In the aftermath of defeat to Manchester City on Monday night, Manchester United could end the season trophyless for the first time since 2004. That is unless Papiss Cisse and his Newcastle United colleagues do the Reds a favour this coming weekend, while the Reds emerge victorious from games against Swansea City and Sunderland.
But in a season where Sir Alex Ferguson’s side has lost 11 times, and exited early from four competitions, questions will be asked about United’s quality whatever the conclusion to the Premier League title race.
Critics point to a degradation in squad quality over six years of ownership by the Glazer family, with the club having spent more than £500 million on interest, debt repayment and associated fees over the period. At the same time rivals such as City, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona have invested heavily in the market, on both transfer fees and wages.
Indeed, net transfer spend since the Glazer takeover is approximately £7.50 million per season – significantly less that United’s rivals at home and abroad, save for Arsenal. Meanwhile, United has slipped to 12 in the global sports pay scale, behind the aforementioned quartet of rivals, accoring to industry analysts Sporting Intelligence.
There is mitigation. Some fans will point to the £38 million net spent last summer on Ashley Young, David de Gea and Phil Jones as proof of United’s investment in youth. While others point to United’s extensive injury list in the current season, or the ‘potential’ of many younger players within the squad during a ‘season of transition’.
The question is where does Ferguson go from here? Spend big in order to compete with the very best at home and abroad, or trust in the current squad and transfer strategy to regain former glories?
60 thoughts on “Poll: how should United approach the summer transfer market?”
We have a capable squad, bar a good midfielder who takes up the creative responsibilities. So that Carrick can lay back and do what he does best.
Oh, and sack our assistants. Bring back Queiroz.
I wanna see every bit of dead wood leave the club and get replaced by young players not on loan. Then I wanna see 2007-08 Summer Transfer window shit go down. Anderson, Nani, Hargreaves, Tevez. Gotze, Hazard, M’Villa and Heskey.
I realise this will not happen.
We need to dig deep and get spending. It’s ok relying on youth but most of our youth team is off out on loan next year. Only cleverley and maybe Macheda and pogba (contract dependant) will be here next year.
Scholes, Giggs and Rio are getting no younger. Giggs and Park have been poor lately. Fletcher may or may not return. Berbatov and maybe Owen will be heading for the exit doors, Fabio is also going on loan.
We need to replace and strengthen the squad. RB and a LB, CM and ST at least, maybe even 2 CM and ST’s depending who moves on.
I believe our current youth strategy is the best for the club specially considering long term future. That’s how a team is built and that is who we are.
I won’t mind an established player in mid though to take burden off Carrick and Scholes. If Fletcher comes back, its good or we need some hassler in there.
We have Cleverley, Petrucci, Larnell Cole and others who have the capacity to become starters in recent future.
Can we buy a centre mid with more than 2 gears please? Scholes, Carrick, Giggs are too easily got form me. Ando doesn’t look like he will fulfill his potential and Cleverley has spent two seasons injured. Ander Herrera from Bilbao please.
Then can we have a playmaker, forward (Papiss Cisse?), and one or two decent full-backs? If we can also have the pre-2012 Phil Jones back next season that wouuld also be great.
Domestically we have a competitive squad, but Europe this season has been agony to watch.
He needs a play-maker that can drift in front of Carrick, who alongside Scholes is able to totally dictate play with a short passing game. United’s problem is in the final third; they need to be able to link their swift defensive turnover into something more tangible. Carrick’s had an immense season at Man U, the unsung hero, and I whole-heartedly believe he should be an England regular. If you compare Carrick’s statistics to Parker’s from whoscored.com – possession, passes per game, pass completion, dispossession etc. – then it becomes clear that Carrick’s composed presence in United’s midfield begins a significant number of their attacks. Compared to Parker, he intriguingly makes far fewer clearances and is dispossessed less, suggesting he is a more useful player in retaining the ball and converting defending into attacking. Based on Hodgson’s preference for defensive solidity it is highly likely a defensive midfielder will be used, and his philosophy on the role of the midfielder, as he highlights in interviews, supports this theory. I actually wrote an article on this topic if anyone is interested, at http://alex-keble.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/why-michael-carricks-possession.html
Fergie will not be able to get cisse, he will concentrate on the midfield, with rooney, wellbeck, chicharito and i think he’ll bring through some of the youngsters. In midfield he’ll possibly look at cabaye from newcastle…but never gonna happen at the figures the long contacts up there will cost…theyre all on 5-6 year deals
No one has mentioned Ben Arfa from Newcastle, would certainly add to the midfield.
