Man Utd winter window transfer manifesto for silverware charge
Lee Gormley | December 15, 2015
Man Utd may strengthen for silverware charge
Despite splashing around £200m in the summer transfer market, Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal may look to spend further in the winter window to strengthen his squad ahead of a charge towards silverware success in the second-half of the season.
The Red Devils made drastic changes to their set-up in the summer, with Dutch coach Van Gaal overseeing the arrival of no less than six new high-profile arrivals at Old Trafford and a substantial 10 former stars departing, as well as eight currently out on loan.
With such an overhaul having taken place, the winter window could see further fresh faces pull on the red shirt after the turn of the New Year, as United seek to end their wait for silverware under Van Gaal and they are 9/1 with Coral a Premier League title triumph.
Van Gaal mistakes need amending
During the busy summer months, as the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay were signing on at Old Trafford, fans may have been forgiven for overlooking the departures of former stars such as Nani, Javier Hernandez, Robin van Persie, Rafael Da Silva and misfit Angel Di Maria.
It was clear Portuguese winger Nani had no future under Van Gaal, enduring a season-long loan spell with boyhood club Sporting Lisbon before permanently signing with Fenerbahce, but as United continue to falter in front of goal, sales of Hernandez and Van Persie seem increasingly absurd.
Skipper Wayne Rooney has endured an ungraceful career decline, despite his record-breaking England exploits, with teenage sensation Anthony Martial having to be relied heavily on for attacking prowess, all the while Hernandez fires in goal after goal in Germany and Van Persie enjoys a slight Turkish revival of late.
Van Gaal opted to let proven goal scorers leave his ranks for very little, and more recently sent promising James Wilson to Brighton on loan, with the latter striker’s current Championship form just adding salt to the Dutchman’s hurtful transfer wounds.
Striker should be on Christmas list
With Hernandez annoyingly on an unstoppable run of form for Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga and Wilson proving his worth in an instantly clinical second tier loan, Van Gaal will surely need to add quality up front to challenge for maiden Man Utd silverware.
The Red Devils were haplessly sent packing from the Champions League, but have the Europa League as an unwanted second prize (10/1 to win), and also sit in an encouraging domestic position, as well as gaining a favourable FA Cup draw against Sheffield United.
Though, who could be brought in at such short notice in the lottery of the winter window? Business in the January market can either give sides an immense boost in the run-in or simply see a disastrous panic-buy derail proceedings further.
Van Gaal will hope to avoid the daunting latter scenario, though prolific poachers around Europe hard to come by midway through the season. Wilson can always be recalled, after proving he has the credentials to grab goals, but his Dutch boss clearly doesn’t see him as the answer to any attacking problems.
Recalls and defensive reinforcements
The club have been linked heavily with Everton hotshot Romelu Lukaku in recent weeks, and the bulldozing Belgium international would fit the bill perfectly, having enjoyed a supremely rampant run for Roberto Martinez’s Toffees this term.
Although, United would undoubtedly have to fork over a huge sum in order to prize Lukaku away from Goodison Park but, after such a high-spending summer, it’s clear the finances are there to be used for Van Gaal.
A potentially cheaper option for the Dutchman is to recall his loaned-out youngsters Wilson and promising forward Adnan Januzaj, who is currently learning his trade with Borussia Dortmund, but he could make a late impact in 2016.
As well as attacking arrivals, the Red Devils may finally see January as the chance to reassess their defensive options, having failed to secure a high-profile centre back in what seems like an eternity, while injuries may force a full back signing.
Luke Shaw is still recovering from his horrific leg injury, so Wolfsburg’s flying Swiss wideman Ricardo Rodriguez may be a promising acquisition for Van Gaal, while he may have to break the bank for talented Everton stalwart John Stones to shore-up his rear guard.
Success can undoubtedly be reclaimed at Old Trafford in the near future, but fans may have to face the harsh truth that the like of those sustained periods of it from under Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign may never be witnessed again, though United are 7/1 to end a decade-long wait for an FA Cup triumph this term after a potentially rejuvenating winter window.
Read our Premier League archive.
Have a look at the recent FA Cup third round draw.