With Manchester United having suffered five defeats already this season, Rant looks at ten players who could boost the club’s domestic and European ambitions in 2010 and beyond. As silly season approaches, each of these players will move to the club in a multi-million deal, according to the media that is!
Manuel Neuer: The 6’3″ German stopper is on the verge of taking the number one spot for his country ahead of the World Cup in South Africa next year. Schalke’s prize asset will not come cheap at more than £10 million but Neuer, watched by United scouts consistently over the past year, has presence and technique. While Sir Alex Ferguson is unlikely to recruit a ‘keeper mid-season a summer move seems possible with the 24-year-old ready to make a step up.
Igor Akinfeev: The 23-year-old ‘keeper produced a couple of decent displays against United in Champions League Group B to bring the Russian number one to the forefront of many supporters’ minds. While United scouts have watched the CSKA Moscow captain on many occasions there are doubts about the player’s stature at just 6″1″.
Phillip Lahm: United’s interest in the German international appears to have been no secret for the past 18 months, although a concrete bid has never been placed with Bayern Munich for the 26-year-old. The Munich-born defender, who can play on either flank, would offer solidity in the right-back area with Gary Neville, Rafael da Silva, John O’Shea and Wes Brown suffering injuries in recent times.
Ezequiel Garay: Real Madrid’s fourth-choice central defender is available with the free-spending Spanish outfit seeking to cut club debts. While a mooted loan agreement is unlikely to happen with Madrid is seeking quick cash, a £5 million fee is more realistic for the Argentinian. Ferguson’s interest, despite injuries to each of his central defenders this season, is another point altogether.
Michah Richards: Surely a move across town is inconceivable for the England international defender who is yet to secure a consistent place in Mark Hughes’ side? Richards, once the bright young thing of the England side, has something of an ‘attitude problem’ that has not found favour under Hughes’ austere management.
David Silva: The stylish Spanish international, who can play through the centre of midfield or wide-left, is available from cash-strapped Valencia. Talented, creative and with an eye for goal, Las Palmas-born Silva could be the answer to United’s lack of creativity through central areas this season. However, his slight frame, £20 million plus price and Gabriel Obertan’s emergence may count against a move to the Premier League champions.
Franc Ribéry: While Ferguson is a huge admirer of the multi-talented Frenchman, Ribéry’s proposed price means that a move to Real Madrid or Chelsea is almost inevitable. Ferguson has consistently complained of little value in the transfer market and the £45 – £60 million price tag placed on the former-Marseille winger’s head is ample evidence.
Alan Dzagoev: Rumoured to interest Real Madrid, Dzagoev is surely destined for bigger things. The CSKA Moscow player, 19, scored at Old Trafford during the 3-3 draw with United in November and has broken into the full Russian national team this season. With a one-in-three strike rate, Dzagoev would offer United not only creativity but goals from midfield too.
David Villa: Valencia’s goal-machine Villa would surely light up the Premier League. With a goal-a-game ratio at international level, Villa would complement United’s current strikers. However, a transfer might break Dimitar Berbatov’s fragile confidence and the Glazers’ bank at more than £30 million.
Jan Klass Huntelaar: Once again linked with a move to United this week, Huntelaar is available after just six months in Milan. This followed an equally short spell in Spanish football with Real Madrid. Quite why Ferguson is apparently interested, despite the Dutchman’s excellent goalscoring record in domestic football, is unclear.
Karim Benzema: The pacey, talented, great white hope of French football moved to Real Madrid in a £35 million deal this summer. Ferguson, outbid by the Spanish side, was hugely disappointed to miss out on the former Lyon forward. Benzema’s direct style would certainly add something to United’s squad but would the fans take to a player for whom United was second best?
10 thoughts on “United’s ten for 2010”
I think Dzagoe is in talks with AC Milan.
We need a goalscoring midfielder so David Silva would be a welcome choice!
I’d also swap Berbatov for Villa any day!
stefan defour, marek hamsik and mezut ozil.
If I had to pick out 3 players from that lot, I’d choose:
Manuel Neuer – Seems to have everything needed to be the new United #1. Great physique, technically superb, incredibly quick and agile. Mentally capable of overtaking VdS.
By buying a proper keeper, we would secure a long term replacement for Edwin Van der Sar, before his price soars through the roof during the next World Cup.
David Silva – A creative genius and absolutely world-class. Any price below £25m is a bargain. Skilled on AND OFF the ball. Great touch and vision. A MUST buy.
David Villa – Proven goalscoring record on the highest level. Gets my vote above Benzema, because of his goal to match ratio, in addition to being a freekick specialist. Not many know this, but he also has a workrate like Rooney/Tevez and is FAR better tactically than any of the strikers mentioned above. Benzema is a fantastic striker, and without a doubt the right type of player for United, but he didn’t seem interested in joining, and might have some problems winning over the United fans.
What I like most about the Silva/Villa combination, is that they already know each other, both on and off the pitch. Making settling in at United so much easier for both players. Add to the fact that Liverpool would REALLY blossom with these two players, it could give us the additional edge over the scousers, and let us really rub their nose in it.
Imagine the combinations with Rooney/Villa, Villa/Berbatov, Silva lurking behind them all, feeding his perfectly weighted passes through to three of the most gifted forwards on the planet…
Marek Hamsik is good, but not even close to David Silva.
Hamsik, Oezil, Dzeko and Lahm all the way. It’s good to dream.
uh…huntelaar isn’t that good is why ferguson isnt interested.
dzeko is the strike option i’m sure. defour is the other consistent, real rumor and iwouldnt mind him either. i don’t think hamsik is going anywhere to be honest.
great white hope? irony??
I realise that these are the players we’ve been linked with, but it’s not very exciting is it?
GK – Preferably Neuer, he reminds me of Schmikes, but as ou say can’t imagine a buy till the summer.
DF – I expect some experienced RB/CB cover this Jan, Gary Neville is awful now, Brown is injury prone and Rafael is not ready yet. Seems like Kjaer is a possibility.
MF – A quality creative midfielder is the real necessity at present. When SAF talks about value, I think he’s talking wages too and Ribery’s wage demands are ridiculous by all accounts. I expect Ribery to be at Real next year. Can’t see Silva making an impact in England and SAF has had plenty of opportunites to buy him the past. My preference is Gourcuff or Hamsik or Defour.
FW – There’s no chance of SAF buying Benzema after he rejected us in the summer. Huntleaar has failed at two big clubs, can’t see him getting a 3rd chance. Villa would be a dream bu just can’t see it. I think we’re ok for strikers anyway, we need more creativity from the midfield.
dude Dzagoev is not in talks with milan… Krasic is ..
Dzagoev himself said he wants to play for Chelsea.. and idolizes Frank Lampard