Van Gaal hints Blind, Di Maria and Rojo are all guaranteed starters

by Richard Laverty

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has suggested several of his new signings have ‘fixed’ positions in his first choice starting eleven.

Whilst one would imagine a manager’s first signings at the club would be fixed anyway, United fans might be surprised given the strength of the squad when everyone is fit about some of the names van Gaal selected.

Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo have both just returned to training and could play against Southampton on Sunday and it appears both will be first choice selections along with club record signing Angel Di Maria.

Speaking at the AON Training Complex, the boss said: “I hope so because now the players are coming back and I will have a full selection of players within three weeks, I think.

“Normally, we should then play better because a lot of players who were also fixed in my line-up – Daley Blind and Di Maria, for example – are now coming back.

Marcos Rojo, for example, was also fixed in my line-up. I didn’t have the chance to build up with the same players. I hope that I can do that now, but you never know.”

Blind’s inclusion may lead some fans to believe Michael Carrick may be preferred in a back three as he has appeared the only defender comfortable on the ball, an attribute crucial in van Gaal’s favoured 3-5-2 system.

Rojo isn’t a complete shock given van Gaal’s need for a left-footed defender but fans may have thought Blind’s spot was under threat due to the form of Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini in the Dutchman’s absence.

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