Posted by hakanrylander on May 19, 2010
You don’t need to be an expert in neither football nor finance to read between the lines this morning. In “unrelated”(!?) developments the Glazers face an interest rate hike on the already costly PIK-loans, while Sir Alex claims that he’s happy with the balance of the squad and that there may be only one signing this summer. The rate hike increases the pressure on the Glazers to take even more money out of United to pay off the loans. This in turn means that the transfer budget for this summer will be even tighter than most of us anticipated. I expected Ferguson to make two important signings, but my summer shopping list has now been revised to include just one name.
Goalkeeper. There’s no question that we soon need a long-term replacement for Edwin van der Sar, but this won’t happen this summer and I think we’re allright for next season with VDS, Kuszczak and Amos. My only concern is that my prefered choice to replace VDS, Manuel Neuer, will move to Bayern Munich if we don’t snap him up this summer.
Defence. No desperate need for new signings even if I would love a world-class right-back (Lahm, Maicon) and some doubts remain about the fitness of Ferdinand and Vidic’s (wife’s) attitude to life in Manchester.
Midfield. Scholes and Giggs surely enter their last season and there are plenty of questionmarks over Hargreaves, Anderson and Carrick. This means that if money was available we should go for Jack Rodwell. I believe he will be a key player for England in the next decade. A perfect long-term signing, but if the owners only allow one new player it will have to be someone who will offer more immediate support for Rooney.
Attack. Ideally, the player we look for should be able to play alongside Rooney, just behind him as well as wide. And also be able to play up front when Rooney is missing. He also needs to be both goalscorer and playmaker, and be good enough to really make a difference, in short world-class. This, of course, limits the choice somewhat and takes us into a price-bracket where the Glazers might not be at all comfortable. I believe that the player who best fits this description, and might be available, is Sergio Aguero of Atletico Madrid. You have an opportunity to scout him in the Spanish Cup Final tonight.
Posted in Financial, Manchester United, Transfer Gossip | Tagged: Alex Ferguson, Glazer, Jack Rodwell, Manchester United, Sergio Aguero | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hakanrylander on December 3, 2009
United today backed out of the agreement to sign 18-year-old Serbia Under-21 international Adem Ljajic, otherwise known as “Little Kaka”. The official explanation is that “having closely monitored his development over the past 12 months” the club has chosen not to pursue the transfer.
I have no first hand opinion on Ljajic’s development over the past 12 months and would welcome any input from Serbian readers. But the collapsed deal of course raises questions whether the Glazers have told Ferguson that there is little or no money to spend, and if this in turn indicates that the club and its owners are heading towards a financial crisis.
I do, however, believe that the main reason for opting out of the deal is that Ferguson has other major plans in the transfer market. Over the last few months it might have dawned on him that the he needs to sign a world-class goalscorer (Dzeko?) a goalkeeper (Neuer?) and, considering the different kind of question marks over Ferdinand and Vidic, a central defender (Rodwell?). This would add up to a very substantial outlay. In parallell the development of some of the youngsters already at the club might have made it seem less urgent to bring in another promising teenager (apart from Rodwell, that is…).
The Glazers, by all accounts, can pinch pennies with the best of them, but I don´t believe the Ljajic deal is an example of this. I think it looks more like a smart allocation of resources, having identified more pressing needs.
I hope Ljajic has a successful career ahead of him. But I will probably be disappointed if he does indeed become the next Kaka.
Posted in Financial, Manchester United, Transfer Gossip | Tagged: Adem Ljajic, Alex Ferguson, Edin Dzeko, Glazer, Jack Rodwell, Manchester United, Manuel Neuer | 1 Comment »
Posted by hakanrylander on November 23, 2009
“It was easy, though, to see why United are being prominently linked with Jack Rodwell, who played with a maturity beyond his 18 years. The teenager is two-footed, tall, plays with his head up and always wants the ball. He looks like a United player in the making.”
Daniel Taylor, Guardian.
Posted in Player Analysis, Transfer Gossip | Tagged: Daniel Taylor, Everton, Jack Rodwell, Manchester United | 7 Comments »
Posted by hakanrylander on November 22, 2009
1. Normally I’m on the edge of my seat worrying that the game will take a turn for the worse even when United are dominant. Not so in this game. I felt that United were totally in control throughout. This probably stemmed mostly from central midfield. Darren Fletcher (now generally known as “football genius“) had a great game, but so did Michael Carrick. Carrick’s brilliance is sometimes understated as it’s often “just” about positional sense and hitting the simple passes right. You tend to notice Carrick’s importance most when he’s not on top of his game as the United engine then tends to stutter.
2. Antonio Valencia gets better and better. He has the rare quality that every time he gets the the ball I feel he will make something happen. The only other United players that give me this feeling are Rooney and Evra. Valencia even smiled after scoring.
