Yesterday after news broke of our interest in Blackburn’s Phil Jones, United fans became aware that Sunderland had made a substantial bid – believed to be around £12m to sign 3 of our players, believed to be Darron Gibson, Wes Brown and John O’Shea.
It was widely believed this summer that Brown would be leaving the club after the former England international ended his disappointing season on the sidelines. Sunderland along with Everton were rumoured to have been interested in Brown a couple of months ago after hearing that his future at the club was unlikely to extend past the season just gone.
Gibson too was rumoured to be leaving the club as well as with interest in several midfielders coming to the club, perhaps it would be better for him as a talented young player to move onto pastures new where he would play more.
His national manager Giovanni Trapatoni several times last season kept saying that in order for Gibson to keep his place in the Irish set-up it would be best for him to play on a more regular basis, which is understandable.
O’Shea though would have been the last person United fans would have imagined would be in a position where he would be on the verge of leaving Old Traffford.
After all O’Shea’s great quality is that he’s a versatile player who is comfortable in a number of defensive/midfield positions, who was happy being at the club knowing the fact that whilst he wasn’t going to play every week that he would still have a substantial role to play at the club.
O’Shea has been nothing but top-class at us. Having been hyped up as a youngster during his time out on loan at Bournemouth and Royal Antwerp in his early years as a professional, he’s grown into a trusted member of our squad and has played a staggering 393 times for us during his time at the club so far.
After impressing early on in the 2002/03 season, as he got more experience United’s no.22 has got better and from 2005 even formed good central-midfield partnerships with Darren Fletcher and Ryan Giggs, that worked wonders for Sir Alex up until the end of 2006.
Sunderland of course are a club that we’ve had good links with, as even before Steve Bruce took charge of the Black Cats, another United legend in Roy Keane was in charge there. As a result several of our young players would either be loaned or sold to Sunderland during his time in charge.
Bruce of course last season did well to secure Danny Welbeck on loan for the season and is clearly looking to spend the £20million that Sunderland will receive from Liverpool for Jordan Henderson wisely.
Sir Alex of course has a good relationship with Bruce and with our squad needing ‘refreshing’ so to speak, it seems that the trio linked with Sunderland will be sold in order to clear up some space in our squad to make way for the new signings.
From the rumours, it appear to be that O’Shea isn’t fully committed to moving to Sunderland at the moment, but it would be a great opportunity for him to play every week and whoever he moves to he’ll still retain his starting place with Ireland.
It would be a shame to see O’Shea move on, but at all clubs sometimes good players no matter how popular they are, move on. Although it would be a shame to lose his versatility in our team, the youngsters that we have at the club are progressing well and perhaps now would be a good time for him to go – not that I’d want it to happen of course.
By Adam Dennehey – @ADennehey87