Louis van Gaal believes his off-season cull is behind Manchester United's table-topping run in the Premier League.
Van Gaal was unrelenting heading into the 2015-16 campaign, allowing British-record signing Angel di Maria, Dutch striker Robin van Persie and Colombian forward Radamel Falcao to leave Old Trafford.
Javier Hernandez, Jonny Evans, Nani and Rafael were also sold, as Anthony Martial, Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Matteo Darmian arrived.
And Van Gaal feels his relentlessness is paying off, with United now top of the table for the first time under his management.
"You need luck, but the balance of the team is better than last season," said the 64-year-old manager.
"Because of that we need to win our games.
"We shall improve every week, yes. I don't see it every week, but see that we are better as a team and a selection.
"I rotate more now because I can. Last year in my opinion I didn't have the balance.
"I have let 20 or 25 players go. So it's a new team."
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