Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has given his verdict on the Red Devils summer acquisitions, which put the club back by a mammoth £150m.
The Old Trafford club had a season to forget during the 2013/14 campaign and ended up finishing seventh in the Premier League, thus putting them out of European competitions entirely. This meant it was harder to attract top quality players, as they all want to play in the Champions League.
However, Louis van Gaal surprised everyone when he made some big signings in the summer and even broke the British transfer record when he landed Angel di Maria for a reported £60m from Real Madrid. Ferguson feels that it was exactly what United needed this summer.
"That's the way the game is going today with fees like £85million for Gareth Bale. I think when you can identify ability like that needed by Manchester United, they have the resources to do that. They are fees I never quite equalled but nonetheless they were needing quite a big injection this year," Ferguson said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
The Red Devils' first signing of the summer was Spaniard Ander Herrera, who arrived from Athletico Bilbao. The midfielder has been on United's radar for over a year and former manager David Moyes even failed in an attempt to sign him last summer.
"(Ander) Herrera played against us three years ago for Bilbao in the Europa League. In fairness, they gave us a right battering at Old Trafford. He's a talented young player and we scouted him quite a lot at that time."
"Obviously I think they tried to get him last year but it fell through for some reason or another. He's athletic, quite aggressive actually for a lad who has not got a great frame and he's quite slim but he's quite aggressive and he gets around the pitch," the former Old Trafford boss explained.
The second player to come through the doors was young English defender Luke Shaw from Southampton. He was brought in for a reported £30m and is said to be one of the highest earning members in the team. This, at just 19 years of age.
Ferguson revealed that he had tried to sign the prodigious full-back three years ago, but the Saints were not willing to do business at that time.
"The signing of (Luke) Shaw was the one we tried to get when he was 16 years of age. They wouldn't sell him to us but they always said we'd be first to know if they ever did. Of course, Ed Woodward has carried that through and we got him for, I think it was £30million. He's a talented boy, a good footballer who likes to get forward all the time," the former Premier League manager revealed.
The next players came in as the summer transfer window was beginning to shut, and everyone was calling for the club to strengthen its defence following the departures of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra.
Van Gaal did strengthen the back line, but not how everyone expected him to. He signed Argentine defender Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon, a player who was impressive for Argentina during the 2014 World Cup.
Another signing was Daley Blind from Ajax. He was a player that the Dutch manager knew very well from their time together in the Netherlands team, and again it was the player's versatility that attracted the attention of the Manchester club.
Sir Alex has likened the Dutchman to United fan favourite Darren Fletcher, a midfielder who can perform multiple roles for the team, a player who will make sure he protects the back four and give freedom to the attacking players to carry on with their natural game.
"(Marcos) Rojo, the Argentinian boy, I watched him at the World Cup, I thought he did really well for them and I think he's capable of playing either left side as a wing-back if you like or as a centre-back."
"Daley Blind is one of those common-sense footballers that make up a team. He's probably a version of Darren Fletcher of a few years ago, that type of player. He's a good professional with common sense to his game. He keeps it simple and protects the defenders and the attacking midfield players in his role," the former United boss remarked.
The final signing of the summer was what surprised and delighted everyone at Old Trafford and made other clubs look on with envy. Van Gaal managed to sign Radamel Falcao from AS Monaco on a season long loan, with an option of making the deal permanent the following summer.
"The big one is (Radamel) Falcao who we're all waiting to see. Obviously, he has fantastic goalscoring ability. He had his injury so getting him on loan is the right thing to do," Ferguson concluded.