Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughUnited January Signings? (Yes Rumours Already) - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough United January Signings? (Yes Rumours Already) - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

United January Signings? (Yes Rumours Already)

Recently I have heard little rumours here and there about January transfer targets for Sir Alex Ferguson.

Don’t worry it’s not the dreaded ‘S’ name with have heard all summer (Wesley Sneijder in case you forgot) but a few young stars and of course Mario Gotze will be linked come January and summer 2012. 

While rumours and the term “According to one source” seem to get our brain cells going and our full dedicated attention, the question should be is it even worth thinking about improving the squad considering the start to the season we have had?

Constantly rumours surface linking the newest hot prospect in Spain/Italy/Germany with transfers to Manchester United or Chelsea.  Understandably we will not be looking to add to our squad come January but obviously summer 2012 will be a completely different story.

Unless a dramatic bout of injuries take its toll on us even more so than the amount we have now it is increasingly unlikely we will need a new face at Old Trafford in January. Here are some points on why new signings are not needed:

1) United have been fielding a starting 11 with an average age of 23.  When United demolished Arsenal last month the average age of the United squad was almost a year younger than Arsene Wenger’s men.

Sure, some young players have been gaining some worldwide recognition abroad in particular Borussia Dortmund’s Gotze but is he any more talented than United’s own crop of youngsters? Tom Cleverley?  Anderson?

Would Shinji Kagawa be a step above Nani? United could spend millions on youth, but in reality all they would be doing would be delaying the progress of some of football’s brightest talents they already have at their disposal.

Any transfer rumours involving any young players and United should immediately be ignored.

2) Earlier this season United were dealt injury blows that many pundits said would seriously ruin their start to the season. The loss of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic against West Brom were assumed to be too difficult for United to replace. There was a concern of a lack of experience at the back and they would struggle and could be got at. Particularly in the case of Jonny Evans.

Well, surely now those pundits should be eating their words.

Chris Smalling has improved even more so than last season showing versatility and has held down the right back spot even ahead of Champions League starter Fabio Da Silva.  Phil Jones has been grabbing all the headlines with blistering displays and will no doubt be a regular for United for years to come. His surging runs forward on the attack and adding composure in the back compliments Jonny Evans who has come into his own this season and has made fans almost forget about the unreliable shaky inconsistent Evans from last year.

3) If anything, United have too much quality in their ranks, and Sir Alex must be struggling to find out how to fit in all of these players.  Wayne Rooney is on fire playing the best football since his form in the 2009-10 season having put personal problems behind him, Danny Welbeck has been a revelation since his return from Sunderland and Javier Hernandez has picked up where he left off last season but for being on the end of a few nasty challenges.  Oh, and Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen aren’t bad options either are they?

Do United really need Napoli’s Edinson Cavani? There was talk in the summer but striking options are pretty much United’s solid point with 5 fantastic choices to choose from.

It was only 2 seasons ago when Nani was frustrating fans with his numerous step-over’s, useless feints, wayward shots high over the bar and wasteful passing.  That’s kind of how many fans felt for the first few years of Cristiano Ronaldo’s time at Old Trafford.

Now Nani has exercised his demons and is out of Ronaldo’s shadow when he was at Old Trafford. He has even furthermore progressed from his form last season and let’s not forgot statistically he is superior to Ronaldo. Calm down though I said STATISTICALLY!

4) United have always looked to have a mixture of the youth with experience.  That experience never comes from signings but United’s philosophy has always looked to acquire young talent and groom them into world beaters. Who heard of Vidic before 2005? Hernandez? Nani? These players were all groomed into brilliant stars and all bought under the age of 25.

Many players who were considered youngsters are maturing now and gaining experience. The Da Silva twins seem to have cut out the silly challenges from their games and Evans has realized he is at Old Trafford and must perform every game given the chance or he will be shipped out fast. Nani has cut out his frustrating side of his game (most of the time) and Cleverley is learning game by game.

Forking out £35 million for one player does not fit United’s style anymore. It does not seem like that will happen again for some time. When we have splashed out big money it has not always worked out. Juan Veron for example was despite his given talent a failure. The clubs best players have been acquired for less than £5 million. Roy Keane – £3.75 million from Nottingham Forest and Eric Cantona – £1.2 million, fine examples who went down as iconic figures in the history of the club.

United instead have shown a trend for developing their own youth, as opposed to buying developed talent like their neighbours. It is a strategy that has frustrated fans at times with some wanting a big central midfielder to conquer Europe but personally it is a great sight to see young lads like Cleverley and Welbeck progressing at Old Trafford to hopefully one day be first team regulars for years to come. The youngsters are hungry and keen to impress and deserve their chance rather than a £200K star who expects to walk into the side.

5) Many said that by United failing to sign Luka Modric, Marek Hamsik, Sneijder, etc. or any other name earmarked to replace Paul Scholes would cause the club to struggle in Europe in particular. (The Barcelona factor) 

With Anderson coming of age and proving to be a true box-to-box midfielder, he has established himself as one of the players of the season so far. Of course he will have dips in form but United also have Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick – two experienced players – to come in also.

The midfield partnership of Tom Cleverley and Anderson has a balance of creativity, composure and tenacity.  The duo could be the central midfield partnership for the entire season with an average age of 22. They are no Xavi and Iniesta but let’s give these two a chance. They have the potential and with a few years maturing and improving alongside each other could be very hard to dislodge.

6) It is highly unlikely that United will add a player in January who will come in and contribute right away. Most players bought in January succumb to fierce amounts of pressure. Fernando Torres for instance.

Unfortunately not every player is a Sergio Aguero or Luis Suarez who takes the Premier League by storm. Vidic and Evra struggled for months upon arrival in the fastest league in the world when they joined United in the 2006 winter transfer-window. It takes time for a player to settle, and there is no guarantee when coming to the Premiership. 

7) January is the month where top contenders begin to seriously materialize and form and consistency is important. Not to mention the depth of a squad.

Assuming that a season-ending injury doesn’t take Rooney, which lead to the demise of our 2009-10 season, United will continue their form through January.  The team appears to be clicking in ways that are superior to seasons’ past and it is the best start to a season we have had in years. The players are genuinely enjoying their football and each other.

The defence recently has been a tad bit shaky but saying that we have yet to welcome back our captain Vidic. Smalling is injured as are both the Da Silva twins and Ferdinand having his usual injury worries game by game with Valencia having to deputize at right back. The theory this season seems to be that no matter how much the opposition scores United will score more with attacking threats from Rooney Hernandez Young and Nani who are a frightening front four with pace.

Currently the start to the Premier League table reads as such: seven matches, six wins, one draw, 19 points, 25 goals scored, five goals against and a goal differential of plus 19.

Oh, and there was that 8-2 demolition of Arsenal. Two successive Rooney hat-tricks too. Not that anyone remembers them.

Still if Sir Alex Ferguson’s history has taught us anything, it’s that the manager is never, ever satisfied. He will always be looking to improve.

Will he be looking to make a deal in the January transfer window? Hard to say.

Is it a necessity? No.

Will a signing happen? Wait and See.

While I would not be against another signing, it is not in drastic need. When everyone is 100% fit and on form we will not give another signing another second’s thought. What will Sir Alex do? We don’t know but if he does see a coup in January he will snap it up, if it’s the right thing to do.

In the meantime let’s focus on the squad we have and the huge trip to Anfield this Saturday. If we are struggling come January we can lambast about new signings but for now it’s concentrating on what we have and that’s getting our first win at the home of our biggest rivals Liverpool since December 2007.

Darren Hickey @DHick92

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