This summer is one of change at Manchester United. The Red Devils struggled under the guidance of David Moyes last term, slipping from Premier League champions to a side that will not be in any form of European competition, while breaking all of the wrong kind of records along the way.
Louis van Gaal is now in the dugout and has already moved to bring in a couple of new names, which he is sure to add to before the transfer window closes.
With this in mind, here are five upgrades at United that may make the difference in 2014/15…
As Ander Herrera is already through the door at Old Trafford, United’s midfield upgrade appears to be in full swing. With the Spaniard set to provide the flair and guile needed, Carrick could well be surplus to requirements. Arturo Vidal is the man said to be at the top of van Gaal’s wish list to follow the Spaniard on the back of his wonderful displays for Juventus and Chile.
The midfield colossus is valued at around £50m by his current employers, who – for reasons we cannot comprehend – may take Nani as part of a potential deal.
Here’s a quick vid of Vidal in action. BEAST.
Whether United like it or not, they simply have to replace Vidic, who has left on a free transfer to join Inter Milan. Although the Serbian hasn’t been the dominating influence that he was a few years ago in recent times, as captain his authority at the back was still valued.
With Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans the next in line at the heart of the defence, there is a real need for a leader. In a period where top class centre-backs are few and far between, Hummels stands head and shoulders above the rest, with the German a truly dominant force. He starred for Germany recently as they lifted the World Cup trophy and is said to be available for around £25m. Over to you, United.
Ol’ Moyesy always had a tough task in replacing Sir Alex Ferguson, but boy did he do a bad job. The Scot successfully saw United slip from champions to a mid-table outfit, and was sacked as soon as it was rendered mathematically impossible for the Red Devils to make it into the Champions League. As well as this, he failed spectacularly in the transfer market and saw confidence among the club’s fans erode as the weeks dragged by.
LvG is now in, and with a reputation as one of the continent’s best ever managers, it’s fair to say things are looking up. The Dutchman also impressed with his nation at the World Cup, showing that he still has it, even at the age of 62.
Oh, and Robin van Persie likes him too…
English football’s most expensive ever teenager has a big, big task on his hands. Shaw completed his long-awaited switch to Old Trafford from Southampton a matter of weeks ago, with a reputation as one of the very best young defenders on the planet.
Evra has also penned a new contract at the club, but it looks like the 18-year-old will be given a starting berth after costing £30m, with van Gaal set to build for the future. Shaw may even have to adapt to a wing-back role, with Holland’s 3-5-2 set-up a possibility at Old Trafford next term.
Red, red Robben has a good ring to it. And it may well be a chant that the Old Trafford crowd will be singing next season, with van Gaal reportedly interested in his Oranje winger.
Robben has really pushed on since his days at Chelsea, developing into one of Europe’s very best wide-men, with his pace and energy still high even at 30. Valencia is by no means a poor player, but he’s not quite in the same league as his Dutch counterpart…
I mean, remember this United fans?