A lot has been made in recent seasons about Louis van Gaal’s and Ed Woodward’s dealings in the transfer market.
A reported quarter of a billion pounds has been spent during LVG’s reign at Manchester United, and it doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference in the team’s fortunes.
Fifth in the Premier League, no cup wins – though that could change come May 21st – and some pretty drab football have led many of the Old Trafford faithful to call for the Dutchman and Woodward to be shown the door.
But have all the transfers been that bad? Hasn’t the transfer policy of spending big on players who are either young and talented or already proven names yielded some rewards?
Here at FootballFanCast we’ve taken a look at some of the players that have joined the Red Devils under Van Gaal, showing that actually the much maligned and derided transfer policy at the club, isn’t really that bad…
Anthony Martial has arguably been Van Gaal’s best Manchester United signing.
The young Frenchman was a rather unknown quantity when Man United sealed the deal worth a reported £36million from Monaco but Martial soon announced his arrival with a sublime solo effort against arch rivals Liverpool in a 3-1 home win. Since then Martial has shown signs of brilliance and even shades of Thierry Henry in the way he glides over the pitch.
He’s beginning to repay the outlay and surely he’s only going to improve.
Luke Shaw was beginning to come into his own at the start of this season.
Man United’s first choice left back signed from Southampton for a reported £27 million and was looking on course to be England’s left back ahead of EURO 2016.
Unfortunately for Shaw and United his season was cut short against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League in October. Despite this it seems Shaw will be back in the side as soon as he is fit as he looks to fulfil his undoubted potential.
It’s testament to his ability that the Old Trafford crowd can’t wait to see him back in the side.
One of the regulars in Van Gaal’s Dutch side at the 2014 World Cup, Blind soon followed his manager to the Red Devils.
Whilst not commanding a massive fee, Blind was earning a reputation as good player that could put in a strong performance in many positions. So this has proven, Blind has played in midfield and full back but mainly at centre back where he has excelled.
He’s slotted in a position that has never been his natural role and made it his own. Blind has been a great acquisition.
Another young player that boasted a hefty price tag, Ander Herrera was fast becoming one of La Liga’s brightest young players, pulling the strings for a youthful Athletic Bilbao side.
Now 26, Herrera looks as though he is the natural replacement for Michael Carrick, the young Spaniard knits the play together with neat passing and movement and Man United’s midfield should build around him as he comes into his prime, because he has the creative ability to do real damage.
Morgan Schneiderlin moved up north from Southampton reportedly for £25 million.
He’s a different kind of midfielder to most of those Man United have on their books as the Frenchman prefers to hold back and break up opposition attacks. The former Saints man has been a pretty regular fixture for United in his debut season at the club, making 37 appearances in all competitions and whilst only scoring one goal, it’s his defensive work that has proven such a hit with the Red Devils faithful.