It wouldn't take much for Chelsea to be firm favourites, perhaps just one marquee signing to boost their strongest team and keep every player on their toes. But without it, Chelsea will struggle. You'd be foolish to think any different.
Van Gaal has never been afraid to change his system, but with the two latest acquisitions in the midfield they now boast the ability to play effectively in whatever formation is put down. There's two players capable of playing in every position, while you'd say at least half of the squad are not bound to one role in one set up. There are countless options.
Excitement has rarely been higher ahead of the big August kick-off and people are already trying to identify who will fly and who flop in 2015/16. But what about those individuals who may surprise you?
Manchester United have as usual been linked to a vast number of players, and one of them to enter the headlines is Bayern Munich's catalyst Bastian Schweinsteiger. Having won everything that is to win, including the World Club Cup, Champions League and seven Bundesliga titles, he should be the perfect fit with experience and winning mentality... right?
While Sergio Ramos is one of the finest defenders in the world, should United even be chasing him? Casting the facts aside that this could be a long, drawn out process, is it actually wise to be paying such big money for a player approaching the age of 30?
That big kick off may seem an eternity away - and it is, in all honesty. But while you're sunning yourself up on holiday or confused about what to do on the weekends now there's no Soccer Saturday to keep you occupied, just remember that as a football fan - transfer speculation is a necessary part of the ride.
Just think - even without the pressure on the squad that comes with a European campaign (or even a Capital One Cup campaign, just in case we were in danger of forgetting that MK Dons game), United stumbled to a fourth place finish, just six points clear of a shambolic Spurs team.
On Saturday Barcelona and Juventus will battle it out for Europe's top price at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. It almost seems too good to be true. It's what some people would call 'a proper European Cup final'.
The subject of David de Gea's future will continue to dominate the news headlines for weeks and months, until he either decides to sign a new long term contract at Manchester United, or trade everything in for a Spanish homecoming to Real Madrid.
Falcao simply wasn't ready for a full season in a league programme as action packed as England's. He is crying out for a proper summer's rest and with that under his belt there is every chance the Falcao of old will rise from the dead.
It is entirely conceivable that a man could spend £20 on an Asos equivalent and still look his sharpest. It is also entirely conceivable that Manchester United could be restored to their rampant old selves without Ronaldo, Bale, Cavani or Pogba.
It took some time for van Gaal to figure things out and to imprint his own style on the squad, but it's now starting to pay off and further improvement will continue to follow. What would have happened in the unlikely event that the club hierarchy had listened to the ridiculous calls to swing the axe?
In football, certain things are just inevitable. Brazil will never stop producing world-class talent, England will lose any penalty shootout they compete in, and Real Madrid will always get their man in the transfer market. The latter is something Manchester United fans will know too well.
Sometimes individuals vastly underachieve, but others will clear the bar that has been set for them, occasionally surprisingly so. Here's a look at six Premier League signings in 2014/15 that have far exceeded what was expected of them in their debut season with a new club.
It looks absolutely certain that Falcao will not be making his loan spell permanent in the summer, but if he does leave, there will be a sense of embitterment that could have been easily avoided.
Wednesday night, Manchester United took on Newcastle at Tyneside, and bagged all the three points after a smash-and-grab victory in the final minute. Here are four key points from the game.