Louis van Gaal's Manchester United signings rated hits or misses

Graphic by Scott Penhaligon

Since arriving at Manchester United, Louis van Gaal has spent almost £150million on seven first-team players.

But after Arsenal’s FA Cup win at Old Trafford on Monday night, the club look certain to end a second successive season without silverware.

Five of Van Gaal's signings started against Arsenal but only Daley Blind completed 90 minutes as Angel di Maria was sent off, while Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo were all substituted. Radamel Falcao and Victor Valdes were unused substitutes.

Sky Sports News HQ welcomed Tony Cascarino and Clinton Morrision on The Morning View to assess each individual signing's performances this season and whether they have been a hit or miss since arriving at Old Trafford…

Angel di Maria - £56m

Angel di Maria shows his frustration

Games: 25, Minutes: 1,839, Substituted: 13 times

Di Maria arrived at Old Trafford from Real Madrid with a high price tag after helping them win their 10th Champions League crown. However, after just four goals in 27 appearances for Manchester United the jury is still very much out on the Argentina international.

TONY CASCARINO’S VIEW: He had a fantastic start to the season but has got a bit lost along the way. He showed great improvement against Arsenal in the cup game and he enjoyed playing a more direct game, aiming for Marouane Fellaini alongside Wayne Rooney. That helped him but I do expect more from him.


Radamel Falcao – Loan (with option to buy for £43m)

Radamel Falcao of Manchester United  celebrates

Games: 20, Minutes: 1,215, Substituted: 11 times

Van Gaal’s move for the Colombia international on Deadline Day last summer came as a huge shock but it left Manchester United fans excited at the prospect of seeing one of Europe’s top marksmen join the likes of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie at Old Trafford. Monaco paid a reported £50m to Atletico Madrid for his services and 11 goals in 20 games represented an excellent start to his career in France, before a knee injury ended his season. Despite the injury, United brought the striker to Premier League hoping he could build on a record which has seen him score goals wherever he’s been.

CLINTON MORRISON’S VIEW: It’s difficult to judge Falcao because I don’t believe he has had enough games to show everyone what he can do. At the moment he’s definitely a miss but he could come good with a run of games because he has the quality.


Luke Shaw - £27m

Games: 17, Minutes: 1,100, Substituted: 7 times

Shaw became the fourth most expensive defender in world football when Manchester United shelled out £27m – which could rise to £31m – to Southampton for his services. The full-back burst onto the scene last season with a number of eye-catching performances for Saints and they were enough to persuade England manager Roy Hodgson and the United hierarchy to take an interest. The 19-year-old has featured just 18 times for United since joining the club with injuries and question marks about his fitness blighting his start to life in Manchester.

CLINTON MORRISON’S VIEW: Shaw’s a bit similar to Falcao. He’s has a few injuries but he’s still young and has the potential to be an excellent signing for Manchester United. I think he will be a huge hit at Old Trafford but at the moment he’s another miss.


Ander Herrera (Undisclosed)

Ander Herrera  of Manchester United

Games: 21, Minutes: 1,242, Substituted: 5 times

The Spanish midfielder was Manchester United’s first signing last summer for a reported £30m fee and he is seen as an important player by some of the club’s fans, scoring five goals in 21 appearances. However, that has not been enough to convince Van Gaal of his many attributes and he has struggled to hold down a regular starting spot at Old Trafford.

TONY CASCARINO’S VIEW: It’s just not worked for Herrera at Old Trafford. He was hooked at half-time last night and has just not had a run in the team. A definite miss.


Marcos Rojo - £16m

Marcos Rojo: Still doesn't look assured at the heart of the defence, and remains a little mistake-prone. 6/10

Games: 21, Minutes: 1,829, Substituted: 4 times

Rojo joined from Sporting Lisbon after featuring six times in Argentina’s run to last summer’s World Cup final. Known as a versatile left-sided defender, the 24-year-old was touted to play as part of Van Gaal’s much talked about back three. However, he has featured at centre-back in both 4-4-2 and 3-5-2 formations, and has played at left-back as Manchester United tried cope with a number of injuries at the back.

TONY CASCARINO’S VIEW: Rojo has been shifted around to accommodate injuries and Van Gaal’s changes in system throughout the season, but I think he’s done well. There’s potentially more to come from him so he’s just a hit for me.


Daley Blind - £13.8m

Daley Blind of Manchester United in action against Southampton

Games: 20, Minutes: 1,745, Substituted: 2 times

The former Ajax star was a key part of the Netherlands' squad at last summer’s World Cup and Van Gaal paid almost £14m to reunite himself with 25-year-old. Injury on international duty robbed him of two months of the season but he has proved to be a key member of Van Gaal’s squad, featuring 20 times already this season. Blind has featured mainly in central midfield and has scored two vital goals against West Brom and West Ham.

TONY CASCARINO’S VIEW: Rating Blind is tough because he has had his injury problems this season. It’s split for me because I’m not quite sure. There were moments last night when he gave away the ball and I’m not convinced. I think Carrick’s better at doing that role so for me it’s not a good signing.


Victor Valdes – Free

Victor Valdes of Manchester United U21s v Liverpool U21s

Games: 0, Minutes: 0, Substituted: 0

The former Barcelona goalkeeper first appeared on the scene at Old Trafford after Van Gaal allowed him to train with his squad as he attempted to regain his fitness. Valdes impressed enough in that short time to convince the Dutchman to offer him a contract but David De Gea’s fine performances this season have kept him out of the team. There is no basis to judge whether the Spainish keeper is a hit or a miss during his short time in Manchester but with De Gea’s future under scrutiny amid interest from Real Madrid, could Van Gaal have signed the 33-year-old with one eye on next season?

CLINTON MORRISON’S VIEW: It’s very hard to qualify Valdes but I’ll have to say hit. He's an excellent keeper.


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