One thing that United have been criticised for recently is their inability to compete in Europe. Much of it has been down to them playing in an outdated 4-4-2 formation that gives opposition midfields too much time to operate and exert their influence.
Sir Alex tried to correct this by playing Rooney in a much deeper midfield role. But with Rooney himself preferring a forward role and seemingly out of the club in the summer United need to evolve into a 4-2-3-1 formation to compete with likes of Bayern and Barcelona and even domestically.
I see Shinji kagawa playing in the hole just behind Van Persie, and that is the position from where he destroyed defences at Dortmund with his super one-touch passing, ability to retain the ball and an ability to find the back of the net with composure.
One of the wide positions will surely be occupied by Wilfried Zaha sooneer rather than later. The other wide position is where Thiago could come into play, not as an out and out winger but rather a left-handed side midfielder similar to the role Iniesta plays for Barcelona.
Although he has been compared to Xavi I see him more in an Iniesta mould with his ability to dribble past defenders and silky passing. That position would allow him to drift infield and build play from the deep as well as venture forward.
He would also enable United to hold on to the ball having learned his trade at the famed La Masia and we all know how important it is against big European opposition to not only retain possession but also to make good use of it.
On the other hand Strootman would fit in perfectly alongside Carrick in the deeper midfiled role. It would give United the flexibilty to have one midfielder back to shield the back four everytime much like what Javi Martinez and Schweinsteiger do for Bayern.
Strootman is an explosive attacking midfielder who could prove to be a valuable asset in counterattacks. His defensive abilities mean he could also stayback and defend when Carrick decides to venture forward. He would also be a cheaper and more disciplined alternative to Fellaini, the other big name United have been linked with
David Moyes probably needs to win a trophy in the first season and surely do well in the Champions League to gain approval of the United fans because one thing is sure , they wont be as patient with him as they were with Ferguson.
And signing Thiago and Strootman might do him a big favour.
image: © castroquini2011