Manchester United has had a brutal start to the 2018-2019 season, but they finally appear to have some hope after the sacking of former manager Jose Mourinho. Interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has brought a new philosophy to the team that has changed the outlook on the season from a lost cause to one that could still bring Champions League football next year. And that change has had a very positive impact on several players that might be on your Fantasy Premier League squad.
1. Paul Pogba
There is no secret that Mourinho and Paul Pogba didn’t exactly get along as their oft-discussed relationship didn’t result in either individual reaching the height of their talents. But with Mourinho out of the picture, Pogba already looks like the player that United thought they signed in the first place, which could help FPL squads in a major way.
With Mourinho’s philosophy generally centered around parking the bus and trying to grind out 1-0 wins, a playmaker like Pogba wasn’t often able to properly showcase his abilities. But with a more attack-minded manager in control, the French World Cup winner has been more able to do what makes him unique on the field. If United can hire a permanent manager that prioritizes attacking in a similar way, this could be more than just a fluke from Paul Pogba.
2. David De Gea
No goalkeeper out of the elite clubs in the Premier League has been put into a tougher situation than David De Gea during the Mourinho era. He was asked to make countless saves that most keepers couldn’t dream of making, because the team frequently sat back defensively without much impetus to attack. But De Gea should have an easier time for the rest of this season.
It isn’t difficult to deduce that the more offense-oriented United will be content to possess the ball more frequently in the attacking third. And, as a result, they will spend less time in their own defensive third. Less time in the defensive third will mean fewer shots that De Gea has to face, increasing his odds of clean sheets. Instead of a fluke goal here or there squeaking in against lesser opponents, United should be able to keep the ball far away from dangerous positions more often.
This shift in philosophy can also help United’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League. The Champions League qualification odds for Manchester United have improved since the managerial change, with the relief in pressure on De Gea and the team’s defenders playing a significant role in that shift.
Both Pogba and De Gea will see the most significant boosts from the end of Jose Mourinho’s tenure, which makes sense given that they are two of the most frequently used United players in Fantasy Premier League. And given that they tend to be two of the most expensive players on United’s team, this may finally make both of them worth the price that is asked for them.