Louis Van Gaal not afraid to wield the axe with United squad

Speaking in Seattle ahead of Manchester United’s friendly against Club America on Friday, Louis Van Gaal was in defiant mood.

Louis Van Gaal not afraid to wield the axe with United squad

Explaining why goalkeeper Victor Valdes wasn’t included on the trip to America the Dutchman said: “When you are not willing to follow the principles of the philosophy, there is only one way, and that is out.”

Van Gaal is no longer the new boy. His squad analysis and looking to see who might fit in with his “philosophy” is something he’s been carrying out for 12 months.

The players that are still at the club or have arrived since he took over last year are there because Van Gaal thinks that they can deliver trophies.

United are expected to be active again in the transfer market before September 1st and Van Gaal knows they’ll have to be if they are to have any chance of competing with Chelsea for the title.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Matteo Darmian were introduced to the media on Wednesday during the press conference as well but a central defender and striker will have to join them in the coming weeks if United are to have any chance of catching Jose Mourinho during Van Gaal’s second season in charge.

Out of the four players that have arrived at the club this summer (Memphis Depay is the other) only Morgan Schneiderlin has Premier League experience and as we saw last campaign with Radamel Falcao big names from other leagues don’t always guarantee success.

With Javier Hernandez injured and Falcao no longer at the club, Wayne Rooney and James Wilson are left as the two only recognised strikers. Robin Van Persie left to join Fenerbahce at the weekend too and Van Gaal said that he informed Van Persie of his decision to let him go during the club’s annual golf day back in May.

Edinson Cavani, Robert Lewandowski and Christian Benteke are three players that have been linked with a move to Manchester over the past few weeks and all would provide Rooney and the inexperienced Wilson with some much needed support up front.

Angel Di Maria is due to join up with the squad in America on July 25and his future will need to be resolved quickly too.

In Di Maria United have a player who is potentially world class. Off field problems appeared to disrupt his life in Manchester last year and an injury during the Copa America might not help his start to the coming campaign.

With Di Maria, and given his age, Van Gaal might think it’s worth trying to persuade the Argentinian to give it another go but we don’t know what discussions have already taken place or who Van Gaal thinks he can get in to replace him, should he decide to leave. We might have to wait a bit longer for the answer to this one.

Elsewhere, the holes may have been plugged in front of United’s back four but other than Darmian at full back Van Gaal needs to strengthen in central defence next to Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling.

Valencia’s Nicolas Otamendi is one player who is expected to join the club in the coming weeks especially since talks have stalled between United and Real Madrid for a deal involving David De Gea and Sergio Ramos.

Van Gaal asked United CEO Ed Woodward to bring in as many of his targets as he could before the pre-season tour and he has managed to do that.

Who arrives between now and September 1 is as equally as important though and will determine whether United can mount a serious title challenge or have to put up with a spot in the top four once again.

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