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November 25, 2011

Manchester United should not be pressured into spending big in January

United have been linked with midfielders like Nico Gaitan – image from timesunion.com

Sir Alex Ferguson has ruled out making new signings in the January transfer window and if he means it, he’ll be right not to. There are too many fans out there who will begin to demand new players are brought in if the odd result goes against their side. It’s easy to look at the 1-6 defeat against Manchester City or pick a few results in Europe where United have not exactly shone and then panic. Ferguson was unhappy earlier in the week when a reporter suggested that his side is struggling in Europe and while you could see what the journalist was getting at, the United boss’s reaction was also understandable. In the real world, Manchester United are five points off the top of the Premier League, 12 games in and still have Champions League qualification in their own hands.

Some supporters are probably worried that the United midfield has not looked strong enough in recent games, and with Tom Cleverley and Oliveira Andson both facing lengthy lay offs through injury, the Red Devils have been linked with a number of midfielders such as Mario Gotze and Nico Gaitan. But Sir Alex seems to have put the kibosh on doing any business in January, warning that there are not many available players who would improve United’s team. He’s right to be cautious because the January window is a dangerous place. If you spend money in the Manchester City fashion, you could move heaven and earth to bring in Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi and you’ve a player who will instantly improve your team. But others might take time to settle in, while opening transfer talks in January always leaves you vulnerable to having your pants pulled down over the price. Look at what happened to Chelsea when they decided Stamford Bridge was not enough of a circus and spent £50million on Fernando Torres. If you’re not careful, you could end up spending £35million on Andy Carroll.

United fans should not be overly panicked at this stage nor should Ferguson be pressured into making signings for the sake of it. In Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick they have two very good holding, enforcing midfielders who are also capable of picking out a decent pass. Ryan Giggs may be knocking on these days but he can still do a job and his vast experience is priceless. Luis Nani and Ashley Young on the flanks is a frightening prospect for any full back, while Ji Sung Park and Antonio Valencia are also solid wingers, but capable of playing in the centre as well. Then there’s the option of using Wayne Rooney to drop deep from the front to pull the strings in the middle of the park, something which has proved effective in the past. Then of course there’s Anderson and Cleverley to return to the squad, so there are certainly options.

They're still a pretty good side – image from dailyrecord.co.uk

Even if United haven’t looked like Barcelona lately, there’s still plenty of time. Remember, it’s the same squad that everyone was saying would storm the Premier League just a few weeks ago. The same squad with the same manager, still in with a chance of winning four more trophies to add to the Charity Shield. You can’t ask for much more than that, surely? To buy players simply because the fans want them or because they’ve had a good international tournament recently or because they become awesome in Footy Manager is unwise, and frankly, something Liverpool would do.



About the Author

CG
CG
Nottingham Forest fan and staff writer for FootballFansOnline




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