The idea Manchester United lost to a significantly inferior Sevilla side in the Champions League on Tuesday did not sit well with Jose Mourinho, who is adamant "many" of the Spanish club's players would go straight into his starting XI.
Although Sevilla – fifth in LaLiga – have been erratic this season, they left Old Trafford with a 2-1 win thanks to Wissam Ben Yedder's heroics off the bench – the French striker scoring a brace within six minutes of his introduction.
During a fractious news conference on Friday, Mourinho insisted Sevilla's victory was not as much of a surprise as many claimed it to be, convinced Vincenzo Montella had at his disposal numerous players who would have little difficulty getting into the United team.
He said: "Do you think they didn't have any players who could play direct in my team? I cannot name them – if I name them their agents will jump with happiness and they will say: 'Tag, tag, price', this and that. In Sevilla, there are many players who would play in my team."
Mourinho says he cannot name them, but we can.
Having struggled early on in a physical tussle with Lukaku, Lenglet subsequently took a step back and decided to read the game instead of trying to confront the Belgian one-on-one, a shift that saw him take charge in their personal duel. Given the inconsistency of all of United's centre-backs, perhaps with the exception of Eric Bailly, 22-year-old Lenglet would be an interesting option. They will need to act quickly, however – Barcelona are lurking.
United's problems at left-back are well-documented, but Sevilla's Escudero would solve them once and for all. Initially signed as a cheap back-up option, he established himself as a key part of Jorge Sampaoli's side last term because of his incredible capacity to get up and down the flank and be effective at both ends of the pitch. Ashley Young's days as United's improbable first-choice left-back would be long gone with Escudero's arrival.
Undoubtedly the jewel in Sevilla's crown, there is no other player in Montella's squad who is missed as much as Banega when he is absent. A ferocious competitor, technically immense and a calming presence on the ball like none of his opponents on Tuesday, Banega is the midfield metronome United fans want Paul Pogba to be.
By no means a stranger to United given his days with Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City in the Premier League, but N'Zonzi's talents have arguably only been truly admired since moving to Spain. An elegant and effortless style on the ball catches the eye, but he is just as adept at destroying in front of the back four. He alone did the jobs Marouane Fellaini and Nemanja Matic were deployed to do in United's midfield.
Although Alexis Sanchez, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford have all been shunted out to the right flank in recent times, none of them have had much of an impact there. Sarabia, handed his Real Madrid debut by Mourinho in 2010, has scored 19 goals and set up another 23 in all competitions since the start of last season from his right-wing berth, including a perfectly weighted pass for Ben Yedder's opener on Tuesday. He may not be the most thrilling choice, but he is mightily effective.
Wissam Ben Yedder
Perhaps Ben Yedder would only be a rotation option at United given Lukaku's presence, but with Zlatan Ibrahimovic heading out, Mourinho could do with more options. The Frenchman has struggled at times this season, though that is arguably down to playing in a side that does not create a huge amount of chances. Against United he showed just how useful he can be, coming off the bench and producing a clinical display. Comparisons with Javier Hernandez would not be wide of the mark, though Ben Yedder is significantly more gifted technically.
