How Man United could look after Louis van Gaal spending spree
With a virtually bottom-less pit of cash to overhaul the squad this summer, new Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal could turn them into favourite’s to win the Premier League next season, with the Red Devils currently priced at 5/1. It has been suggested that the Dutchman could utilise his 3-4-3/5-3-2-esque system that worked so well for the Netherlands at the World Cup in the summer.
He’s already made his presence known at Carrington, completely rejuvenating training sessions. He has also ordered the current practice pitches to be removed, and replaced with the same surface that is used at Old Trafford, while three tall trees have been planted to shield sessions from wind. In order to implement this though, significant surgery is required to give the team a facelift.
Executive Vice-chairman Ed Woodward’s words will encourage fans regarding the club’s recruitment strategy: “There is no fixed budget, financially we are extremely strong. We want to do what it takes to win the title.”
A statement that has only fuelled speculation surrounding personnel Van Gaal may bring to Old Trafford in the coming weeks, with Woodward insisting there are deals in the pipeline: “There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes, watch this space.”
As a result, Coral take a look at exactly who could be coming to the club, in a bid to boost their title credentials, and how a Louis van Gaal XI could look next season.
GOALKEEPER: DAVID DE GEA
Enough said really. A shoe-in for the number one spot under Van Gaal, and likely to become the next Spain custodian for years to come, taking over from Iker Casillas. Already highly regarded as a terrific shot stopper, with a decent defence in front of him next term, he can concentrate on clean sheet records.
RIGHT WING BACK: JUAN CUADRADO
Colombian Cuadrado appears to be the subject of a serious bidding war between the club, Bayern Munich and Barcelona. The real competition is expected to come from the German giants, however Louis van Gaal’s influence and projected vision for United, might just be enough to persuade Fiorentina’s winger to move to the Premier League.
LEFT WING BACK: LUKE SHAW/DALEY BLIND
This is where it begins to get interesting. With Shaw already installed in the team, there is an understanding issuing from Old Trafford’s inner-circle that a £17m bid for Blind is being readied. The Ajax asset made such an impact under the Dutchman in the Netherlands national team at the World Cup, and could be a huge signing for Van Gaal. Versatile enough to play at left wing back, or as a deep-lying midfielder, he is an exceptional talent and will provide serious competition in both berths.
CENTRE BACK: STEFAN DE VRIJ
There are many reasons why Netherlands did so well in Brazil, and one of them was down to a collective comprehension in their rearguard. De Vrij, like Blind was exceptionally effective and even chipped in with a goal. Already said to be the subject of a £10m bid, he may make the switch from Feyenoord to Manchester sooner rather than later.
CENTRE BACK: MATS HUMMELS
Borussia Dortmund boss, Jurgen Klopp may just put his foot down over this proposed move. He is understood to have said that Germany’s World Cup winning centre back wants to stay at the club. However, differing reports suggest that a move for Hummels is nearing completion with Woodward and his team in advanced negotiations. Van Gaal is believed to want the defender, though this is an issue that could drag on. If United can get him over the line, it would be a significant coup, with the fee rumoured to be £16m.
CENTRE BACK: PHIL JONES
It is now or never for the former Blackburn Rovers man. Under his new manager’s stewardship, he may be given a position that he can own for years to come, having been switched between the back four, and a holding midfield role during his time at Old Trafford. No doubt talented, playing in a defensive trio may just suit him, giving him extra security alongside the like’s of Hummels.
CENTRAL MIDFIELD (DEEP-LYING PLAYMAKER): ANDER HERRERA
Brought in from Athletic Bilbao reportedly on Van Gaal’s instructions, the nimble Spaniard will be the catalyst in providing a more metronomic style of play to the Red Devils. Not exactly an exact replacement for Michael Carrick, who lacks the quick thinking of Herrera; however, it is hoped among the United hierarchy that the Basque boy can add something the team haven’t had since Paul Scholes.
CENTRAL MIDFIELD (BOX-TO-BOX): ARTURO VIDAL
Chilea and Juventus superstar Vidal has put his Turin mansion on the market, in anticipation of a £40m move to Man United. He will add an energetic spark, and much needed steel to Van Gaal’s midfield, though can also contribute in other ways. Vidal, who featured at the World Cup, scored 28 goals in 96 appearances for Juventus, while also providing 19 assists.
CENTRAL MIDFIELD (ADVANCED PLAYMAKER): JUAN MATA
Very much a Van Gaal-esque type of player, Mata is being tipped for a starring role in United’s starting XI next term. Although criticised by manager Jose Mourinho while he was at Chelsea for a lack of work-rate, the Dutch coach will put every player through the motions and has already insisted on double training sessions in pre-season. Nimble, difficult to mark, and technically gifted, former Valencia man Mata may be a stand-out player during the next campaign.
STRIKER: ROBIN VAN PERSIE
Blink and you’ll miss it. Anywhere in and around the penalty area, Van Persie will make the net bulge. Left foot, right foot, volley, swan dive, with the personnel around him next term, there is every reason, at 9/2 for him to finish as Premier League top scorer, should he stay injury-free.
CENTRE FORWARD: EDINSON CAVANI
Understood to be the subject of a £50m bid, in a deal that could, include Wayne Rooney, the Uruguayan is said to be a priority signing. Having already asked his agent to investigate a potential move to the Premier League, it could be a matter of when, and not if the centre forward signs. It will take a brave man to sacrifice Rooney, though Van Gaal is no doubt one manager that would.
Should Woodward and Van Gaal land these widely reported targets, United’s title odds will shorten dramatically, however, the Dutchman has proved this summer that knockout competitions could be his new forte. Having last won the FA Cup a decade ago, United are 6/1 to lift the iconic trophy next season.