The PR drive at Manchester United has been astronomically successful so far this summer, with all memories of their seventh-place finish largely forgotten in the face of the ubiquitous hype surrounding Louis van Gaal.
The Dutchman is undoubtedly a great manager, but with just two domestic league wins since the turn of the century, it’s too soon to uncork the champagne on United’s 5/1 title odds.
Perhaps a bigger problem than even David Moyes management last season was the sub-par squad at Old Trafford, and so far this summer only Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera have arrived to address those issues.
That could, however, all be about to change, with a spending spree to make Smaug blush on the cards at Old Trafford.
Angel di Maria, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind have been linked with moves that total an eye-watering £80m as Van Gaal aims to address every problem in his squad, mostly by signing flexible left-backs.
Despite being one of their best players last season, and man of the match in the Champions League final, Di Maria apparently lacks the star quality demanded by Real Madrid, while Blind and Rojo are keen for big moves after impressing at the World Cup.
Van Gaal’s plans to implement a 5-3-2 system will benefit hugely from the addition of the Ajax and Sporting players, who can both play at left-back, left wing-back or in the centre of defence.
Blind’s best role, however, is probably as a defensive midfielder, a position United badly need filling unless Darren Fletcher has finally overcome his lengthy injury issues.
Di Maria brings a similarly flexibility to the attack, able to operate on either wing or as a roving central midfielder, a role he shined in for Madrid last term.
The trio would elevate United’s squad to a whole new level and solve their remaining problems at a stroke, perhaps even giving Van Gaal the tools needed to turn seventh into first.
All Odds and Markets correct as of the date of publishing
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