Probably the biggest—and most surprising—transfer deal of the window was the arrival of Radamel Falcao at Manchester United on a season-long loan. Admittedly, the deal wasn't announced until a few hours after the deadline, but regardless, Louis van Gaal has gotten himself a man that will make all the difference.
With an attack consisting of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, Falcao will provide additional firepower to an already lethal strike-force. His goals-to-appearances record across his career is phenomenal. The 28-year-old has scored 64 goals in 90 games, per WhoScored.com, for Atletico Madrid and Monaco.
Despite calls that the Colombian is not the answer to the pressing issues surrounding Old Trafford—and that buying further defenders or central midfielders may have been more pertinent—it is undeniable that his goalscoring talents will win them games. He is often capable of a single piece of genius that makes his opponents look silly.
Additionally, United's capture of ex-Real Madrid man Angel di Maria, is going to provide a lethal combination on the field. His tendency to spot a pass and provide a scintillating through ball—with a potential £200 million attack in front of him ready to convert the chances—is sure to get United fans eager for their coming fixtures.
Some point to the selection headaches and formation problems that it leaves Van Gaal with. The Guardian's Daniel Taylor wondered "if United have jumbled priorities, given the imbalance it leaves Van Gaal, with a pick of superstars up front but a defence that will always encourage opponents."
It is a common question on fans' and critics' lips alike: How will Van Gaal fit all his attacking options on the field at once, and if he doesn't, who will get the axe? Reds' striker Van Persie told FOX Sports NL (h/t BBC Sport) that everyone will have to fight for their place, including new signing Falcao: "At a top club you should always go for the best, which also fits my philosophy. Falcao must fight for his place, as I also have to."
In fairness, a problem with picking which superstars to start in your XI is not a bad situation to be in for Van Gaal. As we have seen countless times, he is not afraid to go against the grain and cause controversy. In other words, he would not hesitate to drop players if he had to—perhaps even club, and new England, captain Wayne Rooney.
The defensive deficiencies have told in United's opening fixtures this season, however, slowly but surely Van Gaal is starting to get his side together—and rest assured, it is one to be feared. With Marcos Rojo picking up his work permit on Thursday afternoon, confirming he will be available to start against QPR, as per the club's official Twitter account—and both Rafael and Luke Shaw on their way back from injury—Van Gaal will have options once more.
We have heard a lot about the Dutchman's plan to build slowly, taking time to form his United side into challengers at the elite level once again. That said, it is unreasonable to suggest that the Red Devils can challenge for the Premier League title in 2014/15—but stranger things have happened. With an attacking line-up to rival the best of them, perhaps Falcao and company can fire their new boss to glory, after all.