Manchester United: four points to watch out for this season

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Manchester United kicked off their season with an unfashionable 1-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur and head to Villa Park tomorrow night hoping to make it two on the bounce. 

The Red Devils will be hoping for a more emphatic display than was on show at Old Trafford.

With the new season now in full stride, here are five things to look out for this season from Manchester United.


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Louis van Gaal's second season in charge

This will be the season that Van Gaal will and should be judged on. Last season after joining late and making some desperate signings, the Dutch manager could not actually mould United into a team challenging for the title.

This year, the highly experienced and travelled manager has brought his desired players into the squad pretty early. A complete pre-season with all the players meant that Van Gaal had sufficient time to imprint his philosophy on the United squad.

This season will tell us if LVG can get Manchester United among the title challengers and playing like the Red Devils of Sir Alex's era

Long awaited midfield boost

United have been searching for replacements for Roy Keane and Paul Scholes for too long. Van Gaal has now brought in two players essentially in that mode.

With 3.7 tackles, 2.6 interceptions and a passing percentage of 89%  per game last season for Southampton, Morgan Schneiderlin could be the player to plug the gaps in United's midfield and add some steel.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, a player who has won it all with Bayern Munich and the German national team, adds the much needed drive,energy and tenacity to Manchester United. A player who wears his heart on his sleeve and is known for his ability to dictate the tempo of a game.

Schweinsteiger has it in him to change a game with a vital pass or a goal, which he has done regularly through his glittering career. Is he the final piece in LVG's Manchester United?

Matteo Darmian and a fully fit Luke Shaw

Manchester United have traditionally been a team with immense talent in the department of fullbacks. Gary Neville and Patrice Evra are two recent shining examples of how important the role is in a Manchester United team.

Last season United didn't have full-backs who inspired confidence. Antonio Valencia is still more of a winger, Luke Shaw had an injury riddled season and Marcos Rojo and Tyler Blackett did not seem the part as left backs.

This time around, Old Trafford has Matteo Darmian on the right, who was Man-of-the-Match on his competitive United debut last week, and Luke Shaw on the left.

Shaw's pace, crossing and game sense were lauded when he was at Southampton. United fans must believe that it is this season when Luke Shaw blossoms and Darmian makes the right back spot his own

Memphis Depay

The top scorer of the Eredivisie last season is the one United will look to for pace and creativity. His trickery, ferocious shooting ability and attitude are what set him apart from the other attacking talent United have at their disposal.

Adding to this is his dead ball ability, with some amazing direct free-kick goals for PSV previously. Will Van Gaal play him in his preferred position? Will Memphis link up Rooney and Mata to form an attacking triumvirate?

Such questions will be answered in due course, but Memphis is undoubtedly the man to watch out for this PL season.

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England Football
Premier League
Manchester United

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