Louis van Gaal has brought his considerable reputation to Old Trafford, but over the coming weeks he needs to recruit the right men for the challenges ahead
After the fanfare that greeted his unveiling and press conference, Louis van Gaal has begun work on his Manchester United revolution as he attempts to return the club to the top.

With changes to the training ground, the provision of sleep pods and the implementation of double sessions being two examples, the boss has shown attention to detail. The Dutchman is prepared to do whatever it takes to return the club to its former glory.

In his own words, “it’s the biggest club in the world because of how well its known around the world. In sport, you are never the biggest club because every season you have to prove (it). Last year, you were seventh, so, then, you are not the biggest club.”

So, the challenge before the boss right now is not just to rebuild the first team but to also prove that Manchester United is the biggest club commercially and also on the pitch.

The biggest task of all, however, remains the overhaul of the first-team squad, a collection of players that showed their limitations last season.

Despite his tactical prowess and ability to make use of what he has, as shown with the national team of Holland at the World Cup, van Gaal needs to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the transfer market. Since the end of last season, the likes of Patrice Evra, Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have departed—the new boss has a big job on his hands simply replacing that experience, let alone building on the disappointments of 2013-14.

In this feature, Goal Nigeria look at what the new man must do in the transfer market to get Manchester United challenging again at the pinnacle of the Premier League.

Ed Woodward has declared that there is “no fixed budget”, so what are the key areas van Gaal needs to address before the season begins?
Fixing the Midfield
We begin with an area of the team that has been a concern for years. Even Sir Alex Ferguson had to work wonders to paper over the cracks in the heart of the side.

Despite the signing of Ander Herrera, 24, from Athletic Bilbao, the weakness of the midfield became even more apparent when LVG revealed with sadness, during his press conference, that Michael Carrick was injured and expected to be out for a long time.

The need to strengthen and reinforce this area becomes a necessity as United currently lack the technical sound players needed, except Herrera, who can’t do it alone, especially with Carrick out.
Creativity is needed, but so is physical strength however.

Arturo Vidal has been a name on the lips of every fan and when you consider what the team lacks and what Vidal has done for Juventus and his country Chile, you’d understand that he ticks the right boxes. He’s the midfield general that the club have lacked since the departure of Roy Keane.

Vidal | The Complete Package

Vidal is arguably the best all round midfielder in the world right now and would walk into the side. He can tackle, create, and score goals, will be a good start to actually merge words with action. The South American also has the kind of status to improve the confidence of fans and return some lustre to Old Trafford. Should he arrive, he would represent a major statement of intent.

Kevin Strootman is another quality player, one whose relationship with the boss is well documented. Though currently injured, Strootman, it has been reported, is a January transfer target pencilled down already. Were it not for his inactivity, one suspects he might already be in Manchester.

His calmness, intelligent game-reading, tackling ability and creativity would surely shore up a midfield lacking in those elements. When you look at a midfield of Herrera, Vidal, Carrick and Strootman, the team begins to wear a new look, one that is of quality and capable of bringing the best out of the tactical brilliance of its manager, LVG.
A Defence Devoid of Experience
The departures of Vidic, Ferdinand, and Evra mean a massive loss of experience.

The defence is most definitely a challenging area for van Gaal, despite the addition of youngster, Luke Shaw. Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling aren’t as bad as they are sometimes considered to be, but the new boss does need to dip into the market.

The likes of Mats Hummels, Stefan de Vrij, Thomas Vermaelen and Daley Blind, amongst others, have all been linked with possible moves to Manchester United. The quest for Arsenal bit-part player Vermaelen is explained by the need to bring experience to the backline.

Vermaelen | Fresh Starts all-round...

Nevertheless, it’s a new dawn at United, one of excitement and belief. The reason behind this is the boss himself, van Gaal.

As he assess his team to ensure he avoids the mistakes of last summer, fans hope that his experience will fire the Red Devils back to former glories. While this battle will be won on the pitch, the bedrock for any victory will be laid over the coming weeks, in the transfer market.

Manchester United have found a great manager, one who has the wherewithal to manage a club of its statute. Expect van Gaal to stamp his own identity on the team’s personnel before the season begins.
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