After a disastrous 2013-14 season which saw Manchester United finish 7th in the league, eliminating them from both the Uefa Champions League and the Europa League, Louis Van Gaal's Manchester United managed to finish fourth in 2014-15 season and has booked a seat in the 2015-16 Champions League competition. At the very outset of the recently concluded season, one thing was realistically clear: United desperately wanted to ensure their berth in the Champions League competition thus focusing on the top four and worrying very little about the prospects of winning the domestic league.

The commencement of season with a loss to Swansea City at home, away draw to a weaker side like Sunderland in the second match and Burnley a week later, a humiliating defeat at the hands of MK Dons, a side two divisions below Manchester United in the English football hierarchy, knocking out United of the Capital One Cup and a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of the newly-promoted Leicester City – all in the span of one month gave the newly-appointed manager a glimpse of the challenge ahead.

However, in the next fifteen games, United suffered a solitary defeat assuring the Old Trafford faithful that Van Gaal knew what he was doing. He regained the faith of the supporters but still the tie competitions and low-scoring (single goal difference) wins were far below the standard for which the Theater of Dreams is well-known.

Nevertheless, maximum number of injuries during the whole campaign, addition of too many new faces into the side, the loss of defense experience in the form of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, under-performance and later injury of United's record-breaking signing Angel Di Maria and the absence of the seasoned mid-fielder Michael Carrick due to injury put severe road-blocks in the way of Louis Van Gaal.

Manchester United's performance in the department of goal-scoring was far below the caliber as compared to what the Red Devils are accustomed to seeing. Robin Van Persie, the main striker, remained injured for most of the season and was off-color when played. Mid-field injuries meant Van Gaal had to resort to the proverbial panacea or ''cure for all diseases'' i.e Wayne Rooney. A major portion of the season saw the Old Trafford faithful’s cult-hero Rooney as a midfielder instead of his preferred, forward position. Mid-field or otherwise, Rooney's efficacy remains the same but the vacuum left by his absence in the attack couldn't be filled. Falcao, another of United's big summer deals, failed miserably and was struggling for the whole season scoring only four goals.

Manchester United's (and Van Gaal's) highest point of the season was thrashing Liverpool 3-0 at home (Old Trafford) and then again defeating them 2-1 at Anfield. United's improved performance at the second half of the season became more evident when they emerged victorious in a thrilling 4-1 contest against the city-rivals Manchester City at the Theater of Dreams.

Now in view of the upcoming Premier League and Champions League season and the formal opening of the transfer window, Ed Woodward (current executive vice-chairman of Manchester United) is back in the shopping market. The transfer of the 21-year old Dutch sensation and top-scorer of Eredivisie (Dutch league) this past season with 22 goals, Memphis Depay to Manchester United from PSV was disclosed even before the formal opening of transfer window.

Next came the signing of the adroit and long-serving Bayern Munich midfielder, Bastian Schweinsteigger. The 30-year old, 2014 FIFA World Cup-winning, versatile midfielder can prove to be the alternative Van Gaal seems to desire keeping in view the role of injury-prone Michael Carrick and Rooney's preferred attacking position. Van Gaal has followed Schweinsteigger’s signature with the signing of Morgan Schneiderlin from Southampton. To strengthen defense, United have completed the signing of 25-year old Matteo Darmian from Torino.

The transfer window will remain open for the next month or so and ins/outs are expected at Old Trafford. What seems logical now for Manchester United is to search for quality strikers and a goalkeeper, if David De Gea is leaving for Real Madrid. Having concluded the latest deal with Adidas worth a hefty £750m for the next decade, United are in a position to sign players of their choice. Almost nobody in English Football and possibly only the two Spanish giants can match the financial muscle of Manchester United at present. Having recently been declared as the world's first billion-dollar football brand, Manchester United should stand true to its name and history.

One miserable season is understandable. A mediocre season following it can be called a transitional phase. But from now on, the only thing the Red Devils can be content with is for the players and the team to aspire for the absolute top, the pinnacle of European Football. The only thing Manchester-United-like from now on is to aim for both the domestic league title and to regain European glory. This is what this club has been doing and this is what makes it the greatest football club in the world.