Jon Super/Associated Press
Darren Fletcher is a favourite among United fans. His comeback from a bowel condition that threatened to end his career is inspiring.
But there's a feeling among the supporters that he's not found enough form to be considered first choice at United. And his performances in August have backed that up.
Against Burnley, he was left to protect the back three on his own with Angel Di Maria and Juan Mata pushed further forward. It was a huge responsibility for a player who is still recovering his form and fitness.
Ander Herrera made a promising start to his United career in the opening game of the season against Swansea, but an injury has meant that he hasn't played since.
Van Gaal will hope he can recreate the form he showed on the tour of the United States when he makes his comeback.
One of the reasons Van Gaal decided to introduce his 3-5-2 at United was to get Rooney, Van Persie and Mata all playing together in their preferred positions.
Mata has started the games against Swansea, Sunderland and Burnley, but he's struggled to impose himself on any of them. His goal against Sunderland has been the one highlight.
It's not yet clear where Adnan Januzaj fits into Van Gaal's plans. He came off the bench against Swansea to play as a right wing-back. In the second-half he played a right midfielder.
Against Sunderland, he was used deeper in midfield alongside Tom Cleverley. And against Burnley he came on as No. 10 late in the game.
Against Swansea, especially, he looked like United's best player.
Angel Di Maria
It will take time for Angel Di Maria to settle into English football, but he made a bright start to his United career against Burnley.
He was taken off in the second period as he began to tire. But the signs were positive for United's British-record buy.
Anderson wasn't expected to play for United again after being sent on loan to Fiorentina at the end of last season.
But back at Old Trafford, he's played against MK Dons and Burnley under Van Gaal. He's not done anything to suggest he should be back in the first team on a regular basis, but he might benefit from a lack of other options.