|Manchester United are set to smash the world transfer record by re-signing Paul Pogba|
At some stage in the not so distant future, it will be official that Manchester United have re-signed French midfielder Paul Pogba for 100m quid or so. Is the fee ridiculous? Of course it is. However, in an age of football where David Luiz would cost you half that sum, it is not exactly preposterous that a player who would walk into every club side in world football would command double the fee.
For Manchester United, his capture completes the major surgery of the spine that the club has has been desperately short of since the summer of 2010. In that summer, Sir Alex Ferguson replaced Cristiano Ronaldo with the combined signings of Michael Owen, Antonio Valencia and Gabriel Obertan.
The knight's ruthlessness at picking up silverware hid the dearth of quality in his side. Indeed, United only lost the title to Chelsea that season by a solitary point. The 2011 triumph was perhaps the most functional title win of Sir Alex's time at the club. United were hardly the oiled machine and often played akin to their shortcomings especially in midfield but ground out the results required to win the league with a couple of games to spare. Only once, against Barcelona in the Champions League final of 2011 was the scale of United's limitations laid bare for all to see. How could the English Champions be so out-thought, out-fought, outplayed, out-classed by the Champions from Spain? Was the gap between the two leagues really that big?
The answer lay in the depth of quality between the to sides. Whilst United were still reliant on an effectively retired Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick to provide silk and steel in the middle of the Park, the Catalans could call on a generation of Spain's best midfielders all time.
Sir Alex's single mindedness at instilling a winning mentality in his players ensured that the club still managed a title challenge in 2012 and he only needed to acquire Robin van Persie to reclaim the league title in 2013 from the Bitters down the road.
Since his retirement however, the club has suffered for a lack of leadership with the same mindset to inspire a group of players to perform beyond the sum of their parts. David Moyes failed to push United beyond the levels of quality they had and Louis van Gaal quite simply didn't 'get' the club.
Jose Mourinho's summer spending, has targeted the spine of the team that has since been abandoned ever since the days United count themselves as a side with a solid spine across the team. In Bailly, Pogba, Mkhitarayan and Zlatan, Mourinho has a balance he can wok with that his two predecessors lacked. Ironically, he has achieved it with less money spent than what Louis van Gaal was backed with to achieve the same.
United's plight over the past three seasons has underlined the importance of acquiring a manager who matches the club's ambition and mentality. All the financial resources in the world would matter little if a football club cannot get itself the right leadership.
Having hoarded the club around the world to 66 sponsors for just about everything you can get your hands on at Old Trafford, it made for little logic that the club couldn't transform its financial superiority to silverware.
The only caution that the new management ought to take is that the club prides itself with mixing the best of Europe with home grown talent. It remains a facet of the club that fans take pride in. Even so, building the spine of a team in the way the manager is just as necessary. Indeed, it eases the orientation of breakthrough talent if they are brought into a team with a strong spine.
If, Jose still has doubters about the morality of his appointment as manager, he is doing a pretty good job of showing up the two men before him and in effect validating his appointment.