It’s time for Van Gaal to finally balance Man United’s squad

The way so many footballers are flocking into Old Trafford, with so few leaving, you’d think Manchester United the world’s only survival bunker before a nuclear blast.

Alas it’s just another heavy-set recruitment drive from Louis van Gaal, in just his second summer in charge of the Red Devils.

Memphis Depay’s £25m arrival has been followed by the signings of Matteo Darmian and Bastian Schweinsteiger, just 12 months after five first-teamers arrived at the club in the Dutchman’s debut transfer window.

While the former Bayern Munich boss has been happy to hoard players like the most addicted stamp collector, there comes a time when some of the club’s current crop need to be moved on to accomodate the new boys.

Last season, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Shinji Kagawa and Danny Welbeck all departed before the summer window closed and so far this term only Tom Cleverley, Nani and Robin van Persie have bid farewell to the 11/2 title challengers.

Rumours persist linking David de Gea and Angel Di Maria with big-money departures, but far more realistic is that Van Gaal sells more of the bit-part players within his squad.

Expect Adnan Januzaj to pay the price for Depay’s entrance, while Rafael is likely to be moved on now that Darmian is around to play at right-back.

The real congestion, however, comes in central midfield, where Schweinsteiger’s presence clogs an already overcrowded section of the field.

Daley Blind, Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini already gave Van Gaal a well-stocked middle band to work with, but Schweinsteiger’s signing and talk of the imminent arrival of Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin further muddies the water.

It could well be that none of that original quartet move on this summer, with Van Gaal preferring to let them battle it out for the formation-dependant two or three spots in the side.

If that is the path the manager chooses though, he could well have quite a disgruntled group on his hands come January.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.