Louis van Gaal seems destined for the exit door, but who could replace him?
Manchester United may soon be in search of yet another manager to take the helm, but the choice to replace Louis van Gaal isn’t as clear as it seems.
Despite his prestigious and illustrious career, the Dutch manager’s tenure with the Red Devils has been dubbed a failure with little left in his second season in charge. The first campaign saw Manchester United finish in fourth, just high enough to qualify for the Champions League, and reach the quarterfinals of the FA Cup – meeting the minimum expectations set forth at his hiring.
But the second year has seen the team regress under their manager, with the double digit injury list and the remaining healthy players desperately hoping to find their form. Some of the disappointment for the season can be attributed to bad luck, but most of the blame can only be pointed at the manager.
In his second attempt in the transfer window, van Gaal refused to bring in squad depth despite the return to European competition and a title challenge in the works. As a result, we’ve seen numerous reserves team players make their debuts this season. While that in itself can be interpreted as a positive for Manchester United’s long term outlook, it’s impossible to expect a team of young players to immediately compete at the highest level.
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Worse, supporters and former players alike are disgruntled with the former Barcelona manager’s tactics, labeling them as outdated and unfeasible in the modern era of football. Possession for possession’s sake is useless, it needs to result in shots on goal.
The recent draw in the FA Cup and loss in the Europa League have only reinforced the possibility of an impending departure for Louis van Gaal.
As such, the executives will need to be assessing potential replacements for the current man in charge, despite previous backings from Ed Woodward. With that in mind, here are five potential candidates to take over for Louis van Gaal, ranging from least likely to most likely.
Next: Fifth most likely replacement