Man U

Manchester United: A realistic starting 11 under Louis van Gaal?


What will Louis do?

Rumour. Counter rumour. Speculation frenzy!

It’s going to be a long summer for the short-suffering Manchester United who have gone a whole year without success and have stupendous amounts of money to spend.

Each day will bring a score of new suggestions about players potentially arriving at the club to restore its attacking virtuosity.

Depending on which source you read or believe the transfer kitty could be anywhere between £100-200 million of Her Majesty’s GBP.

You have to assume that a manager of Louis van Gaal’s stature would have fantastic connections within the game so Manchester United fans can afford to be cautiously optimistic about signings this summer.

But even that huge kitty won’t cover the entire list of top players that is being linked to Manchester United.

Realistically Manchester United cannot afford all of Mangala, Shaw, Kroos, Cavani, Fabregas, Reus and Robben.

So a few bargain buys might also be the order of the day; players such as the brilliant young Feyenoord midfielder Jordi Classie or his international teammate Kevin Strootman.

Luke must Shawly be a priority for Manchester United but whether they can prise Porto’s Eliaquim Mangala from the clutches of Manchester City and Chelsea is highly debatable.

Mats Hummels seems happy in Germany so another, cheaper, centre-back alternative may also be needed. Jan Vertonghen perhaps? Still costly and by no means easy to acquire. But perhaps marginally easier to secure than the much sought after Mangala. And perhaps there might even be some money left over for the brilliant young Real Sociedad centre back Inigo Martinez who can also provide cover at left-back?

As for the wings Robben, 30, would be a dream but Yehven Konoplyanka, 24, would possibly represent better value for money at around £15-£20 million. But, for us, Manchester United’s biggest weakness is currently on the flanks so let’s have both (Robben right, Konoplyanka left) and ensure that the superb Adnan Januzaj also gets lots of game time.

As for up top it would be lovely to see Edinson Cavani come in but Manchester United can easily soldier on with Rooney and RvP for now. And what of Juan Mata? His fate is anyone’s guess but we have always maintained that he would be best deployed at the top of a diamond in midfield.

So with all of our expertise we have put together a projection of Louis van Gaal’s starting XI as Manchester United approach a critical season in the Premier league.

Manchester United:

De Gea – Shaw, Jones, Vertonghen, Da Silva – Konoplyanka, Mata, Kroos, Robben – Rooney, Van Persie

Subs: Lindegaard, Smalling, Inigo Martinez, Strootman, Januzaj, Welbeck, Kagawa

Thoughts please.



  1. true united fan

    May 22, 2014 at 3:55 am

    Jones?????……Vertonghen???????????,,,,,,you should have put in Julian Lescott…..Jones can neither pass nor cross a ball……Smalling gives a goal away per game….Need at least 2……has to be strong & quick. as Evans who can pass was injured most of this past season……but who was n’t with that idiot Moyes’ s training methods……if you count what we can get for Cleverley,Fellaini,Valencia,Wellbeck,Chico.Young.Nani.Anderson,Carrick.Kagawa.Fletcher.Zaha and Powell. you will be surprised………No…..Van Gaal is not here for 2nd best and neither should we……

    • jackmufc

      May 22, 2014 at 4:34 am

      You are a idiot that knows nothing so just keep away

  2. Captain

    May 22, 2014 at 4:05 am

    Strootman has to play, he’s that imp to LVG. Benatia/Hummels, Veltman/Martinez much better bets at CM. I dont see Utd playing 2 strikers, Rooney on left cutting in, with Mata at 10. DeGea, Shaw, Hummels, Veltman, Valencia, Strootman, Kroos, Mata, Rooney, RVP, Januzaj

  3. Alex ibrahim

    May 22, 2014 at 5:55 am

    It is very nice but van gaal should book a place for valencia,nani,hernandez and cleverly please.

  4. Realist

    May 22, 2014 at 6:05 am

    Yeah buy strootman and bench him and leave Kroos as the only player to shield the back four, sounds like a load of tosh to me!

  5. Ben Dover

    May 22, 2014 at 7:20 am

    Your midfield setup is not able to defend and protect the back four.

    I would prefer us to look like this:

    ———— de Gea —————

    Coleman – Smalling Jones – Shaw

    ———- Carvalho Rooney ———

    Januzaj – Mata – Reus

    —————– van Persie ————-

    Bench: Evans, Rafael, Carrick, Cleverly, Hernandez, Welbeck

  6. dwisman

    May 22, 2014 at 7:24 am

    datz gud bt i tnk kroos cn b our savor at centre bck.up man u

  7. alex mukway

    May 22, 2014 at 7:38 am

    for me,its better to attack more than deffending. I would preffer reus,kroos to strootman and vertongen

  8. Ben Dover

    May 22, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Rooney should play central midfield, as he has got the vision needed for this role and the stamina for a real box-to-box midfielder and can spray passes like Paul Scholes.

    He would probably notch up just as many goals from that position, as he can shoot from outside the area and the man-marking is not as tight for a midfielder 😉

  9. aleeshow

    May 22, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    For me 3.3.4
    Manager Lous Van Gaal

    De gea (1)

    Jones (4) Hummels (15) Shaw (3)

    Mata (8) Kroos (21) Ferbregas (20)

    Robben (11) Reus (7)

    Rooney (10)

    Van persie (9)
    Kagawa. Januzaj. Chicharito. Valencia. Evans. Smalling. Rafael. Fellaini. Carrick. Wilson. Buttner. Welbeck

    • soccersweep

      May 22, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      Good Shout – Louis is trying a 3-5-2 with Holland right now. But would Robben and Reus track back enough to help out the defence?

      • Ben Dover

        May 22, 2014 at 1:46 pm

        Of course they wouldn’t. Neither would Mata, Kroos and Fabregas. That would leave us with 3 players in defence when we lost the ball… very good shout indeed… :p

  10. Bob

    May 22, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    This is what too much FIFA and CM will do to you. Buy all star players and shove them into unbalanced formation. Firstly if LVG sticks to his double pivot 4-3-3, which most likely he will (considering he has used it for all the club he coached; Ajax, Barca, AZ, Bayern), then effectively you would only need a LB (Shaw), a CB (Hummels?), a CM (Strootman/Kroos?) and maybe a new winger to replace one of the current (Young/Nani/Valencia). After that, he still need to figure out how to accommodate and make the best out of RVP, Rooney, Mata, Januzaj, Kagawa, Nani, given that some of these talented players will be playing out of position (Mata, Rooney, Kagawa). SAF said he bought Kagawa intending to play in the hole behind Rooney (before they could dream that RVP was available) and then DM bought Mata (plays best in the hole) and both ended up on the wing. LVG will have to sort this out. The only formation that comes to mind to make the best of them would be a narrow 4-4-2 with the wing back to support play or just simply LVG 4-3-3.
    —————–DDG—————— —————–DDG——————
    -Rafael-Hummels-Jones-Shaw- -Rafael-Hummels-Jones-Shaw-
    ——–Carrick——Strootman—- or ——-Carrick—–Strootman——
    ——–Januzaj——Mata———– —————-Mata——————-
    ———Rooney—–RVP———– —-Januzaj—RVP—Rooney—–

  11. Echeya M.C

    May 23, 2014 at 2:53 am


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Soccersweep is a site dedicated to the beautiful game. We may not always be right, but we aim to offer integrity and insight, reflecting on the modern game in all its glory, greed and grandeur.

92 Languages!


Copyright © 2016 Soccersweep. Soccersweep is based in Clapham South, London, UK.

To Top