What are we supposed to make of this summer? Frustrating years have gone by since we last truly flexed our financial muscle in the market and made a huge statement of intent. Granted, some of the ‘lesser’ signings that we have made have turned out to be absolutely fabulous bits of business (Nemanja Vidic and Tony Valencia stand out in this respect) but it’s been over ten years since we went out and signed Veron and Van Nistelrooy in the summer and Forlan the subsequent January.
Now, if reports are to be believed we’ve finally wrapped up a deal for Lucas Moura, a Brazilian kid who reminded me of a cross between David Bellion and Theo Walcott for the 20 minutes I watched him against Team GB. The fee being touted is £26m, which is more than we’ve spent on any one player since we dropped £33m on Berbatov from Spurs.
Perhaps the most amazing part of this story is that we’re probably not done in the transfer market thereafter. We’ve already spent good money on Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell but it appears we’re at least semi realistic about signing Robin van Persie, Moussa Dembele and Leighton Baines too. That trio would cost £50 minimum, and push our summer spending out towards the £90 million mark.
Of course, given the years of chronic underspending we have just sat through, this shouldn’t be seen as a sign that we’ve lost our financial marbles. The season we sold Ronaldo we made a £67 million profit on transfers, with only Valencia, Diouf and Obertan commanding fees when coming the other way. We are STILL in profit from this one deal. We also haven’t finished our business for the summer on the other direction, with rumours of Nani’s exit still knocking about.
Does this show that the Glazers have finally realised that the squad needs investment to remain competitive and, if so, why isn’t Fergie strengthening the midfield? Does he see huge talent in Cleverley, Lingard and Powell that suggests that we don’t need to? Are the Glazers simply protecting their investment? Are the two exactly the same thing?
Regardless, if we end up landing all four of these players, it will be one of the most exciting, if baffling, transfer windows we have ever witnessed from Fergie.