With the signings of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera last week, the revolution at Manchester United is truly underway under new manager, Louis van Gaal.
However, a statistic which may bother a few United fans is that their total spending on players in the last 12 months has exceeded their neighbours, Manchester City.
The signings of Herrera, Shaw, Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini has cost the Old Trafford club approximately £124m alone and from Dwight Yorke’s recent interview with Sky Sports, the club are set to spend even more.
"You look at the players who have left Manchester United - Rio (Ferdinand), Vidic, Ryan Giggs and possibly a few more - they need to add to the squad, probably six or seven players from what I’m hearing,” Yorke said.
With United set to inevitably spend big again, their rivals and neighbours, Manchester City, have spent an estimate of £115m on six players, including Jesus Navas and Stevan Jovetic in the last year. Of course, they will most likely spend further in the summer, but they’ve still evidentially spent less.
Value for money
Yes, the transfer window has just opened, but from these results, it does show United have struggled to find value for their money. An evident comparison would be the differing seasons of Fellaini who was bought for £27.5m and Fernandinho who came to the Etihad for a fee of £30m.
The former Shakhtar midfielder made 44 appearances for Manchester City last season and was essential in their title run-in. This is in comparison to Fellaini who made merely 21 appearances for United, five of which, was off the bench.
City paid more in this case, but it seems to have proved better value for money so far. Of course Fellaini spent a large chunk of last season struggling with injury and is impressing at the World Cup with Belgium. There is nothing to say he won't come good this season under Van Gaal.
From reading the latest gossip columns of who United are targeting, it seems that the club are after another midfielder and a centre-back. Another defender is a must; a player who has a wealth of experience at the ripe age of 25-26 would be a perfect signing for United.
United youth products
However, for a midfielder, Van Gaal should not discount players already at the club, such as young Nick Powell. The young midfielder at 20, made 37 appearances for Wigan last season, scoring an impressive 10 goals, three of which came in the Europa League.
Powell won’t be considered a starter right away, but given a chance by Van Gaal he may just prove his worth, especially if the club brings Paul Scholes back into a coaching role.
United have other plays as well who need to be given an opportunity, such as Wilfried Zaha. Despite not being able to shine for Cardiff City in the second half of last season, the experience Zaha gained will be pivotal in his development.
After Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia and Nani all failed to impress for the Red Devils last season, Zaha would at least offer an unpredictability in attack, and can only grow into a better player with experience.
Powell and Zaha are only two players of many who United have at their disposal. The likes of Jesse Lingard, Janko and the Keane brothers could also shine for United if given the chance.
Without doubt, United and City are both going to spend, but it won’t be how much the two clubs spend which will determine their fates at the end of the season, instead it will depend on the quality they spend their money on, and if the last 12 months are to judge on, City clearly have the upper hand.
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