him almost every day and you can imagine the priceless knowledge he would have picked up. I'd argue Zlatan helped Rashford develop quicker.
 

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I was thinking about this a few months ago and wanted to post about it but never got round to it. I honestly think that jose inadvertently helped their development and long term careers by limiting their starts. If we had flogged them into the ground like war donkeys every single match, they might have faded out like other numerous teen stars over the years and been looking at winding down in their very early 30s.