A look from the outside and you can say that Manchester United are having a fantastic transfer
window. After spending huge sums in 2014, they have brought in Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian, Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
While they are all individually players who could deliver at the highest level, there still exists a sense that there is little or no planning going into these signings when taking into account how the team will shape up.
Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger are two defensive midfielders, add Daley Blind and Michael Carrick, and you have four players who will all expect to command a starting shirt fighting for one single position.
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Carrick was arguably the most important player for the team in the previous season. It was his return that coincided with Louis van Gaal finally being able to get the team to play the way he wanted, while also having their best results with him in the side. His performances showed that he should be permanent fixture in the line-up as long as he is fit.
If either of Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger were to replace him in the starting line up, the team wouldn't work as well as it would with Carrick in it. Both players bring something similar to the table that's totally different from Carrick's qualities. They are at their absolute best when they're breaking up play and enjoy the physical side of the game than the technical side, as opposed to Carrick who is more of technician.
A midfield partnership of either of them alongside Carrick seems to be the best option, but that will lead to the team not being able to play in its most suitable formation of 4-3-3, but a 4-2-3-1 as they are not suitable for playing higher up the pitch.
United displayed their best form under Van Gaal last season when he deployed a midfield consisting of a deep playmaker alongside two advancing playmakers in a 4-3-3, and unless he plans to play catch up again the team will be better off sticking to that formation.
Memphis Depay is another expensive player signed for a well stocked position. In his position is Angel di Maria who was signed to much fanfare last season. He was expected to be a major player for the club but a season after, the most expensive signing made by the club seems to have been
thrown aside for a newer jewel on the market.
A young player with bags of potential no doubt, the act remains that he plays in the same position as one of last season's better performers Ashley Young and club record signing Angel di Maria. Any plan to use him as a striker is destined to fail as he simply does not possess the attributes needed to perform that role at the highest level.
Last season, the squad was thin in certain positions, while they had too many players in other positions. This transfer window was supposed to be the opportunity for them to balance the squad better, but they have simply continued in the same fashion.
Unless Van Gaal is planning to sell some important players or dump his expensive signings on the bench next season, then the club's transfer policy needs a serious rethink.