Is Louis van Gaal’s spending spree endangering England’s chances?

The issue of homegrown players in the English game is one that will always rage on. Manchester United have always held themselves in high esteem with regards to this issue, but the Daily Mail believe that Louis van Gaal’s frivolous activities in the transfer market are in danger of harming England’s chances in the future.

The potential knock on effects are grim reading for England. Michael Carrick, though 34 and quite unlikely to be part of the long-term future, faces the prospect of dropping out of the first team regular due to arrivals. Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are guaranteed nothing, and Luke Shaw has much to prove if he is to usurp Daley Blind in the left back position. Ashley Young has no guarantees as Memphis Depay looks to more than likely take preference. This leaves just Wayne Rooney with any sort of guaranteed start.

The article is quite scathing of Louis van Gaal’s transfer policy. And it is true that only one of his ten signings is of any use to Roy Hodgson and England. But surely the problem is not at United. What is neglected to mention in any positive light is his stance on youth. Tyler Blackett and James Wilson were given chances last season and their development will continue. Jesse Lingard would have been used more, I assume, had a serious injury not kept him out early in the season. Sean Goss, though born in Germany but eligible to play for England, is being offered an opportunity by being part of the pre-season tour set up.

There has been an influx of foreign stars joining United the past two summers, but the problems for England lie across the city, and not a word is spoken of that. Manchester City are currently scrambling around, desperately trying to sign any English player they can, as before the signing of Raheem Sterling, City had just two English players registered; Joe Hart and Richard Wright. Their youth policy is absolutely none existent. And yet the focus of the Daily Mail’s article and distaste is at United, famed for their youth policy, and in a position where no less than five internationals face less than regular football.

The rest of the top four were merely touched upon, and though the article does state it shouldn’t be Manchester United’s job to fuel the national side, it does appear the onus is well upon them. Carrick will feature, but age and injuries will dictate how much, not colleagues. Ashley Young, before last season, did not deserve to be a regular starter. His performances in 2014/15 have gained deserved praise, and it is unlikely that will be ignored by Louis van Gaal, he will be well in with a shout of starting.

Chris Smalling is another that impressed towards the end of the season, and you would imagine that will stand him in good stead of being first choice in spite of signings. And Phil Jones and Luke Shaw have fitness worries they must overcome to earn their places. What the article has neglected to mention is these factors, it is not just about who has been signed, there are many more worries surrounding the English players than ability. Perhaps rather than concentrating on one or two minor woes at one of England’s main contributors, sights should be set towards one of England’s main problem areas. Three English players registered and not an eyelid did bat, but it’s alright, oil money talks.


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