2017/18 @ChampionsLeague goals— Sevilla FC (@SevillaFC_ENG) March 14, 2018
Cristiano Ronaldo @WissBenYedder
...and that's just since the group stage
|Eagles RBs Ajayi & Sproles out Sunday v Colts|
|Ronaldo looking forward after Champions League red card - Alex Sandro|
|Rangers fire manager Jeff Banister after four seasons|
|Inter captain Icardi can improve - Spalletti|
|Jadeja and Rohit shine as India maintain 100 per cent record|
|Fisher shares lead in Vilamoura after record-breaking 59|
|Messi the best I´ve seen - Lamela|
|Silva demands end to Gomes ´rumours´ and targets early October return|
|Milner over Pogba, says Souness|
|Brazil call up Malcom, drop Thiago Silva and Willian|
|Denly thought Test chance may never come|
|Benitez tells FA to examine Zaha red card comments|
|Bjorn unsure of future after Ryder Cup|
|Tebas still optimistic over Girona-Barcelona in Miami despite RFEF setback|
|Emery promises more chances for frustrated Leno|
|Cahill considering Chelsea departure in January|
|Kaepernick to receive Harvard´s highest honour in African, African-American studies|
|Defending champion Ostapenko dumped out of Korea Open|
|Mourinho is an inspiration - Nuno|
|Witty Wilson ´delighted´ to be praised for Fisher heroics while sitting on couch|
|Burns, Denly and Stone in England squad for Sri Lanka Tests|
|Aspas reveals interest from Real Madrid, Atletico|
|Arsenal´s Mkhitaryan a doubt for Everton match|
|Klopp demands Liverpool ´stay angry´ against Southampton|
|Long-serving Tabarez signs four-year Uruguay extension|
|Injured Mendy ruled out of Cardiff trip|
|Douglas Costa out up to a month with ankle & thigh injuries|
|Slater shrugs off Feki hit amid Grand Final suspension concerns|
|Crisis? What crisis? Klopp unconcerned by Salah form|
|I didn´t convince him, he decided for himself - Guardiola says thanks to Aguero|
|Leno frustrated by Arsenal bench role|
|Joshua almost 2st heavier than Povetkin for Wembley bout|
|From salvation to the record books - Fisher revels in European Tour´s first 59|
|Lahm says Germany best for Euro 2024 as UEFA publishes report|
|Lopetegui backs Modric over Ronaldo for individual prizes|
|Goretzka to start against former club Schalke, confirms Kovac|
|Fisher shoots first 59 in European Tour history|
|Simeone defends Ronaldo after controversial Champions League red|
|Slater sees Storm into Grand Final, awaits fate over ´shoulder charge´|
|Hogg to miss Scotland´s November Tests following ankle surgery|
|Osaka through as Azarenka and Garcia crash out|
|Burgess weighing up legal options after being cleared in Rabbitohs investigation|
|Uncapped Cottrell and Gordon named in Wallabies squad|
|He´s done fantastic work - Mourinho hails Wolves boss Nuno|
|Joshua v Povetkin: No need for fireworks on AJ´s Wembley return|
|Six titles, 204 goals - Aguero´s incredible City career in Opta stats|
|Read to miss Argentina clash, Ioane brothers sign new deals|
|Pedro allays injury fears after Europa League clash|
|Dilly dilly to all the Cleveland fans! Mayfield promises further Browns success|
|Manchester United ´hell´ left Zaha depressed|
|Jackson hesitates in naming Mayfield as Browns´ starting QB|
|LeBron congratulates Browns for ending 635-day winless streak|
|Aguero Extension: 10 of the best goals from the Manchester City star|
|Aguero signs City contract extension until 2021|
|Stress from drink-driving charge may have contributed to Lloris injury – Pochettino|
|CBF backs Cruzeiro´s Dede appeal and suggests VAR investigation|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|Red Sox clinch AL East with win over Yankees|
|Brighton star Knockaert reveals battle with depression|
|Bud Light beer fridges open after Browns snap 19-game winless streak|
|Browns end 635-day drought with first win since 2016 after downing Jets|
|Blue Jays overturn 8-2 deficit in improbable ninth-inning comeback|
|Colo Colo 0 Palmeiras 2: Scolari´s men poised for Libertadores SFs|
|Tour Championship would enhance successful year, says Tiger|
|Pogba: Man United getting better after winning run|
|What bothers me is that he has time to even do that – LeBron responds to Trump tweet|
|Cowboys most valuable NFL team for 12th successive year|
|Mkhitaryan aiming for glory with Europa specialist Emery|
|Sarri: Pedro´s injury is not too serious|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: Drama in Minnesota, a Judge returns and tragedy in Iowa|