Manchester United kids would be all right with Van Gaal
Coach proud of his record of promoting young talent
Coach Louis Van Gaal is proud of how some of his former charges have become elite players. “It makes me happy and proud,” he said. “But Xavi, Iniesta, [Thiago]Motta [at Barca], Müller or [David]Alaba [of Bayern] fitted the profile of the position.” Koen Vl Weel/EPA
Manchester United’s young players have reasons to be hopeful if, as expected, Louis van Gaal is appointed this week. The manager has a record of promoting young players and has pointed to his development of Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Thomas Müller and Bastian Schweinsteiger as evidence of how his philosophy has been successful.
With United hoping to announce the Netherlands coach as their manager this week Van Gaal is set to take charge of a squad who need rebuilding following a title defence that ended 22 points behind Manchester City.
Van Gaal is clear what makes him different from other coaches. “I think it’s my philosophy because it binds players with my training and in my career I have had a lot of players who are fascinated by that philosophy,” he has said.
“They find it nice to take part in it because it’s attacking, technical and tactical. They can show their qualities more than ever.
“The characteristics come back to my point on vision. You have to play as a team and not as individuals. That’s why I’m always going back to the vision, then the team, and then which players fit in my system, a 1-4-3-3, because I’m always playing that. If a young player can do it, then I select him. If it’s an older player, it doesn’t bother me; it’s not the most important factor. Age is not important.”
Van Gaal is proud of how some of his former charges have become elite players. “It makes me happy and proud,” he said. “But Xavi, Iniesta, [Thiago]Motta [at Barca], Müller or [David]Alaba [of Bayern] fitted the profile of the position.
“For example, I talked with Alaba about the left full back position. He didn’t want to play there. He was educated as a midfielder but I had a vacant position for him because I had injuries and thought he could do the job. After a lot of talking, in the end, he played there because he wanted to help the team. Where is he playing now? Left full back.”
Of Schweinsteiger, whom Van Gaal managed at Bayern between 2009-11, he said: “He did not fit in the position of left winger for me. I told Bastian: ‘I think you have to play in midfield’.
“Then he played in a holding role and found he liked the game more than ever.”
United have made a €33 million bid for Luke Shaw, with the club confident the left back can be signed from Southampton.
As the 18-year-old has been chosen for Roy Hodgson’s England squad for this summer’s World Cup, United hope to seal the transfer soon, ahead of next month’s tournament in Brazil.
United will make Shaw the highest-paid teenager in English football history by offering him a €122,000 a-week salary over five years, with the club set to beat interest from Chelsea and Manchester City for the player’s signature.
Marco Reus is is staying with Borussia Dortmund, thus ruling out a move to Manchester United, he confirmed.
The attacking midfielder has been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford but the German international, who has a buy-out clause of €35 million, said he won’t be leaving Dortmund this season. –