Manchester United may have gone into the international break on the back of a win over Crystal Palace but the result papers over the cracks that have been there for all to see this season.
After a near-perfect pre-season expectations of the Louis van Gaal era were extremely high but in reality, United have suffered their worst start to a season since 1986 – and that includes the disastrous David Moyes reign.
Fortunately for the Red Devils Liverpool look a shadow of the team that nearly won the league last season and champions Manchester City are in the middle of their worst run in two years!
Chelsea may appear to be cantering to the league title but there is plenty of time for Van Gaal to turn things around and return Champions League football to Old Trafford.
With David de Gea excelling in goal, Luke Shaw finally showing why he was bought in the summer and United boasting an embarrassment of riches in attacking positions, here we look at three players the Dutchman should look to secure in a bid to further strengthen his squad.
The Roma ace is just back from injury and the Serie A side are more than a little reluctant to sell.
United, however, remain linked to the Dutchman and while a summer swoop is largely expected Van Gaal could move his plans forward if United are not occupying a top four spot at the turn of the year.
Strootman is just the sort of box-to-box player that could protect United’s shaky back four and quickly turn defence into attack to get the best from the likes of Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao and Wayne Rooney.
The Barcelona right-back has sparked a bidding war among Premier League clubs after admitting he wants to see out his career in England.
Arsenal are said to be preparing at £30m double raid for Alves and Barca team-mate Pedro, but the Gunners could face stiff competition from United, with Van Gaal growing increasingly frustrated with Rafael’s form and the injury woes of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
Van Gaal has claimed he is not looking for a quick fix for his leaky defence when the January transfer window opens but any more injuries or individual errors to and from the likes of Jones, Smalling and Jonny Evans and his hand could be forced.
Vlaar is out of contract in the summer, excelled under Van Gaal at the World Cup and is an experienced Premier league operator that won’t break the bank. Don’t be surprised to see LVG go back on his word for this one.
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