Three players Manchester United should sign

Sports Mole picks out three players new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal should target to return the club to winning ways.

Last season, Manchester United had the type of campaign that many of their supporters would never have experienced before. With Sir Alex Ferguson embarking on retirement, his replacement David Moyes lasted only until April before he was sacked, having lost 11 Premier League encounters.

Ryan Giggs took interim charge, losing one of his four games at the helm, meaning that the previous season's champions finished seventh - 22 points adrift of champions and rivals Manchester City.

So to Louis van Gaal, who has been appointed to return the club to winning ways. Over £50m has already been spent on Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera, but it's widely accepted that further additions are required. Here, Sports Mole has selected three further players that we believe United's new Dutch boss should target.

1. Mats Hummels, Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund's defender Mats Hummels (R) celebrates with his teammates after scoring during the German first division Bundesliga football match against Hannover 96 on March 22, 2014© Getty Images

While the departures of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and potentially Patrice Evra have left United with a huge lack of experience defensively, the time was right to part ways. All three have served the club fantastically well - winning numerous Premier League titles and the Champions League.

Yet, now all well into their 30s, the warning signs had festered for the past two or three seasons - the trio were creaking. Ferdinand and Evra had lost the pace that used to get them out of tricky situations, while Vidic had clearly suffered one serious knee injury too many. As for Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, neither has progressed at the rate that was expected when they first signed.

On the face of it, Shaw appears to be an exciting replacement for Juventus-bound Evra, but it's centrally where new additions are much needed. Thomas Vermaelen, who has been strongly linked with United, would be an underwhelming arrival, largely because he's second choice for both Arsenal and Belgium behind the likes of Per Mertesacker and Daniel van Buyten. Hummels may cost big money, but the Borussia Dortmund man has shown for his club and Germany recently that he's the type of leader that United are desperate for. What's more, at 25, he could have seven or eight years at the top ahead of him, injuries permitting.

2. Arturo Vidal, Juventus

Arturo Vidal of Juventus celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Serie A match between Juventus and Genoa CFC at Juventus Arena on October 27, 2013© Getty Images

The Man United midfield has been the source of much embarrassment or ridicule (depending upon who you support) for a number of years now. Following the signings of Owen Hargreaves and Anderson in the summer of 2008, Alex Ferguson appeared reluctant to bolster that area of the pitch before his departure, choosing instead to stay loyal to the likes of Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher and Giggs.

As for Moyes, he toured Europe 12 months ago, almost in desperation to add to the midfield that he inherited, but he missed out on the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Herrera. He did manage to recruit Marouane Fellaini from his former club Everton for an eye-watering £27.5m, but it's fair to say that the Belgium international struggled during his first season at Old Trafford.

Herrera may now have arrived from Athletic Bilbao, with rave reviews from some. Even so, at least one more central midfield player is required. He may be comfortable in possession and have a keen eye for a pass, but Herrera is not regarded for his ability to score goals - nor are any of United's other midfield players. Vidal, on the other hand, does possess a clinical instinct, highlighted by his 18 goals for Juventus last term. The Chilean international's tenacious and tireless style could also lead to United fans reminiscing of Roy Keane and Bryan Robson.

3. Marco Reus, Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund's striker Marco Reus celebrates scoring during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final, second leg football match Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid CF on April 8, 2014© Getty Images

On paper, an attacking trio of Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, with Adnan Januzaj offering youthful exuberance, is one to envy. All four of those are skillful players that are capable of scoring goals, as well as threading through a killer pass. However, what there is not an abundance of is pace.

Speed is something that both Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez have in spades, but neither is reliable. Hernandez may be one of the Premier League's most clinical finishers, but his first touch often leaves a lot to be desired, while the skilful Welbeck cannot be trusted when presented with an opportunity. If you could merge the two players, you'd have one of the game's best attackers!

Reus, unlike those mentioned above, offers the whole package. He has the pace and skill to leave defenders trailing in his wake, before harbouring the necessary composure to find the back of the net - he scored 23 goals for Dortmund last season. He can also play out wide, where United's Nani and Ashley Young have been given numerous chances to shine, which neither has grabbed. Convincing Dortmund to part with both Hummels and Reus is likely to be an arduous task, but with United's financial muscle right now and the backing of several wealthy sponsorship deals, two big bids may prove too tempting for the German club.

Head coach Louis van Gaal of the Netherlands reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Australia and Netherlands at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 18, 2014
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