Date:Tuesday May 22 2007
First and foremost, let's make clear where we need to strengthen. In my opinion, it has been a successful campaign but it's shown the flaws of United, too.
It's too obvious that we need a striker. Smith is a limited player, Saha is frustratingly prone to injuries, Ole is 34 years old while Dong offers very little. We should bring back Rossi and buy someone. Who could that be?
Samuel Eto'o: The Barcelona striker is a class act though not a very likeable person. He's been linked to us very often recently but I can't see it happening.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar: Reports claim he's on his way to Old Trafford for 12 million - I don't know if it's true but I think the Ajax hitman is a bit slow and technically not very gifted - he's a younger Ruud van Nistelrooy. Ruud has been a great player for us but I love our current team that's biggest asset is pace...
Fernando Torres:Another persistent rumour but I have my doubts. He would unbelievably expensive yet relatively unproven. He's very inconsistent at Atleti so what could we expect of him at a club like United?
Michael Owen: Come on, guys, get a grip. He would be good company for Saha on the treatment table, that's all.
So really, I don't know who we should buy. The Defoe rumours petered out, Berbatov wants to stay at Spurs, God save us from Trezeguet... any more ideas?
Central midfield is sorted out, no surprise that there are few rumours regarding that area. Rio Mavuba's name could be heard again but it's a non-starter now that Hargreaves will arrive. Scholes's got at least one good season left so with Fletcher and Carrick here we do not have to worry.
Wingers. Ryan Giggs performed as if the only significance of age was that it gives you more experience but we all know that years will get to him and Richardson is not a replacement. So, let's have a look at the two main rumours.
Nani: The young Sporting winger is always on the agenda. He's signed a new deal that would keep him at the club until 2013 but the rumours do not cease: reports claim United are ready to pay 20 million for him. Now really: it took four years for Ronaldo to learn that passing the ball is a pretty good idea. He's now starting to become a team player - do we want to ruin all his progress by bringing in a player like Nani who is the Ronaldo of 2003? It would disrupt the balance of the team so I'm against this signing.
Aaron Lennon: That sounds a lot better. He's not been as impressive as last season but he's still one of the best wingers in the country. The problem is that he would command an enormous transfer fee as Spurs are reluctant to lose him. Would love to see him here but I doubt it would happen though papers suggest United will test Spurs' resolve with a 20 million bid.
Defenders. We have a lot in the squad and even more out on loan so not a very important area. Still, we have names here.
Gareth Bale: He's the only possible arrival. The Southapton left-back is believed to be a long-term target for United: his free-kicks are fantastic, he's fast, his technique is superb - do we need him? We have a lot of left-backs...
Well, we will need him if we can believe the rumours: Gabriel Heinze and Mikael Silvestre are both set to leave. The former is wooed by PSG, Juventus and even Tottenham while the latter said he would love to play for Lyon. Bale is a good prospect but Southampton will do everything to hold onto him while the papers reckon the player himself would rather join Spurs.
Other possible departees are Smith and Saha. The former could find his options very limited if we buy another striker while the latter is believed to have lost Fergie's trust because of all the injuries. Tottenham has been linked with Saha but if we really sell him, then we must keep Smith and bring back Rossi. And maybe even buy two new attackers.
Oh, and finally, goalkeepers. Reports claim that Fergie will replace Edwin with Foster next season as number one. Craig Gordon of Hearts has been linked with United, a possible 8 million pounds move mentioned. Another goalkeeper? I doubt it though he's talented.
What do you think? What can we expect of Giggs and Scholes next season? Is Smith good enough to stay? Will Rossi deliver? Is it possible that Saha will shake off his injury problems? Should we keep Heinze? Foster or Van der Sar as number one? Who would you sign for United?
Date:Tuesday May 22 2007
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Stat Attack - Shakhtar (h) (Wednesday December 11 2013)
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