Depay and Clyne can add power, hunger and drive to static Man United
As Manchester United stutter to a top-four finish, Memphis Depay and Nathaniel Clyne are just the ticket to shake them from their stupor.
Louis van Gaal doesn't build his teams to accommodate
marauding box-to-box players in the conventional sense, something Ander Herrera found out the hard way. If you don't hold your position in the middle of the park, the big Dutch dude does not abide.
A midfielder must know his place, both positionally and 'philosophically'. That may instantly rule out the kind of gung-ho play that made Bryan Robson a club legend at Old Trafford, but it needn't inhibit United's forward drive.
The wings are where turbo-boosting talents typically reside. Van Gaal wants guile and order at the core of his first XI and perpetual motion at its extremes. Be it buccaneering full-backs or wide forwards, thrust is provided from the flanks.
That sounds great in theory, but when the wing play is every bit as ponderous and considered as the build-up in the centre, you're jiggered. It is part of the reason (along with an impotent attack, porous defence and all the other things I could probably list here) why United are stalling.
But there are clear signs that Van Gaal has identified the problem and is intent on resolving the issue with haste. PSV Eindhoven's Memphis Depay is already on his way, whilst Southampton right-back Nathaniel Clyne could be next if there's truth to recent speculation.
Each would perform very different roles, whilst adding a symmetrical dimension that has often been missing from United's play. Clyne from wing-back and Depay from left wing would inject this pedestrian team with some much-needed vigour.
Both Depay and Clyne harbour qualities that make them ideal recruits. They have similar builds - stocky and muscular for their 5' 9"-ish frames - whilst exhibiting the pace and raw power that is sorely lacking at Old Trafford.
They play with confidence and total conviction - providing a pleasing contrast to the dallying self-doubt of too many in United's current selection.
The untainted certainty of youth is required, and it seems that is exactly what Van Gaal is pursuing. Full-blooded gumption, not this nervous nothingness that has plagued what should have been a much easier route to fourth.
Depay and Clyne - should he also arrive - will undoubtedly upgrade United. The likes of Antonio Valencia and Angel Di Maria bring various qualities to the table, most of which are positive. But they doubt. They second-guess. They fear.
What United need is power and pace, galvanised by mettle. A Dream, Believe, Achieve mentality, as clichéd as that may sound.