Manchester United, in my view, have 5 big stars that will stay on for the next 2-10 years and greatly help the squad.
In Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, we have two of the best young players ever seen in the Premiership. In Rio Ferdinand we have a top centre-back and in Michael Carrick a very capable central midfielder who can play the defensive role or the creative role depending on requirements. In Heinze, we have an experienced left-back who didn’t have a chance to shine this season but next year he will be pivotal to our Champions League and Premiership hopes.
Giggs and Scholes were also instrumental in this season’s success, as were van der Sar and Vidic. However, Manchester United were found lacking at times and you can only attribute that to the lack of match-winners.
United don’t need to just replace Giggs and Scholes, they need to find players who can come off the bench and win games.
If Hargreaves / Carrick will provide United a new midfield and Nani is there to take over from Giggs on the left flank, then we’re still three players short – one striker to partner Rooney, one quality striker / winger on the bench and one winger / central midfielder on the bench as backup.
Rossi can be that striking partner (hopefully) and Anderson can be that bench option, which leaves United one player short. In the short run, Giggs and Scholes are enough, and with the current acquisitions United have what it needs to defend their title.
But Ferguson needs one more central midfielder in this squad, and Fletcher isn’t the answer.
This article is Part 4 of our 7-part Manchester United 2006/2007 season review coverage at Soccerlens.