Manchester United’s pre-season tour gave fans a glimpse into how Louis van Gaal‘s side is going to line-up this season and with five wins out of five games against tough opposition, it was certainly a promising start to the Dutchman’s managerial career at Old Trafford.
With the current squad at his disposal, United played a 3-5-2 formation which Van Gaal used to great effect with Holland at the World Cup and it worked. Players played in their natural positions and the football benefited.
However, as good as Fletcher is, the last game on tour showed why United desperately need somebody like Arturo Vidal. In his fifth game in 14 days, Fletcher’s energy levels dropped off as did a lot of his team-mates in the first half and United suffered because of it.
Bearing in mind many didn’t think Fletcher was going to play for United again at one point last season, the fact he captained the side on tour and was one of the star performers is a testament to his recovery but United cannot afford to put all their eggs in one basket with him.
Michael Carrick is sidelined for three months and United’s other midfielders are more suited to a more attacking role meaning that if Fletcher was to get injured, United would be left without a holding midfielder which is why Vidal would be such an important signing this summer.
If United’s move for Vidal does fall through, they need to find an alternative because although the squad has fantastic strength in attack, the startling lack of depth in midfield could be the Achilles heel this year if injuries strike, and they always do.