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How Manchester United's Six Summer Signings Look So Far

17/09/2014 17:56 BST | Updated 17/11/2014 10:59 GMT

In the space of a few short months, an ailing Manchester United squad that stumbled to a seventh place Premier League finish last season has had a complete face lift.

Louis van Gaal arrived to formally start work in mid July and executive vice chairman Ed Woodward spent the next few weeks doing his level best to add to the two existing signings and give the manager the tools he needed for what seemed an impossible job.

While transfer negotiations were sill going on, the team were struggling on the pitch. But now that the window has closed and the squad is complete, United look an altogether different beast.

Here's a look at how the six summer signings are looking so far.

6. Ander Herrera

The first new arrival through the door, Ander Herrera signed on the dotted line several weeks before van Gaal started work. The Spaniard had been on the club's wishlist for more than 12 months, but the new boss approved and Herrera completed his £29m move from Athletic Bilbao.

Joining United's existing Spanish players and former Under-21 international team-mates David de Gea and Juan Mata, Herrera looked to settle in very quickly indeed. He enjoyed an excellent pre-season and showed flashes of quality that gave early indications he is the solution to replacing Paul Scholes.

After turning 25 two days earlier, the former Real Zaragoza man was selected to start the opening game of the Premier League season. Injury unfortunately halted his immediate progress, but he came back into the line-up against QPR and looked very much at home, even scoring his first goal.

5. Luke Shaw

Luke Shaw arrived shortly after Herrera, but the young Englishman, earmarked as one the stars of the future, has had a much tougher time since moving to Old Trafford. His £27m transfer from Southampton was greeted with great excitement, but seemingly no sooner had van Gaal set foot through the door, he was telling his new teenage full-back there was a lot of fitness work to be done.

The player happily accepted the manager's verdict and he was used only sparingly on the pre-season tour of the United States. However, a hamstring injury suffered shortly after the squad returned home further halted his progress.

It means that as yet Shaw has not actually featured in a competitive game for United. He is now nearing full fitness and took his place as an unused substitute during the 4-0 thrashing of QPR, but even when he returns he will be far from the finished article.

4. Marcos Rojo

United's third signing of the summer, Argentine international Marcos Rojo joined from Sporting Lisbon for £16m in mid-August, but is another new face to have suffered a frustrating delay to his Old Trafford career.

Rojo was desperate to join United and staged a walkout in Portugal to try and force the move, but after signing was unable to make his debut for nearly a month because of difficulties in obtaining the correct visa paperwork.

However, as soon as he was eligible Rojo went straight into van Gaal's starting XI against QPR. The manager sees him as a left sided centre back or left wing back, but for his debut the 24-year-old played as a conventional left-back and looked very comfortable. He was defensively strong, showed desire to get forward and will only improve with time.

3. Angel Di Maria

Angel Di Maria's £59.7m British record transfer from Real Madrid was the exact kind of ambitious business that United fans had been waiting for. Last season, the Argentine winger proved himself to be one of the best players in the world and it speaks volumes that Real fans and players were devastated to see him leave.

The 26-year-old made his United debut against Burnley at Turf Moor and although the game finished 0-0 and he only lasted 70 minutes after suffering with cramp, there were clear signs of world class ability.

After a week away on international duty with Argentina, which included a one man demolition of Germany, Di Maria returned to put QPR to the sword and expel any doubts about what use he is in van Gaal's system. He offered a change of pace that United have lacked since Cristiano Ronaldo and wasn't scared to take defenders on or scrap to win the ball back. He scored the first goal, created the second, directly assisted the fourth and it seems that this is just the very beginning.

2. Daley Blind

Two days before the close of the transfer window, United confirmed that an agreement had been reached to sign Daley Blind, one of the stars of the World Cup, from Ajax. The move was completed on deadline day itself for just £14m and it already looks to be very shrewd business indeed.

Having already extensively worked with van Gaal, the versatile defender/midfielder was another who went straight in against QPR. Of all United's new players Blind is arguably the most understated, but his contribution on his debut was hugely important.

Operating in a holding midfield role he was always in the face of the opposition to win the ball back and showed extreme comfort when in possession himself. Blind was constantly available to receive the ball and completed 107 out of 112 passes, more than any other player on the pitch. After the game he was nominated by the club for their Man of the Match vote on Twitter.

1. Radamel Falcao

The last summer transfer to go through was the deadline day coup that saw superstar Colombian striker Radamel Falcao join on a season long loan from Monaco.

However, immediately jetting off to the USA for international duty, Falcao was unable to train with his new team-mates until late last week and for that reason, combined with jetlag, van Gaal chose to start with him on the bench against QPR.

When he came down to warm-up, the player received a rapturous ovation from the United fans and his early movement after taking to the pitch in the second half showed great promise. The striker was sharp when pouncing on a loose ball, but was denied a debut goal by a strong save. The best of Falcao is certainly yet to come.

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