The arrival of Louis Van Gaal at the helm last season signalled a new era for Manchester United – as they aimed to compete for Premier League glory once more.
While the Dutch coach brought a wealth of experience from managing top European clubs and had amassed quite a few trophy wins during his career, United fans were made to wait at least another season before mounting a serious title challenge – as they secured a top-four spot and a return to Champions League. However, van Gaal’s debut season did suggest that they can look forward to the good times returning to Old Trafford in the not too distant future.
United are a much more effective unit under Van Gaal than they were under the ill-fated spell of former Everton boss David Moyes and, while a title challenge may have been a bridge too far in the Dutchman’s first season, they will be hoping for better this season and it would also be no surprise if the Red Devils were to go far in the FA Cup as well.
The Manchester United squad was considerably overhauled for the 2014/15 season, with Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo Ander Herrera, Daley Blind and Angel Di Maria moving to Old Trafford.
The big surprise came when Manchester United announced the capture of world-class striker Radamel Falcao on a season-long loan, but was even more surprising was just how spectatularly he flopped at Old Trafford – scuppering an interest for a permanent move from the club.
The Red Devils beat fierce rivals Liverpool to the signature of Dutch forward Memphis Depay for a cool £24.6m, before shocking fans and pundits alike with a move for Monaco’s Anthony Martial for a rumoured fee of £36.5m.
Man Utd and England captain Wayne Rooney topped the goalscroring charts for the Old Trafford outfit in 2014/15 – notching 14 goals in all competitions, so it’s hoped that Martial can ease the burdon and he’s sure to be a popular First Goalscorer selection over the coming season.
Transfers In (From):
Memphis Depay (PSV Eindhoven)
Matteo Darmian (Torino)
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)
Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton)
Anthony Martial (AS Monaco)
Regan Poole (Newport)
Transfers Out (To):
Tom Cleverley (Everton)
Saidy Janko (Celtic)
Robin van Persie (Fenerbahçe)
Angel Di Maria (PSG)
Jonny Evans (West Brom)
Javier Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen)
Anders Lindegaard (West Brom)
The new-look Manchester United squad for the 2015/16 Premier League season looks like this.
Manager: Louis Van Gaal
Goalkeepers: David de Gea, Victor Valdez, Sergio Romero
Defenders: Luke Shaw, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Guillermo Varela, Paddy McNair, Reece James, Tyler Blackett, Matteo Darmian,
Midfielders: Juan Mata, Michael Carrick, Daley Blind, Ashley Young, Ander Herrera, Nick Powell, Antonio Valencia, Marouane Fellaini, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin
Forwards: Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, Will Keane, James Wilson, Angelo Henriquez, Anthony Martial
Looking at the available personnel, Manchester United seem to be top-heavy with plenty of attacking options and should be able to trouble any defence this season, but they still look a bit light at the back.
With that in mind, the Red Devils should provide plenty of entertainment this season and bets on Over 2.5 Goals along with Both Teams To Score will be popular for many of their games.
In addition to their quest to get back into the Premier League title picture and returning to the latter stages of the Champions League again, Manchester United will be keen to improve their showings in recent derby fixtures against Manchester City and Liverpool. A good result in any of those games could breathe confidence into the team and provide a catalyst for subsequent fixtures, while losing can often have a detrimental effect on the performances that immediately follow.
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