Aston Villa's Leandro Bacuna admits admiration for 'legendary' Louis van Gaal

The Dutchman is looking forward to facing his compatriot's Manchester United team when Villa travel to Old Trafford this weekend.

Aston Villa’s Leandro Bacuna has told the club’s official website of his admiration for Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal.

Bacuna witnessed Van Gaal guide the Netherlands to a third-place finish at the summer’s World Cup, before his fellow Dutchman swapped international football for the Old Trafford hotseat.

The versatile midfielder is also well aware of his compatriot’s previous success, when he led Ajax to three straight Eredivisie titles, the UEFA Cup and Champions League, Barcelona to back-to-back La Liga crowns and Bayern Munich to a domestic double.

There have been other trophies, too, including an Eredivisie title with unfancied AZ Alkmaar in 2009 and, while Bacuna was still to make to break into the FC Groningen first-team at the time, he admits that there’s a certain aura around Van Gaal back home in Holland.

The United boss’ start to life in England has received a mixed reception thus far but, with the club sitting in fourth-place in the Premier League table ahead of Villa’s weekend visit, the claret and blue ace is sure that he will get them back competing for trophies in due time.

"Louis van Gaal has a very good reputation and a very good football CV. He is clearly a very good trainer,” said Bacuna. "He is a legendary figure in Holland. He has an aura. He has a presence. He must be good to play for.

"If you look at his stats, they are very impressive. He has had big success in every country - and at virtually every club he's been at.

"Man Utd are looking for someone to take them forward to successful years after Sir Alex Ferguson.

"I believe that he can be that man. He is still new and he's trying to find the right players and the right solutions but he has the pedigree.

"He has worked wonders everywhere he's been. He needs time to get going and I think he will bring good years to them."

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