All posts by Mike Anscombe

Bundesliga Midfielder Ready For Manchester United Move? Why He’d Be A Good Addition

Manchester United look finally set to be making a formal bid for Bayern Munich’s want away midfielder, Toni Kroos. 

A lot of speculation has surrounded the 24 – year-old’s potential move to Old Trafford in the summer, but following a recent report in the Daily Mail, Ed Woodward (Chief Executive of Manchester United) stayed on in Munich to discuss the player’s future.

Kroos stated earlier this week that he wants to join United and based on the evidence of his small outburst at being substituted at Old Trafford in the Champions League last week, it looks to me that once and for all United might get their man.

But where will the Germany international feature in a United midfield supposedly in need of a drastic makeover? And who could be out of Old Trafford?

Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher are valuable, experienced players and I believe they are key to United’s challenge next season, should they stay fit.  Juan Mata is more effective playing behind the front man in a 4-4-1-1 formation. But with the likely return of van Persie (injured) come the start of the new season, the situation could force Mata out on to a wide position with Rooney the likely preferred second forward to van Persie. 

So you can see the midfield line of Mata, Kroos, Carrick and Wellbeck shaping up nicely supporting Rooney and van Persie in attack.  That is a frightening prospect, actually!

I can’t see them getting rid of Januzaj who is a player for the future, but it does leave some other squad members in trouble of getting the boot. Will  Nani, Ashley Young, Fellaini and Tom Cleverley be on Moyes’ to-leave list?

Have your say.

Player Report: Chelsea & Manchester United Watching £25m Striker, But What Could He Offer?

According to recent reports, Chelsea and Manchester United are said to be keeping a watchful eye on Porto’s Jackson Martinez. 

Scouts will be sent to Spain to watch the Columbia forward in action for Porto against Sevilla in a Europa League tie.  I see Martinez being a back-up option for Chelsea and United should their top priority targets fall through in this summer. 

The Colombia forward is agile and strong in attack and with 21 goals in 36 matches in all competitions this season to date, including 2 goals in the Champions league before Porto bowed out, Martinez is still hot property.

But at the age of 27 and valued by Porto at £25 million, the top clubs know that the Colombian would not come cheap and could possess a gamble not worth taking. 

I can’t see Chelsea’s interest in the player continuing considering they are chasing Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa, and likewise for United wanting to land Edinson Cavani.  Supposedly, Arsenal are keen to bring the player into their squad next season but no official approach has been made.

Is he worth that value? Have your say.

Liverpool Linked With ‘Bargain’ Forward Who Defeated Tottenham This Season – Here’s Why It Would Be A Good Move

Liverpool are reported to be sending scouts to Portugal tonight to once again monitor up and coming Benfica star, Lazar Markovic. 

Benfica are fighting for a spot in the Europa League semi finals against AZ Alkmaar, who have a 1-0 first leg lead, with Markovic expected to start. 

The 20-year-old has impressed a host of top clubs in Europe, including Chelsea and Manchester United but their interest in the player may have fallen by the way side as they look to bolster their squad in other areas, ready for next season.

Markovic has scored seven times this season for club and country and has helped Benfica lead the Primeira Liga by seven points. 

He was also part of a Benfica side that knocked out Tottenham Hotspur in the last 16 of the Europa League recently. It was that performance over two legs that had Liverpool wanting to scout the player again before making a decision whether or not to make a bid in the summer. 

Said to be valued at £10 million, I do think that Liverpool are making a good move if they can offload another squad player in a swap deal to bring the cost down. Having Markovic in the squad with European and international experience would be a bargain and do no harm to Liverpool’s chances of success next season too.

Check the player out and have your say.

Judgement Day: Arsenal MUST Beat Everton On Sunday

Arsene Wenger has called for his team to rally together and lay down a marker against this Everton this weekend.  The Gunners go in to Sunday’s game four points ahead of Everton who sit in fifth place, with a game in hand. 

Everton are on a winning streak having won their last five matches, whilst Arsenal find themselves without a win in the last three games.

Wenger knows any slip up will be severely damaging to their chances of playing Champions League football next season.  A grave situation Arsenal simply don’t want to be in. 

Attracting new players to the club without the prospect of offering Champions League football would be a nightmare scenario for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal.

For all the seasons gone by since they last won the Premiership title, Arsenal have had poor starts then progressively hit form at the turn of the year only to leave it mathematically too late to challenge for the title. 

This season, they find themselves in a reverse situation; despite the home loss to Aston Villa on the opening day of the campaign, their form shone through early on and became the pace setters for the next five months. Yet now their form has dipped dramatically.

It’s quite a sad situation given all the injuries to key players at the wrong time.  Had everyone stayed fit, I’m sure Arsenal would be top of the league or certainly in a more comfortable position to challenge for the title than they currently find themselves in.

It is in Arsenal’s hands to win the F.A Cup which if they do might be the saving grace for Arsene Wenger. 

For one more season at least.