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
|Nadal overcomes plucky Carballes Baena to make more clay history|
|Tennis´ governing bodies acknowledge ´vulnerabilities´ after independent integrity review|
|Leeds owner defends controversial Myanmar tour|
|ICC apologises, launches investigation into controversial tweet|
|Moeen: England should have dropped me sooner|
|Henderson: Injured fan´s recovery is the only result that matters|
|Ronaldo sends signed shirt to Manchester United star Rashford|
|Independent review says tennis faces ´serious integrity problem´ with betting|
|Djokovic stunned by Klizan in Barcelona|
|This group deserves something special – Wenger wants to exit on a high|
|North to return to Wales with Ospreys|
|Vieira ´ready for Europe´ amid reported Arsenal interest|
|Wenger focused on Arsenal despite desire to keep working elsewhere|
|Mourinho has made me a better person, says McTominay|
|Gerard sacked as Barca B coach after woeful winless run|
|Sensational Storm demolish Warriors, Dragons win again|
|Bayern links ´an honour´ for Madrid man Bale|
|F1 Raceweek: Vettel closing in on milestone - Azerbaijan GP in numbers|
|It is wide open - Wozniacki hopeful over Roland Garros chances|
|Roma ashamed by Liverpool fan attack|
|Wade, Ginobili will not be rushed over retirement decisions|
|UEFA ´shocked by vile attack´ on Liverpool fan|
|Mayfield´s Big 12 dominance & Jackson the dual threat - The 2018 Quarterback class in Opta numbers|
|Campbell tips Vieira and Bergkamp to replace Wenger|
|Courtois to sue former Belgium coach Wilmots|
|Heavyweights Ronaldo and Lewandowski go head to head – Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Spurs, Heat eliminated as Celtics go up 3-2|
|Angels overcome Ohtani´s so-so outing to win series over Astros|
|Red Bull want Ricciardo decision by August|
|Rangers injuries piling up as Beltre leaves with hamstring issue|
|A´s closer Treinen exits after being hit by comebacker|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Gabriel leads Santos, Atletico cruise|
|He decides the biggest moments – Wijnaldum hails Salah|
|Finau ready to compete after freak ankle injury at Masters|
|Roma have some hope, says Monchi|
|Westbrook fined $10,000 for altercation with Gobert|
|Messi? Ronaldo? Salah is world´s best player – Gerrard|
|Liverpool are not Barcelona – Klopp cautious of Roma comeback|
|Liverpool supporter in ´critical condition´ after fan clashes|
|Gronkowski commits to 2018 season with Patriots|
|F1 Raceweek: Title race to heat up at venue of Vettel-Hamilton flashpoint|
|It´s all-inclusive football with Liverpool! - Klopp pleased despite Roma recovery|
|Montella to remain Sevilla coach until end of season|
|Di Francesco: Roma gave up – but if you don´t believe in a comeback, stay at home|
|Klopp accepts Salah substitution sparked Roma fightback|
|Oxlade-Chamberlain may miss World Cup after suffering ´a really bad injury´|
|De Rossi blames long balls for Roma ´blackout´ at Anfield|
|Trump happy to fly under the radar at World Championship|
|Late Liverpool lapses sour stunning Salah show|
|Henderson wary of Barcelona repeat as Roma leave Liverpool with hope|
|Championship Review: Cardiff slip up as Barnsley stay in the relegation zone|
|Goffin lives dangerously in Barcelona|
|Liverpool 5 Roma 2: Salah shines but late comeback offers Giallorossi hope|
|Salah sets Liverpool record with spectacular first-half double|
|Six first-round quarterbacks & two top-10 trades - 2018 NFL Mock Draft|
|Oxlade-Chamberlain carried off in Champions League semi-final|
|Indians equal lowest total in defeat to Sunrisers|
|Selby final frustration contributed to ´beginning of the end´ comment - Higgins|
|Wozniacki makes winning start as Radwanska retires|
|Firmino back, as Milner starts for Liverpool against Roma|
|I didn´t want James to go - Zidane ready for Champions League reunion with familiar face|
|Kroos: You can´t buy the Champions League|
|Strauss open to Springboks return|
|Shurmur ends Beckham Jr trade speculation|
|Leeds urged to help Rohingya during ´odd´ Myanmar tour|
|Garcia dumps fit-again Sharapova out in Stuttgart|
|Buffon slams reports of breakdown in Benatia relationship|
|Former France coach Michel dies aged 70|
|Ancelotti talks not about Italy job, says Costacurta|
|Hartley: Concussion will not end my career|