Having recently announced an agreement between Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund for the signing of Japanese star Shinji Kagawa, Sir Alex today confirmed that the club has also completed the signing of Nick Powell, an 18 year old youngster from Crewe Alexandra. The England U-18 international has officially put pen and paper together to sign a 4-year contact with the club for a fee believed to be around £4 million.
Rumours had been circulating earlier that United were close to signing the midfielder but nothing concrete had been confirmed. Many fans were keen on seeing the signing made yet did not want to get their hopes up based on the fact that the last time United were on the verge of signing a ‘hot prospect’, Aaron Ramsey had a last minute change of heart and decided to sign for Arsenal instead of the Reds.
“We have scouted Nick for months now,” said the Manchester United manager. “He is an exceptional talent and has been schooled well atCrewe. I’m delighted he has chosen to come to United.”
Although still very much an unproven talent, it is obvious that Sir Alex sees Powell as a raw gem which could be shaped into something far more impressive. A quick look at Nick and you can quickly see what the fuss is about. His palette of skills includes the ability to finish very well from distance, strong in the air thanks to his impressive 6ft figure, possessed real confidence and swagger when in possession of the ball, and an overall maturity to his play rarely seen by a player his age. 14 goals from 38 appearances is a fantastic record for any midfielder, let alone one that’s 18 years old. His talents are there for all to see.
It is now up to the club to take the 18-year-old on board and allow him to grow into the special talent he can undoubtedly become. With the current lack of depth in United’s midfield area, and with the imminent departure of Pogba, it seems like Nick will feature quite a bit this following season. The likelihood of United playing a new 4-2-3-1 formation is also very high thanks to the signing of Kagawa. This means that Powell will be able to slot right into his preferred slot, behind the main striker, when called upon.
As many have correctly pointed out, Nick Powell is not going to be the key to us closing the gap with City next season. He knows that and so does Sir Alex. Instead, what United have is a player that the fans can look forward to watch developing into an excellent all round footballer.
He obviously knows just how big a club we are and how much more responsibility will be placed on his shoulders now that he’s signed. “It really is a dream come true to be signing for Manchester United.”
Although there was interest from other clubs, he chose United because they’re the biggest club inEngland whereas other players may have decided otherwise and joined whoever was willing to pay them the most.
Powell will be spending his training sessions with the likes of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, two of the greatest players to ever grace Old Trafford. There are very few other players a young attacking midfielder would be better off learning his trade off from those two. Add to that his ‘work-hard’ attitude and commitment, we may be looking back at the £4 million we spent on him in a few years and thinking what a real bargain he was, especially with ‘lack of value in the market’ Sir Alex keeps banging on about.
The fact that Nick is English also comes as an added bonus to the club meaning he won’t place the manager under any real restrictions when picking his Premier League squad. The new foreign player rules coming into practice will prove that.
As stated earlier, Nick Powell is not going to be the player that wins us the league next season. He is merely an investment by the Sir Alex to continue the clubs tradition of bringing in younger players and giving them a genuine chance at the biggest stage. After all, when have United actually signed a ‘superstar’? Veron, Berbatov and Ferdinand are the only names that stand out from recent times. Instead, we make them. Look at Cristiano Ronaldo when he joined. Pretty much unheard off at the time yet the staff turned him into arguably the best player in the world right now. Our current financial state means we’re no longer able, nor willing, to spend silly money on players who may not make the grade. With Nick, we’re only spending a relatively low sum and so the risks of making such a transfer make the deal all the more appealing. It’s a win, win situation.
Now, I am not saying that Nick will become ‘the next Ronaldo’, nor am I saying that he is the key link to all our problems in midfield. Other players will need to come in if Manchester United are to bridge the gap between themselves and City, but in the meantime, United fans can look forward to the prospect having Nick Powell joining their squad and developing into a possible world-beater. He’s one of those players that, should he have signed for another team, the majority of our fans would have slated the club for not attempting to sign the youngster. The club has taken a risk and with the right training, enough dedication from the player and staff alike, we may begin to reap the benefits of the transfer in the long run. It is essential that the fans be patient and get behind Nick. Just look at what Arsenal have managed to do with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. They’ve snapped up an unproven youngster a year ago for nearly twice as much as what we’ve paid for Nick, and now Alex is representing his country at Euro 2012.