THE BLOG

Why Manchester United's Latest Signings Will Make Louis van Gaal's Philosophy Come to Life

14/07/2015 17:19 BST | Updated 14/07/2016 10:59 BST

Louis van Gaal and Ed Woodward deserve some high praise for their exploits over the last week or so.

Together they've managed to solve an issue that has been rearing its head at Manchester United for the best part of a decade. Though it improved in stages and didn't stop the club winning trophies, the club's midfield has been too soft for too long.

Darren Fletcher may have - at his very, very best - looked to be the heir to the central midfield throne Roy Keane abdicated in 2005, but the Scot suffered from injury troubles and never quite became the world-beater you'd expect from a club of this stature. The same can be said of Owen Hargreaves, though over a considerably shorter time period.

Anderson - despite his promise - flopped and dare we even speak of Eric Djemba-Djemba, who was initially primed for the role before Keane walked away? We've seen many pretenders come and go.

Though finally, that bite that Keane took with him from midfield looks to have finally been replaced. But perhaps more impressively, all in the space of one July weekend.

United have finally sealed the signing of Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin and pulled off the shock transfer of Bayern Munich legend Bastian Schweinsteiger. All for considerably less (combined) than their cross-town rivals are paying for a player who has enjoyed one good season in the Premier League.

I'm talking about Manchester City paying £49million for Raheem Sterling there, by the way.

Call them what you want - 'Schneidersteiger' is a personal favourite - but the pair are unquestionably made of the quality you'd expect of the standard-bearing United midfielder. Schweinsteiger has (almost) won it all in the game, with eight Bundesliga titles, a Champions League and a World Cup winner's medal to his name, but he's a man hungry for a new challenge. He wants to prove he's still got what it takes to be considered among the game's very best.

At nearly 31, Schweini is hardly a spring chicken, but he's one of the most experienced players in the game. And he's still got a good few years left in the tank. His three-year deal makes great business sense.

Schneiderlin, meanwhile, has been yearning for the chance to play at a big club for several years and acted professionally even while his dreams of a transfer were being denied in front of him last summer. The Frenchman now has his chance and he'll stop at nothing to prove himself on the Champions League stage.

Diverting from the midfield, we've not even mentioned Matteo Darmian as yet - a player wanted by a host of top European clubs over the last year - and his arrival at Old Trafford, nor Memphis Depay's signing earlier this summer. Together with the aforementioned pair, they offer a fantastic blend of youth, experience and general excitement across the park.

That's exactly what United need. They've been lacking the desire and bite required to compete for titles. But now what we see before us is a fluid, versatile and deep squad capable of competing on all fronts.

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.

Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger can play as a two and will offer enough security in both directions to release Juan Mata into his favoured central role, while a front three of Angel Di Maria, Depay and Wayne Rooney would go a long way to bringing that famed Old Trafford fear factor back.

Darmian is natural as right wing back, meaning even the 3-5-2 favoured at the start of last season would look stronger, while the recently favoured 4-3-3 is laced with possibilities too.

Of course, there are still a number of situations that need to be addressed; given a centre half and a new striker are required, and David de Gea's future needs to be sorted out one way or another. But given the vigour that has been put into their transfer business over the last week, we shouldn't really put it past the club to make their mark again before this window closes.

Things are looking up at Old Trafford.

For more fan views or to join the conversation visit www.90min.com