Date:Wednesday September 3 2008
Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez, Dimitar Berbatov. Sounds good but it's only three. However, we now have a fourth striker, with Manucho granted a work permit to play.
David Gill, the chief executive was excited about the prospect of the 25-year-old Angolan who, apparently, won't rot in the reserves this season but will be given the chance to prove his credentials.
'We couldn`t get a work permit for him straight away, but when we looked at the rules and regulations we found that he actually qualified for one automatically. We`re delighted to have him,' Gill told MUTV.
'He`s 25 years-old and has got a lot of great attributes. You only need to look at the goals he scored at the African Nations Cup to see that and I think he brings something different to the team.
'He`s got a little injury at the moment, but we`re looking forward to him getting fit and showing us what he can do. He`s a great prospect.'
He looked good during the African Cup of Nations, no doubt. Therefore I'm ready to accept that he's got the quality required to play a part in United's season - and it puts us in a very good position.
We haven't had four proper strikers since... I don't know when. Last season it was really only two with Saha almost permanently injured, three if we count Ronaldo. The season before that we had Saha, Smith, Solksjaer and Rooney but they were never always fit at the same time and Smith lost most if his attacking edge due to his serious injury.
2005/06 saw Smith employed as a midfielder so Rooney, Ruud and Saha were entrusted with striking duties - and the latter missed the first half of the season.
So I guess it would be 2004/05 when we last had four strikers. Louis Saha, of course, had a lot of injury problems but still played quite a few games, Smith was still a forward - he scored a few important goals as well. And there was Rooney and Ruud though the latter never approached the heights of the period between 2001 and 2003.
Not much is certain about Manucho of course but one thing is absolutely definite: he's a fantastic header of the ball. And that in itself could help a lot.
Date:Wednesday September 3 2008
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