the transfer market is the vacuum into which we dump everything - our hopes, dreams, varying philosophies, and frustrations. it is a referendum on the state of your club.
the 2015 summer transfer window found Manchester United filling obvious holes and creating a few more along the way. Louis Van Gaal and Ed Woodward did a tremendous job in adding a:
- quality right back in Matteo Darmian
- creative and pacey winger with an eye for goal in Memphis
- tackling no nonsense defensive shield in Morgan Schneiderlin
- veteran presence with world class passing ability in Bastian Schweinsteiger
- backup keeper in Sergio Romero
- young striker with varying levels of potential in Anthony Martial.
what this transfer window taught us was three-fold:
- signing established world class talent from clubs like Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, etc. is incredibly difficult and unlikely to yield results (unless said talent is 31 years-old and has already been replaced).
- established names tend not to flourish in Van Gaal's "system".
- United need to return to a transfer policy that scouts and signs younger, more raw talent.
it is this third point that I would like to hit upon in greater detail. pretty much all of the club's best players in the most recent epoch were players bought for their potential - what they could offer Manchester United in a few years - and not for their immediate impact.
it was generally assumed that these players were capable of playing up to the level required for a team like United who regularly challenge for trophies, but also accepted that there would be growing pains along the way.
players like Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, David de Gea, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, to name a few, were not established 'Gaalacticos' when they arrived at Old Trafford. they were players molded by the club into some of the best at their positions in world football.
the notion that United cannot attract established talent is ludicrous. last summer's transfer window is proof enough to dispel that idea. and now with the club's well-earned return to the Champions League, there is no reason why it cannot compete for and sign star players should those players be available.
this summer United has signed players with immense raw ability ready to be shaped into world class talent in Memphis and Martial. but we must remember, in order to turn lead into gold, the lead must first pass through fire.