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Football is changing, slowly but surely. After the dramatic rise and fall of Mourinho and the meteoric reign over the footballing world that Messi and Ronaldo have held for the past decade, the dust is finally starting to settle.
The success of Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp at Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool respectively combined with England’s return to (somewhat) dominance both domestically and internationally has been a huge shock to other European clubs and leagues.
Real Madrid’s last true ‘Galactico’ signing was back in 2014 when they captured the signature of wickedly exciting James Rodriguez off the back of a stunning World Cup campaign, and it’s no coincidence that they haven’t made a signing quite as high-profile since then.
The success of players such as Leroy Sane, Marcus Rashford and Mo Salah has proved that the right coach makes a difference to the player and not the other way around.
Real Madrid’s reappointment of Zidane at the helm only further proves this, as they look to nurture young exciting talent over signing ‘ready-made’ players - having said that, the signing of Eden Hazard, if they make it, will certainly be considered as buying the real deal however, I don’t feel as though this has the same caliber as bringing Ronaldo to the Bernabeu for a world record fee and parading him in front of fans at the stadium… it feels different.
It’s a move from United that further proves the shift in attitude that the footballing world has decided to take, favouring fresh talent that can create a culture at a club as opposed to a ‘big name’ expected to make an instant impact.
Despite the fact Ole has made an instant impact, it’s a move more tailored to the future of the club, with rumours circulating around Ole signing hot British talent in Declan Rice, Jadon Sancho and Aran Wan-Bissaka.
Now, don’t get me wrong - marquee signings will still be made, but I think that we’ll see teams looking toward home grown talent or youth potential more often at all of the large European clubs.
It provides coaches in football a real opportunity to shape their own philosophies and help to shape cultures at clubs, creating long-lasting legacies to buck the trend of hiring and firing before a manager gets a chance to build their own empire.
Chelsea’s reluctance to act on Sarri’s lacklustre performance as a coach could be viewed as a huge turning point in the current culture, especially at a club renowned for being trigger happy with their coaching staff.
It’s an exciting time for England, upcoming coaches and indeed young footballers worldwide as football shifts out of the Mourinho age and back to the Klopp of world sport.