Angel Di Maria £59.7 million, Daley Blind £13.8 million, Ander Herrera £29 million, Luke Shaw £27 million, Marcus Rojo £16 million, and Radamel Falcao £6 million for a one season loan: these Galacticos, as they are called, gave every Manchester United fan such high hopes for the new season. There was a collective understanding that massive signings and changes had to be made in order to get back to the UEFA Champions League glory.
The uniqueness of any Manchester United team is the faith in the youth system and the ability to intelligently purchase emerging talent that should be long-term pieces in the team. With the Galactico mentality, there is little room for the young players to get into the first team; there will always be new players in and old players out, giving no chance for the talent to grow through the ranks. Of course, United’s situation the past four seasons, the necessity for last summer’s spending cannot be denied; however, I would like to see the club get back to its roots using the pipelining of Academy talent and the smart buys that will be long-term successes. Also, the club’s identity may be lost if the spending continues: United makes football, it does not buy it.
The perfect man to assure the task of getting back to United’s roots is Louis van Gaal. He has always put his faith in the youth and always makes intelligent investments in good players. His understanding that the youth is a massive part at the club is ever-present in the fact that he gave Paddy McNair, Tyler Blackett, Jesse Lingard, and Andres Pereira their debuts for the club in a season in which the squad was not nearly as strong to support that amount of debutants. Van Gaal also knows that the only way to make United consistently competitive is to spend a massive amount of money; however, the amount of money spent will show the clubs intentions-if United aim to use emerging talent and smart investments or continue with the massive summer spending and turn a new page in United’s amazing history.
As every United fan knows, the best times in United’s great history did not come after massive signings; they came after academy players or purchased recruits had finally matured into brilliant first team players: The Busby Babes, The Fergie Fledglings, and of course Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney. The solution for now is to rebuild a weak team, which requires the Galactico mindset, but for the long-term that should never be the solution. The solution is buying young players like Memphis Depay and believing in the great youth system that United has. Spending is a necessity to get back to the glories of Moscow in 2008, Barcelona in 1999, and Wembley 1968, but to regain the tradition of the great club that United is, Galaticos must not be the long-term answer.
This article was researched and written by Dylan Jones. You can follow him on Twitter.