By Lyes Bouzidi
- Youth given a chance by Van Gaal
- Positive performances from the new signings
- Competition for places ahead of season opener against Tottenham
Manchester United’s touring party returned from the United States yesterday. It was a successful tour with three wins and one defeat and there were many positives to take from the tour.
What Are The 5 Main Positives United Can Take From This Tour?
Van Gaal Willing To Give Youth A Chance
In 3 of the 4 games this summer, Van Gaal replaced the entire “first” team with his “second” team. Other than Fellaini, Herrera, Schweinsteiger, and Chris Smalling, the entire line-up was made up of Manchester United youth players. United supporters were not let down either, as the youngsters shined, and it was particularly refreshing to see the eagerness they played with. In fact, the second goal scored by Jesse Lingard was entirely created by youth players, as Pereira found Wilson out wide, who slotted in the overlapping Blackett, who crossed to Lingard to finish. Encouraging signs for the future.
Januzaj Shows Willingness To Fight For His Place
If there was one positives from David Moyes’ ultimately doomed tenure as United boss, it was the emergence of Adnan Januzaj, as he showed a desire to excite and score goals. When Van Gaal arrived, it was widely expected that Januzaj would continue his progress and continue to improve. However, the youngster failed to impress, and it seemed as if his confidence was extremely low. This tour has shown a return to form for Januzaj, and his performance against Barcelona as a number nine was hugely encouraging. His willingness to fight for his place is impressive.
Full-backs Provide Quality Both Offensively and Defensively
One of Louis Van Gaal’s first actions as United boss last season was to declare new signing Luke Shaw unfit. Throughout last year, Shaw was in and out of the team, thanks to injury and Daley Blind’s form. This season, however, Luke Shaw is set to start on the left side of the defence, and expect him to shine and show the form that made United spend 30 million on him. One the opposite side should be Matteo Darmian, purchased for around 15 million from Torino. He and Shaw have shown a willingness to run up and down the pitch, and so far both have formed an excellent partnership with Young and Mata respectively. Expect the young fullbacks to blossom this season.
Schneiderlin Has What It Takes To Boss Midfield
Not since Roy Keane have United had a defensive midfielder with a tenacious style of play and a love for a tackle. Not until they purchased Morgan Schneiderlin, anyways. The French midfielder slipped under the radar of the arrival of Schweinsteiger, but the signing from Southampton showed on tour that he provides exactly what United have been missing for the last five years: Grit in the midfield. He showed he’s got an eye for goal as well with his header in the first match against Club America. The only question is who partners with him this season in the midfield.
United Have Shown They Are Ready To Challenge
Van Gaal has bought, and bought wisely. He now has at least two quality players in every position, and that kind of strength in depth is what wins teams titles. Of course, they are a few signings a way from mounting a season long title charge, but with rumours of Pedro and such arriving at Old Trafford, this season promises that United will excite and challenge for the Premier League.