Manchester United vice-chairman Ed Woodward has given Louis van Gaal the go-ahead to continue spending big money in the run-up to the new season. And they need it, as United need to bring in a few more players before the transfer window slams shut in September.
The Red Devils have already spent £56 million on the signings of Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao and Luke Shaw from Southampton. There are already rumours that van Gaal would like to bring in German star Mats Hummels and Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal.
Defense is an area that van Gaal desperately needs to strengthen. With both Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic leaving for free this year, United have only Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling eligible to play center-back.
None of the above players have the relevant experience to lead the Red Devils’ defense to a high league finish, which will surely be the aim for the season. That said, Jones needs to have a good season for United, or they could run out of patience with the ex-Blackburn Rovers star. But I digress.
So, strengthening the defence is vital for a successful season. Hummels, of German World Cup fame, would bring superb quality and a lot of experience to the team. However, van Gaal may need more than one world-class defender should he wish to for challenge the title this year.
In a previous interview, Louis van Gaal has been quoted as saying tactics should be based “on an attacking style of football. Never defensive!” This is interesting, not least because Manchester United have been strongly linked with Arturo Vidal, who is primarily a defensive midfielder. Should the Dutch manager play 3-4-3 as he did with Holland in this year’s World Cup, perhaps Vidal has a place in the team.
As a defensive midfielder, the Chilean would play alongside Juan Mata in the centre of midfield. This could prove very effective with Mata utilizing a playmaking role, playing in the three attackers, whoever they would be. Vidal could then sit alongside and play a Paul Scholes-type of role with his strength, defending prowess and through balls.
But then, where would Herrera fit in? In the centre of midfield, van Gaal would have to choose between Herrera, Mata and Vidal. This would favour a 3-5-2 formation, with Mata sitting just in front of the other two.
The Vidal signing has not been completed yet, though it could be getting closer. That could be the trigger that gets the ball rolling on another signing. Manchester United need to continue spending to improve their squad ahead of their league campaign this year.