3. We will probably have to get used to a mixed bag of performances from Ryan Giggs this season. Sometimes he makes brilliant use of his vision and experience, while at other times he drifts out of games. Pehaps not surprisingly at his age. This was not one of his better days.
4. If we can sign Jack Rodwell for £20m he will be worth every penny. Nothing very remarkable in this game, but he looks total class.
Posted in Match Reports | Tagged: Antonio Valencia, Darren Fletcher, Everton, Jack Rodwell, Manchester United, Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs | 2 Comments »
Posted by hakanrylander on November 15, 2009
With 47 days to go until the opening of the January transfer window speculation about possible deals has slowly been rising in recent weeks, but today I felt the floodgates of rumours were finally fully opened. If every tabloid and their dogs (below) are to be believed, we will sign the following players in January: Carlton Cole, Jack Rodwell, Philipp Lahm, Edin Dzeko, Connor Wickham, Romelu Lukaku, Marouane Chamakh, Franck Ribery, Yaya Toure, Simon Kjaer and probably a few others as well. Or if we don’t actually sign them we will at the very least “closely monitor the situation”.
Transfer rumours normally stem from two main sources. Either an agent who wants to create the impression that his client is very much in demand, or a journalist who puts two and two together at his desk. Neither is a very firm foundation for credibility. It remains for each reader to decide whether it makes sense for United to target a certain player. In today’s avalanche of rumours I’ve picked up two that I feel are both reasonably credible and highly desirable:
- Three c(l)ubs in tug-of-war over Jack Rodwell.
Jack Rodwell (Everton) is the most promising teenager in the PL. He is versatile and equally comfortable in central defence or as a holding midfielder. At 18 he was very impressive in the European Under-21 finals and I don’t think it will be very long before he plays for England. David Moyes will be desperate to keep hold of him, but Everton could find it hard to resist the financial might of United and Chelsea. These three clubs are likely fight it out, but probably not until the summer.
Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich) is one of the best full-backs in the world. He could play either side, but United would want him mainly as a right-back. This rumour is probably of the put-two-and-two-together variety since United have reportedly been interested in the past and Lahm’s position is now uncertain following his recent criticism of Bayern’s transfer policy and lack of strategic planning.
Rodwell would be a long-term investment, but the arrival of Lahm would immediately strengthen the first XI. Neville is past his best, probably Brown too, O’Shea is adequate cover while Rafael might become o world-class player, but that’s still a few years down the line.
My guess is that we will not see an awful lot of activity from Ferguson in January. But it might be a good idea to move quickly for Lahm while he’s unhappy about Bayern’s suits. And then we will hopefully pull out all stops to get Rodwell in the summer.
Posted in Transfer Gossip | Tagged: Jack Rodwell, Manchester United, Philipp Lahm | 1 Comment »
Posted by hakanrylander on November 12, 2009
With the January transfer window approaching I’ve put together a list of the players presently in the PL that I would most like to see at United. Don’t look upon it as a shopping list. The emphasis is probably on dreams rather than realism. But maybe three or four could conceivably be realistic targets. The list takes into consideration the new United policy of not signing players aged 26 or above for large transfer fees. I have no idea how strict this policy will turn out to be, but from a financial point of view it makes a lot of sense.
- Fernando Torres, Liverpool. (25) Best striker in the world. Has an amazing ability to make the difficult art of scoring look very easy.
- Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal. (22) As close to Barcelona-passing as it gets in the PL. Would be nice to have him around when Scholes retires.
- Luca Modric, Spurs. (24) Superb ball-control and incisive passing. Able to play on either wing or through the middle.
- Theo Walcott, Arsenal. (20) Has enough pace to beat any defender in the world.
- Jack Rodwell, Everton. (18) The most promising teenager in the PL. Equally comfortable in central defence or as a holding midfielder. An England star for many years to come.
- James Milner, Aston Villa. (23) Hard-working midfield winger who is also the best crosser of a ball in the PL.
- Thomas Vermaelen, Arsenal. (23) Central defender who can play a bit. Has taken to the PL like a duck to water.
- Abou Diaby, Arsenal. (23) Classy box-to-box midfielder but strangely not a regular starter for Arsenal.
- Micah Richards, Manchester City. (21) Has lost his way somewhat for City and England. Needs Fergie to re-ignite his tremendous potential. The next Patrick Vieira.
- Stephen Ireland, Manchester City (23) A pity if City’s recruitment drive will put him in the shadows.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: Abou Diaby, Cesc Fabregas, Fernando Torres, Jack Rodwell, James Milner, Luca Modric, Manchester United, Micah Richards, Stephen Ireland, Theo Walcott, Thomas Vermaelen | 2 Comments »