I just came back from an argument with my landlord. It was a problem with my apartment’s internet. As it happens, I was out of the loop for just a day and what a day it has been.
DAMN! So much has happened. And I thought the summer was going to be boring.
Well anyway, Nani – dubbed the next Ronaldo – and Anderson – dubbed the next Ronaldinho are coming to OT. So let’s see what this means to our team composition next season.
First, here is a thanks to Carlos Queiroz. Portugal has become a breeding ground for great young talent of late. Our assistant manager has been very influential in the past with the Ronaldo situation. Him staying on with United during the turbulent post world cup mess had to do a lot with Carlos Queiroz’s presence and advise. The spectacular season that Ronaldo’s had has also gotten these two young kids interested. Ronaldo must surely have become a role model for the kids back in Portugal. And the Portuguese speaking contingent in United now grows to three (plus Queiroz).
The other thing that needs to be lauded is the transfer strategy of United this summer. While last year, David Gill and Sir Alex made claims public about wrapping up the transfer business before the world cup. What resulted was more speculation linking the club with every conceivable defensive midfielder. When nothing was done prior to the cup, desperation set in afterwards, with potential United targets having dream world cups and player prices shooting sky high. All we managed was a Michael Carrick, who despite being an excellent buy, was a tad overpriced by a couple of millions.
This time, it has been more Wenger-esque, with the only difference being that the young players we’ve bought have been coveted by other clubs too and are not relative unknowns. The deal bring both of them is reported to be in the region of GBP 30 million. Quite a catch this season following the arrival of Owen Hargreaves.
Anderson has been a product of the Brazilian club Gremio, the home of Ronaldinho. He plays more as an attacking midfielder, winger or a striker. He has been called to the Brazilian senior team for the Copa America. He comes with his own pack of tricks and he also seems a strong kid. I doubt if he’d be played into the first team straightaway. But if this is all the business the club plan this summer, I think it means more time for Rossi to get a good run in the first team. However I would like either Saha or Smith to stay and see how the season pans out for them. If Saha can stay fit, then I think he would edge Smith out. Ole could go to Sunderland for all you know.
Nani looks more likely to play more next season. Hopefully he will learn a lot from his idol, Ronaldo, not just football-wise, but it will also help him settle down in England much more easily than Ronaldo when he came over.
The purchase of more flair players like these two only bodes well for the club’s future. More sexy football to come. More trickery and one-touch football, and the bite in the midfield with Hargreaves’ arrival will see a much subdued role for Scholes and Giggs. There will be more focus on a 4-2-3-1 formation. Hopefully all the flair and high tempo football gets us the end product we so need, and does not end up like Arsenal’s 06/07 season.
Anyway, to borrow from Ahmed, I never felt this happy for a long time.
A big thanks to whoever got these transfers through.
While most of you might have seen Nani’s compilation videos due to interest, all these months of tiring speculation created, we’ve instead embedded a Youtube compilation of Anderson.