After a seventh place finish last season, new Manchester United boss was widely expected to splash the cash this summer - and that's exactly what he did.
Hundreds of players were linked with talent-starved United, and at the end of the summer transfer window, van Gaal amassed a £150m bill from new signings.
In came Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Daley Blind, Ander Herrera, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao, and after some odd results early on this season, United finally look to be hitting their stride.
A 1-0 win over Crystal Palace has taken United to within two points of a top four spot, but van Gaal certainly needs to continue the spending in January.
Centre back is a position of real concern after a number of injuries to United defenders this season, but adding more pace should be on van Gaal's agenda too, even after signing Di Maria.
One of the most prominent names linked with a move to Old Trafford in the summer was Juan Cuadrado, with the Fiorentina winger playing a starring role in Colombia's run to the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
The 26-year-old has continued to impress this season, and speculation persists that United may make a move again in January or next summer - but should they make a move for him?
Van Gaal was played a number of different systems already this season, but the most prominent has been the 4-1-2-1-2 diamond - a system which Cuadrado may not fit in.
Primarily a winger, Cuadrado hasn't had any experience of playing in central midfield, which may mean he'd have to play at right back. Whilst he's played there before, it isn't a familiar role for him, and United would be taking a huge gamble by playing him there.
In the three at the back, Cuadrado would fit in fairly well as a right wing back, whilst he'd be ideal on the right hand side in the 4-2-3-1 used in the Manchester City game.
To spend around £30m on a player, United need to be sure of how they're going to use him - and unless van Gaal is going forward with the 4-2-3-1, it's hard to really justify chasing Cuadrado again.
Instead, United should be spending their cash on another centre back, a young, quick striker and arguably another central midfielder.