Two weeks have passed since Sam Homewood, Stephen Howson, Ian Smith and Adam Sweeney of Full Time Devils completed a challenge in a Skype special. Each of the latter three were given the handy task of creating the best transfer market possible from 150 million pounds for Manchester United.
Though the three of them, particularly Adam Sweeney, displayed great hypothetical transfer windows for Manchester United, the video showed me more than anything that this idea holds the potential to make a very good, insightful window for worldwide United fans, bored of watching David de Gea and Sergio Ramos in circles while Ed Woodward and Florentino Perez engage in a financial joust. Long story short, I’m having my own go at this.
First, to get a good idea of just the amount of money there is, it’s time to talk about sales. Surely some players need to find some playing time once the new guns come in, so I have to make some cuts.
Nani– The winger left Manchester United for Fenerbahce for approximately 5m this week.
Anders Lindegaard– The goalkeeper has quickly fallen from competitor for the start to third choice at Manchester United. A talented stopper, Lindegaard could make the grade at almost any club outside the Top 6 in the Premier League. A steal for 5m.
Antonio Valencia and Rafael- At some point in the last two years, the right-back position has gone completely haywire for Manchester United. The sale of Saidy Janko to Celtic should spark a clearout. The two should go for around 20m.
Jonny Evans– Prospective centre back signings will move Jonny Evans well behind in the pecking order, despite the fact this particular writer sees Paddy McNair as a centre-defensive midfielder in the future. He was supposedly moving to Everton for 10m.
Once all the sales have been totalled, Louis Van Gaal (me) and Ed Woodward (me) should have 190m to work with for the window.
Signing No. 1: Seamus Coleman, Right-Back, Everton– A marauding right-back, Seamus Coleman finished as the best RB in the Premier League and the top scoring fullback in Europe during the 2013-14 season. As Everton’s form trailed off this season, Coleman found goalscoring opportunities scarce, but still showcased the defensive side of his game very well. Stephen Howson purchases Coleman for 15m, so I will go for the same figure.
Signing No. 2: Matteo Darmian, Defender, Torino– Part of the world renowned Italian defence line, Matteo Darmian showcased himself to the world at the World Cup. Not only does he provide a complete shutdown of the right flank, he is also very versatile and can play across the back line or even on the wing. He completes a world class fullback contingent of Daley Blind, Luke Shaw and Seamus Coleman. Reports have said Darmian will cost Manchester United just over 10m, and the deal looks almost done.
Signing No. 3: Nicolas Otamendi, Centre-Back, Valencia– Named the best centre-back in La Liga by fans and pundits alike, Nicolas Otamendi has stunned the world with his improvement. Not only has he taken a huge step up into La Liga from Porto this year, he also looks set to take another large step. At 27, Otamendi seems exactly like Nemanja Vidic and could be purchased for 30m.
Signing No. 4: Mats Hummels, Centre-Back, Borussia Dortmund– Originally I would’ve opted for Toby Alderweireld or Stefan De Vrij, but Alderweireld (unfortunately) moved to Tottenham and Louis Van Gaal rejected the chance to sign De Vrij for 7m last year. I do have enough funds for Otamendi and Mats Hummels, however, which is why I’ve opted to sign both defenders. At 26, Hummels offers the leadership and experience needed and Otamendi can cover for his apparent lack of pace. Both very tactical defenders, Hummels and Otamendi would add to Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo to form the best centre-back contingent in England and perhaps the world for 25m.
Signing No. 5: Morgan Schneiderlin, Centre-Defensive Midfield, Southampton– The all action, constantly improving Morgan Schneiderlin has quickly become one of my favourite midfielders. Not only does he have the ability to break up attacks with quality precision, Schneiderlin has also developed the ability to control games from the top of the defence. Perhaps he’s the only true World Class player outside the EPL Top 6. Adam Sweeney purchased Morgan Schneiderlin for 25m.
Signing No. 6: Koke, Midfielder, Atletico Madrid– Able to play anywhere in the midfield, Koke is the only genuine contender for the title of “complete midfielder” in the world at the moment. Not only does he complete over two tackles per game, he also recorded more assists Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric combined in La Liga last year. He’s the next big thing in Spain and would strike up a great partnership with Ander Herrera and Juan Mata at United for 35m (transfermarkt).
Signing No. 7: Thomas Muller, Forward, Bayern Munich– There have been many outcries to see a good winger come in and it should ultimately be on the right, seeing as Ashley Young, Angel Di Maria, Andreas Pereira, Adnan Januzaj and Jesse Lingard all prefer the left side. Thomas Muller offers this while digging out a hole that could come up later on from striker. The best player at the World Cup in Brazil would cost Manchester United 48m (50m), as purchased by Ian Smith.
190 million pounds has been spent on 7 players, each 27 years of age or younger. This will allow them time to adjust to surroundings and develop into the English game, as 5 of the players are foreign. The prospective depth in options now that these deals are done is even more exciting.
Goalkeepers- David de Gea, Victor Valdes
Fullbacks- Matteo Darmian, Seamus Coleman, Luke Shaw, Daley Blind
Centre-Backs- Mats Hummels, Nicolas Otamendi, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Tyler Blackett
Holding Midfielders- Morgan Schneiderlin, Michael Carrick, Paddy McNair
Midfielders Left to Right- Memphis Depay, Koke, Thomas Muller, Ashley Young, Adnan Januzaj, Andreas Pereira, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Angel Di Maria, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini
Strikers- Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, James Wilson
The best lineup is probably in a 4-3-3 formation, with Di Maria between the lines and Koke and Mata cutting in from either wing. Herrera, Koke and Mata control the game, aided by spraying passes from Morgan Schneiderlin with a goal to feed Thomas Muller up top. This team will control possession with quick touches and flicks, creating chances all over the place. Di Maria is an X-Factor and Koke will be able to pick up his defensive scraps when needed. Mats Hummels is the key player from the defence, as Hummels will be able to distribute the ball perfectly. With Otamendi as a stopper the system will be reminiscent of Ferdinand and Vidic. To sum up, there are the space creators and runners, Muller, Di Maria and Coleman, and the possession controllers, Koke, Herrera, Mata, Hummels, Blind and Schneiderlin. The latter three will also be vital in helping Otamendi clean up the scraps.
Robin Van Persie
Should this happen, van Persie and Rooney would end up fighting it out for the striker spot in the squad. Each would get games in the year, the worse being let go. At this point one would back Rooney to stay but I’ll be gutsy and say van Persie will be better, causing the club to have this problem for a while.
Tyler Blackett does not have a future at the club at the end of the day. By time his chance comes, he will have likely turned 27 unless he can really switch it on. I could see him replacing Phil Jagielka or John Stones at Everton.
With Chris Smalling, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney on the bench, David de Gea will end up wearing the armband. THAT may make him stay.
To conclude, I’ve managed to build a roster capable of wrecking Europe in its bare hands. The only unfortunate side of this research is that it’s make me realize exactly what won’t happen, and thinking about the possibilities of this squad ruined me for any other transfers that will come this summer. I guess all we can say for now is welcome to Depay… and Darmian?
Follow me on Twitter @aaronm830_blog