Who were Manchester United’s best and worst signings in Louis van Gaal's first season?

Angry Louis van Gaal

Louis van Gaal’s first season saw Manchester United return to the Champions League after beginning the squad overhaul last summer. Who were his best and worst signings?

Best signing – Ander Herrera

Herrera was bought early on in last summer’s transfer window from Athletic Bilbao and he has transformed the centre of United’s midfield. The Spanish playmaker is a dynamic and tidy midfielder, who has the potential to become world class in the future. Despite being sat on the bench for much of the first part of the season, Herrera managed to break into Louis van Gaal’s first team and become a key player at Old Trafford.

He is the player United have been missing for a long time in the centre of the park. Herrera links the defence with the attack with neat, intricate passes and has the ability to get forward and score his fair share of goals, something which has been missing from the Red Devils’ midfield for a long time. The 24-year-old has taken to life at United superbly, aided by his Spanish teammates Juan Mata and David de Gea and will be a huge part of van Gaal’s plans going forward.

Herrera managed to score six goals from central midfield and created a total of 26 chances on goal. His reliability on the ball is supreme, as proven by the 89% passing accuracy he attained over the course of his 26 league appearances. Herrera also showed that he has a tough side, attempting 123 tackles and completing 51 interceptions. He is an all-round midfield player, who United fans absolutely love.

Worst signing – Radamel Falcao

Unfortunately for Falcao, United announced after the draw with Hull City on the final day that they would not be renewing his loan deal. The Colombian’s arrival at Old Trafford was greeted with tremendous excitement despite the fact he missed the majority of 2014, including the World Cup, with a serious knee injury. Falcao’s goal-scoring record at previous clubs meant he was a risk worth taking at the time but it just did not work out for him.

In Falcao’s defence, he was very rarely given a solid run of games as he completed 90 minutes just four times in the Premier League. When he did feature from the start he was usually hauled off by van Gaal and played alongside Robin van Persie in a two man attack. Falcao is at his best as a lone striker but United fans were not given the chance to see him in that role enough.

The 28-year-old returns to Monaco with just four goals in 28 appearances from his time at United, which is nowhere near the amount you would expect from a former world class poacher. Fans at Old Trafford willed him to perform constantly but Falcao ultimately failed to deliver what was necessary. He departs with a shattered reputation which he will be looking to re-build at his next club.

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