Review: Manchester United’s Transfer Window

The 2nd of September 2014 has arrived and with it, the closing of the transfer window. On a personal level, this signals a great opportunity to write my first article for RedMancunian, focusing firstly on the incoming business to Old Trafford this summer. Many Reds fans have commented on the apparent lack of defenders that United have signed, yet it could be argued that the squad we obtain now is of an entirely different stature to that in May. Also, it is vital for United fans to remember that we have always been an attack-minded club, with attacking wingers and full backs imperative to our play. The lack of goals in the first 4 games against teams that you would usually assume to score against is alarming too, as you cannot win football matches without scoring goals.

Despite the lack of Champions League football, United have still managed to sign some big name players. Jamie Redknapp even compared United’s transfer dealings to that of Real Madrid during their ‘Galacticos’ period, and he isn’t wrong. Time is required to see whether or not these players will succeed at Old Trafford, but the days of an average-ability level side containing players such as Cleverley, Nani and Hernandez are over

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Luke Shaw: – In my opinion, Luke Shaw could go on to become one of the greatest signings United have made in recent times. A necessity due to the departing Patrice Evra, Shaw is only 18 years of age, and in theory will still be playing at the highest level through to his late 20s. Some would argue that United paid over the odds for him, but I’m confident that he will more than pay his dues over the length of his career at the Theatre of Dreams.  As an England international, he will only improve with experience as he plays against the greatest players in the world for both his club and country…

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Ander Herrera: – Herrera is something that MUFC have been missing for a while now. He makes us tick in that midfield. As much as I love Fletcher, and to an extent Carrick, they’re both ageing and aren’t as fluent in the transition from defence to attack. Since the departure of Paul Scholes, we have lacked somebody to zip the ball around and control the tempo of the game. Herrera can do this. He also isn’t afraid to put himself about and get stuck into some challenges, similarly to Scholesy but with a better technique! One thing I’m not too sure about and a little in the unknown is Herrera’s shooting ability, another quality United have lacked since Scholes left. We don’t seem to score many goals from centre-midfield anymore. However, some of our other signings may well compensate for a lack of goals from the Spaniard if he fails to find the net too often…

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Marcos Rojo: – Rojo gives you versatility and aggression. A player I noticed in the World Cup, and instantly selected for my World Cup Dream Team after the first game for Argentina. He played as a left wing back for Argentina in the WC, yet LVG may well decide to use him as a left centre back in either the 3-5-2 system or indeed the 4-3-3 once Luke Shaw has returned and is our permanent left sided defender. He certainly isn’t scared to get forward, a vital attribute for full backs in the modern game and will get to the by-line and get crosses into the box. As a centre-back, there are claims he can be a tad aggressive and dive into challenges, which may leave us exposed at times so that is one side of his game that could be worked on. He is still young though, so we will definitely get the best years out of him in the future…

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Angel Di Maria: – Wow. United smashed the British transfer fee record to get Angel, and what a signing he could prove to be. Nobody expected him to hit the heights that he undoubtedly will at Old Trafford in his debut at Burnley, but given time I believe he will be a huge success at United. There were glimpses of class in that first half, with a few flicks, passes and runs that briefly unlocked their defence. His flair and ability will certainly help lighten up United’s performances, particularly at home. I’m not quite sure where he will fit in, possibly in the hole at no.10 taking Juan Mata’s position if the Spaniard’s performances don’t improve in the near future…

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Daley Blind: – Another necessity. Blind is versatile, brings calmness on the ball and possibly most importantly, has played under Van Gaal before and knows the way his teams function. He can play a variety of positions but may be used most often in holding midfield for a bit of added bite. Blind won’t stand out like some of the other names on here, but he may prove to be just as important if he helps tighten up some of the gaps that United’s midfield have been leaving in recent weeks and exposing the defence to attacking onslaughts. The newly crowned Eredivisie player of the season for last year will be a great addition to the squad…

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Radamel Falcao: – Another wow. Like many United fans, I could not believe the news when it began to filter through from other journalists on Twitter that Falcao would be coming to Manchester United and not City. When a player such as this becomes available, there is no other option but to sign them. One of the great out-and-out strikers in the world, many have described Falcao as being a perfect suit to Premier League football and he has been linked with moves to various clubs over the last few years. Only time will tell whether he will suit the style of the English game or not, as well as if his knee injury holds up, but on paper this signing is huge.

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Personally, I believe the club is in a much better state now than on July 1st. The departing Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and Ryan Giggs from May have all been replaced by ‘like-for-like’ players of a higher calibre and in, or yet to reach, their peak form. We have managed to enhance the squad with players that fit the Van Gaal systems, and further the creative ability that we have upfront. Time will tell whether or not Rojo, Blind and Shaw are enough to solve some of the defensive issues we have been having in the early part of the season, but it is hard to see our attacking force not improving drastically with Di Maria and Falcao added into the squad. We now have to hope that the team can gel and then we shall see if these marquee signings can help us regain our form and bring back Champions League football to Old Trafford next year.

Oh, and to those people who said we wouldn’t be able to attract the big names without Champions League football… were you honestly that naive? We are Manchester United. The biggest AND best club in the world, and I’m proud to call myself a fan.

About Alex 8 Articles
Alex is a lifelong United fan who has enjoyed regularly attending games since a very young age. He has recently graduated from Aberystwyth University with a BA Hons History degree and is looking to enhance his portfolio in sports writing with Red Mancunian. A passionate United fan with a realistic and honest view to all MUFC business.

6 Comments

  1. Good article, the new players are all very exciting.

    Let’s hope Louis van Gaal gets them performing well together.

    It should be a dream to watch!

    • Thanks David, glad you enjoyed the piece.

      Hopefully we get to see some quick, attacking football at Old Trafford from now on!

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