Vucinic To United Would Further Complicate Striking Pecking Order
With Mirko Vucinic’s agent stating that Manchester United are “very close to” his client, his potential arrival means questions will be raised over what Alex Ferguson will do to cull the seemingly crowded group of forwards he already has on the books.
Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, and Dimitar Berbatov are themselves three of the top strikers in the Premier League, and each face being left out of the team due to competition for places. Further, Michael Owen’s one-year extension sees him hoping to build on his 11 league appearances last year, but the return of Danny Welbeck and Federico Macheda from loan spells means that six may be a crowd. Macheda is still just 19, and may be loaned out again, but has stated his preference to stay in England. Welbeck had a very successful season with Sunderland last term, and the taste of first team football has done him a world of good. He made 26 appearances for the Wearsiders in the league, notching 6 goals, and has told the media that Ferguson has promised him a chance this year. Likewise, Owen still sees himself playing some role at the club, while Berbatov led the team in scoring with 22 goals, but failed to even make the bench for the Champions League final, with a starting duo of Rooney and Hernandez preferred, and Owen making the bench.
It is often said that, for clubs like United who compete in many competitions, squad rotation is a reality and a necessity; however, the addition of Vucinic would surely facilitate the loan or sale of at least one or two of the current strikers, seeing as there is no foreseeable way all will be content with their amount of playing time. Owen seemed the most likely to exit, but the club’s offer of a one year contract suggests Ferguson may value him in some way still. But with confidence gained from his stint in the Northeast, it would seem Welbeck is capable of handling the responsibilities given to Owen last year, and holding down the 4th striker spot.
Berbatov has been linked with a move away, but has continually come out in recent interviews proclaiming his desire to stay and fight for his place, praising United as the top of the footballing world. Any sale would presumably go against his wishes, although multiple Serie A clubs have been credited with interested in the Bulgarian frontman.
Hernandez was the signing of the season last year, and looks set to stay in Manchester for a long time, as does Rooney after his new contract after a brief period of indecision when it looked as if he would quit the club. Vucinic has a great record at Roma, scoring 62 goals in all competitions for the capital side since joining from Lecce in 2006, as well as impressing recently for the rising Montenegro team, but with a current side already overloaded with attacking options, his addition would not seem to make much sense, especially since he would struggle to get games.
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