Man United transfers: Five players Louis van Gaal should target
Tom Phillips takes a look at five signings Manchester United could make in the summer transfer window
Alexandre Lacazette finished his season as the Ligue 1’s top goal scorer for Lyon with 27 goals. The 24-year-old Frenchman has been in fine form and would fit perfectly into Louis van Gaal’s footballing philosophy as his explosive pace and physical strength allows him to be a suitable strike partner with Wayne Rooney. Already linked with a move to Liverpool and Arsenal this summer, Lacazette will also be a tough man to sign the dotted line on that contract. There is also the case of whether or not United are willing to meet Lyon’s estimation of their top goal scorer of £21m.
United certainly need a midfielder that can control the pace of the game, someone who could fill the role Paul Scholes held for so many years during his time at Old Trafford – and Morgan Schneiderlin seems to be the perfect candidate for that. The Frenchman would fit perfectly in a holding role in United’s midfield, dictating the tempo of the game. Schneiderlin has established himself as a highly competent midfielder for Southampton in his seven years at St Mary’s and has already expressed a move from the south coast on numerous occasions already. United will however face competition from Arsenal, who nearly signed Schneiderlin last season, and Spurs where he could be reunited with Mauricio Pochettino.
With David De Gea constantly linked to Real Madrid to replace Iker Casillas, United will need to do the same should the Spaniard move to the Spanish capital. Hugo Lloris seems to be the best option to replace De Gea given he offers both Premier League experience and has an impressive record whilst at Spurs. Lloris has already established himself as a competent Premier League footballer so Van Gaal won’t have to worry about allowing the France international to get use to the demands of English football. The 28-year-old will also be tempted to move in order to further his career with the prospect of Champions League football instead of Europa League. The only hurdle in the matter is how much Daniel Levy will want for their goalkeeper. The Frenchman has also stated he wants to commit his future at Spurs but how many times have we heard footballers say that and sign for a club? Especially at United.
United were seriously lacking any form of structure, consistency and confidence in the back four (or three if you recall that questionable formation Van Gaal implemented at the start of the season). So imagine how the backroom staff reacted when Sergio Ramos is potentially available to them, and only United. According to former Real Madrid president, Ramon Calderon, the Spanish defender will leave but only for Manchester United. Ramos has been a superb asset for Real Madrid and developed a successful partnership with Pepe over the years bringing home Los Blancos tenth Champions League trophy (La Decima). Ramos brings a lot that has been missed since the days of Ferdinand and Vidic: confidence, leadership, control, consistency and structure. If anything, United need to seriously prioritise Ramos in their transfer wish list.
The defensive errors have been more than common knowledge to United fans this season and regardless of the form towards the end of the season, with European football in the picture the mistakes that occurred at the start of the season cannot happen next term. This is where Otamendi comes into the equation, another reliable defender that makes defending so easy and has helped guide Valencia back to European football too. Despite reports suggesting that United will get Otamendi as an alternative to Ramos, clearly they should look into both players given the lack of depth at the back. Should United go for both defenders, already United will have a far more competent side than last year and will need it since they have qualified for the Champions League after a one-year absence.