we need to spend big…my wish list;
Look… I know some of you would trust Ferguson, pissed on turps, to shave your Johnson with a carpet knife… but ffs… some of us are sick to back teeth of some the turgid shite served up in an attempt to grind out results we don’t fuckin deserve.
I wouldn’t swap Ferguson for any manager in the game… but I want the old cunt to have a proper United squad to take another run at one more Champs league title before he’s gone…
And that will take a lot… A LOT… more than just a decent midfielder.
A left back… Evra can’t do it alone any more… £10 mill.
At least 1, TOP QUALITY central midfielder… I’d prefer 2… Scholes, Giggs, Anderson, Park – OUT!!!… Carrick and Cleverly to compete to start… £25/30 mill each…
A top class… proper left footed winger… Valencia, and Nani can fight over the right… and Young can be a utility player… £25/30 mill…
And a top class front man to get the best out of Rooney!… Hernandez and Welbeck can scrap it out for 3rd… £25/30 mill…
It’s not going to happen… but to fill out my wish list “PROPERLY” would cost £100/150 million… I can hear some of you spitting your Horlicks all over your keyboards… tough shit… those figures are NOT outrageous.
Now Perhaps Ferguson can find a couple diamonds, like he did with Vidic/Evra, and fill out that list a bit cheaper… but the very simple truth is any of the top 10 players that will go on the market this summer… all coveted by the top clubs… will cost £25/30 million easy… some a LOT more… and there will be heavy competition for their signatures… Chelsea will rebuild… City will spend, just because they can… Real and Barca never stand still… And the Italians are trying to claw back their status as a top league…
I will be impressed if spend even £50 million… and that will probably keep us top 2/3 in the PL, and probably last 8 in Europe…
For some… that will be enough… not for me… and especially if we’re not even that exciting to watch any more.
“Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”
My feeling exactly! Depressing seeing such crap football… I am spoilt and not used to it!
fergie will say there is no value
those we want will not come to the UK or be released to come to united
there is so much overrated shit out there, i’d be surprised if we get anyone truly world class
It def comes down to what we think is needed and what will actually happen. A spend of 100 mill would solve most of the problems, however that is fantasy football. realistically we could spend 50 mill pre glazers, but in the glazer era a net spend of 25 mill is likely.
Most likely to happen:
Gaitan 25 mill
Clyne 2.5 mill comp
Hoilett 2.5 comp or random foreign forward 5 mill
Berbatov 7.5 mill
Fergie will look at the 83 points currently on the board and think there is no need to spunk a shitload of cash on new players.
There is a gulf in quality between our 11 and City’s 11. It would be nice to address that, but you don’t need the best 11 to win the league because it’s a squad game. We can lose/draw to City and win the league by beating the rest.
A couple of midfielders, a striker (if Owen & Berba go) and a left back would be ideal. Other than a top midfielder (which we won’t sign) there is no massive signing there.
A very substantial investment is needed to put United back among the best in the world, where it deserves to be. Two or three seasons ago we desperately needed a top quality creative/attacking midfielder, but the situation has only deteriorated since then. To be fair to Fergie, some of it is bad luck — Fletcher’s condition, Hargo being a crock, Cleverly and Anderson being too crocked to really have a chance to show what they’ve got (ok not bad luck, you can blame the medical staff, but it’s not Fergie’s fault). But we now have only one single proven, good quality central midfielder – Carrick. Yeah we have Scholes, but he should only be used as Carrick’s back-up now, since he’s evolved to play the same way as Carrick, or else occasionally they can be used together against softer opposition.
