A few weeks ago, I wrote an article listing the pros and cons of United’s potential; goalkeeping signings. Lindegaard, Reina, Given, Stekelenburg, Akinfeev and Billy the Fish were all analysed as potential successors to Edwin Van Der Sar. Since then Lindegaard has signed for United, while I’ve learnt that Billy the Fish is actually a fictional character from an adult comic.
Yet despite the signing of Lindegaard, the smart money is on Sir Alex buying another, more experienced ‘keeper in the Summer, Someone who’s ready to slip into Van Der Sar’s gloves immediately without the breaking-in period that Lindegaard would probably need.
While all of the aforementioned stoppers could probably fulfil that task, along with maybe a Gianluigi Buffon, who some suggested I’d overlooked, there are still severe doubts as to whether Sir Alex, has any intention of pursuing them.
One name that’s recently been thrown into the goalkeeping mix is Craig Gordon, who’s performances this season have been almost Gareth Bale- esque in their excellence.
In fact if Bale was a ‘keeper he would no doubt have made the same save that Gordon made in the game against Bolton- the word ‘Banks’ or even dare I say ‘Schmeichel’ comes to mind.
One swallow does not a Spring make however, and its not just the save against Bolton which has made Gordon the latest hot property goalkeeper. Despite a somewhat ropey start to his Sunderland career, not helped by a ramshackle defence and an over-inflated price-tag, Gordon has matured into a reliable and quite impressive Number One.
At the age of 28 you could argue that’s almost the perfect age for a ‘keeper to come to Old Trafford, as he’s won’t need time to mature yet is still arguably 4 years off his peak, if we assume that most ‘keepers actually hit top form in their early to mid thirties.
The main stumbling block may be the price tag which has been mooted at a hefty £15 million, when you consider Sunderland paid £7 million rising to £10 million after appearances then £15 m is probably the least United would have to pay.
Whether Sir Alex would be willing to spend such a large amount on a goalie is doubtful after all, Fabien Barthez wasn’t exactly cheap and despite some successes, was in all honesty, a bit pants.
Another possible deal –breaker could be Danny Welbeck, who’s been a phenomenon in recent weeks at the Stadium of Light. Steve Bruce has made no secret of the fact he’d like to keep the young Mancunian and a swap deal may tempt the former United skipper. The question is would Sir Alex be willing to let him go? After all, he’s proving himself to be a top – class Premier League striker, and those are few and far between.
With Rooney, Berbatov, Chicharito, not to mention Macheda and Owen still on United’s books, Fergie may well decide he can actually afford to lose Welbeck if it means bringing Gordon to Old Trafford.
Personally I think this would be a shame as Welbeck’s proven he’s a bright young talent and he surely has a great future ahead of him.
Yes, United need a reliable ‘keeper and yes, we do have an abundance of strikers, but with Owen now 31, Macheda, possibly 1 or 2 seasons away from being ready for the Premier League and Rooney always susceptible to the odd injury, I’d like to see Welbeck retained.
Of course this is all pure conjecture, Welbeck may not even be used as part of a deal – if there even is one, but could Gordon be the answer to United’s goalkeeping conumdrum? He is an established Premier League ‘keeper and has certainly caught the eye this season. However as Bosnich, Foster and Howard have proven, being ‘Premier league class’ and ‘Manchester United class’ are two different things entirely.
Follow Justin on twitter ‘jaymotty’