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Jul 2, 2014

Mancunians take heart from united Dutch

Manchester United have completed the signings of Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao and Luke Shaw from Southampton.

The manner in which Louis van Gaal has united the world's most famously fractious dressing room has impressed many in the game. In a World Cup that has proven too hot to handle for England, Italy, Portugal and 2014 champions Spain, the Netherlands have cruised into the last eight. And they have done it by playing as a team.

- Report: Iniesta: Van Gaal develops youth
- Report: Van Persie hails Van Gaal tactics
- Report: Juve want 45 million pounds for Vidal

What's more, Van Gaal's team have shown cohesiveness, tactical versatility and guts on their way to the World Cup quarter finals. Those are three things that Manchester United sorely lacked throughout last season, and their presence at Old Trafford will be more than welcome.

In some quarters, it is said that United would like to see their man at Old Trafford sooner rather than later. However, that is a calculation from the accountants. The idea that Van Gaal's earliest arrival would help United's preseason is theoretically sound. But it doesn't account for reality.

To have the new manager arrive on the back of a glorious World Cup run would be far more beneficial. If David Moyes had trouble winning the respect of some of the more experienced corners of the dressing room, Van Gaal's dismembering of Spain is bound to shut them up. The further the Netherlands go, the better in terms of the United dressing room.

Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal, left, will also be coaching Dutch striker Robin van Persie at Manchester United this coming season.
Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal, left, will also be coaching Dutch striker Robin van Persie at Manchester United this coming season.

At home, United's rivals are strengthening. Liverpool are on the way to losing Luis Suarez and have signed Adam Lallana to bolster their squad. Given the difference in quality between those two, if United don't overtake them next season, their heads must hang in shame.

Chelsea are the club spending serious money wisely and, with Jose Mourinho lurking around, they could well be the early pacesetters in August. United's game against the Blues at Old Trafford on October 25th will be an important marker for United under the new man.

Since the England squad returned home, transfers have started to move more fluidly. Considering Van Gaal's connections in Dutch and German football, as soon as the teams of these two nations return, United can be expected to make further signings.

In the meantime, Sporting Lisbon's football director Augusto Inacio has chosen Wednesday to talk about the cost of William Carvalho. The 22-year-old midfielder is rumoured to have a buyout clause for £37 million that a potential suitor would have to meet. That is a lot of money for such a young player. But if Suarez is worth £80 million and Gareth Bale even more, then why not?

Whoever United bring in between now and the end of the summer, it is hoped that they can fit into a functional eleven quickly. Introducing so many players simultaneously can be problematic and disruptive; Van Gaal will need his wits about him during his first weeks at the club.

For the time being, the Netherlands will meet Costa Rica this weekend, seemingly the most desirable opponent of the round. Further progression is expected of the Oranje, and expectations at Old Trafford mount with every game they win.

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