How fucking outrageous is that for a top club to have only one reliable midfielder? And at 31 or 32, Carrick is also not far from the point where he’ll be getting past it. How many quality midfielders do Real, Barca, Juve, Bayern etc. have? How do we not have a single decent box-to-box battler aside from Fletcher, or a single creative attacking midfielder in the old Scholes style?
I have to laugh about people complaining about Fletcher and Carrick a couple of seasons ago. These days, we’d be delighted to see that combo in a big game like the one against City, instead of fogey Scholes, crocked Park, and fogey Giggs helping out leaving Evra to cover nearly a third of the entire pitch all by himself.
And don’t get me started about Evra — we play about 4 matches all season in all competitions that the poor fucker doesn’t start and finish. If we got him a decent understudy and game him a few days off, we might see the old Evra again before he gets too old. We don’t even have a proper left-sided player in front of him, our tactical strategy is basically “right Patrice, you’ve got 30% of the pitch to yourself — make sure to get plenty of crosses in and defend like a terrier”.
We need a minimum of three real quality players: a midfield boss and a midfield attacker for sure, and also at least one of either a true left-sided attacker or a forward (in an ideal world obviously we’d just get all four). I think you can get away with just three if the midfield attacker and left-sided player is the same person, i.e. someone like Hazard or Kagawa that you could shift into either position, and if your new midfield options provided serious amounts of goals.
Then getting decent understudies for left back and maybe right back would be important too, but much less expensive.
Squad for next season:
Loanees: Fabio, Keane W, King, Tunnicliffe, Norwood
What the fuck is that, Bill
I was just thinking the same!
It’s a pain in the arse to try to decipher all those initials. But I can tell if our summer business consists solely of Gaitan and fucking Hollett, then i’m going to stop watching football until the Glazers are gone.
What do u think it is? I haven’t got time to write out full names, especially on an iPad!
NC = Clyne
The three amigos every summer since 2009, that is how it goes, would be surprised if that changed. If SAF cuts out rotation in the cl we will get to the last 8, and finish second to 2nd. Prob acceptable to Malcolm. We might sneak a cup. Only solace is the comedy show that is KKK.
five years since we signed a midfielder
we will again start the season weaker than we ended the last
If one of Fletcher Giggs or Scholes retires and Pogba leaves we will get one. I couldnt really care less if Pogba went, he’s unproven at the highest level yet he seems to think he deserves the same treatment as a seasoned international, or it could be bad advice from his agent, I’d rather have Ryan Tunnicliffe come through and given more a chance.
That’s not true, we just signed Paul Scholes in the January window.
Yep!! So retiree plus Pogba leaving means we get a new midfielder in the summer. I think Giggs and scholes will give it one more season and fletcher miight try preseason and then make a decision.
I see Javi Martinez got in a bit of a fight with Ronaldo in the Real-Bilbao match. Maybe there’s a bit of the Keano about him, let’s be ‘avin ‘im then.
ed, I think bman and bill are the same person
Nope, definitely different!
I still think we should be in for most of the Bilbao midfield and transplant them direct into the starting 11 in a 4-3-3. I don’t even know the fucking names I just remember them sweeping up and down the pitch playing like Barca but with pace and an end product.
I’d feel bad for Bilbao if that happens. I want them to retain their squad and see how they do. They’ve got potential.
Why can’t United find players like those? We’ve been trying but looking at the kind that are brought in (Diouf, Bebe, Anderson etc) the srategy seems completely disjointed.
Of course, you also need a coherent strategy to be able to use these players.
Why do you think we’re the same person? I don’t even agree with Bill that often (no offence bill).
