With the league title all but assured to be heading somewhere other than Old Trafford for only the second time in the last six years, it’s not time to panic but nor is it time for complacency.
United’s reliance on the ageing Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs highlight the need for strengthening the midfield Then there’s the imminent departure of Dimitar Berbatov, the startling loss of form of Chicharito, plus the obvious need for some form of competition/understudy for Patrice Evra which cannot be ignored. Oh and did I mention the uncertainty surrounding Darren Fletcher’s future, or Tom Cleverley’s ability to play a full season?
United may finish this season with a points total nine higher than 2010/11 when we actually lifted the title, but let’s face facts, trophyless seasons and ones in which we see our ‘noisy neighbours’ lift their first ever Premier League crown are hardly a success.
There’s work to be done this Summer and as Roy Keane noted recently its the ‘team not the squad’ United need to strengthen.
Here’s five players that Sir Alex Ferguson should pursue with vigour as soon as the season ends to help deliver title number 20 before the Bluenoses reach number three.
Leighton Baines. The Everton left back can offer Patrice Evra a much-needed understudy as it’s obvious United are in serious trouble should our skipper get injured especially with Fabio off on a season long loan. The former Wigan man has excelled at Goodison and is more than adept at getting forward in the way most United full back’s are expected to. With Everton seemingly having a constant garage sale, it shouldn’t take a King’s ransom to prize Baines away from the blue half of Merseyside. Price £7 million.
Iker Muniain. Dubbed the ‘Spanish Messi’ due to his diminutive size and willingness to run at defenders, the Athletico Bilbao winger was part of the side that quite frankly tore United a new one in the Europa League. With a full Spanish cap under his belt it wont be long before the nineteen year old starts adding a few zeros to his price should he make more appearances for the national side. With Paul Pogba’s boyhood heroes Juventus sniffing around, United may need to move quickly although a £29.5 million price tag may put the Glazers off, if we want to challenge on more than one front next season, it’s time to pay up. Price £29.5 million.
Cheick Tiote. Cue lots of “I stopped reading at Tiote” comments as most people will no doubt think I’m off my tiny little mind with this suggestion but let’s ask ourselves one simple question: “who is United’s ball winner in the middle of the park?” Darren Fletcher? Ji Sung Park? Anderson?! Exactly, United’s midfield is comprised of pass master, quarerback types rather than grafters willing to go and get hold of the ball. Tiote is just the type of no nonsense nasty little bugger who can get in people’s faces and do the old fashioned “get hold of the ball and give it to a more skillful player” job that used to exist at Old Trafford. Newcastle have benefitted enormously from having the Ivorian doing the donkey work in the middle of the park and so could United. Price £11 million.
Raúl. When I first heard the suggestion that a 34 year-old striker could come to Old Trafford and make a difference I scoffed with the same arrogance that made me doubt Henrik Larrsson was a good idea at the time. United woud like to win the Champions League yes? Then why not sign the competitions greatest ever goal scorer? Oh but he’s past it. Well someone should tell the Real Madrid legend that then as he’s scored over twenty goals this season for Schalke. I’m not suggesting playing him week in week out against the likes of Stoke and Fulham, but why not use his talents in the cup competitions and as another option in some of the bigger league games? Price Free transfer.
Stéphane Sessegnon. I realise he may not exactly fill the hearts of many Reds with inspiration but let’s face some facts, if as I’m suggesting United buy all the other players on this list, then we aren’t going to be able to spend £40-50 million on an attacking midfielder, there simply isn’t the money available. Therefore it’s time to look at what we can afford and who can do a job and Sessegnon fits the bill. He’s been one of the few bright spots in a pretty poor season for the Mackems, has an eye for goal – one in three ratio this season- and plays with the sort of energy that is needed at Old Trafford. Should Scholes and Giggs’s appearances be limited next season, then we simply cannot rely on Tom Cleverley to be our main attacking midfield option, such is the nature of his injury record. Sessegnon may not be Luka Modric but that may not be such a bad thing as he’s actually more consistent than his overpriced North London counterpart. Price £10 million.
