After a promising first season at Old Trafford, Louis van Gaal will be keen – and under pressure – to start building a side that is capable of winning the Premier League title in the near future.
The Telegraph have put together the team’s potential XI for next year, based on the players already through the door, as well as those heavily linked with a move to the Red Devils.
GK- Hugo Lloris
The Metro report that the Tottenham stopper will be one of United’s key targets to replace David de Gea, should the Spaniard get his move to Real Madrid. The Frenchman has proved himself to be a calming influence on an often shaky Spurs defence, so would surely be able to ease the transition while United’s back four get used to a new voice behind them.
However, the deal may be taken off the cards should Real Madrid decide against reaching United’s £35m valuation of de Gea (via Daily Mail).
RB- Sergio Ramos
Another potential new signing, Sergio Ramos’ possible move to Old Trafford is threatening to become a saga that drags on for the entirety of the summer, if not longer. A resolution appears over £20m apart at the moment, with The Telegraph reporting that Manchester United put in a bid of £42.5m for the defender, however the Spanish giants want £65m (via Daily Mail). However, that figure seems quite extreme for a player that is now 29, and may prevent any deal going through.
Nevertheless, it is definitely an area that Louis van Gaal needs to strengthen, having watched Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia fill the role for much of last year.
CB- Phil Jones
At times last season, Phil Jones was very impressive, and showed why he deserved his chances in the national side. However, he was one of the victims of an injury crisis that plagued United’s defence last year. And when he was fit, he had to deal with frequently changing partners at the heart of the back four. If he can find a settled partner, United fans may see the best of him on a consistent basis.
Louis van Gaal obviously thinks a lot of the 23-year-old, as the Daily Mail reported that he has recently been offered a new contract worth around £80,000 a week.
CB- Marcos Rojo
According to The Telegraph’s team, it is Marcos Rojo that should partner Phil Jones in the middle. However, that seems particularly unfair on Chris Smalling as – while the Argentinian enjoyed a solid first year in England – it was the former Fulham man that held the defence together when the side’s injury problems were at their worst. Louis van Gaal will probably just be grateful however, to have a selection of defenders to pick from after last year’s difficulties.
LB- Daley Blind
With Luke Shaw struggling to step up to the mark during his first season at Old Trafford, van Gaal is likely to turn to a man that he can rely on. Very few players in the top flight were as reliable as Daley Blind last season, and while he didn’t often put in showstopping displays, his consistency was crucial as United tried to get into the Premier League’s top four. He was moved from a deep-lying midfield role and into a full-back position late on in the campaign, and proved just as solid, and showed Shaw the standard he needs to find if he wishes to justify his £30m fee (via The Telegraph).