You wanna get yourself a proper computer n all
Ideally we should be spending big.An attacking midfielder, a defensive midfielder, a left winger, left back and a striker. But we all know its not going to happen.Fergie will definitely get a left back and probably a Young like signing in midfield. That’s the best we can hope for.
Apart from needing a lot of players, we definitely need a new assistant manager. Don’t know how much of a role Phelan plays, but our tactics and results have been dire. Queiroz would not have let Fergie squander a 2 goal lead against Everton. We need some one like him. I think this is as important as getting a midfielder. But then…I guess there will be no value for an assistant coach as well.
Got one plus an iPad thx!
And as Madmax says nobody can be impressed with Phelan, he’s just a company man who won’t leave or rock the boat. SAF is stung after mclaren and left so just wants someone who will never leave.
Ideally we would get a left back, 2 midfielders and a striker. All of finished product / first team quality.
But I would be satisfied with one top midfielder if I knew that Cleverley would stay fit next season…
Our problems are in midfield, which needs strengthening for better attacking AND defensive options.
Left back is a problem which I don’t understand… Fabio seems the perfect back up for Evra. I wonder if we’re buying a another left back who will be first choice when Evra retires / leaves.
I have a very reliable contact at Everton who tells me that we’ve been speaking to them for several weeks about Leighton Baines. Reckons a deal is likely to happen.
It would be very funny to find out we were considering bringing back Darron “G-bomb” Gibson.
just for the level of outrage in this comment page.
As for Baines, that seems reasonable. But how much would we pay? We seem to get bent over a barrel at the best of times, for English players you pay 30% more than they’re worth. Unless we’ve done a deal with Moyes in light of all the United players heading to Everton to sweeten the deal. Maybe more this summer?
Baines only makes sense if Evra is leaving which I doubt will happen. Cissokho was another mentioned but I think Fergie has more pressing issues in MF.
I thought that, but I didn’t realise Baines was in his late 20s – Evra is surely nearing his end as a United player, Fabio is still only 20/21 and inexperienced. So maybe in 2 years we could see Baines / Fabio fighting it out for the LB spot.
Who knows, but considering we bought Young, Smalling and Jones recently going for a reasonably talented & priced English player wouldn’t surprise me.
And more pressing issues he may have, but if we only have one recognised, error-prone left back next season, surely it IS a pressing issue. We can’t have this team getting worse for fucks sake.
Bman @ 4:35: “To be fair to Fergie, some of it is bad luck — Fletcher’s condition, Hargo being a crock, Cleverly and Anderson being too crocked to really have a chance to show what they’ve got (ok not bad luck, you can blame the medical staff, but it’s not Fergie’s fault). But we now have only one single proven, good quality central midfielder – Carrick.”
It seems that Shinji Kagawa, from Borussia Dortmund, is pretty-much signed and sealed and will be delivered in the summer. He’s a very, very good “playmaker” – better than Gaitan or Eriksen but not in the same quality-range as his team-mate Mario Goetze. If the reports are true then this would be a start to addressing the “bad luck” issues highlighted above.
BUT what’s needed even more than someone who can be regarded as a “replacement” for TheGingerNinja” is a player who can add drive, steel, and energy to the midfield. Javi Martinez of Athletic Bilbao is a great pal of David De Gea and that might influence him but, of course, “money talks and bullshit walks” and Martinez would be a very expensive addition.
But, really, why not blow the whole wad on an identikit player for an specified need rather than just buying more and more raw talent. Sometimes – and this seems like the time – a hole in the dyke needs to be filled and DarrenFletcherinho ain’t likely to come back to his “football genius” mode.
We do need a ready made player or two. Hopefully Kagawa fits the bill. Javi Martinez sounds interesting and gave a good interview before the Bilbao-United game which suggests he might be open to a move. Not convinced he will move this summer though.
Pogba would be perfect if he was a couple of years older, but he isn’t. Football is about fine margins and United don’t seem to have had much luck recently. So many injuries, lots of young talent who aren’t quite ready to step up, and legends who have past their peak. The timing has been slightly off. How much of this is down to the Glazers / Ferguson / misfortune is open to debate.
