Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted that he is much happier with his squad this season than he was last ahead of the Manchester derby this weekend.
The manager gave the go ahead for six new signings this summer as he continued his revamping of the squad and he now feels much more comfortable with the number of players he has at his disposal.
The signings of the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Memphis Depay have given van Gaal more than one player for each position, something he was looking for when he took the job at Old Trafford. The Dutchman has also been helped by the fact that the squad has stayed relatively injury free this term.
Man United go into the derby with just three injuries, of which only one player would have been expected to start. United will be without Luke Shaw, Paddy McNair and Ashley Young while Manchester City are missing both Sergio Aguero and David Silva and van Gaal is delighted to have almost have free reign when picking his team.
“It’s always better that a manager can select from a lot of players. There have been times when I could not select from many, like last year, but this year is going much better.” he said.
United certainly have more strength in depth than they did last year and, as a result, will be confident of getting a result against their bitter rivals. Van Gaal has proven recently that he is willing to use all the players in his squad with the inclusions of Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira and his options mean United can keep their squad fresh, despite competing in all four competitions.
Juan Mata and Matteo Darmian were both given a rest for the trip to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League and will both be expected to return as United look to beat City and go one point ahead of them in the Premier League.