Louis Van Gaal started his time as Manchester United manager with a bang, spending over $150 million acquiring players from all around Europe. Each player has since brought something to the table that Van Gaal could work with. But the biggest disappointment has clearly been the Colombian centre forward, Radamel Falcao, who is on loan until the end of the season and in all probability will not receive a long term contract. His performances have been far below average and Van Gaal is set to dive into the summer transfer market for more striking options. The target is Christian Benteke, the in-form Aston Villa striker.
Benteke will be a misfit at United
The trio of Rooney, Van Persie and Falcao have all failed to make the expected impact in attack. Rooney has been playing in and out of midfield while Van Persie and Falcao have struggled to get sufficient game time due to injury and poor form respectively. Benteke is now being sized up as the right man for the job. But the United role may be too big for the Belgian. He has struggled for a big part of this season and has only hit good form recently. Benteke has scored the same number of goals as Van Persie this season (10) but most of goals have come following the arrival of Tim Sherwood at Villa Park.
History has shown us that Wayne Rooney thrives when part of a strike partnership. The Rooney-Ronaldo era was a golden one at Old Trafford. Van Persie then took Ronaldo’s place alongside Rooney in his first and Sir Alex’s last season at Old Trafford. Rooney will now need a prolific striker partner next season. Benteke has been great for small parts of last season as well, but his return on investment over an entire campaign continues to remain poor. He has a good run at the beginning or towards the end of the season, but is missing for the remainder. If he does make the move to Old Trafford, he will be burdened by expectations to match them in ability and game play. On arrival, he will find the team well adapted to the Van Gaal philosophy and himself, struggling to fit in.