We have agreed with virtually every decision that Louis van Gaal has taken in the market for Manchester United.
Getting rid of players like Welbeck and Fletcher proved to be the right moves and we also applaud the culling of the likes of Cleverley, Chicharito, RvP and Falcao – the squad now looks streamlined and has less dead wood than at any time in recent years.
He has also bought really well with the likes of Rojo, Shaw, Memphis and Scheiderlin. These guys will play big parts in the future success of Manchester United.
Of course, the team is yet to really click, but we still believe that this is just a matter of time.
But we strongly believe that Louis van Gaal would agree with our point, throughout the summer, that what was needed most was a right winger – someone to break through the opposition lines with pace and guile before serving quality deliveries to Wayne Rooney.
The Manchester United manager is not a man to buy for the sake of it and there does appear to be a dearth of top quality attacking talent at the top end right now.
But, on further inspection, we think that in the absence of a top available winger LvG has bought Anthony Martial as an alternative wide addition.
One of LvG’s best teams had Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery on the wings of a 4-3-3 at Bayern Munchen.
These guys terrorised Europe but not just as suppliers. They were modern wide men who could operate in a narrower manner to score as well as assist goals.
It’s a formula which worked well at Munchen and, in Martial and Memphis, we think that LvG could be trying to recreate that system.
Martial scored a brilliant goal at a crucial time on his debut but he can be lethal as a wide man in a 4-3-3. As Arsene Wenger said recently:
“He is more a winger-type but is an exceptional talent.”
But for us the obvious thing to do with this pool of players, this season, would surely be to use the pace of the youngsters on the flanks – lord knows Manchester United need more speed out there – and hopefully bring Mata back into his position at number 10 where he can pull the strings instead of wheeze his way up and down the flank.
Both Martial and Memphis have regularly played wide in a front three and they are both athletic and fast enough to make game changing contributions out there. Furthermore, their ability to score goals would make this new look attack really threatening.
Manchester United’s back 7 looks really strong now. And if the front four can click with Mata/Herrera in the hole and Martial and Memphis either side of Wayne Rooney, we may well be about to see the next United vintage.
LvG has been known to make some strange decisions in his managerial career along with some utterly inspiring ones.
Let’s hope that he does the right thing with Martial and inspires greater attacking fluency at United by playing him out wide regularly this season.