Unless there’s a massive turnaround, or all the reports are rubbish, then Paul Pogba is set to join the land where black footballers are welcomed with open arms in the Summer.
Pogba’s departure to the Old Lady is the least of United’s worries as it’s not keeping our players that represents Sir Alex’s biggest problem: it’s buying the ones we really want and more importantly desperately need. As Manchester City acquire practically every target they set their cash covered hearts on, we’re left scrounging around for left overs or buying up youngsters who’ve yet to hit puberty in a bid to ‘get there before we can’t afford them.’ It’s as though United have stopped shopping at Waitrose and started raiding the farms and car boot sales for players no one else has yet spotted or made a firm bid for.
Take a look at United’s pursuit of Eden Hazard, as soon as Sir Alex mentions he’s looking at the Lille youngster, City show an interest and look like buying the talented playmaker. This is a worrying trait that’s simply got to stop if United aren’t going to get left behind. It’s not just City who’ve beaten us to players in the past and threaten to do so once more, Shinji Kagawa- a player seemingly destined for Old Trafford only a few days ago could now end up at the Emirates as it’s reported Arsenal are chasing the Borussia Dortmund youngster.
Looking over the past few seasons its painfully obvious just how many of United’s targets have chosen other clubs much to the detriment of our first team. The list of players is pretty startling when you consider what many of them have gone on to achieve. Gareth Bale was coveted by both United and Spurs yet chose White Hart Lane over Old Trafford, despite Ryan Giggs being deployed to convince him to join us. Aaron Ramsey chose Arsenal over United for reasons almost certainly not based on silverware. Then there’s the players we’ve lost to our ‘noisy neighbours’ Yaya Toure, David Silva and Samir Nasri have all preferred the blue side of Manchester- no doubt due to our reluctance to meet their wage demands, while we decided not to give Carlos Tevez the money he was offered at Eastlands, be honest, was that such a savvy money saving move?
Had United bought just one of the players I’ve mentioned then surely we’d be a point above City and heading for title number 20, maybe we’d even be heading to Munich for a Champions League final such is the fine line one player can often make. Okay the Champions League final may be pushing it, but surely an Aaron Ramsey or a Gareth Bale is worth a point, or United signing Silva and not City could actually have still left the “35 years” banner up at Old Trafford -now on 37?
United need to start being more aggressive in our pursuit of players, this isn’t a new development, not so many years ago we let Arjen Robben move to Chelsea when he was seemingly destined for United, as he helped Jose Mourinho bring about the greatest time in the club’s history.
“The Glazers, The Glazers” I hear you cry, as every United fans favourite bogeymen are brought up whenever it comes to transfer discussions. I know the American owners have been about as good for United as Ralph Milne but let me ask you, did the Glazers really prevent us from spending £5 million on Aaron Ramsey? Not the same owners who sanctioned more than that for either Bebe- he’ll come good one day, or Gabriel Obertan- destined for great things.
Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted being ‘hesitant’ over signing Tevez on a longer deal, while the United boss was apparently put off by the figures being quoted for Silva’s transfer.
I’m not saying United should break the bank for any youngster that comes along, but surely now is the time, to mark out our targets and aggressively pursue them, in the long-term it may prove a lot less expensive than missing out on what could be vital players.
Let’s face some hard facts playing for United is no longer the carrot it used to be to some players, particularly youngsters from the continent, it’s time to start showing them why they’d be better off at Old Trafford, rather than just hoping they’ll want to come here.
Follow me on twitter @RFFH