Transfer deadline day in the summer for any Manchester United fan was torturous.
It all began in the very early hours of the morning when whispers from Colombia said Radamel Falcao was going to join Man United. Falcao? United? There had surely been a mistake, right? Wrong. What ensued was 24 hours of bedlam and the fact Falcao wasn’t officially unveiled by the club until 1.30am the following morning is indicative of how much of a whirlwind deadline day was.
So, seeing that United find themselves just four days away from the transfer window closing having only brought in Victor Valdes on a free deal isn’t the best of news, especially when you see other teams around us strengthening.
Arsenal signed Gabriel and Chelsea are now closing in on the signing of Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina, a player who has been heavily linked with a move to Man United since the summer. You’ve got to give it to Chelsea – when they want their man, they go out and get him. No fuss, pay the right price and bring him in.
Cuadrado joining will add another string to Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea bow but why didn’t Louis van Gaal make a move for him? He’s more than comfortable playing as a full-back, wing-back or even a winger. In a 3-5-2 formation, Cuadrado’s versatility could have brought a real squad strengthener to United and he’s a damn sight better than Antonio Valencia who is getting plenty of game time.
Was Van Gaal unwilling to pay his release clause? Maybe. Is it a case that he didn’t fit Van Gaal’s philosophy so a move was never on the cards? Potentially, Van Gaal may have his eyes elsewhere and it’s certainly not a good thing to buy a player for the sake of it but United’s current position is precarious and a top four finish is far from guaranteed.
United need at least one new defender in January, there’s no doubt about it but whether Van Gaal gets the man he wants remains to be seen. If he doesn’t, it makes it that little bit harder for Van Gaal to find that stability he craves in a defence which continues to be ravaged by injuries, which could work against United in the race a Champions League spot this season.