Jose Mourinho has questioned Bayern Munich’s Renato Sanches for moving to the German side instead of Manchester United over the summer.
The Portuguese youngster, who starred at Euro 2016, was on the verge of a move to Old Trafford back in May, only for the deal to eventually break down.
Sanches eventually moved to Bayern instead and has since made just seven starts for the Bundesliga champions; Mourinho noted earlier in the season that, had he been appointed earlier, the 19-year-old would be a Man United player by now.
And Mourinho, when discussing the role of youngsters at big sides, noted that Sanches may have made a mistake in choosing Bayern over United.
“We want the young boys to play and to perform,” Mourinho said. “At the same time, the best teams want to win and it is difficult to win with the learning curve of the young boys.
“You go to other clubs where young players are being developed. It’s easy when there is no pressure playing in mid-table where you can win today, lose tomorrow. It’s different at big clubs.
“There is a Portuguese kid, Renato Sanches, who is a European champion. But he doesn’t play in Bayern Munich.
“The last match he played, they lost to Hoffenheim. Will he play in the Champions League quarter-finals? I have my doubts. You know, there are contradictions in all of us.”
Mourinho is right in noting that there is an element of contradiction embedded in the psyche of everybody. I, for example, consider Edison Cavani to be a mediocre-at-best striker, but would warmly greet his arrival at Old Trafford in the summer.
And Mourinho is no different: here he is, for instance, promoting giving opportunities to youngsters a mere few hours after ignoring either Axel Tuanzebe or Timothy Fosu-Mensah in a dead rubber second half with Sunderland and throwing on Daley Blind instead.
That said, his point regarding Sanches is a sound one: the youngster ought to have known that the standard required for regular starters at Bayern exceeds his current ability; he would, no doubt, have enjoyed much more success breaking into Mourinho’s starting XI. Hindsight really is a wonderful thing, isn’t it, Renato?