Of all the targets Louis van Gaal would look to take to Manchester United this summer, it’s surely the one’s who are currently under his management for the Holland national team which are the most feasibly accessible.
Whilst the Dutch head coach rightly has high aspirations for a club which so spectacularly fell from grace last term and ended up finishing seventh in the Premier League, so far it looks as though it could yet prove to be another frustrating summer in the transfer market at Old Trafford. Only today did we see former United target Francesc Fabregas sign on the dotted line for Chelsea, and it’s not going to be too long before serious doubts begin to creep into the minds of United supporters concerning their ability to compete with the best teams for the signatures of the best players.
A manager of Van Gaal’s experience, of course, will already know the limitations that are in place. The talk of the town is that the likes of Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and Edinson Cavani are being sought to fix the predicament which has taken up residency in the red half of Manchester, but in reality the chances of securing any of them are remotely slim at best. Instead United’s new boss will have to target players who may not have immediate aspirations to play in the Champions League, and will be content to take a gamble in joining the risky post-David Moyes project.
Holland duo Bruno Martins Indi and Jordy Clasie are two such players. With neither man being over the age of 22, and both currently plying their trade for Feyenoord, one would assume that there’s serious scope for Van Gaal to get them on board if he bends his mind to it. What’s more, it just so happens that they’re currently both part of his World Cup squad.
Martins Indi has established himself as a key player at Feyenoord and has already appeared over 100 times for them in the Eredivisie, despite his tender years. He’s also amassed 16 caps for his national side, and is likely to add to that tally when Holland take on Spain tomorrow night. Capable of being deployed at either centre-back of left-back, he would be an ideal candidate to fill the hole the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have left.
As for Clasie, he’s quickly found himself a favourite under Van Gaal, and the speculation claiming that he is line to grab a first-team spot for the opening game against the Spanish does little to argue the fact that the 62-year-old rates him highly. Indeed his services would also come in handy at United, as it quickly became apparent last season that Paul Scholes has yet to be adequately replaced in the middle of the park.
It might not be ethically correct, nor celebrated by footballing purists, but Van Gaal could well benefit from making his intentions clear to the pair before he embarks upon a pursuit of their services after the World Cup. Both men would likely jump at the chance to join the well-respected boss in the Premier League so long as they were given assurances over their respective claims for a first-team spot, and one look at the past tells you just how powerful a tool a player’s longing to move clubs can be when it comes to difficult negotiations.
The United boss can either gamble on protracted transfer races for the most illustrious names in Europe, or he can begin to lay the groundwork for two exciting talents who are well within his grasp. For me, it’s a no brainer.