The likes of Mesut Ozil, Wesley Sneijder, Luis Suarez and Karim Benzema were all linked with moves to Old Trafford; only for Ferguson to refuse to match the inflated prices he was being quoted. After labelling last summer as ‘silly season’ in the transfer market, Ferguson was in no mood this time around to entertain the outlandish prices placed on the heads of some of Europe’s most-wanted talent.
Despite the club’s failure to land a marquee signing, Sir Alex still spent £27m this summer, securing the signatures of some of the hottest young talent in global football. Defender Chris Smalling was bought from Fulham for £10m, while Mexican livewire Javier Hernandez was signed from Primera Division side Guadalajara for the same fee. The relatively unknown 20-year-old forward Bebe was also added to the United ranks from Vitória de Guimarães for approximately £7m.
Investing in the club’s future, Ferguson has again decided to put his faith in his young guns. He will hope it will pay dividends, as it did in 1995 when he threw the likes of David Beckham and Paul Scholes into his first-team, a move which helped United land the title that season. The Scotsman doesn’t believe the current transfer market represents good value and is instead looking to protect the long-term future of the club.
“We’re looking at something different. We’ve signed Chris Smalling for £10m, Javier Hernández for £6m and Mame Biram Diouf for £4m and a bit,” revealed SAF earlier in the summer.
“People clamouring for big signings are missing the point; £20m is a lot of money to spend on young players, but that’s what we like to do – get players who are going to develop in the club, because the long-term view has got to be important here.”
After pocketing a world record £80m from the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid last summer, Ferguson has been rather prudent in the transfer market by his standards. Whilst previous seasons have seen big money splashed on the likes of Dimitar Berbatov, Juan Sebastian Veron and Wayne Rooney, Sir Alex has decided to curb his spending over the last few years. His total outlay a year ago was under £20m, when he signed the trio of Michael Owen, Antonio Valencia and Gabriel Obertan. However this left United with just a League Cup to show for their efforts last term.
A creative centre midfielder was expected to be added this summer and Ferguson has been criticised for not competing with Real Madrid to land the highly-rated Ozil, who moved to the Bernabeu for a cut-price £12m earlier this summer. Despite failing to make any major moves in he transfer market Ferguson insists he still has the £80m from the sale of Ronaldo to spend. Ferguson’s failure to spend is a ringing endorsement of the current United squad as they look to wrestle the Premier League crown back from free-scoring Chelsea and land a record 19th league title.
The Red Devils have may not have secured a star signature this summer but with the highly talented youngsters at Ferguson’s disposal, United fans should look forward to the rest of the season with a hopeful optimism.
Did Rio and Nemanja make it into the top 5 PL centre back partnerships of all-time? Find out HERE