Despite the outlay of over £50 million pounds many United fans still expect at least one more big money signing before the transfer window closes.
Luka Modric, Samir Nasri and Wesley Sneijder seem to be the most prominent protagonists of United transfer target stories, although you could also add Alexis Sanchez to that list as although waters been poured on the ‘moving to United’ fire there’s still some smoke left as his move to Barcelona drags on.
Like any other United, I more than welcome quality players coming to the club and would have no problem with any of the aforementioned players arriving at Old Trafford, even if it meant an outlay of £30 million.
There may remain some doubt as to whether United will sign any more players this season, but one thing is certain at least one or two seem destined for the exit door.
John O’Shea, Wes Brown , Darron Gibson , Gabriel Obertan and Dimitar Berbatov are the most commonly named players when it comes to the predicted United exodus, with some papers claiming that the likes of Jonny Evans and Tomas Kuszczak are also on their way.
Let’s be perfectly honest, you’d be hard pressed to find a United fan who’d lose too much sleep over the exit of Obertan, there’s a strong -or at least half decent – argument to be made that all of them could still offer something at United next season.
The loss of Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Edwin Van Der Sar and to a lesser extent Owen Hargreaves, deprives United of not just four experienced players but also particularly with the first two, men who know exactly what it means to play for Manchester United.
It’s not just about being able to perform when you’re at a club like United, it’s about understanding the sheer scale and size of the behemoth you’re now part of. It can overawe some players, while others may not ever fully grasp that the ‘United way’ doesn’t just mean what happens on the football pitch but also seaps into every fabric of your life.
Ryan Giggs’ extra marital indiscresions aside, almost every United player often has to conduct themselves in a manner that doesn’t give Sir Alex Ferguson cause to take his hairdryer out of the cupboard.
United is a beast far unlike any other in English football as no other club can come close to the fan base, history and expectation that goes with putting on that red shirt.
When winning a record breaking 19th title and making the Champions League final is seen as something of a disappointment in certain quarters, when your lowest attendance is larger than almost any other teams biggest then you know your part of something special.
Scholes and Neville know about being part of United better than anyone, while VDS and Hargreaves know what it’s like to acheive the sort of success the club demands.
O’Shea, Gibson and Brown have all been brought through the clubs ranks and played their part in it’s history. They also are still capable of doing a job, albeit from the fringes of the squad. While in the past I’ve argued that such a dedicated servant as Brown deserves to be allowed to move on, due to his lack of first team opportunities, I’d actually like to see Gibson and O’Shea kept on. Although that is highly unlikely, I think it’s important to keep hold of experienced players, or those that have come through the ranks and would actually welcome the two Irish internationals staying on.
Gibson may be persona non grata among many Reds but I’ve long since championed him as underrated squad player who serves a purpose especially against the so-called smaller clubs.
O’Shea began last season making me wanting to rip my hair out but actually proved his worth towards the end of the campaign with some assured displays. Regardless of whether you appreciate O’Shea or not, there’s no denying that any player with over 300 appearances for the Reds at least has the benefit of bringing experience to the side.
That brings me to Berbatov, who I think should be kept at the club at practically any cost. The Bugarian brings an extra dimension to the United side and although he’d obviously be behind Wayne Rooney and Chicharito in the pecking order he’s still a great option should injury or the amount of games be called into account.
Berbatov may not have convinced everyone but with 20 league goals last season, there’s no arguing that without him, it would be 18 titles instead of 19.
Even Kuszczak could still offer something at United, despite his somewhat self destructive display at Ewood Park. Unlike Anders Lindegaard the Pole’s got some real experience which may come in useful should David De Gea need a bit of a rest.
With three new signings and all the young players at the club plus the retiring of some of the ‘old guard’ now may not be the ideal time to see more trusted servants depart the club.
Buying another big name star may seem like the most important thing Sir Alex Ferguson could do this summer but keeping hold of some of the more experienced players at the club should be the real priority.
Read more of Justin’s articles at Red Flag Flying High