Manchester United

Louis van Gaal's Tour Squad Highlights Problems to Solve at Manchester United

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 17:  Louis van Gaal appears at a press conference with Sir Bobby Charlton as he is unveiled as the new Manchester United manager at Old Trafford on July 17, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images
Rob DawsonManchester United CorrespondentJuly 18, 2014

Louis van Gaal announced his first Manchester United squad on Friday.

He named the 25 players he'll take to the United States this summer for games against the LA Galaxy, Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid

With it, the Dutchman showed the trust he has in young players. But the group he picked also highlighted the gaps that need to be filled before the transfer window shuts.

Asked this week about whether he's keen to promote youth team players at United, Van Gaal spoke with some caution.

He insisted his key responsibility was the first team but added that he hadn't been afraid of giving 16-year-old Clarence Seedorf a first-team debut during his time at Ajax.

Themba Hadebe/Associated Press

Van Gaal has taken Ben Amos, Sam Johnstone, Tyler Blackett, Michael Keane, Reece James, Jesse Lingard and William Keane with him to the United States.

Each will get opportunities to impress the new manager knowing that the former coach of Barcelona and Bayern Munich has kick-started the careers of Carles Puyol, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, David Alaba and Thomas Mueller.

It's perhaps slightly surprising that Nick Powell, James Wilson and Tom Lawrence haven't been included, but you can't take everyone.

There is no place for Bebe, either. It seems his United career is over, if, indeed, it ever really started at all.

There is more of a case for Anderson's inclusion, especially now Michael Carrick has been ruled out for up to three months with an ankle injury.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28:  Anderson of Manchester United battles with Mohamed Diame of West Ham United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on November 28, 2012 in Manchester, Engl
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

That the Brazilian midfielder wasn't on the plane that left Manchester airport headed for Los Angeles on Friday afternoon only highlights one of Van Gaal's problems.

Darren Fletcher, Tom Cleverley and Ander Herrera are the only central midfielders in the squad. Marouane Fellaini, along with the other players who progressed beyond the group stages of the World Cup, will join up later. 

Van Gaal has a knack of getting the best out of his players. But even he will be concerned about heading into a Premier League season without strengthening his midfield.

The same is true at the back. 

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14:  Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United in discussion after the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on September 14, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Ph
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Van Gaal said this week he's keen to give his current players a chance before dipping back into the transfer market.

But United fans will be rightly nervous about having just Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Michael Keane at centre-back. Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand might have been ageing, but they left a big hole to fill.

Van Gaal's first United squad is notice of a bright future. One provided by Blackett and James. Lingard and Keane.

But it also highlights the problems Van Gaal has inherited. Ones that will need to be solved before the start of the new season.

Quotes obtained firsthand.

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