It’s that time of the year when the rumor mills go overboard with transfer speculations galore. Fans aspire for fresh faces to strengthen their clubs’ case while managers indulge in fine tuning their teams’ balance. However the January transfer market is often characterized by caution over flamboyance. United’s man in shining armor Sir Alex, the longest serving United manager in their glorious history is no exception, however he has often surprised pundits and fans with a shrewd January transfer coup. Ferguson had previously ruled out any additions to the squad but with Fergie always expect the unexpected. Also another aspect of United’s dealing that can no longer be over looked is the Glazer quotient. Nobody really knows the money or the lack of it at the Gaffer’s disposal.Is he free to spend extravagant amounts on proven talent or is Malcom Glazer pulling the strings?
Let’s look at United’s Winter Indulgences in the recent past:
Nemanja Vidic: He signed from Spartak Moscow for a reported fee of £7 million. Vidic’s transfer remains one of the biggest transfer successes of the Ferguson regime.
Patric Evra: He signed from AS Monaco for a miserly £5.5 million. Evra’s contribution has been felt both on and off the field, yet another Ferguson transfer masterstroke.
Henrik Larsson: United announced that Larsson had joined the club on loan from 1 January until 12 March 2007, coinciding with the Swedish League’s off season. His presence at the club was brief but undoubtedly remarkable. Despite United’s eagerness to extend his loan spell, Larsson bid adieu.
Diego Forlan: He will always be remembered for his goals against Liverpool that earned him a place in United folklore and a famous chant “He comes from Uruguay, he made the scousers cry“. However his two year stint at Old Trafford was unimpressive to say the least with a meager total of 17 goals in around 98 appearances.
Let’s analyze the possible moves for Sir Alex in the upcoming transfer window:
Confirmed New Arrivals:
Anders Lindegaard from Aalesund: Fee undisclosed
Manchester United have already completed the signing of this Danish International goalkeeper. Lindegaard is training with the Red Devils and is expected to feature soon but probably from the bench. Signed from the Norwegian league, Lindegaard is expected to be the understudy to VDS till the summer. However murmurs around Old Trafford suggest that a big name goal keeping reinforcement might be on its way shortly in the summer.
Tom Cleverly [on loan at Wigan]:
Cleverly’s short loan stint at Wigan has been impressive, he has featured in eight games for the Latics oozing with class. Tom’s stint hasn’t gone unnoticed by United manager and he has voiced his admiration for the young Englishman. Ferguson was quoted admitting that Cleverly could be recalled from his loan spell in January. Park Ji Sung’s absence due to international commitments and Valencia’s long term injury could just prove to be the catalyst for kick starting Cleverly’s United career. Tom’s versatility is another feather in his cap, as he is more than capable of playing through the middle or either of the wings.
Danny Welbeck [on loan at Sunderland]:
Welbeck has been setting the league on fire with his brilliant performances for Sunderland. Steve Bruce, the Sunderland manager is in no mood to let the young English wizard go back to his parent club and with United not lacking potential striking options upfront, Bruce can have his man for now. However Sir Alex will surely look to bring Welbeck back as soon as his loan spell expires in the summer.
Alexis Sanchez [from Udinese]:
With Sir Alex giving his nod of appreciation for the young Chilean, the rumor mills have had a field day. Sir Alex was quoted saying “He’s a young player with a very promising future. Sanchez has so much talent, that if he continues his progression, he could reach the level of Cristiano Ronaldo.” With United in need of a replacement for the ageing Ryan Giggs, Sanchez could possibly be an option. However it’s safe to say that coming summer would be the time for Man United to make a move, if they want to.
Steven Defour [from Standard Liège] :
Ferguson’s been an admirer of the Belgian playmaker and if tabloids are to be believed he was the proud recipient of a letter of encouragement from none other than the maestro Sir Alex himself. This is one rumor that refuses to die, a good candidate for the summer shopping spree.
Among the plethora of speculations, link ups and gossips one needs to examine United’s need of making those signings. The “golden generation” is in the twilight of their careers and their replacements are being looked out for.
Bringing a genuine Left winger and a Defensive midfielder would be the priority for Sir Alex in the very near future. However with the best talents around Europe cup tied and ergo ineligible for European competition January won’t be the time for marquee signings.
United have a strong squad to challenge for all major competitions this season. The possibilities of further additions to the squad are remote especially in the January market. Sir Alex has massive faith in the talent at his disposal; it’s now up to the boys to redeem his faith by leading the club to Glory.