Chelsea old boy Florent Malouda is backing Jose Mourinho and his new signings to have a good season in the Premier League.
Malouda, who was one of Mourinho’s final signings in his first period at Stamford Bridge, reckons Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba won’t be “scared of pressure” that has existed since Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign.
The Red Devils have raised hopes following the arrivals of big-money signings Pogba, Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
And, after missing out on Champions League football in two out of the last three seasons, supporters and pundits alike now expect United to challenge for the Premier League this year.
Malouda thinks United will improve under Mourinho but admits he was sad to see him leave Chelsea part-way through last campaign.
“It is strange to see him managing United,” said the 36-year-old.
“But I always wish Jose the best as he is a very good person. I know he wants to be successful and he is at one of the top clubs, where he always should be.
“He should never have left a top club like Chelsea, but that is the manager’s life.
“United is a big institution, a club designed to win.
“The transition was difficult after Ferguson, which you can understand. But with Mourinho they have someone with the capacity to bring it back to where they should be.
“When you see the players United have brought in, they are winners.
“With Zlatan, you must respect what he has done in France. When you see what Paul Pogba has done at the age of 23 at Juventus, it is impressive.
“They will be very dangerous in the Premier League.
“They have top winners from the manager through to the players. People with great character. They are not scared of pressure and maybe that is what was missing.”
Many believe Mourinho’s hardline approach to management got him the boot at Chelsea last season but Malouda likes the Portuguese coach’s honesty.
“He is someone I respect a lot – a top coach and a top man as well. He is someone who tells the truth. Some might not like it, but I like that in a person.
“This season will be very open.
“I think Chelsea also have a chance with Antonio Conte, who is a good coach, too — very competitive and will get the best out of the squad.”