You don’t think Kagawa, if we actually did get him, would be the replacement for Scholes’ old attacking creative midfield role? He seems to be doing that very well at Dortmund — he’s been key to them winning the German league two seasons in a row, racking up great goal and assist stats. Still a young guy too. I’d be very happy with getting him. We do desperately need someone to boss the midfield though, in a Keane, Schweinsteiger kind of way.
No such thing as a direct replacement when it comes to midfielders, especially Scholes. I think would be a great addition though and crucially be a first team starter most games, as opposed to another sign-and-hope transfer.
Not sure we need a ‘bastard CM’ like Keane anymore. Wouldn’t say no to Tiote or similar at a cut price but only as a squad player. It’s too easy to see Carrick, Giggs and Scholes and think ‘we need the opposite to that’ – strength, aggression etc but it’s a simplistic way of looking at it IMO.
bman @ 5:39: “We do desperately need someone to boss the midfield though, in a Keane, Schweinsteiger kind of way.”
“The Tragedy of DarrenFletcherinho (“FootballGenius”)”.
A follow-up to “The Unfortunate Knees of Owen Hargreaves”.
It’s impossible to “blame” SAF for these two consecutive bad luck stories these guys have really, really been missed in the big games for the last three years.
I’ve always wondered how well Barcelona – “the best team on the planet” – would have fared if UTD were able to play those two ManchesterTerriers. of course, we’ll never know the answer to that hypothetical but their absences have been crucial to UTD’s “under-performances” in those big matches.
Like I wrote above, why not get one guy who can provide that steel, energy, and drive – ready-made and not just potential-with-talent. The absence of such a player in the first eleven makes it penny-wise/pound-foolish to scour the bottom of the market. The cost of NOT doing that would have been amply re-paid by seeing TheLads progress in the CL and other cup competitions this year.
What about next year ? UTD won’t be any more of a threat in the big matches without getting that kind of player. Of course, it’s not just a matter of “strength, aggression etc” but those fighting qualities seem to missing from the current set of midfielders.
Well the success that teams like Inter and Chelsea have had against Barca suggests that we might have done alright against them if we’d had Fletcher and Hargreaves fit and available. Or even one of those players would have helped, because even if they’re not the greatest players in the world, a decent defensive midfielder is a massive improvement over none at all. Especially in the first final: Hargo Fletch and Carrick in the middle would definitely have cramped Barca’s style, and then we’d have had a good chance of Rooney, Ronaldo, and Tevez making something happen.
United usually play around 55-60 games a season, so if United are to keep on playing either 4-4-1-1 or 4-5-1 they will def need another midfielder.
That means we will need at about 120 games worth of appearances in central midfield. Carrick 40 Scholes 25 Cleverley 15 (injures) Anderson 15 (injures). That leaves 25 games to be filled by another player. At the moment that would be Jones, Park and Giggs!!! Also surely Fergie can’t think that Anderson, Cleverley and Dad’s army will remain fit or even Fletcher will recover?! Pogba if he stays and Tunnicliffe are too inexperienced.
Fletch is the new Hargo
If he gets close to fitness then we won’t be buying a CM, especially if Pogba signs too.
Oh god, oh jesus christ
Bri, you got our hopes up
You know the same old excuses will be coming soon. No value too costly blah blah blah. We all want a big signing who will fit in at united. I don’t care about the price as long as he is class but looking at who is available I’d say we should make hazard a priority.
3 centre midfielders Fergie 2 world class.
Scholes and giggs could retire with dignity.
Keep Cleverly and ship the rest out.
Quite like the Martinez bloke from Bilbao but in fairness we have had 5 years to earmark midfielders and not just wait to make a failed pretend attempt to sign whoever emerges from the Euros.
Our squad with Anderson Carrick Cleverly will always be good enough to Challenge for the league such is the actual standard of the Premier league.
