United Rant has an excellent article in which Rick Ross talks about four young players that would be suitable for plugging the holes in Manchester United’s midfield.
It’s a step away from my earlier post (Manchester United Summer Targets), and on surface it looks like Manchester United would not be going for these players for one simple reason:
Ferguson (and more importantly, the Glazers) want midfield recruits that will get the job done this season. After trying (and failing) to build a team for the future for the last three years using the players at his disposal (Fletcher, John O’Shea and Alan Smith being our midfield “heroes”), Ferguson has only one agenda – to buy the players that will help him win the next season.
Failure to win the league will cost Ferguson like it cost Ranieri – ditto with a failure to go beyond the quarter-final stages of the Champions League. Manchester United have not only financial debts to service but a fading reputation to maintain – their three main rivals in the Premiership (Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool) have all either won something major or have been at the brink of success). United? Two 3rd place finishes and a 2nd place finish in the league, plus two domestic cup titles. Good for any other club, but after the 90s, pathetic and unacceptable.
Ferguson needs to bring proven talent now, which is why he is after Gattuso and Diarra and Mascherano. Hargreaves could be one of the smartest buys United makes, if they buy him. Carrick, while being talented, is simply not as good as Mascherano and Gattuso, so he must remain a backup option (which I think he will be – Carrick being Manchester United’s primary target is a scary thought).
UnitedRant lists four players – Javier Mascherano (Corinthians), Fernando Gago (Boca Juniors), Manuel Fernandes (Benfica) and Nuri Sahin (Borussia Dortmund). All four are young, extremely talented and would cost us less (apart from Mascherano, perhaps) 10 million. Better than Michael Carrick? Mascherano surely is, and it is his signature that Manchester United will covet the most. For the rest, they are not proven on the big stage and that will be a considerable obstacle. I’d love to see United pick up a young talent like Nuri Sahin and then develop him (something we were going to do with Obi Mikel), but Ferguson may not have that luxury.
Today’s Thursday – the Italian verdict is due to come out, plus United are in South Africa, where the new kit will be revealed on Friday (July 14 – tomorrow). Ronaldo has also said that his future will be decided within a week. It promises to be an interesting weekend.