Manchester United are on the verge of completing their third signing of the summer in the form of Stefan de Vrij, according to reports.
The young Dutch centre-back has been on Louis van Gaal’s radar since he was appointed as Old Trafford boss and now the Daily Mail claims that his current club, Feyenoord, are convinced that he will follow his national team manager in moving to United. Having already completed deals for La Liga ace Ander Herrera and promising English full-back Luke Shaw, Van Gaal has turned his attentions to bolstering his back-line.
The need for a centre-back
United were always going to have to turn to the transfer market if they were to truly settle the nerves in the stands over the centre-back position. With Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand lost to the ages, and the likes of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans having failed to convince on a regular basis, it’s an area of the squad which is in need of desperate improvement.
Last term provided all the evidence needed to support the theory that United are susceptible to conceding sloppy goal since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, and fresh faces may well reinstall that sense of dominant solidity which became a trademark of the Red Devils under the Scot’s infamous reign.
How De Vrij fits in
At 22-years-old De Vrij might not promise nearly the same level of experience as someone like Mats Hummels, but Van Gaal has worked with him at international level and is clearly convinced that he is capable of making the step up from Eredivisie football to the Premier League. In an ideal world he would be bought in to play alongside someone with more years on the clock, but the new United boss has a track record of giving youngsters the chance to shine in the first team, and so it wouldn’t be all too surprising to see De Vrij becoming a regular fixture in the starting XI.
The Dutch invasion
Far from being the only Dutchman linked with a move to Old Trafford this summer, De Vrij could well be the first of a few who Van Gaal brings in as he looks to revamp his squad. Coming off the back of a two-year spell in charge of the Oranje the 62-year-old has close ties with a number of players who have made up his international squads, and could use it to his advantage in the transfer market.
The transfer for De Vrij, thought to be worth around £7million, might be followed by deals for Daryl Janmat, Bruno Martins Indi and Jordy Clasie, all of whom are said to be on United’s radar.