Manchester United wasting no time in the transfer market

By on April 9, 2010

javierhernandez

By Jason Mathias.

As Manchester United yesterday announced the signing of Mexican striker Javier Hernandez, it is clear that the club has no time for standing still. After clinching a deal for Fulham’s centre-back Chris Smalling earlier in the year, Sir Alex Ferguson seems to be sticking to his policy of buying young players and moulding them into players worthy of wearing the fabled red shirt. But is that what the club needs at this time?

Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez (it translates to ‘Little Pea’, apparently named after his green eyes rather than something else…whatever that would be) is a 21-year-old striker currently plying his trade for Chivas in his native Mexico. This season he has netted 21 times in 28 appearances and made 4 outings for the national team, scoring the same amount of goals. Having heard of the signing yesterday, and having no prior knowledge of the player, I immediately hopped onto YouTube hoping for compilations of screamers and solo goals where he dribbled passed half a team. As I do with any player we sign. While I didn’t find that, I was still impressed with the content. He seems equally as comfortable on his left foot as his right, and for a man of small stature (standing at 5’9) there were plenty of headed goals. Apparently the Mexican folk are quite giddy about his potential, so at a reported £10million, he could turn out to be a bargain. Of course, he could turn out to be Zoran Tosic.

The speed of the deal and its ‘out of the blue’ nature always excites me, as it did when we announced the signings of Anderson and Nani just after winning the title in 2007. ‘We’ve just won the title and now we sign two of the hottest prospects in Europe?! Fantastic!’ That’s what I appreciate about Fergie in the transfer market; he doesn’t hang around. It was the same with Rooney, Anderson, Nani and Smalling. Ferguson has acted fast in this case because of the upcoming World Cup. For all we know, Chicharito could win the Golden Boot, and then he’d be worth a great deal more than he is currently. Of course, now this brings a certain pressure on his shoulders as he goes in to the tournament, and it will be interesting to see if he can thrive under that.

In the current transfer market where inflated prices are very much prevalent, Ferguson is relatively reserved in his buying. He was priced out of a deal for Karim Benzema in the summer and blamed the lack of value which is currently dominating transfers. He should know having sold Ronaldo to Real Madrid for £80million a few weeks prior. So the signings of Smalling and Hernandez are indicative of his new policy; buying young players and hoping they fulfil their potential. In his press conference today he confirmed this.

“We like doing these kind of deals. We identify young talent and we’ve been good at that over the years. These are the kind of signings we prefer to make.”

So far this method has had mixed results. Rooney and Ronaldo have obviously gone on to become world class talents, and Nani may well be heading there if he can keep his head screwed on. The jury is still out on Anderson (personally I think he can make it), where the likes of Diouf, Obertan and Tosic are yet to really be given a chance, for different reasons. For me, there’s nothing better as a fan than seeing a young player come through and become a mainstay in the first team, but you have to wonder if it’s the right thing to do when these players are expected to take part so early in their career. Just look at Arsenal. While Arsene Wenger is brilliant at spotting young talent (in most cases), with them forming the spine of his team over the last few years Arsenal have found themselves without a trophy for 5 seasons. With the money from Ronaldo’s sale ready to be used, maybe Ferguson needs to relinquish his tight grip on it and find some players that can improve the team now instead of in 3 or 4 years. But where do we need to strengthen?

Looking through the squad, I think it’s hard to find any major weaknesses. The main concern I have is with central midfield. Michael Carrick seems to have gone backwards this season, and as legendary as they are, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes will have to be phased out soon. So in my mind we should be after a creative midfielder. Arsenal have Fabregas, Chelsea have Lampard, Liverpool have Gerrard, and we have…Darren Fletcher? I’ve wrote about the brilliance of Fletch but what he isn’t is a free-scoring midfielder who will slice open defences on a regular basis. There has been talk of James Milner, and while he is the most improved player in the Premier League this season, is he ready to step up into Champions League football? It’s a risk. Another player linked has been Napoli’s Slovakian international Marek Hamsik. I can’t say I’ve seen him play, but if his stats on Football Manager are anything to go by, he’s quite a talent. I jest of course, but maybe a relative unknown like him being linked is just evidence that there aren’t many players of this type around.

With Hernandez signed (assuming the work permit goes through), there is a plethora of strikers at the club. Rooney, Berbatov, Owen, Macheda, Welbeck, Hernandez, Diouf. I would guess that two would go out on loan (probably Welbeck and Diouf), leaving the 3 senior strikers and 2 up-and-comers. Not that that will stop the press linking us to the likes of David Villa and Karim Benzema. I think Benzema has the potential to replicate Ronaldo (the fat one) in terms of quality, and if he became available following his poor year at Real Madrid, I’d snap him up in a heartbeat. Of course, that would mean saying goodbye to Berbatov, something that might be easier said than done at his age where paying the required big fee would be off-putting for most clubs. Right-back could be a problem, with seemingly no stick-on first choice at the moment. Rafael will almost certainly take on the mantle in the next 2 years, but can we afford to risk his inexperience, Gary Neville’s age or the average but invaluable John O’Shea in the interim? In the goalkeeper position, I truly believe van der Sar might not be done for a couple more years. No mistakes have crept into his game and he looks as good as ever, a testament to his professionalism. I’m quite happy with him as Number 1, certainly for next season anyway. On the wings Valencia and Nani are capable of winning things for the club, and Park and Giggs, with possibly Obertan and Tosic, can provide great back up.

