Rooney has signed a new contract but the tongue-wagging continues – everyone from the 3 Up Front team on this week’s show to your friendly neighbourhood rumour mill – think that Wayne Rooney is out on his way from Manchester United.
And even if he isn’t, the ‘promise’ of extra spending on the Manchester United squad means that every quality young player will be linked to United before the transfer window actually opens (after which this really, really old sagas will start all over again.
This morning three new players were linked with United – Slovakian attacking midfielder Marek Hamsik, Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani and Welsh winger / left back Gareth Bale.
Chances are that you’ve seen Bale recently, Cavani at the World Cup and Hamsik intermittently through YouTube highlights, Serie A clips and the odd Euro / World Cup qualifier. Fair enough. The big question for United fans isn’t whether these players are needed (a good case can be made for all three), but whether they will actually fit in at a BIG club and then, whether they will fit in at Manchester United.
Berbatov – Lord of White Hart Lane – hasn’t exactly lit up Old Trafford in the last two seasons (he’s not done too bad either, but that’s how things are). He also hasn’t scored for United since the Liverpool hat-trick. A quality player and ultimately good enough for United, but not worth 30m.
Carrick – Master of Tottenham’s midfield – shone in his first year at United before progressively losing his place and his form. He is good but hasn’t improved in the areas he was required to improve in, and as the team’s character has changed, Carrick’s lack of adaptability counts against him. To be fair though, he was outstanding when called upon to fill in central defence last season. Worth 16m, but maybe not a perfect fit?
Bale will definitely add value to the side but that is if United determine that a) Fabio is not going to progress into the player they expect him to be and b) in a squad heavy on right-footed wingers, Bale will be the natural successor to Ryan Giggs. Whether he can keep up with the expectations from a United player is a different story altogether. And Tottenham will not sell for less than 30m, and he’s definitely not worth that much.
Cavani and Hamsik are in the same basket – Cavani could be this decade’s Forlan (of United years) or he could be the South American Eto’o – it’s difficult to say until he’s pushed to the top level, but United scarcely need another forward (unless of course Rooney leaves, which is what this whole thing hinges on). Hamsik is due a big move sooner or later but it’ll more likely be to a bigger Italian club or a Spanish club than United – and that’s more to do with how his playing style suits those leagues more (although as Rafael Van der Vaart has proved, you can be technical and survive in the Premier League.
So, final verdict on Cavani, Hamsik and Bale? My guess is that until we reach Christmas and United have had Macheda, Anderson and Hernandez play more games, you can’t say for sure. If Rooney is really going to go, all bets are off, but Bale is still going to be on a massively over-inflated transfer fee and therefore not really worth it.
It’s not Football Manager folks, you don’t always get to bring in young talented players and win the league with them that easily.