All posts by Spoughts

Is Van Gaal casting aside £25m Man Utd buy Depay with January transfer plans?

Louis van Gaal has told the press that Manchester United need to sign “creative, speedy players in attack” in the January transfer window.

This could come as a hammer blow to Memphis Depay, who has been cast aside in recent weeks by his compatriot.

It seems as though Van Gaal has decided that Depay does not fit into his system – he has been dropped in favour of playing Anthony Martial on the left-wing, with Juan Mata operating on the right.

Martial is not a natural left-winger, and choosing him over Depay could suggest that Van Gaal has had enough of the Dutch winger.

This may be the case, given Depay’s last appearance was in the Old Trafford club’s staggering 3-0 collapse away from home against Arsenal.

Given Van Gaal is a systems based manager, preferring tactical understanding over individual brilliance, Depay, gifted and talented on the ball, would not get as much credit as with other bosses.

On Sunday, with Man Utd seeking a winner against Manchester City, Van Gaal put Jesse Lingard on rather than the former PSV Eindhoven man.

That would mean that Depay has been relegated to third choice left-winger.

It would also suggest that if Man Utd do sign “creative, speedy players” for their attack in January, it would only increase the competition for Depay.

Van Gaal has previous – while in charge of Barcelona, he dropped and then got rid of Rivaldo.

Even during his time at Old Trafford, he spent big money on Angel Di Maria, a player who barely featured after January.

This could all be taken as a worrying sign by Depay, who may start wondering where he will fit in after January.

Arsenal And Liverpool On Alert Over £35m Spanish Star – reports

Isco has decided that he wants to leave Real Madrid, with the Premier League thought to be his ideal destination.

This has put the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea on alert, with all three clubs believed to be interested in signing the Spanish star, according to Fichajes.net.

The 23-year-old has declared that he wants a “change in scenery”.

The signing of Mateo Kovacic in the summer from Inter Milan has left Isco finding it difficult to earn a place in the first team, and his form has suffered as a result.

Would it work?

This is probably the sort of question that keeps Arsene Wenger up at night – can he slot another attacking player into his side.

The reality is that the Gunners really do not need another option in that role.

However, the injury suffered by Aaron Ramsey may tempt Wenger into considering a bid for an attacking player in January.

While he can still call on Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, Ramsey has played a key role while operating from the right.

Given that Wenger now sees Theo Walcott as a striker, that leaves him with only Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the berth on the right wing while Ramsey is out.

With Arsenal now pushing for the title, Wenger may feel he needs another option.

In Liverpool’s case, Isco would be an excellent signing and immediately freshen up Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Given the German manager has had to pick a narrow and oddly creativity free midfield in his first few games, having a player like Isco available would only benefit the Anfield club.

Rumour rater

If Isco has genuinely requested a move, there is no reason why Arsenal or Liverpool could not bring him in.

However, as Premier League sides have learned (see: Arsenal/Karim Benzema, Man Utd/Sergio Ramos), players at Real often use English sides to earn bigger contracts.

This one could be that again, or could actually be a case of Isco seeking a route out of the Santiago Bernabeu.

Not out of the realms of possibility.

Rumour rated: 3/5

Man Utd and Euro giants chase £70m Chelsea ace – reports

In what must stand as one of the least likely rumours of the weekend, Manchester United have apparently entered the race for Eden Hazard.

Yes, that Eden Hazard. Yes, the one who plays for Chelsea.

According to the Daily Star, Man Utd are looking to take advantage of Hazard’s rift with Jose Mourinho to bring him to Old Trafford. Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City are also thought to be preparing bids.

It’d cost them £70 million to take him away from Chelsea.

Would it work?

Is this even really a question?

Of course Hazard would improve pretty much any team he played for, at least as long as his manager is not Jose Mourinho in the middle of a sulk.

He’s one of the world’s best attacking players, and was integral as Chelsea won the league last season.

Given Manchester United are currently marooning Anthony Martial out-wide, it would make incredible sense for the Old Trafford club to have Hazard as an option and move the talented young French star to the middle, where he is most effective.

Real would see Hazard as a long-term replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, who it cannot be forgotten is over 30.

Barcelona could add Hazard to an already devastating front line.

Rumour rater

However, it’s absolutely ludicrous to think Chelsea would let Hazard join a title rival.

He’s their best player by a long way, despite his current feud with Mourinho.

It seems incredibly unlikely that Roman Abramovich would sanction his sale, and he’s more likely to get rid of Mourinho before the Belgian is allowed to leave Stamford Bridge.

Given Chelsea’s current form, that seems all the more likely.

No chance.

Rumour rated: 0/5