José Mourinho has found his next victim in Rome, and this time it is former Benfica and Portugal phenomenon Renato Sanches.
Mourinho has a long and storied history of selecting people in his team to prioritize to motivate them, with his fellow Portuguese being the latest candidate.
Since his very public fallout with Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos at Real Madrid, Mourinho has used big names such as Paul Pogba and Dele Alli to set the standard in his team.
The most brutal of all, however, was Luke Shaw at Manchester United, with a report coming from inside the dressing room accusing him of ‘bullying’ the left-back due to a perceived lack of fitness.
He now directs similar criticism at Sanches, 26, for issues that are preventing him from playing.
Speaking at a press conference, Mourinho said: “Renato Sanches and (Houssem) Aouar? They both need to play and find their rhythm.
“Unfortunately, it’s Renato, he’s still at risk (of injury). It’s difficult to understand, Bayern (Munich) didn’t understand it, PSG didn’t understand it and we don’t understand why either.
“He had three days of preparation, he was fine but he felt something.”
Sanches is perhaps best known to English audiences for his time at Swansea during the 2017/18 season.
A Benfica academy graduate and Euro 2016 star for a victorious Portugal, Bayern Munich won the race for the €80 million youngster, but it never worked out.
He then left the Bavarians for French club Lille where he found his form and won the league title in 2021, before being bought by PSG and doing the same.
On loan from the Ligue 1 champions this season, Sanches has only 98 minutes under his belt since his arrival, coinciding with Roma’s poor start to the season, with one win in four matches.
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