Louis van Gaal has moved to set certain members of his new-look Manchester United squad a clear target for development, with the Dutchman having promised that his new cohort of Spanish-speakers will learn fluent English within 12 months.
The Red Devils - spurred on by their well-documented failures in last summer's transfer market during the reign of David Moyes - were very active indeed prior to the recent deadline, with Daley Blind, Radamel Falcao, Marcos Rojo and Angel di Maria joining earlier signings Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera at Old Trafford as Van Gaal looked to improve competition for places and avoid a repeat of 2013/14's somewhat embarrassing seventh-place finish.
Van Gaal promise
Many of those aforementioned new recruits - Shaw and Blind aside - count Spanish as their first language and they join the likes of Juan Mata and David de Gea in a Manchester United squad with a very heavy European and South American influence.
Van Gaal admits it has been easy for him to use his own knowledge of Spanish to communicate sufficiently and quickly with several of his players but evidently acknowledges the benefits behind them eventually learning English.
"You know already that all the Spanish players have lessons in English so we have started already more than two weeks,” Dutchman Van Gaal was quoted by the Manchester Evening News.
“We are only two weeks in this country because we were on the USA and after that we have also international week. But I can speak Spanish so it is better to communicate sometimes on the pitch in Spanish.
Indeed, the notoriously demanding Van Gaal has even given his word that such a transition will occur within the next 12 months.
“But they shall learn English within one year, I promise," he added.
Some of Manchester United's summer business caused quite a stir, with supporters clearly impressed with the club's ambition but also harbouring slight concerns over a lack of balance.
Sunday's 4-0 thrashing of newly-promoted Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford certainly provided promising signs of encouragement, with Angel di Maria - the Argentine international who was signed for a British record fee of £59.7 million in August - providing an excellent midfield display along with Blind.
Fellow South American Falcao was only a second-half substitute in that fixture but will be hopeful of playing a bigger role in this weekend's trip to Leicester.
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