English giant Manchester United has been undergoing constant scrutiny ever since Sir Alexander “Alex” Chapman Ferguson retired from coaching after giving the club their 20th Premier League title back in 2013. After the legendary run by Ferguson, Man. U. entered a stage very similar to the Dark Ages. David Moyes from Everton was chosen to be successor for the great Ferguson and, although Moyes seemed to have the talent to fill Ferguson’s shoes, it was quickly revealed that he couldn’t deal with the pressure from the fans. Moyes lasted 10 months before being sacked after not being able to make Man. U. either win the league title or qualify to a European championship.
Following Moyes’ disastrous season, Manchester United announced that they were hiring the Netherlands National Team manager Louis van Gaal after his run with the Dutch national team at the 2014 World Cup. Not only did van Gaal attract attention due to his legacy, but also attracted attention by hiring huge players such as Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Radamel Falcao and former Madrid player Angel Di Maria. Although his first season started with a shaky start due to the injuries of many of his new players, van Gaal managed to end in fourth place, which was three places higher and six points higher than the former season under Moyes’ management.
This season, van Gaal also started to stir up the press due to many transfer rumors. United goalkeeper David de Gea was put under the spotlight after it became publicly known that Spanish superpower Real Madrid was interested in him, having a consistent run with Manchester United and seen by many as a suitable replacement for Spanish national Iker Casillas. This negotiation was an absolute nail-biter because the transfer was being made on the last hours of the transfer deadline.
Fortunately for van Gaal, Man. U. was able to keep de Gea after the negotiation did not to come into completion. It was also learned soon after that de Gea signed a four-year deal due to the fact that Spanish manager Vicente del Bosque stated that it would be difficult to keep de Gea as a starter for the Spanish side if he did not start for Manchester United.
Amidst all the controversy with de Gea, Man. U. did manage to obtain incredible talent such as former PSV champion Memphis Depay and 19-year-old French international Anthony Martial. Memphis was crucial for PSV when he won the Dutch league title.
Anthony Martial was brought aboard by a whopping £36 million, the highest fee ever paid for a teenager. He has since showed his worth with his performance for Man. U. after coming on as a substitute against Liverpool and Southhampton.
In both games, Martial showed his ability while scoring a brace against Southhampton and a lone goal in his debut with a combined 80 minutes of gameplay. Although the Champions league fixture resulted in a loss and gruesome injury of Luke Shaw, Manchester United fans around the world are hoping that, with the recent transfers, we might finally have what it takes to be a superpower this season.