Manchester United have been busy during the summer transfer window, signing no fewer than six players for a combined total of £150million.
New manager Louis van Gaal has been tasked with improving upon last season’s disappointing campaign which led to David Moyes’ dismissal after just 11 months in the Old Trafford hot seat.
Here, Express Sport examines each signing as Van Gaal attempts to bring success back to a club used to regularly winning silverware.
ANDER HERRERA (£29m)
Moyes and United tried and failed to sign Herrera from Athletic Bilbao ahead of the 2013-14 Premier League season, but the 24-year-old central midfielder became Van Gaal’s first major signing of this summer when he penned a four-year deal at the end of June after personally buying out his Bilbao contract.
Herrera, who scored 11 goals in 128 appearances for Bilbao, started United’s opening day Premier League defeat against Swansea but injury prevented him from featuring in their subsequent league draws against Sunderland and Burnley and their embarrassing Capital One Cup exit at the hands of the MK Dons.
The Spaniard should return to action after the international break and is expected to bring some much-needed control to the United engine-room.
LUKE SHAW (£28m)
Some scintillating displays for Southampton last season persuaded United to make left-back Shaw the world’s most expensive teenage footballer, with the 19-year-old sealing a switch to Old Trafford a day after Herrara’s arrival. Shaw has endured a difficult start to life at Old Trafford as Van Gaal made the England international train on his own during the club’s summer tour of the United States because he felt the player had turned up to pre-season out of shape.
With Patrice Evra leaving for Juventus during the summer, Shaw was expected to start the season as first-choice left-back but a hamstring injury suffered while on tour has seen him miss United’s opening league and cup fixtures. He too is expected to return to action after the international break.MARCOS ROJO (£16m)
Van Gaal moved for the 24-year-old centre-back from Sporting Lisbon following the summer departures of defensive stalwarts Evra, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. United’s defence has been creaky in recent years – the Red Devils conceded 43 goals in each of the last two Premier League seasons – and Argentina international Rojo has been charged with plugging the gap at the heart of the United backline.
Despite United still waiting for his visa to come through, Rojo is expected to make his United debut against QPR following the international break on September 14.
ANGEL DI MARIA (£59.7m)
United fans’ frustrations over their dismal start to the new season were relieved, briefly at least, by Di Maria’s arrival from Real Madrid for a British-record fee. Di Maria, who found himself surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu following the arrivals of Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez after the World Cup, was unable to inspire the Red Devils to victory against Burnley on his debut on Saturday but the talented Argentina winger is a world-class acquisition.
Having averaged a goal every five games for Real and helped Argentina to the World Cup final earlier this summer, United fans will hope he can hit the ground running and help his new side overcome their stuttering start to the season.
DALEY BLIND (£13.8m)
United’s defensive frailties have been their scourge in recent seasons so the arrival of the versatile Blind on a four-year deal from Ajax represents a shrewd bit of business. The 24-year-old, son of Ajax and Netherlands defender Danny Blind, was in Van Gaal’s World Cup squad and can play across the backline or as a defensive midfielder.
Blind had long been expected to join Van Gaal at Old Trafford and the deal was finally signed off just over three hours before the end of the window. If he can replicate the sort of form that saw him named Dutch Footballer of the Year as Ajax won a fourth consecutive Eredivisie title last season, then his £13.8m transfer fee will prove to be an absolute steal.
RADAMEL FALCAO (£6m loan)
United fans woke on transfer deadline day to the surprising news that the club had secured a loan move for the sought-after Colombia striker. Falcao’s arrival from Ligue 1 side Monaco was only confirmed after the 11pm deadline and represents a coup of the highest order, given that Real Madrid, Arsenal and Manchester City were also linked with a move.
The 28-year-old marksman’s pedigree is undisputed after prolific stints with FC Porto, Atletico Madrid and Monaco and United fans will by salivating at the prospect of a four-pronged attack consisting of Falcao, Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Di Maria.
Credit: Express Sport