There is a certain amount of MUFC ‘fans’ worldwide who are only interested in the stellar signings that are on offer in world football. Any player that doesn’t fall into this category gets given the dubious tag of “Not United quality”….When Valencia came from Wigan you heard this catchphrase quite alot. Yet 24 months later he is a hero to those very same fans
The long-term MUFC supporter I think has a much more balanced view on squad acquisitions. As very nice as it would be to nab a Sanchez or a Sneijder we understand that there are cost implications to be considered…and that means that the very marquee player names are off our radar. We don’t do bidding wars and that’s why despite agreeing terms in principle for a player like Sanchez, that selling clubs will always encourage a Christies style auction attended by the billionaires of Russia and Arabia..and we will be gazumped!
Which leaves us with the wide canyon of excellent footballers who sit below this uber player status. Ones who can improve your squad, without destroying your wage structure. The ones who have the potential to sell alot of shirts (see how many Chicharito 14s now grace Old Trafford) rather than have the divine right to sell Beckham quantities. The sort of player that can give you a bit more of the killer edge without posing you with the Veron style problem of the pressure to perform little miracles.
Ashley Young is that type of player.
At 25 he is the perfect age in my eyes. Still young. Still able to be moulded. But ultimately not a kid that’s gonna need years to settle. As people know I don’t bombard my readers with a dossier of facts and figures…but it doesn’t mean I don’t take a gander myself. With 50 club goals in around 250 appearances, the lad has an excellent strike rate (Well on par with Nani’s ratio) I like the fact that he’s also had good grounding from the Championship with Watford and has been very much a regular for Villa for half a decade…and that he’s had Martin O’Neill’s influence on him since a young age. He’s the type of player who is now ready to make the next step…just like Valencia was…and MUFC is tailor made for him as much as he is for us. His 2009 PFA Young Player of the Year award shows that his fellow pros rate the boy.
The problems this year for many of The Faithful, when looking at United weaknesses the past few seasons, has been the central midfield area. But I’m not so sure that Sir Alex shares the same view. I’d love nothing more than a Modric to pop up at our club, but wouldn’t be surprised to see Fergie leave it just one more year so he can oversee the potential of Tom Cleverley and maybe even begin the gradual integration of Tunnicliffe and Pogba. This means he may focus on other positions to strengthen. If Wes Brown departs it would be no surprise if the Manager looks at a replacement. However there is one position that goes under the radar when discussing United’s weaknesses:
And that’s the left wing
Now yes yes…i know! Nani plays left wing. Especially when Valencia is in top form. But no one can hide the simple fact. Nani is not a great left winger. Two footed he may be. But you would have to be blind not to see the difference in his form since he switched from the right where he played pre-Valencia injury. On the left he is ineffective for long periods of the game and has tactical problems. Whereas on the right he is much more dangerous and ultimately decisive. Looking at other left wing options…Giggs is no longer the flying wide man. Park, though employed left sided, is hardly your classic touchline winger. And Gabby Obertan…..no comment. This leaves us with a bit of a hole that may not be obvious to many on first glance. And this is where Young comes in.
Personally I think Young would be a revelation at United. He would thrive with a Rooney next to him on the inside rather than an Agbonlahor. And as we finally have a striker like Chico who can run that channel, Young would have that target man to link towards. It’s an exciting prospect I think, and also adds competition to Tony V and Nani who both shouldn’t just be automatic picks…strength in depth (I’m stealing that back from Alan Hansen!) is what has made MUFC great over the last twenty years and why we won the league this year. You can’t also look past the fact that a set piece specialist would be welcomed at Old Trafford. Our tendency to work the short corner rather than plonk the ball onto Vidic’s magnificent head sort of says it all. The lad has a great delivery and that is never something to be sniffed at. And he is by far and away a better player than all this “He’s merely average” that many of the Twitterverse proclaim.
Oh….and he scores goals!
Young will never be the sort of signing that will get the global fanbase’s collective heart pumping hard. But there has to be a realisation on what our club is built on. At around the £15 million and with only a year on his Villa deal, Young is prime fodder for us. He will do a job for us. He will get double figures for goals and assists in the Premier League every year. And he may just turn into a top class international footballer. I know many are craving that Ronaldo style messiah to worship since the mighty one packed his bag for the culture of Madrid, but United have shown this year that we can do it with more than just ‘The Power of One’.
We are the ‘Power of Many’….Park, Valencia, Fletcher, Carrick, The DaSilvas, Smalling, Evans, Gibson…even dear little Mickey O. The squad reigns supreme. We don’t have a Fabregas. We don’t have a Torres. And the fact remains….we don’t need one! Young would make us collectively stronger than we currently are…and that is all that matters.