Manchester United's line-up could look something like this if they are able to land all of their reported targets.
With Angel Di Maria’s transfer to Manchester United expected to go through today, United’s summer spending is set to top £130 million, but it is showing no signs of slowing down.
United are desperate to add quality to a struggling squad and reports surfaced last night that they are intending to do more business even after bringing in Di Maria from Real Madrid.
It promises to be a hectic week at Old Trafford, before the transfer window slams shut, but it could also provide the side with some renewed optimism.
This season was supposed to be the start of a resurgence for the Red Devils, but there are already concerns that it could turn it to be a repeat of the last campaign unless serious measures are taken.
United slumped to seventh place in the Premier League last year and their first two games of this season – a defeat to Swansea City and a draw with Sunderland – have done little to inspire confidence that a turnaround is imminent.
That said, if Louis van Gaal does get his intended targets between now and September 1st the squad could have a lot more quality about it by the time they take on QPR at Old Trafford.
In this piece we take a look at a potential starting XI for United in that game on September 14, after the international break, if they do get everyone on van Gaal’s wishlist.
GK: David de Gea – One of the first names on the team-sheet at Old Trafford, De Gea’s position in goal is in no need of an upgrade. The Spaniard is arguably the finest stopper in the Premier League and, at such a young age, should be a regular for United for some time yet.
CB: Marcos Rojo – The £16 million addition from Sporting Lisbon is yet to make his debut at United, due to work permit complications, but there are high hopes that his arrival will go some way to solving the problems at the heart of their defence.
CB: Daley Blind – The Ajax man can play in a number of positions, but he may be utilised as a ball playing centre-back by Louis Van Gaal. He would likely set back United around £17 million if he was to complete a transfer.
CB: Ron Vlaar – Like Blind, Vlaar was a star of Holland’s World Cup campaign, which Van Gaal oversaw, and he has started the new season impressively with Aston Villa. The 29-year-old is available for around £5 million and may be a cheap solution, as a player who can add strength and discipline to United’s back-line.
LWB: Luke Shaw – The £30 million purchase from Southampton has had a set-back in his early days at United, after picking up a hamstring injury. He should be fit to face QPR, though, and he will be keen to show he was worth the costly outlay.
RWB: Antonio Valencia – With United’s interest in Juan Cuadrado reportedly cooling, Valencia is likely to continue as their first-choice in the right-wing-back position. He has all the attributes to make a successful attempt at it, too, but will need to step up if he is to keep the spot.
CM: Arturo Vidal – One of the summer’s most protracted transfer sagas, Arturo Vidal reportedly remains very much on United’s wishlist. He is a combative midfielder who offers a lot of the qualities that van Gaal’s side are missing and it would be a major blow if the Juventus man wasn’t plying his trade at Old Trafford by the end of the month. He could cost as much as £50 million.
CM: Ander Herrera – The summer signing from Athletic Bilbao has already shown signs of promise in his United career. His energy and drive fits in nicely with the formation, whilst his passing adds a touch of class to his game.
AM: Angel Di Maria – The Argentine was arguably Real Madrid’s star-player last season so his transfer to United is understandably much anticipated. A prodigiously talented, forward-thinking midfielder, his link-up play should create an entirely new outlet for United to play from and his pace should force opposition defences onto the back foot far more often.
ST: Wayne Rooney – Rooney was handed the captain's armband by van Gaal and that highlights his importance to the team. The England international was one of the club’s most consistent performers as they struggled last year and he will need to continue to lead be example in this campaign.
ST: Robin van Persie – Arguably the Premier League’s finest finisher, Van Persie should be close to full-fitness for this encounter. He completes an attacking trio which may be the strongest of any side’s in England.