There you have it for £57 million United can have an Evra understudy, a proven European goalscorer, a superstar youngster, and two midfielders capable of playing against the Premiership’s best. I may be oversimplifying the issue but at a time when it’s obvious we haven’t got the billions others have, less than £60 million for five players who would improve our side, hardly seems like a bad investment.
Am I spouting the usual dribble I’m more than renowned for or is there a semblance of sanity in my musings? Answers on a brick through the usual window please.
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we can definitely go for cylne and baines with all this tension in defence why hasn’t sir alex signed shawcross back he is as good as defeder can get in the premier league plus no nonsense as for midfield we definitely need martinez a game breaker kagawa can play an attacking role plus we have cleverly,lingard and few other youngsters for strikers we should try to sign drogba as his contracs are stalled with chelsea or raul they have both got 2-3 years left on then afterwards michael keane can be ready to wear the no-9 jersey we definitely don’t need wingers maybe if we sell nani we can go for wilfred zaha gaitan ,hazard,munain are very talented lads every team can use them we with our financial power we cannot do much good in the transfer market and to conclude with no hard feelings we really need to sell park,berbatov,anderson,de laet,evra probably ferdinand and let giggs and scholes retire they have already contributed so much they cannot be replaced we shouldn’t suck life out of them
Muniain, Javi Martinez would be terrific signings but the issue is with Martinez is what would he do with Phil Jones? Cb?Rb? CDM? Sweeper?
I would like to see Gylfi Sigurdsen, Nathaniel Clyne, Nick Powell from Crewe, Kagawa as well as Javi Martinez and Muniain. But we need a Edison Cavani, I hate to use the term but a stand out marque signing of that nature to show a bit of muscle in the market. The vital thing is the funds generated from clearing out some of the dross because the Glazers will not stump up 100million to build a dominating team.
United would have won the league now if Fergie had a proper number 2 who would discuss the team to select and the substitutions he makes because some of his team selections have been unbelievable and also his subs.
As for United buying the top players like Rio. We paid 30 mil. for him 11 years ago and Fergie says £25 mil is to much now thanks to the Glazers.
I would like to point out that Fergie thinks experience is beeter than skill and effort.
Its pretty clear to see that we need to buy this summer, ive been saying for 3 seasons now that we lack world class quality ! … take out giggs, scholes and rooney and there is no legends in that team. ferguson has never been one for spraying cash and nothing will make him do it this year, he will buy 3 players and strengthening the CM is crucial. the likes of carrick, fletcher, anderson and park lack class and creativity. cleverly is unproven and far too injury prone and we cant keep relying on scholes to run the show. With 3 decent wingers i dont think we need to strengthen there. but if rooney gets injured i worry about where we would get the goals from. i no longer feel confident in this united team to go out and hammer teams, if rooney is quiet then normally its a 1-0 result and thats not good enough. also i think evra needs a bit of competition, fabio hasnt really jumped at the chance and i think evra has certainly got worse over the last couple of years. Rb could also be a position to sort out because smalling and jones are not Rb’s..
i would like to see…
LB – Baines – 15 Mill
RB – Clyne – Free
CDM – Tiote – 17.5 Mill
Martinez – 22 Mill
CAM – Kagawa – 10 Mill
Hazard – 35 Mill (wishful thinking)
St – Ba – 10 Mill
Falcao – 23 Mill
Llorente – 20 Mill
if we were to sign 1 of each position it would be 5 players valuing around 60 million … i believe that is realistic but it is worrying to hear that fergie will only bring in 3 players, my top 3 out of that group would be … baines, kagawa and llorente
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i’ welsh and even i do’t think bale is worth more than 20m tops as he’s not won anything no matter how good he is, same as any player except messi and ronaldo, unfortunatly all clubs are too greedyand far more than their players are worth, i nen come on 20m for baines what as he done for everton to justify such disgusting greed, me personnally would give spurs the 20m (plus park)due their greed)for bale and bring in javi martinez, jordan rhodes and jordi alba.