Louis Van Gaal’s Not So Magnificent 7
Louis Van Gaal has wasted no time in stamping his authority at Old Trafford, allegedly informing several fringe players at the weekend that they do not have a future at the club. We look at those he’s willing to allow depart and where they could end up.
Possibly the one player on Van Gaal’s unwanted list that United fans will be sad to see go, Hernandez will have no shortage of suitors should he depart. The Mexican had a relatively underwhelming season last term, notching only four league goals in David Moyes’ struggling side.
Nevertheless, there’s no doubting the striker’s goalscoring instincts and he’s already been linked with the likes of Spurs, Southampton, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid and Juventus. He may be used as a makeweight in United’s persistent bid to sign Arturo Vidal from Juve.
Anderson endured a poor loan spell at Fiorentina for the second half of last season, making only five starts for the Viola before being quickly dispatched back to Old Trafford. Anderson was left out of United’s squad for their recent tour to the USA and does not seem to feature in the new manager’s plans.
Van Gaal’s major problem will be finding a willing suitor for the Brazilian midfielder, who has failed to live up to his potential since joining the club from Porto in 2007 for over £20 million.
There’s no doubting that Nani remains one of the most talented players at the club but he’s failed to shine consistently since his 2007 move from Sporting Lisbon. Despite signing a new five-year contract last September, the winger failed to feature in David Moyes’ plans, and was restricted to eleven league appearances during the ill-fated campaign.
The player has consistently been linked with a move to Serie A in recent seasons but it’s alleged that a surprise move to Arsenal may be on the cards for the Portuguese international.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s final signing as Manchester United boss has failed to fit in at Old Trafford, amidst concerns about his attitude and drive. A loan spell at relegated Cardiff City last term was far from fruitful and the youngster’s customary position as winger does not fit into the new manager’s system.
Van Gaal hinted that he could try and convert Zaha into a striker but it seems he’s willing to cut his losses on the former Crystal Palace player. His old club retain an interest, as do Newcastle United and West Ham but United will be lucky to recoup even half of the £15 million shelled out for Zaha just last year.
The Brazilian right-back is a surprise name on Van Gaal’s list, particularly given the manager’s plans to use a 3-5-2 formation with wing backs for the coming season. However, the former Holland manager is searching for a new right-back and Antonio Valencia currently seems his preferred option for that position.
His twin brother Fabio left the club for Cardiff City earlier this year, but there will be several more high-profile clubs vying for Rafael’s signature should United surprisingly listen to offers for the 24-year-old.
Fellaini has been an unmitigated disaster at Old Trafford and is emblematic of Moyes’ unlamented tenure. Despite paying £27 million for the combative Belgian midfielder less than twelve months ago, United would be fortunate to recover half that fee with a dearth of clubs competing for his signature.
Rafa Benitez’s Napoli have been heavily linked but would favour a loan deal for the player, while Van Gaal is eager to jettison the former Everton star on a permanent deal.
Van Gaal’s trust in youth has been regularly commented on since he took the reins at Old Trafford and the recent tour of the States has given him time to run the rule over the club’s young contingent. The 21-year-old striker has failed to score on loan spells at Wigan Athletic and QPR but has been linked with a loan move to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Cardiff City for the coming season.
However, Van Gaal maye be willing to listen to offers on a permanent deal for the forward, whose brother Michael – a defender – seems to have a future at the club.