It’s official now. Looks like Gill and Ferguson are a bit bored with such quick activity in the transfer market that they now feel the need to sign someone else to keep the place buzzing with activity. You know, even I’ve been in such situations when I wrapped up my transfer dealings for Bristol City (in Football Manager) in 3 days flat. The rest of the pre-season then becomes an ordeal of emptiness that prompts some more spending just for the heck of it.
Anyway, I am sure that’s not the same with Gill and Fergie.
Manutd.com had this to say and while Sky Sports’ headline read: ‘Gill Hints at Striker Move’, the official word seemed more sure about it: ‘Reds Eye Striker Signing’. Anyway here’s an excerpt from the article:
“We have looked at it and we don’t rule out another signing,” Gill told Sky Sports News. “That area is a striker but we will see what happens. We’re not desperate for it but if one came along that Alex felt would improve the squad we’re prepared to do that.”
This was what I would think too. I don’t think they would dive in and scramble in their bid to land any striker just for adding up the numbers. They might have certain strikers in mind and if a good deal comes by they would definitely buy the striker. I am also sure that, going by the way they have played in the market so far, a deal might very well come out of nowhere without giving the media a sniff. I wouldn’t expect them to pay way over the odds for a striker. Remember, although the media has talked up our big spending, a big chunk of the money would come from performances and so on. So we aren’t really losing out if we end up paying more if our new signing helps the team win a cup or a title – that’s good return on an investment. Makes perfect business sense.
The other thing that Gill said in the article would certainly be something that will get a lot of tongues wagging:
“There will be some changes but it would be wrong to comment as to that but I think they are discussions we will have internally,” he added. “We have a got a large squad now, so there should be some people leaving, not many at all.
“There should be some leaving and don’t forget we have some great players coming back who have been on loan. We want competition for places, we are looking to improve the squad and to take it on from last year
The arrival of a striker would see at least one striker (if not two) move away. Lot of people have talked about Heinze’s move but as long as there’s no official word from any of the parties involved, everything is blind and empty talk. Among the strikers, Smith or Solskjaer would be the likely candidates (I have a feeling even Saha might go if a good deal comes by).
There are arguments for each one of them. Lot of fans may have their own favourite striker. Ole remains everyone’s favourite. I saw a comment from a fan that questioned why I thought Ole should leave. Yes, he scored the most crucial goal in United’s recent history. That remains beyond doubt. That was like, umm… 8 years back? Yes, he has scored many more crucial goals as a supersub, is a model professional for the youth in training, is liked by everyone at the club, is a very good finisher. Lot’s of positivity. But he is aging. However hard he might try, he will be limited by his aging legs. He’s had surgery. Last season, if you watched carefully you may have realized that he cannot possibly be expected to start a game and play for more than an hour. You would want your striker to play longer than that. He did score some goals, but you can only expect them to get less and less every season from now. Anything more would be a bonus and it’s not something you can plan for.
Ole will remain a great player for us, and I would like to see him play a more important role among the back room staff in a coaching role when he hangs up his boots. Till then a move to Sunderland might seem possible.
Some arguments can be made for and against Saha and Smith and it will always remain a talking point. Both players might have reasons to feel aggrieved if they are sold. Among other players, especially the youngsters Rossi and Pique will feature more in the news (like they already are) linking them to a host of clubs among the possible departures. Although I wouldn’t want either of them to leave without being given a run out.
In the end, what satisfies me is the desire shown by the management to improve the team. In light of takeovers of other clubs by rich foreign owners, the only thing that can guarantee our club stay afloat and keep pace will be putting the smart money on the right players. The youth system is all well and good. It’s a great feeling to have a youth product go on to become a star for the first team, but until that happens, we have to hope that our acquired starlets come good.