Date:Wednesday June 22 2011
Fergie must have a headache. It's as clear as daylight that this United side is really lacking quality in the midfield department, both attacking and defending, but who do we get to tackle this problem?
Well, with a plethora of names linked to the club I think it's about time we cut the wheat from the chaff. We all have differing opinions of what the midfield needs, from a midfielder that can dominate play and the tempo of the game to a midfielder who can create as well as run into space and play the killer through ball.
One thing we all agree on (I hope!) is that the service from midfield has been substandard in terms of both goals and assists.
Sneijder - The man on every United fans lips. In my opinion he's easily the best Attacking Mid in the world and would easily address every issue surrounding our midfield. He does it all, he can dictate play from the centre of the park as well run at the defenders and open the game up. Goals, assists, free-kicks, corners, plumbing, plastering, you name it he does it. In the past he has expressed an interest in playing for United and Fergie has reciprocated that interest.
The issue is, that's the past. Sneijder seems very comfortable at Inter and seemingly isn't too keen on giving it up anytime soon. Inter can fulfil his every whim, Champions League football, trophies, massive wages and lovely weather and he's evidently happy from his performances there. Why would he give it up? Inter themselves will be under no pressure to sell, unless Sneijder began acting up that is, they hold his contract and are in no dire need for money.
We have no foundation to begin negotiations on. I'm sorry to say but I don't think Sneijder was ever a realistic target (though I've been refreshing multiple news sites and watching Sky Sports in the hope I'm wrong).
Modric - Another one of the preferred transfer targets. The guy is pivotal to Tottenham's set-up and it's easy to understand why. He pulls the strings from midfield to perfection as well as boasting an exceptional dribbling ability. Modric hasn't really been too strong on the assists side but a lot of that can be put down to the 'strike force' of Tottenham.
One thing Modric can be blamed for is his goal-scoring record (4 goals in 42 for those interested), for a player of his calibre and for the fee being associated with him you would expect a lot more bang for your buck. The difference between him and Sneijder, other than the gulf of ability, is Modric's head has been swayed by the Champions League football, something Tottenham cannot guarantee.
Unfortunately his head was turned towards Chelsea rather than Manchester ... idiot. Then there's Tottenham, the saying 'Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me' comes to mind when I think of our dealings with them. They've taken us for mugs before and I for one refuse to be taken for one again.
Nasri - A far more realistic target than the other two but hardly a convincing one still. Had a brilliant first half of the season for Arsenal but began to fade towards the second half that can be put down to typical Arsenal though. Ambidextrous, a great dribbler, a good pass with an eye for goal, Nasri is a real force.
He wasn't big on the assists with a mere 4 throughout the season but his threat in front of goal is undeniable with a very impressive 15 goal haul for his side. With one year left on his contact and a lack of silverware you would expect Arsenal to be willing to sell and Nasri to be willing to leave. Apparently not though, Arsenal aren't remotely interested in doing business with us nor is Nasri overly fussed about staying or leaving Arsenal.
A fee of 10 mil is being thrown about but let's be realistic, if Young cost us around 20 mil then Arsenal will surely demand 25-30 mil assuming we somehow get on talking terms that is.
Douglas Costa - My favourite! Still slightly inconsistent Costa can easily turn a game around on his day and really can showcase his talent. Seems to fit our bill more than most, he's fast, relies on trickery to beat a player and has a 'never say die' attitude with a good work rate. A very good set piece taker, a left footed option and can play on both wings as well as through the middle. A previous interest from our side was expressed but Gremio got greedy and missed out on a decent return whilst we missed out on a massive prospect.
Our interest appears renewed with Costa actually visiting Old Trafford when we played Bolton. Arsenal lodged a player-plus-cash deal for his which was soon rejected with Costa's agent saying Shakhtar 'would want only money'. Remember those other targets we snatched from under Arsenal noses? Smalling, Da Silva twins and Ronaldo?
Alarm bells should be ringing for Fergie. He's available, he's young and has a genuine desire to play for us, Shakhtar are willing to sell, what are we waiting for?
Kagawa - I'm not a big fan of the Budesliga and don't really keep up with it to be perfectly honest. However, Kagawa was one of the names linked to us so I done a little bit of research. In the short time he's played for Borrussia Dortmund Shinji become a fans favourite. He has chipped in with an impressive 12 goals in 28 games in his debut season and contributed quite heavily to Dortmund's Budesliga crown. Dortmund has interestingly publicly declared that they weren't going to sell him suggesting there is some interest on our half.
Even still, you can't get around the fact that if Dortmund don't want to sell, they won't sell. Kagawa would increase our influence in Japan and the Asian world, something that might make his transfer far more feasible. I did say it was a little bit of research.
Taarabt - Not to everyone's taste due to attitude issues and an over-inflated ego but his potential and ability are undeniable. He quite literally tore the Championship apart last season with great dribbling and an eye for goal, he was so good he caught the attention of some of our scouts along the way. With the right guidance he can easily become one of the best in the world, something we've seen quite a lot at Old Trafford.
We're yet to see how he fares in the top flight and whether he's United Champions League quality, mid-table quality or Premier League quality at all. His work-rate and teamwork may be a cause for concern but otherwise, at a reported 10 mil he's worth a punt a reckon. Unfortunately is not a case of who we want but moreso a case of what`s a viable option.
As much as I would love to see some of the younger guys get a go the fact will remain that there's still a lack of competition to ever really be pushed for the position and then there's the risk that they might not work out, leaving us back at square one. Judging from our recent activity I'd reckon whoever we go for will be more of a long-term fix rather than a short-term mega money deal. I think my favourite is pretty evident, if not in this article then from my recent comments.
What do you guys reckon?
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Date:Wednesday June 22 2011
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