If Friday’s Daily Star were to be believed, Sir Alex Ferguson has targeted a World Cup winner as the man to replace Paul Scholes, when the 36 year old midfielder decides to call it a day.
Speculation has been a plenty as who would be the man to fill the void once Scholes either hangs up his boots, or spends his final year in football with his boyhood heroes Oldham Athletic.
Anderson stepping up to the plate has been a recognised opinion amongst reds, and Wesley Sneider continues to be linked to the midfield spot. Youngsters like Jordan Henderson and others have been linked to the role, but this is the first time that De Rossi’s name has been thrown in to the ring.
Like most reds, I’m not one to jump on the back of quoteless newspaper speculation. Although this link did intrigue me, and whether true or not, I wouldn’t mind Sir Alex persuing the AS Roma number 16.
Not as prolific a goalscorer as Scholes, De Rossi does have the ability to find the net when you least expect it. Some of his strikes are very reminiscent of the type of goals Scholes will be remembered for at Old Trafford, one example is this screamer (and I don’t just mean the commentator!) in a game against Chievo last season:
The Old Trafford “Shooooooooooot” brigade will love what De Rossi can do from distance, and for me this finish reminds me of THAT goal Scholes scored against Barcelona in 2008. Watch the replay, and look at the stance and technique of Di Rossi. Familiar?
It’s at international level, rather than club that De Rossi plays a similar position to Scholes. At Roma, he tends to play a deeper and more defensive midfield role, but for the Azzuri it’s Gattuso who occupies that position. As a result, Di Rossi is further forward for Italy, and his goals to games ratio is better for his country, and he currently sits on 10 goals in 63 appearances.
The lean De Rossi stands at just over 6ft tall and is a better bet in the air than the Ginger Wizard. He also has immense ability with the ball at his feet,where he is likened to Scholes in his homeland. Scholes ability to play “SatNav” would be hard to replace, and that’s where Di Rossi can come in with pinpoint accurate passes to the wings, the edge of the area, and ability to spot a pass that no-one else can see. A trademark of both men.
I don’t think that De Rossi is a new Paul Scholes yet, but I think a move to United would take him on that final journey to becoming a world class midfielder, and one who can give us what Scholes can. Or the closest we’ll find. And he may well have a potential to give us more than what Paul Scholes can, in terms of the tackle and winning the ball in the air.
The Daily Star also quoted a price of around £14 million for the 27 year old. Value in the market, if you ask me.
People may remember De Rossi during Italy’s World Cup year of 2006, when he received a straight red card for elbowing Brian McBride of the USA. He was banned for four matches, but not before Brian McBride came out and labelled De Rossi “classy” for the way he approached him after the game to apologise. Whereas the elbow might leave a lot to be desired, the actions afterwards show something of a trait that would be embedded in to any United player from an early age.
On another occasion, he scored a goal for Roma against Messina when his side were 1-0 down. The referee gave the goal, but De Rossi approached the official straight away and admitted he’d used his hand. Roma still went on to win 2-1.
Its probably reasons like that, that his reputation for sportsmanship in Italy is way bigger than his reputation for the cards he’s picked up!
So far, De Rossi covers more of what I would like our next midfield signing to have in their locker than any of the other suggestions coveted in the press or on the terraces. Yes, we’re linked with players who’ve got the potential to be great, but right now I think we’re crying out for an established player, ready to step up to the standard of Manchester United and become a new midfield general. And the experience of winning a World Cup? Yes please.
What do you think to Daniele De Rossi?
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