If the last couple of weeks have shown us anything with Manchester United’s squad it is that this summer looks like being one where there will be comings and goings at Old Trafford. The deficiencies in certain areas of the pitch have been highlighted more during the major defeats to Chelsea and Bayern Munich and one position that I reckon should be of importance is the attacking midfielder role- something that David Silva can perform admirably, and United would be wise to chase the signature of the Spaniard.
The first link between United and Silva actually appeared last summer, but at that time the targets for who Ferguson wanted to sign were clear. Now that we are one year on it seems the lack of options in the attacking part of the midfield have been identified and maybe the Valencia player can prove to be the answer- and not just a link between the player and the club. Silva has age on his side because he is only 23 and would fit in with the policy of buying youngsters. From what I have seen of Silva he has the class to provide the invention, along with the quickness, and that extra bit of magic to the midfield at Old Trafford. However, he comes under the category of a player who’s fee would undoubtedly rise after a successful World Cup with Spain and it is rumoured that the only price Valencia would sell him at is already around £25m. Do United have that amount of money to spend on one player?
United’s current midfielders are all capable players but they are mainly of a defensive position. The likes of Darren Fletcher, Owen Hargreaves and Michael Carrick all play quite deep and their main qualities are ball-winning, tackling and passing that is more of a simple standard, bar Carrick. Other than that you are left with wingers and Anderson who Ferguson seems to have given up on. Silva has shown that he plays as a winger, and in the centre, so that versatility could encourage Ferguson to try and sign him. It’s worrying that, once again, looking abroad for talent continues to occur but what British players are capable of fulfilling a tricky role at a big club? Joe Cole has frequently been mentioned in the last few weeks but I have my doubts as to whether he can realistically join United. Silva has given hints in the past that joining the Premier League is tempting. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, last September, he said: “It’s an honour for any player that a club of the prestige of Manchester United should follow them and that in itself is enormous praise. Valencia have rejected offers for me in the past few months and I am happy here. But I also know that the Premier League is a big competition and hard to resist.”
Silva’s signing would make sense from a point of view that he would be able to establish the position to himself. If United do buy him than clearly it will be for quite a sufficient amount so is he really going to sit on the bench? There is creativity, skill and flair on United’s flanks but in the centre of the pitch too much is relied upon Rooney to produce the goods- the Spaniard’s qualities to play in the middle will be very beneficial to the team. As far as other clubs go, Liverpool have constantly been linked with him as well. It is unsurprising to hear that the Anfield club are involved because of the fact that they have a Spanish manager who has had a high contingent of Spanish players during his tenure at the club. It would appear that United would have the edge in a financial battle should both signal genuine interest in Silva. As much as United are in trouble regarding the debts, Liverpool’s monetary problems have come in to the foreground even more in the last few days and would have the problem of attracting Silva should they fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League. Valencia themselves are in financial difficulties and in a bidding war it would probably be United, rather than Liverpool, that could come up with more cash- but I imagine that Ferguson would not want to pay anywhere over the supposed £25m.
The reasons for United needing a midfielder like Silva have been shown in the team’s last few games, and in addition to that I’m sure the Red Devils would make a better case for his signature than Liverpool would due to on and off the pitch reasons. The art of being a creative midfielder is arguably one of the hardest on the pitch but United can be guaranteed that they would be buying someone who has proved it in a league of significant value; he has age on his side and will prove more than a match for the Premier League’s defenders. Whilst it looks as if last summer’s rumour with Silva drifted away, this summer if United actually buy him, over other attacking midfielders, it could prove to be significant in the long term.
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