Louis Van Gaal’s new Manchester United era got off to a poor start as they were beaten 2-1 at home by Swansea City in the Premier League’s opening fixture.
It was a performance riddled with insecurity and indecision as it brought back painful memories from the poor performances last season under former boss David Moyes.
Since taking over full managerial duties in July, United’s Dutch tactician has been desperately trying to implement his style on the team and rid the club of the underperforming stars the previous campaign.
Nine players have so far left the Old Trafford club this summer and rumours of more leaving over the next two weeks are appearing in media outlets across Europe.
Amongst those likely to leave are trio Wilfried Zaha, Brazilian midfielder Anderson and inconsistant winger Nani as the latest reports from the Mirror claim that Van Gaal has axed them from first-team activities.
“Louis van Gaal has banished Nani, Anderson and Wilfried Zaha from Manchester United’s first-team squad in a brutal show of power.”
“The 63-year-old Old Trafford chief has turfed the £60million trio out of his inner circle, forcing them to train at different times to the main squad, eat away from first-team stars including Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie, and excluded them from team briefings and game play strategy sessions.” The report claims.
Winger Nani has been constantly linked with a move to Juventus this summer as his future at Old Trafford looks increasingly uncertain.
The 27-year-old presumably doesn’t fit in with his new manager’s system due to his lack of defensive capabilities and speculation suggests that he could also be used as a makeweight in the Red Devils’ attempts to sign Argentine star Marcos Rojo.
As for Wilfired Zaha, the former Crystal Palace prodigy has failed to live up to his reputation in Manchester and in similar fashion to Nani, he lacks the defensive attributes needed to gain a place in Van Gaal’s renowned 3-5-2 wingback formation.
The last name on the list of likely departures is Brazilian midfielder Anderson.
The 26-year-old former Porto star fell out of favour at Old Trafford under former boss Moyes and ended up playing the second half of the season at Serie A side Fiorentina.
Clearly his luck hasn’t changed under his new boss and an in event of strong interest from another club, an exit over the next two weeks appears extremely likely.