The new season of the English Premier League (EPL) is knocking on the door and all the clubs are gearing up for the challenge. One of the names that would definitely come up when one would discuss about the probabilities of winning the EPl 2015-2016 title is Manchester United.
In the Louis Van Gaal era, United have somehow managed to restore the balance that they lost during the stint of David Moyes at Old Trafford. The all and sundry in Sir Matt Busby way praised Moyes as the chosen one after the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson decided to retire from his duties at the club.
But towards the end of the season, the chosen one lost the glory that Ferguson had left behind and United finished one of all time season low in the league table.
As a result, Van Gaal was appointed as the manager in the 11th hour, right after his assignment with the national side Netherlands in the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil. United finished fourth in the last season, which also helped them, find a place in the UEFA Champions League.
A huge responsibility lies on the big shoulder of Van Gaal and the fans across the world would be keenly watching the Dutchman. The question remains - Can Van Gaal bring back success and the 21st title to Old Trafford?
As soon as the summer transfer window opened, the United boss and vice-chairman Ed Woodward was down to business zeroing targets. Memphis Depay was their first signing of the summer even before the transfer window opened its doors. The players were revealed later. After that there was a lull period when the other clubs were busy acquiring their targets. Van Gaal missed many of them and it was tuning out to be a disappointing transfer window both for the club and for the fans.
But in a span of a week, Van Gaal managed to rope in three big names - Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Matteo Darmian, taking the transfer tally to four. The signing of Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero was announced a few days back.
Now, though he has plenty of players, the problem still lies with the defensive line. United conceded a lot of goals last season because of their poor defensive strategies. Van Gaal would look into that in order to solidify the defensive line. The boss even said that he is not done with his buying, as he might rope in a few more players to make his side a complete one ahead of the start of the season.
The David De Gea transfer saga left a lot of fans in a confused state. But the signing of Romero is an indication that De Gea might bid farewell to 'The Theatre of Dreams' soon. Van Gaal also could not land Sergio Ramos from Bernabeu as Ramos agreed a new deal with his current club.
United were trying to get Ramos in exchange with De Gea but that also did not happen. All they need now is a striker who has an eye for goals and would gel well with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Memphis Depay, Juan Mara and Ander Herrera.
Though they have James Wilson and Javier Hernandez in the bench, Van Gaal is surely looking for someone who would try and score 25-25 goals in the next season. They are still in talks with Barcelona forward Pedro Rodriguez, who will somewhat come as a solution, and would be an ideal replacement for the 'failure', Angel Di Maria, who left the club to join PSG.
Pedro also has an eye for goals and is extremely talented. He can also fill the boots of Robin Van Persie who has joined Fenerbahce.
Now with the signings of Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger, United captain Wayne Rooney will be able to get back to his original centre forward position. Due to the unavailability of a proper central defending midfielder, Van Gall deployed Rooney in the midfield last season but that surely did not work out. In the forthcoming season of EPL, that will not be the case for the Red Devils as they have plenty of ammunition to guard the midfield.
Depay has shown signs of brilliance already in the pre-season tour. His skills and ability to control the wings can be very dangerous for the other clubs. Mata has also been in good touch. Ander Herrera was a revelation last season and he too will be seen as one of the promising players in the upcoming season. Marouane Fellaini will be deployed in the attacking line at times.
United cannot afford to make a slow start to the season just like they did in the EPL 2014-2015 season. In the latter half of the league it became almost impossible for them to sneak into the top three to secure a place in the Champions League. They did have many chances at their exposure but they simply wasted them. They cannot do that this time and should start the season on a high against Tottenham Hotspur on 8 August.
The Red Devils had a decent pre-season tour in the US. Apart from a defeat against PSG they managed to win all the remaining games.
United will also want to go a long way in the upcoming season of Champions League as well, which they had missed out in the last season. If they manage to make a good start to the season, then who knows, Van Gaal might just bring back the lost glory to Old Trafford and let the fans chant "Glory Glory Man United............"