After being dismissed by Manchester United this week, Louis van Gaal will depart with his head held high knowing that he has left the club in a better state than which he found it following the departure of David Moyes.
Despite not achieving the minimum requirement of Champions League football, as well as his reluctance to play a more ‘United’ brand of football, LVG has refreshed the entire squad, which we will only see the benefit of years after his reign.
The ex-Barcelona boss has publicly declared that despite leaving the Catalan club and Bayern Munich under unfriendly circumstances, much like United, he should be given credit for giving young players at those clubs their debuts. Some of those players have turned out to be some of Europe’s top stars too - like Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Thomas Muller and David Alaba.
United fans will hope that some of the youngsters that LVG has promoted to the first team will turn out to be of similar standard to those named above.
Of course United had a large number of injury problems this season, meaning van Gaal’s arm was twisted once or twice to stick the kids in. Nonetheless they delivered and the former United boss stuck with them.
Mourinho to benefit from youngsters
Van Gaal has left, and the man likely to inherit a side with excellent potential is Jose Mourinho.
Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Jesse Lingard and Timothy Fosu-Mensah, to name just a few, will undoubtedly only get better with time and experience and will be sure to blossom under a proven winner in Mourinho, as well as continuing to learn from established United figures already at the club.
One thing LVG will always have on his side is the fact he was unable to finish his contract, and he will insist that with the correct buys in the summer he and his side would have been fighting on all fronts at the top of the Premier League. Something now we will never know due to the brutality of modern day management.
United, in effect, are a blank canvas. Van Gaal has let go of the vast majority of those who knew what it was like under Sir Alex Ferguson. All that remains is a bunch of talented youngsters with a good blend of experience.
He leaves the club in a position to kick on for the future, and for that he must be credited. Now it is down to his successor to come in and put the club back on top of the Premier League and make the most of what LVG has left behind.