It has been a very strange summer for Manchester United.
Louis Van Gaal’s second season at Old Trafford will get underway in less than 48 hours but trying to predict how the campaign will unfold is as complicated as estimating how many overs Australia’s top order is going to last.
Having spent £150m on players 12 months ago, United have forked out a further £75m on players over the last three months.
Angel Di Maria has completed his move to PSG less than a year since becoming Manchester United’s most expensive player ever.
After a promising start, the Argentine struggled throughout the remainder of the season amid a slump in form and a rather evident lack of desire.
Manchester United kick off the Premier League season for a second consecutive year but will be hoping for a better result than 12 months ago when Swansea City took three points away from Old Trafford in Louis van Gaal’s first match in charge.
Tottenham Hotspur are the visitors this season, thrashed 3-0 by the Red Devils in this fixture only five months ago. Mauricio Pochettino has added to his defence over the summer but their summer dealings look far inferior compared to the hosts.
Van Gaal has brought in German centurion Bastian Schweinsteiger from Bayern Munich, the highly-coveted Morgan Schneiderlin, goalscoring threat Memphis Depay, a solid right-back in Matteo Darmian and backup goalkeeper Sergio Romero – all of whom are available to make their debut on Saturday.
There were only six points between these two last season and this is arguably the most-anticipated match of the opening weekend. Manchester United look set to mount a stronger title challenge this season and are the bookmakers favourites to finish ahead of Tottenham in the league, but they will need a couple of more signings and show more consistency before they can genuinely displace Chelsea at the top of the pile.
Comments Off on Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview, Possible Lineups & Key Stats
Manchester United will face one between CSKA Moscow, Lazio, Club Brugge, Monaco or Rapid Vienna in a two-legged tie Champions League playoff.
The complicated format of the Champions League means United enter the competition at the final playoff stage,which is split between the “champions” route – for teams who have won their national title – and “league” route, for those who haven’t.
The day before Angel Di Maria was unveiled as a Manchester United player, Louis Van Gaal’s side had been dealt a severe humiliation as they capitulated to a 4-0 defeat at MK Dons in the Capital One Cup.
In more ways than one, that night brought the curtain down on the careers of a number of players United fans had grown accustomed to – tolerated in some cases – see in the starting XI over the few seasons that preceded the Dutchman’s arrival.
Man Utd transfer roundup: Di Maria and Rafael to leave
Here is the latest Manchester United transfer news and gossip.
Monday was dominated by two players who are set to leave Old Trafford in the coming days – Angel di Maria and Rafael.
Di Maria has been pictured in Doha ahead of a move to Paris Saint-Germain, while Lyon have confirmed Rafael will join on a four-year deal.
As for incomings, Ed Woodward has reportedly flown out to Barcelona to complete a deal for Spanish forward Pedro.
There were hopes that he would be joined by Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos but a fresh report from Deportes claims that he will instead sign a new long-term deal with the Spanish club.
Meanwhile, PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has admitted that he could have played his last game for the Parisians.
It is an interestingly timed comment given Di Maria’s impending move to PSG and the fact that Louis van Gaal hinted he is in the “process” of signing a mystery player last month. Could he be coming to Old Trafford? Probably not, but one can dream!
Rafael is set to bring his eight-year career at Manchester United to an end as he is on the verge of completing a move to Olympique Lyon.
In a message posted on Twitter late this afternoon, the Brazilian has expressed his gratitude to the club and the fans for the support during his career.
“Since I signed with the club I lived incredible moments, after all were 8 years wearing the shirt of one of the biggest clubs of the world,” he wrote.
“Thank you ManUtd FC. I also want to thank all employees who always treated me with great affection and gave me greater attention…
“Thank you Sir Alex Ferguson for always believing in my work and for all the doors that you opened up to me. Now it’s a new path, a new challenge, God bless me!”
Rafael could have been United’s right-back for the next decade had he stayed fit but, sadly, after an excellent 2012-13 campaign, he managed only 29 Premier League appearances over the last two seasons.
PSG defender and Brazil captain Thiago Silva believes Angel Di Maria will make a step up once he formalises his move to the French champions.
The Argentine underwent a medical ahead of a proposed £44.3m transfer to the French capital and Thiago Silva welcomed his soon-to-be teammate by claiming the former Real Madrid man was moving to a bigger club.