As for Europe…. forget about it already.
Stock up on quality central world class midfielders, forget the strikers, leftbacks and goalkeepers.
Will we do this? Will we fuck.
Fergie’s now saying 2 or 3 in the summer. Kagawa is one and Clyne or Baines the other. That leaves one spot for a creative CM or a destroyer. Please let it be Hazard but if not, I am still haunted by visions of Yaya rampaging through our midfield. If we have to do it cheap, Tiote would do.
As for out, I don’t care about fees for anyone other than Berba but getting Park and Giggs off the wage bill will help.
Twisted – nah it’ll be another young kid. Somebody with “value” – a word Ferguson used again yesterday. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if Fergie’s been outbid on Hazard by City and that’s prompted the rant. If only the old fool actually stood up to the Glazers perhaps he’d have some moral right to moan.
I’m not sure where I come out on the big buy philosophy and might favor a bit of value buying. Should we have got Nasri at 24-25 million quid last summer? Yes. Should we be paying him City’s crazy 173-200K per week? No way even despite his mazy runs last Monday night. If that means we lose Hazard, it will hurt but so be it. No way given Eden’s limited resume at Lille and Belgium is he worth those wages. One would hope the boy has an advisor who can show him Nasri languishing on the bench at City for most of year and ask him whether wages are more importnt than playing. Naive I know. the sad thing is we may never see the best of Hazard if he goes to City. I guess whatever City will pay is what the market will bear but when we get to this point, the “na value in the market” argument acrually rings true to me. I’ve heard your argument that United should be in the big boy pool when it comes to wages and that is a measure of a big club moreso than transfer fees paid. However, regardless of United’s fiancial state, Nasri is nowhere close to worth that much. Turns out Ozil, the one that got away the year before was worth the wages but he was only ever going to one club. I’ve seen too many big money flops (Torres, Carrol) or big wage underperformers loaned out by City to want to see United waste what funds they have. Berba, our biggest buy of late, is no flop but in retrospect he did not fit in or Fergie did not adjust the team to suit him. Therefore the 30 mill would have been better spent elsewhere. Transfers are not an exact science so instead of flinging all our cash on one star, I’m not opposed to the shotgun approach of buying a Kagawa, Eriksen, Barkly and seeing who comes good. Got to be a Little Pea among that bunch eh?
I wonder what Newcastle United’s net spend has been for the last few years. The lack of value didn’t stop them signing cabaye, ba, cisse, tiote or ben arfa. Of course the Glazers have fucked us over but we made duff signings with whatever money we had. Or signed potentially decent players and mucked around with them. We seem to be hell bent in turning jones into the next O’Shea. The Glazers are of course right at the top of the tree in the blame game but there is a lot of blame to go round and fergie himself is not an innocent bystander. Look at the money wasted signing players we didn’t need like Ashley Young.
Now this summer, when we really need to spend on 5 or 6 top players we don’t have the money.
I wholeheartedly apologise!
Kagawa says he’s coming to United. That may mean Park is going to be sold too.
we have no pot to piss in , we’ll be lucky to get in the top 6 next season , keep going though and keep showing your support for the gimps
Two genuine needs — holding midfielder and a striker.
De Gea is already a sensational keeper. And Anders is no slouch either. We’re actually in pretty good shape on the back line, if Fabio and Rafael can stay healthy for 3-4 months at a time. Cleverley and Pogba have huge upside potential, while our wingers are second to none in the prem. We’ve got three decent forwards, but I would like to find another Welbeck if Macheda can’t make the cut. With all due respect to Fletcher, we could really use a mid like Javi Martinez. Not that he’d necessarily be an automatic starter on Day One, but I could see him lapping Carrick fairly quickly. A little more protection for the back line is what the doctor orders. No panic buys and no clear outs. I wouldn’t mind selling Park, however. If we can find a buyer for him and bring in Kagawa, all the better.