Posts Tagged ‘Transfers’
Paul Scholes is, to many Manchester United fans, our most influential player of the last 20 years. There are the usual shouts for Cantona, and Ryan Giggs is of course up there too, but for sheer ability, durability and respectablility there is absolutely only one winner.
Whilst it was grudgingly expected by almost everyone, it was no less affecting when Scholsey brought the curtain down on his glittering career in the summer. In typical Scholes fashion he wanted to slip quietly out the door with no fuss and, one potentially star-studded testimonial against the New York Cosmos aside, he got his wish.
Of course, the big question is now the identity of the man tasked with replacing Paul as our midfield lynchpin. It’s not easy to find a player with such a unique range of talents, so who are we looking at, and who should we be getting most excited about?
Vital Football are reporting that Blackpool have made a bid for our seventh-choice striker Mame Diouf, and that we have accepted their offer. This comes as no surprise after the Senegalese failed to hold down a first-team place on loan at Blackburn, and it looks increasingly unlikely that he will be given the chance to add to his one United Premiership goal.
Diouf was prolific for Norwegian club Molde before Sir Alex Ferguson decided to take a chance, but his solitary strike against Burnley is all that he has to show for his time at the club and, like fellow under-the-radar signing Bebe, time appears to be up.
Click Manchester have today revealed that we have joined the race for Valencia winger Juan Mata, along with Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal. Liverpool’s capture of Stuart Downing is thought to have ended their interest.
I don’t buy this one. We don’t need wingers – we have an embarrasment of riches in that position. We’re going to sign a midfielder and one more defender this summer and that will be it, unless some serious value in the market rears it’s head without warning.
We’ve had a busy summer by our standards, bringing in Ashley Young, Phil Jones and David de Gea, with Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley returning from loan spells and potentially a midfield signing to come. Given all that, what do you think our starting XI next season is going to be, and who will be in our fringe team?
The huge assumption I’m making here is that Wesley Sneijder signs for us. If he doesn’t, I’m sure someone similar will do. I’m also assuming that we change formation to accomodate him, as it seems we must.
So what have I gone for?
Today it has emerged that Wes Brown and John O’Shea are both finalising moves to Sunderland. We’ve known about the possibility for a good while now but, terms seemingly agreed, the reality of losing these two loyal servants is sinking in.
Wes and John will never be remembered for being top-class star players, but each have, much like Gary Neville before them, given their whole careers to the club and been happy to play a role in a squad rather than demand the guaranteed first-team footbal which their talents only debatably deserved.
Yesterday I was moved to write about our midfield balance, given the way that names were being indiscriminately tossed around by our fans in the hope of somehow piecing together an all-star midfield jigsaw featuring none of our current central midfielders.
Not only that, the signings we have made have been dismissed out of hand by the most spoiled section of our support, plebs who are gutted that we haven’t brought Ronaldo back from Real Madrid and will hold it against Ashely Young.
This summer, it was widely agreed that Manchester United needed to strengthen in two areas in principal, central midfield and in goal. The need for a dominant goalkeeper was obvious, with the great Edwin van der Sar hanging up his gloves and the relatively limited range of variables that must be considered when selecting a goalkeeper. However, the midfield puzzle has been a little more difficult to solve.
Some argued that we needed some true defensive steel, pointing the finger to the games where we were overrun in midfield by the likes of Blackpool and Wolves. Others demanded a creative genius be added, instead choosing to focus on the games where we struggled to break down stubborn defences, most notably in our away games in the first half of the season.
For some reason, all sorts of rumours have popped up today suggesting that Park could be on his way out of Old Trafford.
The WUM award goes to whichever idiot suggested that we could be swapping him with Santos to get Neymar, an absolutely ludicrous suggestion that deserves every bit of derison that it gets. More realistically, he’s apparently a target for Atletico Madrid, who will try and get us to include him in the David De Gea deal (assuming it’s not already agreed), and long-term admirers Sevilla.
The Premier League has today published the list of players who are available on free transfers having been released from their clubs at the end of the season just gone. Manchester United don’t have a tradition of bringing in loads of free transfer signings, but those we do make tend to make an impact to some degree. Michael Owen, Laurent Bland and, most notable, Edwin van der Sar have all arrived at Old Trafford for free.
However, it’s slim picking this year, at least on a domestic front. There are some familiar ghosts from our past on there in the shapes of Robert Pires and Patrick Vieira, both of whom will be looking for new clubs having made minimal impact last season. Former Chelsea stars Eidur Gudjohnsen and Bolo Zenden are also available for nowt, should you be Swansea City.
Every god forsaken day I log on to NewsNow and see some website or other reporting an “exclusive” that we’re about to sign Wesley Sneijder for £xx million and I bang my head against my desk in a slow, yet firm manner as I let the stupidity of it all wash over me.
Fortunately, Sir Alex Ferguson is a wise man, who will leave the signing of Wesley to the Football Manager addicts of this world before pursuing more sensible, more relevant targets. We don’t need someone who’s just going to tread on Wayne Rooney’s toes and force us to entirely change our system overnight. We fucked up with that when we signed Veron.