So with Smalling and Hernandez already signed for next season, it gives Ferguson and co plenty of time to find the creative midfielder we’re after to complete the first team. It could be Milner. It could be Hamsik. It could be Gourcuff. Or, with the way things are, it could be an under-21 international.

What do you think of United’s transfer policy? Who do you think we need to sign/what are the problem areas? Please leave your comments below.

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15 Comments

  1. ivan

    April 9, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    estodo el chicharito el mejr estamos orgullosos de ty i mas la irreberente de chivas de guadalajara

  2. Cristian

    April 9, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    I think that Hernandez is a great player, I saw videos on Youtube and looks like an excellent forward, Berbatov is a great forward too, but i think Hernandez is better and he would be the partner of Rooney.

  3. Tunde

    April 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    The forward need to be strethend with a more reliable striker than both babartov and owen and also the midfield need some enforcement by replaceing micheal carrick with a more agressive midfielder

  4. Cristian

    April 9, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    I agree with Tunde, the midfield is so weak compared with the midfield of other teams like chelsea or barcelona, I think United needs more agressive midfielders.

  5. Daniel

    April 9, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Hernandez looks great. But that shouldn’t stop Fergie buying another good striker (Chamakh/Agbonglahor) . However the defense hasn’t been up to standard and a new young keeper is needed (Hugo Lloris/ Joe Heart /Manuel Neur /or the CSKA Goalie). Lahm would be a dream right back or Bains from Everton and a center back like Ryan Shawcross or Richard Dunne is needed. Then Yaya Touré or Wilson Palacous for strenght and Gourcoff or Hamsik for creativity. I don’t there is enough on the wings so Milos Krasic or Bastos from Lyon would be a wise Asset. It would result in a few departures but would be for the better.

  6. sandra

    April 9, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    me alegro mucho por ti espero ke te balla muy bien tienes mucha suerte pero mas suerte tienen ellos por ke aora estaras en ekipo eres genial y maravilloso aparte de buen jugador eres muy muy guapo y bas allegar muy lejos .suerte

  7. wendy

    April 9, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    I am sooooooo happy that chicharito got into manchester. I think he is good enough to be there and i will cheer him on no matter what. ily chicharito !!!! 😀

  8. julio

    April 9, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Chicharito, like mentioned in the article, is a player that has great ability with both his right and left leg. He is a very fast sprinter and is able to dribble the ball past many opponents as well as pass it when it is necessary. He is not the type of footballer that is greedy and only worries about his own success, he cares for the success of the team overall. This kid has great potential. He is not 5’9″, he is only 5’7″! This makes his heading ability even more impressive. I am convinced that he will do great things for Mexico in the World Cup, and with further training and the great football of England, he will be one of the top players in the world. Good luck Javier, I know you can do great things. Cheers

  9. adan diarte

    April 9, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    chivharito is one of mexican best soccer players. At his short age he will be in the first team in the world cup and i hope he will be sucessful in manchester united.

  10. yadel

    April 10, 2010 at 4:27 am

    i feel sad that chicharito has to leave chivas im a big fan them but i think its great that he has a chance to prove himself in manchester united i think that if he has patience and works hard he will become one of the worlds greatest soccer players
    good luck

  11. Om@r

    April 10, 2010 at 10:38 am

    personally i think javier well do a fantastic jod at manchester. his hunger to succeed and his enormous talent well take him to the top. He has great speed great position on the fild he can score goals with both feet and has an amazing jump that makes him a great threat in the air. I wish him the best and i know he well show everyone what he is really made off:)

  12. Eugene

    April 10, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Lahm from Munich is a must buy to replace Neville

  13. Kevin Kolley

    April 12, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    I personally think that, in order for Manchester United to be better and stronger than teams like : Barcelona, Chelsea and Liverpool, we would need to buy at least 4 more players this summer, so we need 2 creative midfielders like : Goucurf and Hamsik as we already have Hargreaves and Fletcher and Anderson, and we also need to maybe get rid of Carrick and Babertov and Owen and get another quality striker to add with Rooney and Hernandez, and also send some young strikers like Diouf, Welbeck on Loan. When it comes to our Defence ( Raphael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra) could be our defensive line up for next season. So the best team for next season for Man Utd should be:

    Defenders: Raphael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra
    Midfielders: Fletcher, Gourcuff and Hamsik
    Second Strikers: Nani, Valencia or Di Maria
    Striker: Rooney (Hernandez)

    More like: 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 formations.

  14. Kevin Kolley

    April 12, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I personally think that, in order for Manchester United to be better and stronger than teams like : Barcelona, Chelsea and Liverpool, we would need to buy at least 4 more players this summer, so we need 2 creative midfielders like : Goucurf and Hamsik and Di Maria as we already have Hargreaves and Fletcher and Anderson, and we also need to maybe get rid of Carrick and Babertov and Owen and get another quality striker to add with Rooney and Hernandez, and also send some young strikers like Diouf, Welbeck on Loan. When it comes to our Defence ( Raphael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra) could be our defensive line up for next season. So the best team for next season for Man Utd should be:

    Defenders: Raphael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra
    Midfielders: Fletcher, Gourcuff and Hamsik
    Second Strikers: Nani, Valencia or Di Maria
    Striker: Rooney (Hernandez)

    More like: 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 formations.

  15. lil tazz

    May 4, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    thats whats up

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