Having brought in the very impressive young talent of Phil Jones and David De Gea, along with the established England international winger, Ashley Young very early on in that transfer window, many United fans were more than happy with the business Sir Alex had done; however most, if not all, did anticipate one final addition – a central midfield player.
Debate continued over if it should have been a creative central player who can pick a pass through the eye of a needle to replace to recently retired Paul Scholes, or if it should have been more of a driving force, hard tackling leader that Old Trafford have not enjoyed since the retirement of Roy Keane – but either way, 99% of the United faithful were in agreement, somebody needed to be brought it. This did not materialise.
There was no shortage of names linked with United throughout the summer of 2011; The likes of Charlie Adam who is now a regular starter at Anfield, Jack Wilshere who is still on the treatment table at the Emirates, the infamous Wesley Sneijder who seemed to enjoy flirting with the idea of coming to Old Trafford but was nothing more than a tease of a man and a twitter rumour – and finally, Scott Parker – who was deemed ‘too old’ by many, and ‘not to the United standard because he had failed to make an impression at Chelsea many years ago’, by the rest. This is the same Scott Parker that has now established himself in the centre midfield for his country and is now captaining Tottenham Hotspur to what could be their most impressive season in the top flight for 25 years.
Having covered the subject of Scott Parker back in May of 2011, I admitted that he was not the long term solution for United, but without a doubt would have been great value for money in that he would have offered the United side instant gratification in his ability, experience, knowledge of the Premier League and leadership skills. (By all means, take a look at the article: Is Scott Parker At United Really Such A Bad Idea?
This leads me on to the current transfer window and the name that has created a media storm; Frank Lampard.
I ask, which Manchester United supporter would not want to see this player in our colours?
Yes he is into his twilight years, but so was Paul Scholes for the last five seasons, and currently so is Ryan Giggs. Frank Lampard has never really produced his club form on the international stage, and has recently lost his place in the England side – something which I see as a positive for any footballer looking to prolong his club career and keep in top form.
If reports that suggest Frank Lampard is out of favour at Chelsea are true; and he was available for a competitive price, I am certain his experience and creativity would see him command a place in the United midfield, even when everybody is fully fit.
No he would not play 60 games a season, but he is an experienced player in the Premier League and Champions League, so would not need time to settle in.
The long term solution to the Manchester United centre midfield problem is not out there at the moment; there isn’t even a handful of players we can look at that would come in and dominate football matches for the next ten years – but there are short and medium term solutions who will come in; who will make a mark on a game; who will lead; who will tackle; who will create; and who will do the United colours proud.
If Sir Alex was willing to take a chance on Liam Miller, Eric Djemba Djemba and Kleberson who all cost decent money a few years back, I ask why would he not be willing to bring in Lampard and furthermore, why would certain fans not want to see him in red? This seems a no brainer.