Manchester United has been pretty quiet in the January transfer market as opposed to what they spend this past summer where they tossed out records amount of money. Many expected Louis Van Gaal to finish building his squad in January by buffering his defence and midfield, with such players as Mats Hummels and Kevin Strootman once again mentioned in the press and social media. But the only move the club made was signing goalkeeper Victor Valdes to be the clubs backup to David De Gea.
And don’t expect many others moves. In fact, the club may not even be too active next summer, either.
Van Gaal knows that having a free-spending summer like his team just had six months ago is a once-a-term type strategy for a manager of quickly rebuilding the squad. It’s not a sustainable way for success. And United is no different. While, the core players are now in place, majority of the squad can now be build from with-in, and with a youth movement under Van Gaal, the best since the early 1990’s class of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane and David Beckham, fans may see United less and less active in future transfer markets, especially when it comes to big star players.
James Wilson, 19. One of the top prospects in England, Wilson is viewed by many scouts as a future striker for the English national team. Just turned 19 in December, has already appeared for Van Gaal 11 times this season scoring once. Van Gaal views Wilson as a future “#9” of Manchester United. So much, he forced Wilson to change his # from 48 to #49 because he felt the striker needed a “9” on his shirt.
Paddy McNair, 19. A stud with the reserves, came into the first team as a emergency call-up due to a injury crisis early in the season. McNair didn’t look like he missed a step and was steady in each of his starts, in fact United have yet to lose with McNair as a starter, going 6-0-1 with a goal differential of 14 goals for, 5 goals against. McNair last week was the player of the game in a reserve league match against Liverpool’s reserve and scored a “golazo” in the process. As a reward, found a way to return to the first team as a substitute for Van Gaal in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Leicester City.
Adnan Januzaj, 19. A quick paced midfielder provides Van Gaal a different dynamic. Super skilled with his feet, it’s only a matter of time before Januzaj finds the confidence to become a world class player. Januzaj averages 2.3 shots per 90-minutes. Van Gaal believes in him very much, giving him the #11 shirt and also has already started in five matches this season.
Andreas Pereira, 19. Joining Manchester United in 2011 from PSV Eindhoven as a very highly touted player by most of Europe’s top clubs, has really started to develop nicely in United’s youth system. The midfielder has dominated youth football at every level, club and for his national team Belgium. Biggest flaw for Pereira has been his defensive responsibilities, and he has worked on that this season with the youth team. As a result, he has been the best player on United U-21 team and call-up to the senior team isn’t far ahead.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah, 16. Born in Ghana and a product of the Ajax system, Fosu-Mensah looks like the real deal. Unknown if he’ll play central defense or a holding midfielder role but whatever it is, he is sure to be one of the best. Rated as one of the best teenagers in the world. He starred for a Dutch U-16 team that never lost a game with him in the starting XI. Fosu-Mensah presents exceptional athleticism and a extremely high football-IQ.
RoShaun Williams, 15. Super fast striker, but doesn’t kill opponents just with speed. Williams is a talented player, who already plays with kids older then him has the skill to get by defenders without using his super quick Olympic-level speed. Williams beat a 25-year old School record running 100m in 10.99, breaking a record owned by an Olympic gold medalist.