Manchester United pulled off undoubtedly the biggest deal of transfer deadline day, and perhaps the entire window, signing Radamel Falcao from AS Monaco on a season-long loan.
But come the end of the season United fans may ultimately look back on transfer deadline day as a failure, as the club failed to add a top-class centre-back to their defence.
In the opening three games of this season, Van Gaal's squad has struggled to adapt to the Dutchman's system, and as a result the club delved into the transfer market to buy players to fit the 3-5-3 formation.
Ander Herrera could be an excellent holding midfielder when he adapts to the pace of the Premier League, and Luke Shaw is tailor-made for the left wing-back position.
But the rest of the club's transfer business has been somewhat confusing. Another two left-backs - Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind - joined after Shaw, and Falcao will look to start in the one area that United have an abundance of talent.
The Red Devils head into the rest of the season with just three recognised central defenders in Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.
Tyler Blackett has been called into action for the first few games of this season, but the 19-year-old is a raw prospect and has looked overwhelmed at times with a lack of top-flight experience.
Thomas Vermaelen would have been an ideal signing to play in Van Gaal's back three - but when he joined Barcelona, United should have moved on to other targets.
It appears that the manager will look to Rojo to play at centre-back, but the Argentine is a natural full-back and will no doubt take time to adapt to the Premier League.
Falcao is an exciting signing that will appease United fans who are desperate to challenge for the Premier League title. His decision to move to Old Trafford sends a message to the footballing world that the Manchester outfit can still attract world-class players even without the promise of Champions League football.
But great teams are built from the back, and the current batch of defenders at the club are simply not good enough to mount a successful title challenge.