Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has stated his side’s hopes of winning the Premier League next term will hinge on the quality of personnel he brings to Old Trafford this summer.
“The board of Manchester United shall say now we have to battle for the championship. It’s a fantastic challenge, but that’s also dependable on how we can purchase very good players and how we can improve our balance in our selection.”
A host of world-class practitioners have been mentioned in association with moves to Man Utd, but despite the obvious nature of the Dutch coach’s comments, signing high-quality individuals isn’t the key ingredient determining whether the Red Devils’ title charge will end in success or failure.
Buying early is the essential component in winning the title, a theory supported by Chelsea’s trophy-winning exploits in 2014/15.
The Blues were quick to address their two problem positions from the previous campaign, drafting in Spanish schemer Cesc Fabregas prior to the World Cup’s commencement.
Countryman, of sorts, Diego Costa followed, with the £32m deal struck for his goalscoring services completed in mid-July.
This slightly delayed dotted-line penning was little more than a red tape formality in truth, with the west Londoners reportedly agreeing to meet his buy-out clause two weeks prior.
Filipe Luis was another acquired at the mid-point of the seventh month, leaving only Loic Remy, who was signed as a contingency measure and was scarcely used during the club’s title pursuit, to arrive once the campaign had got underway.
It was a strategy aping that of Manchester City’s the previous summer, with all of their pre-season ins and outs (with the exception of Martin Demichelis) completed before the dawn of August.
United have already moved to draft in PSV’s Memphis Depay, suggesting Van Gaal recognises the importance of getting his transfer dealings done early when devising a plan to win the title.
Reports, which have since transpired to be erroneous, stated the club were close to agreeing a price for Borussia Dortmund pass master Ilkay Gundogan in April, while plenty of noise is being made about Argentine centre-back Nicolas Otamendi too.
Both prospective moves are nothing other than speculation at present, but the indication is that United are looking to get key assets recruited as early as possible, affording their signings ample acclimatisation opportunity ahead of the new season.
It’s a plan that, if executed properly, adds value to the 17/4 about Van Gaal’s troops adding another Premier League title to their collection in 2015/16.