Louis Van Gaal is not planning any January signings, unless one of his main targets becomes available, according to reports that will come to a surprise to many, who expected the Dutchman to splash money again this winter.
Having spent over £150m in the summer, Van Gaal was expected to use the January transfer window to shore up United’s shaky defence, but the Guardian today suggests that the Dutchman is unlikely to spend money in two months, choosing instead to focus on next summer.
Louis Van Gaal could give youth a chance against Crystal Palace and hand James Wilson his first start of the campaign, while dropping Robin Van Persie to the bench.
Much had been made of United’s firepower following the transfer window, but with Radamel Falcao sidelined with an injury and Van Persie struggling for form, United are yet to fully click into gear in the final third of the pitch.
Louis Van Gaal is determined to sign Ron Vlaar in January as he attempts to solve the defensive crisis that has crippled Manchester United since the start of the season.
With Jonny Evans having only just returned to training, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo out injured and Chris Smalling suspended after his brainless sending off in the derby, United only have two centre-backs available, but Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair are too raw to be relied upon for a whole season.
Marcos Rojo could be set for shorter spell on the sidelines with a dislocated shoulder than originally thought, after the his father reportedly told an Argentinian TV his son would miss only two or three games.
On Monday, United seemed concerned that the Argentine could miss up to six weeks, with reports suggesting the centre-back could be out until January, but Rojo’s father told Argentine TV station TN.com that the injury wasn’t as serious as initially feared.
Gary Neville has defended Robin Van Persie’s performances, saying that the Dutchman’s poor start to the campaign was down to a lack of help from his teammates, who must do more to help him.
Van Persie has scored three times in nine Premier League games and has come under criticism for looking uninterested and for not being as sharp in front of goal as he was during the World Cup in Brazil and Neville admitted the former Arsenal captain was beginning to be under pressure.
The good ol’ days
With defeat to City in the first derby of the season leaving United in ninth and four points off fourth, the sinister sounds of Moyes’ apologists seems to suggest that many of them are crawling out of the woodwork with the intention of telling United fans that things are not getting better and even suggesting that matters are worse.
This might be an opportunity to inform sympathisers of the dour Glaswegian as to why many Reds would rather be forced to stare at Adrian Chiles seemingly melting face for all eternity rather than sit through another season of Moyesesque football.
Mondays are nobody’s idea of fun, mondays after losing the derby even less so.
The fact that United have developed a losing habit against City – yesterday’s was United’s sixth defeat in the last seven meetings against City – doesn’t make the result easier to accept either and looking for positives could seem a petulant exercise, though United do have a case for some optimism.
The usual format for an article is to open with a witty introduction filled with crudely constructed similes and metaphors designed to distract the reader from what is unlikely to be the most interesting piece of sports journalism they will read this week. Sunday’s match needs no introduction. This derby is massive.