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Where does the end of the transfer window leave Manchester United?

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With six big signings coming in, and several more leaving the club, the revolving door at Man United is in full-swing. From an outrageous £36 million paid for a relatively obscure teenager to the mess of the David de Gea saga, it is fair to say events at Old Trafford have been, well, eventful. So where does this leave the manager for the rest of the season?

Goalkeeper

Where to begin. For the best part of 24 hours, it appeared as though United number one 'keeper was Madrid-bound for a somewhat meagre £29 million. But the move fell through, with both parties pointing fingers the other way. So where does this leave De Gea?

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It is understood that he is unhappy at being left out of the United squad and Louis Van Gaal is in danger of isolating him further if this continues. Moreover, his dream move to back to his homeland fell through under suspicious circumstances. All of this it is likely to affect the mentality of the player and could work against the club. 

If De Gea is recalled to the first team it means Sergio Romero will play second fiddle, and current deputy Sam Johnstone will be out of the picture completely. Romero has had a solid, if not unspectacular, start and kept three clean sheets in his first three games, although Swansea's victory saw the Argentinean become the scapegoat. 

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Questions will always remain about his ability as a leader and whether or not he can dominate the penalty box, and he is relatively short for a goalkeeper. Will he be happy as second choice, after undergoing the same treatment in the last two seasons? We will have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, Victor Valdes is still out-of-favour under LVG, and it seems a huge waste to have him nowhere near the first team. Whatever the situation is here, it needs to be sorted out as the former Barcelona man could prove a valuable asset to the club.

With more goalkeepers than strikers at the club, it is fair to say the situation is messy at best.

Defence

Rather surprisingly, the United defence has a case for being the only cause for optimism around the United camp. Chris Smalling has finally delivered on the promise shown under Sir Alex Ferguson, whilst Luke Shaw has developed further into what everyone expected him to be.

While his positioning is still suspect - he often bombs forward when it would be best to stay put - he is an ever-present attacking threat on the left side. Matteo Darmian also looks a useful player at right-back, a position in the United defence that has been found wanting since Rafael's last season under Ferguson.

That leaves Daley Blind, the only question mark present at the moment. He was singled-out by Swansea as the weak-link in the back four, and rightly so as both goals came from exposing his lack of physicality as a defender. Perhaps this area would have best been sorted out earlier, but the club will have to make do with what they have at the moment and that means selecting either him, Phil Jones or Marcos Rojo. 

Midfield

An area that has been neglected for years, LVG has finally addressed the lack of depth in this position with the acquisition of Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Both have been reasonably solid so far, with neither particularly dazzling, and the ever-present Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera add to a fine midfield.

But where is the pace? Out wide, yes Memphis Depay is a threat, but he is still adapting to the Premier League, and the other wing is occupied by Juan Mata, who has previously said he much prefers playing as a number 10.

This is not helping striker Wayne Rooney, who is looking more and more isolated and frustrated with the lack of service and space that could be created with runners behind the defence. With a still-incomplete midfield, LVG will have to find a way to utilise Depay's pace on one side and Mata's incision on the other.

Forward

The most criticised and most difficult job in the current United team. Rooney has proclaimed himself as a number nine, the media has proclaimed Rooney as a number nine and so LVG has said he will play there.

And now he is playing there, the media say that he should be a number 10, operating in the space created by a pacey number nine - Anthony Martial? The 19-year-old was bought from AS Monaco for an astronomical £36 million to provide back-up for Rooney as well as the pace that the side is so badly in need of. Only time will tell whether he lives up to the pricetag and the reputation as history's most expensive teenager.

With the departure of Javier Hernandez - looking less and less confident epitomised by his penalty miss against Club Brugge - and Robin van Persie - who LVG felt had come to the end of his days - that leaves James Wilson as United's only other striker.

The youngster showed great promise, only for his development to be stalled under David Moyes and LVG. Will he live up to his full potential, now he is even further down the pecking order? It is a bad time for youths at Old Trafford, as seen by the departure of Adnan Januzaj, Tyler Blackett and Will Keane, so Wilson will have to fight for his life at the club, and fight hard.

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Topics:
Football
David de Gea
Wayne Rooney
Transfer News
Manchester United

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