Five potential pacey wingers for Louis Van Gaal at Man Utd

Lee Gormley | November 9, 2015

Van Gaal seeks speedy wingers

Following Manchester United’s 2-0 Premier League triumph over West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford, Dutch boss Louis van Gaal reiterated his desire to secure pacey wide players for his Red Devils ranks.

The outspoken former Netherlands coach seemingly outlined intentions of acquiring further speedy wingers, with summer singing Memphis Depay having struggled so far in new surroundings and Jesse Lingard only just recently into the first-team picture.

“I have said already in my first year many times we need speed and creativity on the wings,” stated the Dutchman.

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“You have seen that now we play with Jesse Lingard and he is not the most speedy winger in the world and [Juan] Mata is also not the most speedy winger in the world. So first we must first address that problem.”

After such remarks from Van Gaal, here are five potential wingers who possess plenty of pace that the Dutchman could look to capture in the January transfer market, with his side currently 15/2 with Coral for a title triumph.

Sadio Mane

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Southampton v Norwich City - St Marys

Senegal international Mane has become one of Ronald Koeman’s key stars on the south coast, with this superb Southampton attacker possessing all the attributes Van Gaal desires in an out-and-out wideman.

In 45 games for the Saints, Mane has struck an impressive 16 goals, proving he has a clinical eye for finishing, as well as his dynamic pace and movement, which has caused Premier League defenders havoc this campaign.

Koeman will try everything in his power to retain the services of his star man, but if the Red Devils come calling in January, Mane may find it too tempting an offer from Van Gaal to turn down.

Riyad Mahrez

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Leicester v Sunderland - King Power Stadium

Another Premier League forward who has raised eyebrows this season. This time it’s Leicester City winger Mahrez, who has excelled under Claudio Ranieri, helping fire the Foxes incredibly to their current third position in the table.

Sitting above United at this early stage, Leicester have benefited from the attacking delights of their Algeria international forward, with the 24-year-old France-born maestro having made five assists and struck seven goals in all competitions so far.

Mahrez is currently the top scoring midfielder in Europe with those seven strikes, alongside Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund, Nice’s Hatem Ben Arfa and Yunus Malli of Mainz, proving he belongs on a truly grand stage.

Old Trafford could soon be that platform for the Algeria menace, with Ranieri possibly set to pay the price for his Foxes side’s sensational start, potentially losing star men Jamie Vardy and Mahrez next year to more illustrious clubs.

Anwar El Ghazi

Soccer - UEFA Europa League - Group A - Ajax v Fenerbahce - Amsterdam Arena

Van Gaal has already kept things Dutch during previous transfer windows, signing Netherlands international defender Daley Blind and former PSV superstar Memphis, and he could once again look to his homeland for hopeful reinforcements.

Ajax prospect El Ghazi is one of the most highly-rated forwards in Europe right now, with his exuberance on the ball and direct approach reportedly capturing the attention of many top clubs, including Man Utd.

The 20-year-old Netherlands international fits the bill perfectly for Van Gaal, but his lack of experience and youthfulness could be a downfall, with the Old Trafford boss seeking players who can instantly perform astutely every week at the highest level.

Although, this Eredivisie wing wizard could be the player to light up Old Trafford during those dull encounters the fans have had to endure in recent weeks, with El Ghazi possessing abilities that could ultimately make him a European star.

Felipe Anderson

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The Old Trafford faithful may be sick of seeing Lazio attacker Anderson’s name pop-up in the tabloid headlines, but the single-cap Brazil international holds an abundance of pace and creative prowess which would see him slot nicely into Van Gaal’s set-up.

Anderson, who is just 22 years of age, has shone again in Serie A and the Europa League this term, dispatching five goals in all competitions, to help Stefano Pioli’s I Biancocelesti climb to fourth spot domestically so far.

Will Anderson finally arrive at Old Trafford? The samba starlet has been linked with the Red Devils for many seasons now but, after developing further in Italy’s challenging top tier this term and in the second string European competition, he could come to Van Gaal’s rescue in January.

Nicolas Gaitan

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Another who’s name constantly appears in the gossip columns each passing season. Benfica maestro Gaitan has long been tipped for a switch to the red half of Manchester, and it looked increasingly likely this summer before a move seemingly stalled.

Now at 27 years old, the left-footed Argentina international has spent long enough in Portugal to have warranted a big European transfer, and it could finally be to Old Trafford. Gaitan has top quality experience in Europe’s elite club competition and at international level with La Albiceleste, but would Van Gaal be tempted to acquire the potent playmaker next year?

The Dutch coach’s search will continue in the January window, when he will look to snap up that pacey wideman he craves so much, with his Red Devils outfit 25/1 to reign supreme in the Champions League this term.


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