Former Barcalona midfielder Xavi feels Manchester United’s manager Louis van Gaal is ‘perhaps underrated’

by Sid Choudhary

Spanish midfielder Xavi Hernandez has backed his former manager Louis van Gaal to achieve great things with Manchester United.

Xavi played under van Gaal for two years while the Dutchman was manager of Barcelona, and the current Man United manager was the one who gave Xavi his first opportunity in the Barca senior team. The pair have a good working relationship and the midfielder, who now plays for Al Sadd in Qatar, is confident van Gaal will succeed.

The manager has come under criticism from a whole host of ex-players who disagreed with his principles but it is encouraging to hear Xavi speak highly of van Gaal.

The 35-year-old was asked if he feels van Gaal to win a trophy at United and he told Eurosport: “Yes, of course,”

“I think Van Gaal needs time to adapt. Last year he had a good season and qualified for the Champions League and he’s going to keep going because he’s a fantastic manager.”

Xavi also commented on his personal relationship with the former Dutch national team manager and what he is like with the players.

He added: “I’m very fond of him – he gave me confidence, personally speaking, as a manager he is perhaps underrated, when it comes to the media, but inside the locker room, to the players he’s a great manager.”

Van Gaal is expected to make way at the helm of United at the end of next season but he will be desperate to win some silverware before that day comes. The manager has spent a lot of money trying to get his squad right and it feels like he has finally created a team that could challenge for trophies.

United went into last weekend’s round of Premier League fixtures as league leaders and, despite a loss to Arsenal, it is a sign that van Gaal is moving the club in the right direction.

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