Louis Van Gaal and Manchester United are in the midst of several transfer rumours linking the team with several world-class players around the world. The Red Devils are currently in a rebuilding process after the short stint of David Moyes at the helm turned out to be atrocious and only hurt the club more. Players want to leave and barely anyone wants to join after last season. Manchester United will not be playing European football next season and that hurts the club in many ways, including financially and attracting big name players.
With the hiring of Louis van Gaal, however, things seem to have made a slight change in direction. It's a more lively atmosphere at Old Trafford and the Dutch genius hasn't even arrived yet. That doesn't stop reports from swirling around Manchester about the impending deals for Shaw and Fabregas. Not to mention the "almost done deal" for Mats Hummels. Oh! And you can't forget about the apparently sealed deal for William Carvalho...
It's all bullshit.
Manchester United have apparently presented a £200million budget for van Gaal, to spend on world-class talent. Now... where do the problems lie in the starting 11 for United... Let's break down every position.
Goalkeeper: David de Gea: Yea let's just move along here... (Best player on the team last season... by far)
Left-back: Patrice Evra and Alexandr Buttner: After Patrice Evra signed a one-year extension with Manchester United it seemed as if the reports for Luke Shaw would die off but they have only gotten stronger. Evra is a fantastic full back but his age and overall fitness doesn't allow him to compete at the level he played at years ago. Buttner is no replacement for Evra. He showed some signs of brilliance but he's just a kid making risky decisions. He doesn't have the potential that Luke Shaw has. If United sign Shaw, the competition for the left-back position will better both players and will allow for depth in the position for at least one more season with Evra's contract finished at the end of next season.
Center-back: With Vidic gone and Ferdinand all but finished the replacements United has to offer are Smalling, Evans, and Jones. These Brits aren't too bad when they play, but the issue is actually keeping them on the field. All three are very injury prone and have had their time on the sideline because of it. Phil Jones is possibly the most comfortable to watch when he plays on the back line for the Red Devils but how much of those faces can we take?
Right-back: For some reason there have been numerous speculations surrounding Rafael and the right full-back position. For the past few years Rafael has solidified his spot as the right-back of the team and that shouldn't change. His speed and quickness allows him to quickly recover lost balls and overlap the wings on offense. Jones and Smalling have also had their fair share playing the position but Rafael blows them out of the water (when he's not injured of course).
Holding midfielders: Carrick, Fletcher, Fellaini, Cleverley, and from loan returning Anderson are the options available for van Gaal from last season's squad. Carrick has always been a fantastic player with his miraculous passes at key moments but towards the end of the season Michael Carrick started showing signs of old-age. His fitness was off and it was affecting his performance. Fletcher has been dealing with injuries for god knows how long now... I kind of feel bad for him. When he does play, Fletcher is an average holding midfielder who has moments of brilliance. Fellaini needs to play for Manchester United how he plays for Belgium. He is absolute master class when playing with his country. Hopefully van Gaal can bring out that side of Fellaini when he arrives after the World Cup. Then theres Cleverley and Anderson... Can they just sell them already?
Wingers: Young, Valencia, Januzaj, and Nani... Out of those four choices I would only take Januzaj to be in the 18 man roster. Young has to be doing something at practice to have him start 50% of United's games, because on the pitch he has had approximately one good match. Valencia is a fantastic player whenever he doesn't get hit in the eye. Just kidding. But seriously... if he learns to control the ball and cross accurately he would be more of an impact player. Januzaj is a little ball of fun when he's out there, beating players one on one and delivering quality balls into the box. He's got tremendous capabilities and an even more outstanding potential. On the left side he is truely fun to watch. Then there's Nani.. Oh how United fans wish Nani turned out to be more like Ronaldo. Nani is a great player, don't get me wrong, but his attitude will get him nowhere. Not even in the top 18 for the first team.
Attacking Midfielders: Mata, Kagawa, Rooney... Mata and his look-alike Rooney have been an outstanding pair to watch when they play together. With Rooney playing a bit ahead of Mata and the striker above Rooney, the combinations are beautiful. When Mata is played on the wings and Rooney plays Mata's role, then that's where it all goes wrong. Why buy Mata if you're not gonna play him in his best position? Makes sense... But, seriously, Rooney and Mata have the position locked up with Kagawa unfortunately riding the bench. Kagawa might leave in the Summer because he truely is a really great midfielder... just not better than Mata or Rooney.
Striker: van Persie is basically locked into the position with van Gaal apparently ready to name him his captain for the 2014/2015 season. That definitely wont bode well with Rooney. Persie is fantastic when he's not versing a top European club. Against teams like Southampton he can score a hat-trick to win the game after being down 2-0 but against Chelsea or Manchester City he doesn't really do all that much. He's old, and Welbeck or Hernandez are not world-class replacements. Maybe James Wilson can rise and shine in the coming years.
Who has United been linked with (Some of many): Luke Shaw, Mats Hummels, Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Marco Reus, William Carvalho, Cesc Fabregas, Thomas Mueller, Kevin Strootman, Bruno Martins Indi, Stefan de Vrij
Who United should actually get: Shaw, Hummels, Schweinsteiger, Mueller, Reus, de Vrij
How United would look with those signings:
Rafael Jones Hummels Shaw
Bench: Lindegaard, Reus/Januzaj, Kagawa, Wilson, Evra, de Vrij, Fellaini