Doesn’t it feel f*cking great to be a Manchester United fan right now? Not a single competitive ball has been kicked so far this season and Red Devils fans are on top of the world because they are bossing one thing and one thing only – the summer transfer window.
While Chelsea seem to be handicapping themselves with the signing of Radamel Falcao, Arsenal seem to be dithering after landing Petr Cech and Manchester City well, sign up players who the boo boys will love to hate next term, Manchester United are going about their business carefully, yet decisively while flaunting the millions in cavalier style.
Louis van Gaal’s arrival has galvanised the club, while bringing back the kind of prestige that saw Sir Alex Ferguson attract so many quality players to Old Trafford in his time spent in charge – just don’t mention Bebe. But what are Manchester United doing that the rest aren’t? Here’s a look at how the United way is winning so far this summer.
Pro-activeness while striking early in the market
While it took Manchester United a little while to get going, remember they reached an agreement to sign Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven back on May 7th, a date which actually resided in the back end of last season.
Talk about forward planning and pro-activeness in the market. With Louis van Gaal having previously stated that he had to move extremely quickly for the man dubbed the ‘new Cristiano Ronaldo’ given rival interest from Paris Saint-Germain, it was United who ultimately kick-started Dharmesh Sheth’s infamous totaliser.
Lulling fans into a frenzy and then treating them
But following that deal, Manchester United fans were forced to wait for their next capture in Matteo Darmian from Torino and in that time, Red Devils fans were questioning whether Louis van Gaal’s pulling power replicated that of David Moyes rather than Sir Alex Ferguson.
But as all great negotiators of transfer windows plot, right as Red Devils fans were about to go into mutiny, Louis van Genius only went and wrapped up not one but two more signings in quick succession, with the double high profile captures of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin on the same day back on July 13th.
After fans grew impatient in that 65 day period, Manchester United had gone on to pull off three major signings in just three days, not only offering Red Devils fans a treat but also assuring them that Van Gaal is busy behind the scenes and more than capable of pulling off captures for some of the world’s biggest ready-made stars and emerging talents.
While all transfers are of course scrutinised, deliberated upon and broken down regarding value for money, is there anything in the barometer of the fan that excites more than a big money arrival?
Heavy backing and a culture of togetherness
Following the circus that was Moyseh, Van Gaal has brought in Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Angel Di Maria, Daley Blind, Victor Valdes, Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin for a combined £217.6 million.
While that sort of astronomical money brings with it an extremely high level of expectation, isn’t it refreshing and exciting for fans of Manchester United to see Ed Woodward back his manager to the hilt, while giving him the best opportunity to mould a team that many are considering more and more of a mainstream bet for the Premier League title this term?
Look at the likes of Arsenal and Newcastle United, where you have a polar opposite patient kind of approach in transfer windows, where baby steps and time wasting bids take place instead of the giant leaps and decisiveness showcased at Old Trafford right now. For neutrals out there, we know what camp you’d rather be in if you had the choice.
And of that list above, it’s only really Victor Valdes who flopped and although some may say Luke Shaw, he is still only 20-years-old with plenty of time on his side, and new bestie Depay to bring out the best in him.
Symbolises Manchester United are back
The thing is, these signings don‘t only bring fresh competition to Van Gaal’s ranks, they also bring about a greater belief that Manchester United are a force to be reckoned with once again, not only in monetary terms, but also as a venue for top players to earmark once again – a kind of ‘we’re back’ statement.
And let’s be honest, with Van Gaal seemingly having the world’s media in his palm right now having claimed he has another “surprise” signing up his sleeve this summer, you really can’t take your eyes off what Manchester United are going to do next.
A domino effect for other world greats to join?
The latest speculation is that United have earmarked a huge 100 million euro swoop for Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller, and while you may have been laughed out of town upon claiming a deal was possible at the start of the window, even Philipp Lahm came out yesterday and claimed a Manchester United swoop is not impossible.
It appears Manchester United’s transfer business has everybody transfixed, most interestingly the players, and with stars like Bastian Schweinsteiger having just made the move, such movement will only serve as a domino effect for other world greats to sign up.
At present, it is clear to everybody that United still need an additional centre back and a striker to replace the departed Robin van Persie, but with Van Gaal having improved his midfield tenfold, he is now more than trusted to find everything he needs before the window slams shut on September 2nd.