Mata was offloaded by Mourinho back in January 2014 whilst at Chelsea. Rojo, Blind and Schweinsteiger were all acquisitions of Louis van Gaal who have at times struggled to cope with the dynamic and aggressive nature of English football.
Castles wrote that these four players are victims of Mourinho’s decision to “trim the size of the dysfunctional squad inherited from van Gaal in order to make space for what he describes as “fundamental” and “supplementary” recruits.”
In the context of Mourinho’s footballing vision, it is easy to see why these four are surplus to requirements.
Mata, perhaps the most obvious victim, lacks the strength and tenacity required by Mourinho’s conception of an attacking player.
Rojo and Blind lack the solid assurance usually seen with an archetypal Mourinho-esque defender, exemplified further perhaps by the introduction of Bailly.
And Schweinsteiger, despite being a fans’ favourite, doesn’t inject enough energy and power – two fundamental attributes in the eyes of the 53-year-old – into the midfield. Keeping the German, however, would hold some value. As seen last season, Bastian is a wonderful asset to have off the bench in order to close the game out, alongside being a superb mentor for various younger players.