Manchester United have finally emerged from the shadows to take this transfer window by storm with the signings of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin.
The duo, who arrive from Bayern Munich and Southampton, have become the latest stars to join the Louis Van Gaal era as the Dutchman sets about winning a maiden Premier League title.
However, with Old Trafford now the home to a plethora of midfield options, those already at the club could find their places at the Theatre of Dreams under threat before the transfer window shuts in September.
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Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini were two of United’s standout performers last campaign, but now may find themselves marginalised in the wake of Ed Woodward’s summer spending spree.
United’s obvious reliance on Carrick has been clear to see for some time now, but the club’s new midfield duo could now force him from the side as United bid to challenge for silverware on all fronts.
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Schweinsteiger’s experience from his time at Bayern and the German national team will be a huge advantage, particularly with the list of serial winners within the squad largely diminishing since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement two years ago.
The arrival of the 30-year-old was expected to put to bed Van Gaal’s lingering interest in Schneiderlin, but the latter has also joined the Red Devils after snubbing Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
At 33, Carrick’s time at the top is edging towards the end, and despite impressing last term with his leadership and dominance in the middle of the park the Englishman could become the latest big-name casualty at the club.
Fellaini was signed by David Moyes two years ago and was expected to leave last summer, but the Belgian has finally showed himself as worthy of wearing the famous red jersey.
Yet despite big goals against the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, the former Everton man remains prone to moments of idiocy as shown by his dismissal at Hull on the final day of last season.
He will be suspended for the first three games of the season and, if United blitz away Tottenham, Aston Villa and Newcastle, will face an uphill battle to reclaim his spot in the starting 11.
Such margins can often break or make careers and Fellaini and Carrick must do their utmost to prove they remain valuable to the cause or follow the likes of Nani and Robin Van Persie out of the exit door.