Impact of Man Utd's summer signings
Published 19/08/2015 | 11:48
Memphis Depay lit up Old Trafford with his Champions League double in Manchester United's 3-1 victory over Club Brugge on Tuesday night.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at the impact Louis van Gaal's summer signings have made so far.
The 21-year-old made a slow start to life at United following his £25million transfer from PSV Eindhoven. But switching from the number 10 position behind Wayne Rooney to the left flank appears to suit a player given the iconic number seven shirt at Old Trafford. His stunning brace against Club Brugge underlined his reputation in Dutch football as a goalscorer and his cross for Marouane Fellaini's precious third goal was Beckham-like in its delivery. Looks the complete player and will only get better.
Yet to start a game since his high-profile move from Bayern Munich, with Van Gaal admitting the Germany midfielder is still short of full match fitness. But the 31-year-old is a leader and has provided a stabilising influence in his three substitute appearances, replacing fellow veteran Michael Carrick on each occasion. Van Gaal will want to get Schweinsteiger up to speed as quickly as possible to add craft to his midfield, but at this stage it looks a straight choice between him and Carrick to partner the younger Morgan Schneiderlin in the United engine room.
Settled smoothly into the United midfield since his undisclosed transfer from Southampton. The 25-year-old has provided an effective shield with Carrick in front of a much-maligned back four and that should not be under-estimated with only one goal conceded in three matches. Possesses an excellent engine and the Frenchman has also shown he is capable of breaking into forward areas and joining the attack, but the concern for United would be that there is not creativity in central areas to damage top opposition.
Van Gaal said on United's pre-season tour of the United States that he was bought for the "second position" behind Antonio Valencia but Darmian has looked anything but back-up since his £12.7million move from Torino. Strong in the tackle and good in the air, the Italy international looks a proper defender, focusing on that side of the job first while still possessing the energy to add attacking penetration. Valencia looks to have a big fight to get his place back after returning late to pre-season from the Copa America.
Has filled the goalkeeping gap with David De Gea apparently unsettled by Real Madrid's attempts to sign the Spaniard. Argentina's 2014 World Cup goalkeeper has started all three United games and, in truth, has not had too much to do given the protection in front of him. Romero's handling has been pretty safe but he was almost embarrassed against Club Brugge when he delayed a clearance and fears persist that he could be prone to the odd error as he grows accustomed to English football.