Sneijder, Kagawa or Martinez? The Solution to United’s Midfield problems


Manchester United are on the brink of having one of their worst seasons in the last decade, and their first trophy-less season since the 2004-05 season.

United need improvements this summer to get back to their winning ways under Sir Alex Ferguson. Ferguson is a fantastic manager, but managerial talent can only go so far without the necessary players.

Below are the transfer targets who could revive Ferguson’s team, by bringing a creative edge to the midfield that the current side is so dearly missing.

Luka Modric

Modric would slot seamlessly into the starting eleven, occupying one of the two spots in the centre of midfield. His quality would represent a massive improvement over the current players in these positions, i.e. the likes of Giggs and Carrick.

Modric would no doubt bring a creative edge to the United squad, taking a huge burden off the likes of Wayne Rooney.

Unfortunately, it’s a transfer that is probably not viable. Due to a large transfer fee and the stubbornness of Tottenham’s owner, Daniel Levy, and manager, Harry Redknapp, Tottenham may stand in the way of a potential deal.

Eden Hazard

Ferguson and Mancini are currently locked in a battle for the signature of the young Belgian attacking-midfielder. Many United fans would love to see Hazard at Old Trafford.

If he were to make the switch to the Red Devils, he’ll likely be utilized on the wings, as a welcome alternative for Ashley Young and Nani, who have both suffered with inconsistency this season. In time, he may even prove to be a better player than them.

However, Manchester City’s wallet is undeniably much larger than United’s, a transfer fee of around £30 million is likely to put Ferguson off.

Shinji Kagawa

Kagawa would definitely be a more realistic transfer than Hazard and Modric. His contract expires in 2013 and Borussia Dortmund are willing to listen to offers for him in the summer.

The attacking midfielder would provide United with another quality player in the midfield. The only problem that could occur for Ferguson is fitting him in the current system at the Manchester club. He’s an attacking midfielder who also operates as a second striker: the same place as Rooney. He could be played in central midfield or on the wings, but these aren’t his natural positions.

Wesley Sneijder

The speculation linking the Dutch midfielder and Manchester United has circulated for the past few seasons. If Sneijder was to ever leave Inter, it’s likely he would make the move to the Premier League by joining Manchester United.

Sneijder is no doubt a quality player, he has proven himself at various clubs throughout his career. He would undoubtedly bring class and creativity to the United starting eleven.

However, the attacking midfielder has a contract with Inter until 2015, as a result he would command a huge transfer fee. At the age of 27, he still has a few years left to play at the top of his game. Although, it’s questionable whether Ferguson will want to pay £30 million for a player nearing the end of his peak form.

James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez has been dubbed “the new Ronaldo” by the press, and 12 goals and eight assists at the age of only 20 suggests that he’s very much worth the hype.

The Daily Mail has his price-tag at a hefty £25 million, but it has been suggested that including Anderson in the deal could bring down Rodriguez’s price significantly.

If United are indeed still looking for Ronaldo’s replacement at Old Trafford, this would be the guy to go after.  However, he won’t  be the number one priority on United’s summer shopping list, but if all else fails, I’m sure an enquiry will be made.

Javi Martinez

Martinez is predominantly a defensive midfielder, but this season at Athletic Bilbao he has been moulded into a centre-back.

His strength and ability to make clean tackles is a characteristic the United have definitely been missing this season. Central defence and defensive midfield are positions that United have been found wanting in this season. With Vidic out injured, Ferdinand often off-colour and Phil Jones playing all over the pitch it has been left to Jonny Evans to stand out as their best central defender.

Carrick still occupies the position that is most alike to the holding role for United, but he is not renowned for his tenacity. Past him and Scholes, and the options aren’t looking great, with Anderson perennially on the treatment table there is a void to be filled.

Martinez would be a great signing for Ferguson, providing United with versatility in two positions they are currently lacking. At a cost of around £20 million he’d definitely be worth the investment.

Nicolas Gaitan

Gaitan showed that he indeed is a solid, up-and-coming player in world football with seven assists in this year’s Champions League. However, he recorded only three goals and seven assists in 25 league games for Benfica, and failed to make a difference over two legs for Benfica against Chelsea.

Gaitan is a good player, but at the age of 24, he doesn’t look like a player that’ll one day be better than Nani, Young or Valencia.

Apparently Nicholas Gaitan is a big fan of moving to Manchester United, but it is not yet known if the feeling is mutual. But for the sake of United’s progress in the next few seasons Gaitan doesn’t seem like a wise signing, especially at the cost of £20 plus million.

Yohan Cabaye

Cabaye is not a player that’s been linked to United as such. But he would certainly fit into the team very well.

Cabaye is an all-action midfielder, a “box-to-box” midfielder. He’s not just a playmaker, and he’s not just a tackler; he does it all, and when your team plays only two central midfielders like Newcastle and Manchester United do, it’s great to have a player like Cabaye.

If Newcastle United harbour any hopes of repeating this year’s success next year, they’ll hold on to Cabaye tightly this summer. However, if Mike Ashley decides to cash in on this year’s success by selling the team’s best players for profit, Cabaye could prove to be a wise investment for Manchester United down the line.


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