Ok – Sir Alex has spoken. No more midfield players for United this summer, and instead we have the talent within to take us through the next season.
“In Fergie we trust” we often cry. We all use a “Fergie knows best” sentence to try and end a debate on players when someone has a fair point that you can’t disagree with. In general, Fergie’s word is gospel.
That is, unless you still really want to sign a certain player for a certain position…then he can easily be ignored, or accused of playing a mind game to either speeding up a sale, or keeping a price down.
“Fergie, Fergie sign him up…” didn’t you once cry…?!
With the speculation and giddy hype of some of the worlds biggest and best midfielder’s starting to die a death, I’m going to throw a new name in to the ring of a player, who I think is class and isn’t on the “Europe’s biggest clubs” radar, or City’s. I don’t think he’s on anyone’s summer spending list. A realistic purchase I believe, not an expensive one either – but one I reckon each and every red, at this current time, would think of him as a shrewd signing – a clever one, and at worst an amazingly effective stop gap for two or three years which would be a great answer to the need for a creative and attacking midfielder.
Ladies and gents, I give you….Mikel Arteta .
I’ve thought about how well the 29 year old Spaniard would fit in at the Theatre Of Dreams for years now. He’s had seven seasons in the Premiership with Everton, and is a player who is way more effective than the headline writers give him credit for. He’s easily forgotten about isn’t he? And I have no idea why?
He’s an artistic, and dynamic midfielder, and maybe a £6m to £10m bid by Fergie could secure the signing of the former Barcelona man – and improve a midfield which is in need of a little bit of orchestrating in terms of liquidising our football.
He got 9 assists in 29 games for Everton last season. Impressive. 5 in 13 the season before when he was out for a long time with a serious knee injury, and an impeccable haul of 23 assists in 35 games in the 2006/2007 campaign. Stick that together with 11 in 26; and 16 in 27 in the seasons in between, and you ask the question why he isn’t at a top four club. No disrespect to Everton, but imagine the damage he could bring in at that level with world class players surrounding him.
He may only have scored 27 goals in 172 games for the Toffees, but when we’re getting the goals from other areas as United always do, and the Spaniard is setting up 76 goals in those 172 games, is this guy worth a punt?
But it’s not just about the direct assists. It’s easily forgotten about in this world of stats and facts that build up play, passing, moving, and gaining fluidity throughout a passage of play is vital for an attacking team to succeed, and to do that you need someone with a bit of difference to spot the others who can go on and add to their assist tally.
Arteta’s qualities and technical ability are typical of that of a player from Y Viva Espana. Close control, vision, skill, elegance and timing of that killer ball to put it on a silver platter for his strikers. The stuff we’ve been lacking in the last 12 months.
To me, it means that if the deals for the Dutch one, or the Arsenal player…or any other ‘big’ name are dead in the water, Sir Alex could much worse than take a look at someone just down the road in Merseyside to be our new maestro on the block.
If people say we’re “sh1t” champions, then they’re wrong. We’re efficient. Playing within our means. But someone like Arteta will be able to provide us with the fluidity, creativity and build up play in the middle of the park to take us from “sh1t” to entertaining once again.
Fergie…sign him up?
Read more of Steve Crabtree’s articles at Red Flag Flying High