Manchester United Transfer News: Red Devils Exodus Key to Louis Van Gaal Rebuild

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJuly 29, 2014

Manchester United's new manager Louis van Gaal speaks during a press conference at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Thursday July 17, 2014. The new manager takes over after recently guiding Holland to third place at the 2014 World Cup. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has given the club the green light to sell off a host of players he sees as dead wood in an effort to reshape the squad to his preferences.

According to the Independent's Ian Herbert, the helmsman has indicated that Marouane Fellaini and Shinji Kagawa could leave the club this summer, along with Nani, Javier Hernandez and Anderson.

All five of those names have differing worth in the Red Devils' roster, and some might argue that there is still something to salvage with the likes of Hernandez and Kagawa.

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - JUNE 22:  Javier Hernandez of Mexico is greeted by Shinji Kagawa of Japan after the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Group A match between Japan and Mexico at Estadio Mineirao on June 22, 2013 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Photo
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

In Fellaini's case, the hopes that something great may yet come of the Belgian's career are more out of pride than anything else. United may hope that last summer's £27.5 million investment—their fourth-most expensive purchase of all time—will yet come to show value at Old Trafford.

The Guardian's Jamie Jackson says that Napoli are in talks with the English giants in regards to a loan move for Fellaini:

However, in order for Van Gaal's project to be realised at its optimum, the veteran tactician must be permitted to model the line-up as he sees fit, and already he's garnering a belief that David Moyes never did at the club.

Former United great Dwight Yorke told Sky Sports earlier in July of the club's need to add more genuine talent to its squad:

We know there are six or seven players that they're trying to buy and we are seeing the aggressiveness of Manchester United splashing the cash.

And they need to. Last season was a bit of a disaster for Manchester United from that point of view and I don't think they can afford to be left behind like they have done.

Moves for Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera are the beginning of Van Gaal's drive to add a touch of quality that's been sorely lacking in recent years. However, simply thrusting the icing on the cake isn't good enough when the foundations remain undercooked.

Between them, the five aforementioned fringe players will account for a hefty portion of the wage bill between them, and the former Porto pair of Anderson and Nani in particular have assuredly run their course at the club.

For Hernandez and Kagawa, it's a case of the competition simply being too much for them to handle. With the likes of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Juan Mata and now Herrera all occupying positions they'd like to call their own, it's better the funds be used for more pragmatic, useful purposes.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31:  Nani of Manchester United celebrates his goal with Anderson (L) during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on October 31, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive
Clive Rose/Getty Images

One thing that resonated with Van Gaal's Netherlands line-up was that players capable of playing in multiple positions had a finer chance of prominence in the side.

For Greg Johnson of The Mirror, Nani may fall victim to the lack of priority given to the wings in Van Gaal's formation but may yet have a future as a No. 10 in the side:

Kagawa did his best in filling in on the left flank for much of his time under Moyes, but he's a specialist when played centrally, where United happen to have numerous superior assets.

Fellaini is another who didn't thrive in the role he was assigned last term, forming an all-too-static midfield pivot alongside the likes of Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley, not allowed to glisten as he once did at Goodison Park.

The players themselves can only take so much of the blame; their only shortcoming, after all, is not bringing as much promise to the pitch as other superb talents who happen to play in a similar area.

That being said, it's better to cut ties now and invest in assets that Van Gaal can really put to use, as opposed to clinging on to the thought of what could be.

The club have already made some efforts in ridding themselves of lesser "stars," with Bebe and Alexander Buttner two of the three players United have actually sold for a fee this summer:

Of course, squad depth is one benefit these figures bring to the squad, but recent seasons have seen the Red Devils all too often settle for better-than-average alternatives on the bench.

Instead, this should be a club competing with the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea in terms of competition, with those on the sidelines feeling as though they should rightfully be in any starting line-up.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 17:  Louis van Gaal appears at a press conference as he is unveiled as the new Manchester United manager at Old Trafford on July 17, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Even Liverpool have started to accrue a long line of talent in the same positions, their centre-back and wide areas in particular now becoming considerably well-stocked.

"Out with the old and in with the new" would be all too simple a method to apply to the transfer window, of course; this is far from as easy as it's made to look in the video games.

However, all sentiment should be put to one side as United offload the uncertainties among their ranks in search of new and more assured stars, whom Van Gaal knows can hold their own weight as surefire starters.


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