When Louis Van Gaal was given charge as the manager of Manchester United there developed a sense of hope among the United faithful after the gloomy Moyes era when the club failed to secure a European spot. Van Gaal started on a positive note in the pre-season but lack of the depth in squad and frequent injuries to key players marred United’s league campaign but still they managed to finish 4th.
This time if United has to make a claim for domestic and European success, Van Gaal and Ed Woodward will have to spend somewhere close to the £153 million or even more they spent last season. With close to £300m in their kitty thanks to revenue and sponsorship, United will be busy in the transfer market and may get involved in summer long transfer sagas for bringing in top players. Here are 5 positions where United need to bring in reinforcements.
David De Gea was the player of the season for the Reds’ and had it not been for his solid performances throughout the season United would be staring at a mid-table finish. With Real Madrid determined to sign him and only a year remaining on his contract United have a big decision to make. De Gea is certainly a top keeper at the moment and if he leaves Old Trafford then the manager has to bring another custodian because the second choice keeper Victor Valdes hasn’t been upto the task in his odd appearances in domestic and reserve team competitions.
Possible Reinforcements: Hugo LLoris/ Jasper Cillesen
Sir Alex Ferguson’s sides always had a formidable defensive pairing which were key to winning trophies. Lately, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand had formed one of the best pairing in Europe for the past 3-4 years at the back and with both leaving before the last season United had played with numerous pairings at the back. Though Chris Smalling and Phil Jones slotted in nicely after Christmas and helped ably by Marcos Rojo, United need a leader in the defense who could throw in the required tackle and lend solidity to an inexperienced defense. If United manage to bring in one such player then there title change would have more bite to it.
Possible Reinforcements: Nicolas Otamendi/Sergio Ramos
This position was a headache for van Gaal in the first season and forced him to play a 3-5-2 formation at times. Rafael was off colour and then spent a considerable time on the bench owing to injuries and his replacement Antonio Valencia lacked defensive instincts and leaked a lot of goals through that area. With Rafael falling out of favor with the manager it certainly looks like that United will need a top right back to fix that position.
Possible Reinforcements: Seamus Coleman/Nathaniel Clyne
With Fellaini finding his feet in a more advanced position up on the field and injury to the invaluable Michael Carrick, United need a player who can sit back on the top of defense and allow the team to attack more freely. Daley Blind was tried occasionally but his physique doesn’t allow him to cope up with the physical aspect of the English game. If Rooney is made to play there then United lack firepower in the final third, such has been the clamour for bringing a player for this position that Van Gaal has public stated that he’ll buy one this summer.
Possible Reinforcements: Bastian Schweinsteiger/Morgan Schneiderlin
The Falcao experiment hadn’t worked last season which prompted Reds’ to not go ahead with a permanent move for the Colombian. Robin Van Persie is also on the radar of many clubs and United may let go of him for a decent fee after he failed to fire in the much needed goals and was plagued by injuries throughout the campaign. United need someone to support Captain Rooney higher up the pitch which may see a possible return of Chicharito to Old Trafford after his loan stay at Real Madrid but an out and out striker who has the potential to fire in 25+ goals is what United need immediately.
Possible Reinforcements: Harry Kane, Karim Benzema