Amidst all the talk about the Bales and Ronaldos of this world joining Manchester United this summer, Louis van Gaal highlighted an inescapable truth in his press conference on Friday, which proved to us that he knows exactly what he’s doing.
On the subject of Michael Carrick LvG said:
“We tried everything but now we have to think about next season,” Van Gaal told MUTV. “He shall not play anymore this season, it’s better now to focus for him on next season and being fit to start.”
“When you see the stats, it’s clear that he’s very important but that’s also because we have only one right-sided holding midfielder.
“Our selection is not balanced and I want to restore that in the next transfer period. The life is not ending at 34, but for a professional football player, it’s close by. That’s why I have to handle again in that position.”
And with those statements, LvG has set the wheels in motion for a summer of intense speculation about midfield signings. There aren’t too many who can fill the boots of Carrick, whose range of talent is hard to replace.
We were reminded yesterday of one man who will surely come back into Louis van Gaal’s thinking this summer. Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman said of Memphis Depay’s move to England:
Strootman – who has been strongly linked to United – is left-footed and won’t completely solve the problem. There is also the obvious risk of him not recovering fully from the injury problems that he has suffered over the last 18 months.
But, if Strootman can prove his fitness, he could add the quality that Carrick brings to Manchester United more than any other – composure.
At 25 he’s the perfect age to join Manchester United – Carrick arrived at the same point in his life and has had a marvellous career at the club.
But the focus has changed from forwards to midfielders with Louis’s latest soundbites and we might expect two to join the club this summer.