Three reasons why Man United will not finish in top four

Shona Duthie examines three reasons why Manchester United won't finish in the top four this seasn

Who is their number one keeper?

David De Gea was set for a move to Real Madrid on La Liga’s deadline day but for some reason the paperwork was not sent on time meaning he would be a Manchester United player for another season. De Gea has been left out of managers Louis Van Gaal’s plans as of late and Victor Valdes also does not have a squad number. It was time for Sergio Romero to shine in a hope of acquiring the number one jersey, but he fell short in the 2-1 loss to Swansea in the Premier League. Only four games in and having a problem with goalkeeping selection is a concern for many Manchester United fans. Many feel that De Gea no longer wants to be at the club and is not one hundred per cent committed. With this in mind, it provides the Manchester club some issues. Fans feel Romero may not be up to the challenge and it all rests on Van Gaal to make this all-important decision. It could cost them in the long run if they cannot settle whom their number one goalie is.

Make shift defence

It was reported throughout the whole of the summer transfer window that United needed a centre-half. Chris Smalling has improved over the end of last season and in pre season, but he needed a dynamic centre-half partner. Van Gaal has acquired the services of Daley Blind to play in that role. While Blind has recently impressed, there is no guarantee that the Dutch international will be able to hold his own in this new role for a whole season. While he is versatile, he is not a natural-born defender. Teams could easily exploit United’s weakness with this as we saw in their 2-1 loss to Swansea. United have not been dominant in the opening games of the season and they have narrowly won games with an own goal and also draw with Newcastle at Old Trafford. United’s defence has been a problem for a while and although Van Gaal did try and sign Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, that deal never came off. Not signing a natural centre-half could be a huge problem for the Red Devils throughout the 2015-16 season.

Have they bought too much to quick?

It was revealed after the close of the summer transfer window that Van Gaal had spent £230m since becoming Red Devils manager in 2013. The David De Gea saga has not helped the manager’s case and the £36m signing of 19-year-old striker Anthony Martial is left people questioning why United spent that amount of money on a teenager. It has also been reported that each Man United win under Van Gaal has cost nearly £10m or four times as much as his predecessor David Moyes. United are still a team that remain a work in progress. It takes time for signings to gel with other teammates. It means that Van Gaal will come under pressure to deliver this season for the Premier League title and other silverware. There are some very good players in his squad and time will tell if they can deliver the results that are wanted. The soap opera that occurred on deadline day is something that would be hard to imagine happening under Sir Alex Ferguson. Van Gaal is known for his public spats with his players and this could cost them if they do not finish at least in the top four this season.

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