Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has the knack of sounding very revealing in interviews without giving away much at all.
So we know what positions he is looking to address in the January transfer window but we don’t know names and can only speculate.
But, based on his latest quotes he wants to add a winger or two plus, possibly, more cover for Luke Shaw depending on the length of his injury lay off.
He implied as much when he said this week:
‘I have said already in my first year many times we need speed and creativity on the wings,’
You have seen that now we play with Jesse Lingard and he is not the most speedy winger in the world and (Juan) Mata is also not the most speedy winger in the world. So first we must first address that problem.’
“It is also dependable on what I can buy. I want to buy a lot of players but not all the players I want are for sale. So there are a lot of factors in it.
“It is dependable for instance on the rehabilitation of Luke Shaw – how long it will last. “
It’s not easy to snare top targets in January and that fact will temper Louis’s decisions. He would prefer players who aren’t cup-tied for The Champions League but top players like that are rare.
We think that Sadio Mane of Southampton remains a very real prospect.
He can either play at number 10 or add speed and creativity on the wing. He won’t come cheap but he ticks most to all of the boxes for Manchester United.
The other player who we would like to see at Manchester United is Felipe Anderson. With a deal for Marco Reus perhaps too difficult to pull off mid-season Anderson could add the sort of invention and pace which could tip the balance in favour of Manchester United’s attack.
If Louis van Gaal can get these two then Memphis may well be looking over his shoulder and will need to start performing pretty quickly if he wants to cement a place in the side this season.
So here is how we think that Manchester United could line up come February.