With the signing of Memphis Depay, Manchester United have made the first move of any of Europe’s big hitters.
The PSV wide man was one of the most in-demand forward players in world football and Louis van Gaal bringing him in is a real signal of intent for the coming months at Old Trafford.
However, with Champions League football all but assured for next season, United must now continue what they’ve started.
Last summer, Man United placed all their eggs in one Argentinian basket in the shape of Angel Di Maria and 12 months later he is a man on the peripheries; seemingly crippled by the expectation that he alone could resurrect the whole football club by himself.
There is little doubt that Depay comes with the pedigree that could potentially help propel the most successful team in the country back to the top of English football. But aside from him there must be improvements, and vast ones.
United have been become victims of Michael Carrick’s success lately, with him they look like world beaters but when he is out they look a pale shadow of the side. Van Gaal must be looking to improve the 34-year-old’s deputies, as for all of Herrera’s abilities he is not at the same level as Carrick. If United genuinely want to be one of Europe’s elite again they must be finding someone not only as good as the England midfielder, but better.
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The fact that Memphis Depay has opted for the sunny climates over Manchester over a stay in Paris or Turin mean that he must have been made assurances. It seems almost inconceivable that one of the brightest talents in world football would choose a team with a lack of ambition.
With the Glazer family now entering their second decade in charge at Old Trafford there are still question marks over their commitment to the cause. A summer spending spree could turn a few more of those green and gold scarves back into red and white ones.
Van Gaal’s first term in charge has been reviewed with caution, possibly with an eye to the horror that they witnessed under Moyes. However, should he fail to capitalise on their strong finish and leave the squad in the same unbalanced state that it is currently, serious questions could be asked of the experienced Dutchman.
Depay has recently stated he feels he can be as good as Cristiano Ronaldo and become one of the best players in the world. In order to do that his faith must be rewarded by the hierarchy at Manchester United; because for him to become one of the best he can not be in a side where players such as Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones can walk in.
If last summer proved anything to United fans it is that spending money does not guarantee success, an influx of expensive attacking options came to the club and they have failed to even challenge the champions Chelsea for a sustained period. But now this side has a year of working with their manager the players coming in should be ones that can genuinely improve the team.
To ensure that they keep the Flying Dutchman for a long time they must ensure he is simply the first of many to come through the doors of Old Trafford in the summer months.