As the Louis van Gaal reign at Manchester United heads into a second season, the promise of high quality football and the winning of trophies seems a more likely sight than ever. The 2015 summer transfer window is off to a flyer for the red half of Manchester; the signings of gifted youngsters Memphis Depay and Matteo Darmian is tantalising enough. However, it’s the two latest signings, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin, which really hints at good things ahead for United. The idea of Champions League, World Cup and Bundesliga winner, Schweinsteiger, being partnered with arguably the most consistent Premier League midfielder of the last three years, Schneiderlin, is quite a terrifying thought for anyone looking to challenge United next season.
However, it is not only the incomings for Manchester United that has affected them in a positive way; Van Gaal has been able to ship out players that he considers “deadwood” for sums of money that will only boost United’s ability to test for players in the current transfer market. The selling of Nani and Robin van Persie to Turkish side Fenerbahçe has freed up funds to be spent on young players that are looking to build the side for the future.
The key thing for Manchester United this summer, though, is to remain strong and keep hold of the 2014/15 Player of the Season, goalkeeper, David De Gea. It is hard to deny that De Gea had a superb season ‘between the sticks’ last year, even when things didn’t seem to be going United’s way. However, due to this superb season, De Gea has found himself in the middle of a transfer tug-of-war between current club and possible suitors, Real Madrid. Louis van Gaal, Ed Woodward and co seem to be holding firm to not letting the young shot-stopper leave, though, which many United fans would see as the best business of the summer for the club.
The side effects of the loss of ex-manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, could finally start to be ousted by the Louis van Gaal revolution that we see before us. The current starting 11 in the Van Gaal era is almost alien to the team which Sir Alex left behind two years ago; something which the club needed. There is a buzz around the club again, one of which has not been evident over the past two years; it is hard to deny that United are one of the biggest clubs in the world, and assume very large status.
However, the side is far from completion if they are really to challenge for the title. The loss of Van Persie and the decision to not sign Radamel Falcao on a permanent basis after his ‘less-than-stellar’ loan at United last season, has left the club a bit short in the striking department. If rumours are to be believed, Van Gaal has highlighted 28-year-old, PSG striker, Edinson Cavani, as his primary target; a signing which would almost certainly send shivers down the spine of any Premier League back four. In addition to this, the health and fitness of left back Luke Shaw is one of which Van Gaal will have to monitor carefully. Shaw missed the most of his first season at the club due to a number of injuries and fitness issues and, if he is to continue with that this season, Van Gaal might need to look at other options.
Football is an unpredictable game and every season throws something unanticipated. However, Manchester United know one thing for certain: they are back to challenge the big guns.