Returning from their pre-season tour having won the International Champions Cup the new United boss will now have to decide who will lead United into the Premier League campaign
|Next Permanent Manchester United Captain
|Odds from William Hill
|Robin van Persie||6/4|
While those odds would suggest United should return to a top four berth by May they are actually bigger than the odds available for the same outcome at this time last season under David Moyes, so it is far from a foregone conclusion that the United boss will secure Champions League football for his new employers at the first time of asking.
With senior figures Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand departing in the summer, one of the main questions around the club will be who is chosen to captain the side and it looks like a two horse race according to the bookmakers.
William Hill make Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie both 6/4 (2.50) to wear the captain's armband on a permanent basis. Jonny Evans is a distant 10/1 (11.0) in the market With Phil Jones and Chris Smalling at 16/1 and 20/1 respectively.
While Rooney is obviously seen as a key part of the club's future but will Van Gaal put his faith in a 28-year-old who has had temperament issues and a chequered disciplinary record over the man who he trusted with the Dutch captaincy?
Questions marks will obviously remain over the merits of Van Persie as a captain given his ongoing fitness battle. That said, if anyone knows how to get the best from the former Arsenal frontman it should be Van Gaal and after playing just 21 Premier League games last term (compared to 38 the previous season) the 31-year-old may relish the extra responsibility under a manager who knows his game inside out, at 6/4 (2.50) he could be a worthwhile bet to be named the club's next captain.
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Jim Knight is Chief Betting Editor at Goal.com and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast