While the idolised footballers to have lit up a fantastic World Cup take in some rays on holiday, 62-year-old Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal shunned the chance to kick back as he started his new role at Old Trafford.
With the former Holland boss now in situ, there can be plenty of comings and goings expected at the club, with reports suggesting up to 10 players could be axed from the Dutchman’s squad.
Here are three we think should be on the list:
The trophy-laden manager showed his penchant for a three-man defence in Brazil, using the likes of Dirk Kuyt as wing-backs to make a back five when out of possession.
Welbeck’s transition from central striker to hard working winger may have followed in the former Liverpool icon’s footsteps, but transforming into a glorified defender is a step too far for a 23-year-old.
His inferior scoring record to Javier Hernandez means it’s the Mexican who deserves to be Van Gaal’s first striking cab off the rank behind Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, not Welbeck.
Another Van Gaal preference is the midfield enforcer to screen his back three, as the rushing back of Nigel de Jong for the Argentina semi-final showed.
The Red Devils don’t have one at their disposal and should they recruit one, would no longer have a need for Carrick in their squad.
Ander Herrera has arrived to assume creative responsibility and the soft-tackling former Spur wouldn’t get into many Premier League sides as a defensive midfielder alone.
Having let Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic go already this summer, United will need one (possibly two) centre-halves to bolster their stocks.
You’d think, given they’re linked with the likes of Mats Hummels, Stefan De Vrij and Thomas Vermaelen, that anyone to arrive at Old Trafford would leapfrog Smalling in the queue – whose development in the position has stalled.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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