It’s fair to say Jose Mourinho is taking his time to make an impact at Manchester United.
The Special One’s arrival looks unlikely to herald immediate success this season, but he has kept busy in re-shaping the squad he inherited from Louis van Gaal.
One of his more notable decisions was to employ Antonio Valencia at full-back, and it is one of the few moves which has 100% paid off.
The former winger has overcome his injury problems to shine for the Red Devils, and it’s almost as if Mourinho had foreseen that they would be left short in defence.
Yet, it seems Mourinho always saw this potential in the Ecuadorian.
According to the Sun, the Portuguese tried to take him to Real Madrid, whom he managed for three years between 2010-2013, for that very reason, but his advances were rebuffed by United.
“I tried to sign Antonio a number of years ago, when I was at Madrid,” he said.
“Even though he was not playing right-back at the time, I thought he could be phenomenal in that position.
“As it was, United told me ‘no chance!’”
Mourinho may be playing up the size of his crystal ball, but it’s true that few would have predicted Valencia’s quality this season. Despite United’s struggles in both the league and the Europa League, he has been one of the standout performers, so his manager must be glad he wasn’t allowed to leave for the Bernabeu now.