Manchester United have not made a great start to the season after securing only 16 points from the first 11 league matches. With the team managing to win just four matches in all competitions this season, it is safe to assume that United are going through a tough time right now.
When Louis Van Gaal spent over 150 million in the summer, many expected the team to return to the helm right away, however not many would have anticipated this current run of form. So the question is whether the team is not buying into the managers philosophy or did he failed to buy the players which the team so dearly needed in the summer? So, let us see the five players who could change the teams fortune in the second part of the season.
Not a day went in summer without Hummels name being linked with United, but to the frustration of the United fans, the deal did not materialize. At 25 years, Hummels is at the peak of his career. Having played a huge hand in helping his country win the World Cup in the summer, he has been an immovable force in the Dortmund defence. Clearly, the club manager Jurgen Klopp is determined to keep him with them, only time will tell where he will end up in the future.
Verdict: With the team repeatedly falling short of their arch rival Bayern Munich in the league and not establishing themselves as a force in Europe, it may force the defender to move away for glory. To United’s agony though, Dortmund have already qualified to the knock out stage of the champions league with two games remaining in the group. A competition in which United are not even participating this season. So irrespective of the transfer fees, it is highly unlikely for Hummels to swap the German club for Old Trafford in January. A summer purchase is the realistic target for United.
He is a more realistic target for the club. No one better than Van Gaal knows the defender well having worked with him so close in the summer for the Dutch national team. He was a key figure in back three for his team during the World Cup. He was calm and composed in the defence and his no nonsense attitude helped his team gain a creditable third place.
Verdict: With Vlaar stalling to extend his contract beyond next summer, the possibility of him moving to a big club is more than a possibility. His agent has added more fuel to the speculation by suggesting that this is the right time for Vlaar to move to a big club. The club do not want to lose the defender on a free next summer, so they would be more than happy to sell him in the January window if he continues to reject any contract extension. Van Gaal’s past relationship with him may be a key component in buying the defender. He will also be a more cheaper option for the Dutchman.
The Uruguay centre back is finally getting the credit which he always deserved. After Atletico Madrid made the impossible possible last season to win the league title and reach the Champions league final, many noted the valuable contribution of Godin in the back of the defence alongside Miranda. He is currently at the peak of his career, which may attract interest from many clubs.
Verdict: Godin has always related Vicente Calderon to his home and as ruled out the possibility of moving from there in the past. However, the possibility of moving English league might lure him away from the club. But, again it is unlikely he would skip the Champions league for a non Champions league club. So a January transfer is unlikely, unless anything drastically happen, Godin will remain with the Spanish defending champions.
He is another player, who was linked with United for the entire summer. Surprisingly, many were linking him of a move to the club only in the January window due to his injury problem. So with the window approaching, his name has been appearing all over the media linking him with United. Van Gaal changed the formation of the Dutch team from 4-3-3 to 3-5-2 in the World Cup, following Strootman’s injury, as he felt that he had no player of the calibre to replace Strootman in his Dutch team. This speaks volume of the players importance. He can not only terrorize the opposition attackers to win the ball back but, he can also be a reliable box to box midfielder with a good vision.
Verdict: The prospect of linking up with Van Gaal may force the Dutch man to move to Old Trafford. Especially when Strootman was injured before the World Cup, he would accompany the Dutch manager along with Robin Van Persie to scout Dutch talents in Eredivise. This explains the close relationship between the three. So the possibility of linking up with them may force the dynamic midfielder switch to United. The real question is has he fully recovered from his lengthy injury?
The German World Cup winning midfielder is another player who fills the bill perfectly for United. He is the type of player United have been craving for a long time. Khedira would sit in front of the defence and would provide them with good support. His no nonsense attitude in midfield would be ideal for United in strengthening their defensive organisation. Also the player is good with the ball and regularly pops up in the opposition box to slot a goal or two.
Verdict: He was on the verge of leaving Real Madrid in summer, but only for the move to fall in the end due to his huge wage demands with Arsenal and his fellow partner Xabi Alonso moving into Bundesliga. With the German midfielders contract up in the air after next summer and his reluctance to sign a contract extension, may make him become available for cheap in the January. However, Arsenal are also keeping a close eye on him. So if the London club are for him in the market, what chance does United have for him?
Picture Courtesy: Telegraph.co.uk