Manchester United nowadays seem as well known for their spending sprees in the summer, as they were for success in the Sir Alex Ferguson era.
The summer of 2015 was no exception, with the club splashing out £108 million on new personal.
The season has drawn to a close, so it is time to look at how the new players have settled in during their debut seasons at Old Trafford.
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It seems obvious to start with the best, and that was Martial has been.
Barring David de Gea, Martial has been United’s undisputed best player this season. Questions were raised when the club forked out £36m on the Frenchmen, for a player who at the time, was essentially an unknown, quietly going about his business in the French league.
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He isn’t unknown now. After bursting onto the scene with a wonderful debut goal against bitter rivals Liverpool, Martial remained an incredible threat to defences, despite being shuffled from striker, to left wing.
Pace, intelligence, and just raw class, overall has helped him contribute 17 goals in all competitions, including a winner in injury time to beat Everton 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-final. It has been excellent debut campaign from Martial who will only get better and better.
Perhaps the only problem with Darmian this season has been that we haven’t seen enough of him.
In his earlier games, it looked like United had picked up a diamond, obtaining his services for only about £12m. He even picked up the Man United Player of the Month for August.
However, a string of injuries have meant since such a classy start to his United career, he has struggled. To add to this, Louis van Gaal didn’t quite identify a starting XI he liked, and often Darmian has been a victim of the manager’s experimentation.
Overall, the full-back has earned fan’s respect for the sense of calm he brings to defending, and with another pre-season under his belt, Darmian may be able to really shine the in Premier League.
Honest is a word to describe the goalkeeper. At the start of the season, the stopper was thrust into first team action while transfer speculation about De Gea continued. In the only four appearances he made in the league, he kept three clean sheets, as he dutifully stood in for United’s talisman.
It is clear to anyone that De Gea is a better goalkeeper than Romero. De Gea is considered as one of the best, if the not the best, in the world. Romero was not one of the most inspired transfers ever made, but the club needed a substitute goalkeeper who could confidently take the place of the Spaniard, and for this reason, Romero was one of the shrewdest signings made in the summer, especially for free.
Manchester United won the battle to sign this French holding midfielder, against their rivals Arsenal. Schneiderlin was everything that Southampton could want in a midfielder. Strong and hardworking with certain deftness about his work, yet not many of these traits have shown in his first season with the Red Devils.
Not many people can quite place what has gone wrong for Schneiderlin. He is again someone who has been affected by Van Gaal tinkering with his team, often playing second fiddle to Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera.
The Frenchman has also been plagued with injury problems which means he hasn’t quite been the reliable player his manager thought he was buying.
Champions League winner, countless Bundesliga titles, Manchester United hoped for the best when their club confirmed the services of the Bayern Munich hero. However, the best certainly hasn’t been reached.
Schweinsteiger has struggled this season, mainly due to injuries in fairness to the player. When he has played, he has looked composed, and tried to inspire. His leadership has been clearly demonstrated when he has played, but he just hasn’t played enough.
Perhaps age has finally caught up with the German, but whatever the reason, he hasn’t made the impact he would have hoped with his high standards.
Against Norwich City recently, Depay was given a rare start. The winger is clearly devoid of any confidence and inspiration after having barely any game time at Old Trafford this season.
Rewinding to last season, the Dutchman was considered one of the biggest talents in Europe. After a wonderful season, the winger had scored 22 goals in 30 appearances in the Eredivise, he earned himself a transfer to Manchester United for a £28m price tag.
Depay didn't make a bang when he entered the battle of the Premier League, but he didn’t whimper either. However, as the season progressed, it became clear that the lack of goals for him was draining his own confidence.
His spurs of brilliance became fewer and fewer. After fantastic performance against FC Midtjylland, fans were given hope that Depay could still prove himself a force to be reckoned with.
It didn't, and Depay now ends the season being a stand in for Jesse Lingard. The Dutchman, who arrived with massive hype, has been possibly the biggest flop of the season, but fans will hope the player can put the season behind him and kick on to be the player we all expected.
Who was Manchester United's best summer signing this season? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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