The close season can seem interminable for those with aspirations of stellar additions to their squads. None outside and few inside the walls of Manchester United know for sure who David Moyes wants to sign. Will he spend a fortune to stamp his mark on the squad, but risk spoiling the blend, like a drunk adding yet more alcohol to his already perfect Moonshine? Or will he elect not to tinker with a winning formula in the hope that this squad has yet to reach its apex?
To provide some comfort to the slavering, signing-hungry hoards of Manchester United fans out there, the answer probably lies somewhere twixt the two extremes. While the prospect of signing Gareth Bale – a player so good that he should have an echo after his name – is as unfeasible as it is delicious, David Moyes is a man of vision and he will be wallowing excitedly in thoughts of how to improve his Manchester United.
Right now, Moyes will feel like a kid in an amazing sweet shop which has just been opened next door to the comparatively average sweet shop that he has hitherto frequented. In other words, at Manchester United he can sign better players. Much better players. That said, the market for such quality is shrinking quickly.
Big names like Falcao, Moutinho, Neymar and James Rodriguez have already sealed moves. Lewandowski appears Munchen-bound and Totters seem hell-bent on keeping the aforementioned Gareth Bale out of the clutches of their domestic rivals. Furthermore, talk of Cristiano returning to The Theatre is about as realistic as me getting selected for United’s season opener in my favoured role as a slowish but intelligent attacking midfielder, before returning home to be fought over and suckled by my girlfriends, Penelope (Cruz) and Natalie (Portman).
Many believe, as we do, that the excellent David Moyes will prioritise the retention of Wayne Rooney and the fortification of the midfield. Beyond that, there is talk of Leighton Baines coming in at left-back. But we think Patrice Evra still has another couple of years at the top and Fabio will come back from QPR to add cover. So that’s not a priority. soccersweep thinks that the wide areas also need thought. But the exceptionally promising Wilfried Zaha is coming in and Valencia, Young and Nani (if they stay) can’t all be as bad as last season. If they are, these guys don’t need to change clubs. They need to change sports.
Zaha could well start the season on the bench – especially as he is off to EURO 2013 this summer – but he goes straight into my XI because he’s a star in the making. I also think that, despite Micheal Carrick’s form, Moyes will attempt to sign Marouane Fellaini and Cesc Fabregas to add some real quality to a squad that has lost Scholes to age, Fletcher to illness and Anderson to parties. If it had to be just one of them Moyes would surely go for the exceptionally tidy, technically gifted, probing, forward thinking, velvety Cesc Fabregas – exactly the sort of player that Manchester United need to link the defence and attack more quickly. Fabregas would be a dream player for United.
So here’s how Manchester United could look come September.
De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Jones, Evra, Valencia, Fellaini, Fabregas, Zaha, Rooney, RvP
Skill, strength, speed and a splash of the sublime.
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