And despite being largely peripheral, often criticised figures, Jones and Rojo have displayed signs of genuine chemistry, producing another convincing display against Ronald Koeman’s side.
Mourinho, speaking after the game, singled out the defensive duo for praise after another stellar defensive performance.
“There have been amazing performances from Jones and Rojo, players who have never played for the club for the past two years,” he said.
“To perform in five consecutive matches against difficult opposition, I am so happy with the individual performances.”
Various reports have suggested that Mourinho is keen on bringing another centre-back to Old Trafford during the January transfer window, with Benfica’s Victor Lindelof, Atletico Madrid’s José Giménez and Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane serving as potential targets.
Then again, with Jones and Rojo improving every game, it feels as if Mourinho – also buoyed by the imminent return of Smalling and Bailly, alongside the ever-assured and currently available Daley Blind – may not need to delve into the murky January transfer market.
This was, after all, another performance that surprised United fans: organised, resolute, confident, and so unfairly stripped of the clean sheet it deserved following Marouane Fellaini‘s moment of madness.