Boonen impressed under Kieran McKenna for the Under-18s last season and could have earned a call-up to the Reserves, or possibly even the first team, but recently chose to join K.V. Oostende instead.
Mourinho’s relationship with his players became strained towards the end of last term, with Luke Shaw, Eric Bailly, Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford all eliciting frustration and anger – sometimes expressed in public – from the boss.
And Boonen, speaking to media in Belgium, revealed how Mourinho was a cold figure in first team training and isolated himself from some players.
Indy Boonen on his #mufc days
🗣 “I trained a few times with the first squad. Mourinho? He didn’t look at me. He shook my hand, like he did with the others, but he was very distant. He isolated himself with a few players. He never talked to me.”
— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) June 21, 2018
Do not let the World Cup distract you from the fact that, unfortunately, the parts are in place for a classic Mourinho third season meltdown next year. The cracks, so to speak, are already starting to emerge in various places.
His strained relationship with a large portion of the squad, stemming largely from the attitude of players, has already prompted Anthony Martial into deciding to leave. Marcus Rashford has likewise struggled recently, despite looking devastating as ever for England.
And you sense Mourinho, should he not be handed the signings he wants this summer, may crank things up even further next season. We really could be in line for a miserable implosion.