Louis van Gaal has revealed that he wanted to sign 10 world-class players during his time at Manchester United. However, none of them was signed by the club, and he was left working with players who did not suit his system.
The Dutch manager has named Robert Lewandowski, Gonzalo Higuain, Neymar, Sadio Mane, Riyad Mahrez, Thomas Muller, N'Golo Kante, James Milner, Sergio Ramos and Mats Hummels as the players he wanted at Old Trafford.
“I wanted Robert Lewandowski, but when this proved difficult I tried to get Gonzalo Higuain instead. Before I had arrived, I also spoke with the board about Neymar. If you are at Manchester United, you have to think big. He was also interesting for the club in terms of selling shirts, and I wanted to have quick wingers.”
“For that reason, I also tried to get Sadio Mané and Riyad Mahrez. Thomas Muller was on my wish list, too, and in central midfield, I wanted N’Golo Kanté. I even tried to sign James Milner, who was already quite old but very multifunctional and possessed leadership skills.”
“For the defence, I wanted Sergio Ramos and Mats Hummels, because ours wasn’t the strongest in building from the back. Those were my top targets, but we couldn’t get any of them. I don’t know why, because as the manager. I wasn’t involved in any negotiations. After I left, players like Mahrez and Kanté ended up at Manchester City and Chelsea, while United couldn’t get them. I found that very odd.”
Manchester United's signings under Louis van Gaal
Manchester United did back Louis van Gaal with transfers and got him 14 players during his short stint at Old Trafford. Of those signings, only Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw make the starting XI right now while Sergio Romero is the only other player left at the club.
Angel Di Maria was a record signing at that point and was touted as the best signing Manchester United had made in years. However, he failed to impress and was sold to PSG in the next summer for a loss of around £15 million.
Radamel Falcao had joined on loan from AS Monaco but he failed to do anything for Manchester United. He scored just 4 goals in 29 matches before moving to Chelsea on loan for the next season.
Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo, Ander Herrera and Bastian Schweinsteiger had their time in the starting XI but it was never for a significant amount of time. They have all left the club, and all apart from Schweinsteiger are still playing.
The other 6 signings by Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford were: Morgan Schneiderlin, Matteo Darmian, Memphis Depay, Victor Valdes and Vanja Milinkovic-Savic.Published 25 Aug 2020, 15:27 IST