Bookmakers cut Manchester United after Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin arrive at Old Trafford
Manchester United are a tasty top price of 20/1 to win the Champions League, with Ladbrokes offering these odds following the acquisition of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin.
Each of the four footballers brought in by Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal to date has something to offer as Old Trafford prepares to host European action after missing out on it last term.
Deadly Dutch attacker Depay ended up as the Eredivisie’s top scorer in 2014/15, firing former club PSV Eindhoven to the title.
His 28 goals in 40 games across all competitions for them last term gave him leading claims to play centrally if need be. With Robin van Persie moving on to Fenerbahce, Depay’s younger legs and fearsome running should result in many an opposition defender dumped on their backside.
Italy international full back Darmian is a steal at the price Man Utd paid for him. His talent was almost wasted on Torino, with the AC Milan academy product establishing himself as an Azzurri regular.
Comparisons have already been drawn between him and 2006 World Cup winner Gianluca Zambrotta, who served Juventus, Barcelona and Milan with distinction. Darmian has solved a problem position for Van Gaal at right back, but could ably deputise down the other flank, and has a great engine to get up and down in support.
When it comes to the Champions League, it’s always handy to have players that have been there and done that. Schweinsteiger is accustomed to being at the business end of European club competition, and lifted the richest prize in club football in 2013 with Bayern Munich.
His move to Manchester, like being converted from rampant winger to deep-lying playmaker, is a game-changer. United have got some player in Schweinsteiger and, at only 30, his prime could last a long while in this role, much like Paul Scholes.
Replacing Roy Keane has been hard for the Red Devils, but Southampton destroyer Schneiderlin has all the attributes to step into his sizeable shoes. Strong in the tackle, that Man Utd back four will get a great deal more protection now the France international holding player has come to Old Trafford.
All great Champions League sides have had an astute anchorman; Claude Makelele, Gennaro Gattuso and Xabi Alonso, for example.
Schneiderlin has shown the potential to suggest he will step up and excel on this stage by becoming a regular with Les Bleus, and now he’ll be getting elite club football too.