By Andy Hyslop
- Van Gaal has reshaped the United first-team squad
- 18 players have left the club, either permanently or on loan
- 7 players have been brought
Its been another busy transfer window for Manchester United, we have seen Louis Van Gaal reshape and make his first-team squad more stream lined. Van Gaal has continued to get rid of the deadwood and strengthened the squad.
Summer Business Started Early
Manchester United’s summer transfer business started before the 2014/15 season had finished. With the arrival of Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven. Memphis had been a major factor in PSV winning the Dutch league for the first time in seven years. He was the top goalscorer in Eredivisie. Seeing him linked with moves to Liverpool and Paris St Germain. But united stole a march on their rivals and secured his signature after Van Gaal stepped in, fearing he would the player he coached in the Dutch national side to Paris.
Memphis has so far struggled to adapt to the Premier League, but has shown his class against Club Brugge in the Champions League qualifiers. Scoring two goals in the home leg of that tie. This wasn’t a surprise as he got more space in these games compared to the Premier League. He has to adjust to Premier League teams having two or three men on him when he has possession. He may take him this season to adapt, but I’m in no doubt that he will and become a great signing for Manchester United.
Three Signings In Quick Succession
Following the arrival of Memphis, despite rumour after rumour appearing in the English media and all over social media, as to who United’s next signing would be. None of them knew that the next signing at Old Trafford would be Matteo Darmian. The Italian right-back was signed from Serie A side Torino. United had been linked numerous right-back as it was no secret that they need strengthening and we suggested that Darmian would be a good addition to United’s ranks when scouting possible right-backs earlier in the summer.
The arrival of Darmian was swiftly followed by the duel midfield strengthening, by signing Bastian Schweinsteiger from Bayern Munich and Morgan Schneiderlin from Southampton. They were both confirmed as new arrivals as United jetted of to the United States for their pre-season tour. Meaning United could integrate all four of their new arrivals so far on the pre-season tour.
This is a marked difference to the previous season, when Van Gaal had only just arrived as United headed off on their pre-season tour, and rightly so Van Gaal wanted to assess the players at his disposal before making any decisions on who he would bring in.
The central midfield area is one that has been severely lacking at Old Trafford for several seasons, even going back to Sir Alex Ferguson’s last days in charge of United. It showed last season that when Michael Carrick wasn’t available United really struggled especially towards the end of the season, when United won games against Tottenham, Liverpool and City.
With Carrick at the heartbeat of those victories. He went off injured in the dying minutes of the victory over City and we didn’t see him again, and United then suffered three straight defeats. These defeats meant United were clinging onto fourth place in the end.
In signing Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin, they have brought in two experience players in different ways. Schweinsteiger of course has experienced everything, you could possible want to in the game; but has never played in the Premier League. Having spent all of his career to date at Bayern Munich, he knows what its like to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world, so moving to Manchester United won’t be a problem for him.
Whereas Schneiderlin isn’t as experienced as Schweinsteiger but he know what it takes to play in the Premier League, having played for Southampton. He joined Southampton as an 18-year old and has experience of playing in the lower leagues in England as well as the Premier League. He has been one of the top midfield performers in the Premier League for the previous three seasons.
De Gea Debacle
The transfer saga of the summer has been David De Gea protracted transfer to Real Madrid. With the deal finally looking like going through on deadline. Only for it to collapse as the paperwork was submitted it time. It now looks like the Spaniard will stay in Manchester until at least the end of this season. Both clubs have released statements, with both giving different stories as to the transfer paperwork wasn’t submitted it time.
Van Gaal has refused to play De Gea so far at the start of this season, stating that he wasn’t mentally prepared to play in the games because of the constant speculation on his future. Now with the transfer window closed and De Gea staying at United. Will he be considered for selection.
De Gea needs to be playing games, if he is to be selected by Spain for the European Championships this summer. There is speculation that United will refuse to play unless he signs a new deal, with several media outlets reported that De Gea will now sign a new deal Old Trafford. Whether he signs a new deal or not, I think its safe to say that come the start of next season, De Gea will be in situ in Madrid.
Final Days Of The Window
The final days of the transfer window saw a flurry of activity at Old Trafford, especially through the exit door. With Javier Hernandez being sold to Bayer Leverkusen. Speculation have been rife over the weekend that Van Gaal was willing to let the Mexican leave and he was an unused sub in the defeat to Swansea, despite United lack of attacking threat in that game. Young defender Tyler Blackett completed his loan move to Celtic, I would be surprised if his future is at United in the long-term. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him move to Celtic permanently if he does well there.
Another youngster was allowed to leave the club on loan. Adnan Januzaj moved to Borussia Dortmund on a season-long loan. It remains to be seen if he has a future with Manchester United. Van Gaal has given him several opportunities to prove his worth to the team. I think it’s fair to say that he has failed to impress and a move away if its only for a season will do him good.
Jonny Evans and Anders Lindegaard were both allowed to leave the club, with both of them joining Darren Fletcher at West Brom. Evans was clearly not going to get many opportunities at United this season. His United career has been disrupted by injury, but I’m in no doubt that he will be a good signing for West Brom.
We saw one player coming into the club in the final few days of the window. Young French forward Anthony Martial arriving from AS Monaco for an initial deal worth £36million, that deal could eventually rise to around £60million with numerous add-ons. If United do end up playing around £60million for him, then it will mean he has been a success and they can consider it money well spent.
Manchester United Can Be Satisfied With Transfer Window
I think all in all Manchester United can be satisfied with transfer window activity, some may say they could have done better. pointing to the fact that they still may be short in a few areas. It remains to be seen whether Daley Blind is the long-term answer at centre-back. Though it is my belief that you don’t go out and sign any player just because you need someone in a certain position. You signings need to vastly improve on what you already have.
A lot of people may think that United have let too many players go without replacing them, and these are also the people that want United to give the likes of James Wilson and Andreas Pereira a chance in the first-team. Even though we have lost three strikers from last season’s squad and only brought in one. This then will allow Louis Van Gaal to give the likes of Wilson and Pereira more of a run in the first-team. Not only them but also other players in the under-21s may be more likely to stay at the club, rather than go on loan; if they believe that they will get an opportunity in the United first-team.
Some may say that United wasted time going after unrealistic targets, but it is my view that unless you aim for the best you won’t be the best. We are Manchester United, why shouldn’t this great club be aiming to bring the best players to the club.
Let’s give this squad of players to at least January before we start judging the men in charge of Manchester United. These men live and die by their decisions. So if United are unsuccessful, they will pay for it with their jobs, especially Louis Van Gaal.
|Memphis Depay||PSV Eindhoven||£27.9million|
|Bastian Schweinsteiger||Bayern Munich||£6.5million|
|Anthony Martial||AS Monaco||£36million|
|Regan Poole||Newport County||Undisclosed|
|Angel Di Maria||Paris St Germain||£44.3million|
|Jonny Evans||West Bromwich Albion||£8million|
|Javier Hernandez||Bayer Leverkusen||£7.3million|
|Robin Van Persie||Fenerbahce||£3.84million|
|Rafael Da Silva||Lyon||£2.5million|
|Angelo Henriquez||Dinamo Zagreb||£1.15million|
|Reece James||Wigan Athletic||£1million|
|Anders Lindegaard||West Bromwich Albion||Free|
|Tom Thorpe||Rotherham United||Free|
|Will Keane||Preston North End||Loan|
|Adnan Januzaj||Borussia Dortmund||Loan|