Manchester Uinited will try to bounce back from their terrible showing last season. Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement after winning the Premier League Title in the previous campaign, and hand-picked David Moyes as his replacement. Moyes failed to live up to the standards of his predecessor and was fired by the club towards the end of the season. The Red Devils have wasted no time in their attempt to return to former glories, as they have hired former Holland manager Louis Van Gaal, who is expected to turn things around immediately. While this is an important step, all eyes will be on new signings Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw.
Herrera was recruited this summer after spending three years at Spanish outfit Athletic Bilbao. The 24-year-old Spanish midfielder made 128 appearances and scored 11 goals during his stint at Bilbao. It is evident that he isn’t much of a goalscorer, but he possesses a plethora of other positive attributes. Herrera boasts an exquisite first touch and is extremely agile; he also has a very good eye for a pass with an overall passing accuracy of 80.6 percent whilst making 1.6 key passes a game. He is quite versatile and can play various positions in a midfield role; being very strong defensively, he averages 3.1 tackles per game. The Spaniard is an excellent dribbler, he can break down defenses with ease, and he is not afraid of a challenge.
What really stands out though is his intelligence and creativity; he has displayed an array of deft flicks, back-heeled passes and superb crosses, even whilst under immense defensive pressure. He really does know how to get out of a tight situation. If he can quickly adapt to the physicality of the Premier League, he will certainly prove to be an excellent signing for the club.
Shaw is a rising star in the league — he is tipped to be one of the greats and his strong displays have already managed to force Ashley Cole out of the England setup; this is rather frightening when you consider the fact that he is only 19. This English left back is a product of Southampton‘s youth system, an academy which has molded stars such as Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott. Shaw is already being compared to Bale — he is lightning quick and is very good going forward; he has also shown a high level of maturity with his excellent decision making. He enjoys running at defenders and can change direction at breakneck speed. He is a decent dribbler and constantly crosses into the box, always trying to create chances for his teammates. His defensive ability isn’t too shabby either, as he averages 2.1 tackles and 1.1 interceptions per game. He can keep up with the quickest attacker and is quite hard to beat. His only visible foible is his inability to convincingly hold on to the ball, he is dispossessed quite often during his forward runs. If he could improve his retentivity of the ball, Shaw will undoubtedly become one of the greatest full backs the League has ever seen.
So far, the Red Devils have seemingly used their transfer window wisely. They have addressed their main concerns and it would be hard to imagine them finishing outside of the top four this season. They already have a strong squad with a title-winning mentality — they now have one of the world’s best managers and have made two very important signings. They will certainly be in the title race this time around.