It seems as if Manchester United are linked with a new transfer signing every day. Some rumored targets, such as Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, have been “on and off ” United’s radar numerous times for what feels like the entire summer (for example, according to Twitter, today Vidal is back “on”).
Speculation by United fans and the English media flies in the face of comments made by the club’s new manager, Louis van Gaal.
From his opening press conference at the club, the Dutch boss stated: “My method is always the same. I want to look at the players now, the players present. Of course I know how the players play. But I don’t know the players under my training or coaching. In the first three or four weeks, I want to see what they can do. Then maybe I will buy other players.”
That statement was made less than two weeks ago.
So, to go by the timeline he set on possible arrivals, United fans still have one or two weeks left before Van Gaal starts making any moves.
Although he has been United’s manager since before the start of the World Cup, the 62-year-old manager has only had two preseason matches and less than ten training sessions to work with and assess his new squad (because of the Netherlands long tournament run).
Van Gaal spoke to BBC Sport today and reaffirmed his philosophy: “I don’t buy players for buying players. I buy players to improve my selection.”
His later statements revealed that his is still in the process of assessing United’s players.
When asked about the challenges of fitting Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Robin Van Persie into his team, and his deployment of a 3-4-1-2 formation, the United manager went on to say: “I have to choose this system. That is one argument why I chose this system. I can play them all – that is important. With the quality of the squad I choose this system.”
“But don’t forget all the others. Javier Hernandez can play in the striker’s position, Danny Welbeck can, maybe Will Keane also. He can develop himself.”
“Rooney can play at 10 and nine. He said to me he can also play seven and 11. But I like him more at nine or 10.”
Van Gaal also shared his thoughts on United’s new left-back, Luke Shaw. He believes that the player is not where he needs to be in regards to his overall fitness.
“He needs to be fit and he is not very fit,” Van Gaal said.
“Therefore he cannot perform what I want so first he has to be fit and has to train individually.”
“I have spoken with him and we have made the program. He agreed with me. We will have to see how long it takes [for him to get fit].”
Van Gaal’s later revealed that he is learning more and more about his players every day, but time may be running out on them to prove their worth in his system.
The manager confessed that when he succeeded Bobby Robson at Barcelona, he took over a club that had won three titles. That made things a little easier for him in the beginning.
Now he has inherited a club that finished seventh place in the Premier League and, as fans would attest, has an unbalanced squad.
“We have to see if the selection is in balance and how we can improve it. Not only by training but also transfers.”
“I am always looking first to my players because the players are the most important thing in the club.”
“When there is success, you also have a very good squad. Now I have to follow and the squad was broken, I think. It is not in balance, I have already said that.”
“It is more difficult to succeed in a difficult situation than a fantastic situation.”
For Manchester United supporters, Van Gaal’s closing statements should provide addition proof of his passion and determination to turn things back around at Old Trafford.
“I have to manage my club. That is already difficult enough. I am not concerned with other clubs or other managers.”
“I am a human being who loves football. I have always looked to matches in England. I like the atmosphere of the English games. Because of that it is a challenge for me.”
“That I can work for the biggest club in England and the world makes it more of a challenge for me.”
Manchester United play Inter Milan at FedEx Field in Washington DC today in what will be the club’s second match of the International Champions Cup.
United defeated AS Roma on Saturday, 3-2, while Inter Milan defeated Real Madrid after a penalty shootout.