Over the last couple of months we have been heavily linked with three midfielders, all of whom would be suitable players of real quality who would lead our creative department of our midfield.
Arsenal’s Samir Nasri, Spurs’ Luka Modric and Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder are all fantastic midfielders who would without a shadow of a doubt fit into life at Old Trafford very well, providing us with the kind of player that we’ve lacked in the last couple of years what with Paul Scholes sadly declining in form.
A couple of months ago – before the rumours of Nasri wanting to leave Arsenal started – I would have wanted us to sign Sneijder out of the three, as I have been a big of fan his since about 2005 when he was at Ajax.
Sneijder of course is a fantastic player who has the ability to set the tempo in any game that he’s played in. There were doubts when he was playing in Holland that he wasn’t tough enough to be a star on the continent.
Of course those doubts were quickly erased as he went to on to do well for Real Madrid after leaving Ajax before starring in his first season in Milan for Inter under Jose Mourinho where he was a key component in the Nerazzurri’s treble-winning squad in 2010.
Last year after a brilliant World Cup, Sneijder suffered from a couple of spells on the sidelines through injury but he is still vital to Inter’s progress and if he is to stay in Milan next season will be a key part in new manager Gian Piero Gasperini’s plans for next season.
The rumour about whether we are going to sign Sneijder or not has been one that has had more twists than a downhill slalom with the latest ‘update’ being that the club do not want to pay the Dutch international a reported £250k a week.
Nobody outside of Manchester United or Sneijder’s representatives can be sure if that’s true or not. What is certain though is that Sneijder is not our only option to fill that key midfield role in our team.
The other options which for me are probably better long-term options are Modric and Nasri who over the last couple of seasons have grown to be two of the brightest talents not just in the Premier League but across Europe.
At this moment in time, I would prefer us to get Nasri. Of course some fans may not like him because he might appear to be wanting out of Arsenal ‘purely to win trophies.’ But after three seasons in London, it appears that as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the Gooners that Nasri does want to move on.
Of course we (along with the top European clubs) would be interested in Nasri who having just turned 24 has the ability, temperament and class to run our midfield for the best part of 6-7 years possibly. There’s no doubting that he would be able to adapt in our midfield and he clearly is someone who has the ability to become the ‘Scholes’ of our team.
It shall be interesting to see if our reported interest in Nasri results into us signing him as it appears for the moment being that Arsene Wenger does want to keep the Frenchman at the Emirates for next season.
Of course Wenger would be running the risk of losing Nasri on a free at the end of next season. Whether of course that’s the right thing for Arsenal to do is something only he will know, as surely if a player wants out, you should try and get as much as you can for him than risk losing him for nothing in a year’s time.
The next year looks to be a tricky one for Arsenal who could very easily finish sixth next season and there’s a good chance that the kind of players they stand of getting this summer with the money that they would receive if Nasri and Cesc Fabregas go, they would not be able to get next season if they are not in the Champions League.
Manchester City it appears have also targeted Nasri, but even with the upcoming departure of Carlos Tevez, on the face of it they don’t need Nasri as much as we do.
Last year of course David Silva played a huge part in City’s success with the Spainard being City’s chief creator in midfield partly down to the freedom he gets due to the support of City’s defensive-minded midfield trio of Yaya Toure, Nigel De Jong and Gareth Barry.
There’s no doubt City could offer Nasri whatever wage-demands he wants, but if he does want to play for us (as the rumours suggest he does) then you would like to think he will join us, although if he is to join City there’s no doubt they would give him the same platform that we could in giving him the chance to win trophies.
Spurs’ Luka Modric is the last of the trio of midfielders who we have been linked with. Modric despite Daniel Levy’s claims that he will be staying at White Hart Lane next season, is still very much in the shop-window it appears.
Modric’s transfer saga it seems will run into the start of the season and probably until the end of transfer deadline day. It appears that he does want to leave Spurs and join Chelsea who are in desperate need for youth and more energy in their midfield.
Whilst there’s no doubt of Modric’s talent, questions remain about his strength and whether he has the right mental attitude to play at a club who are challenging for trophies on a regular basis.
It’s a similar criticism that was labelled on our very own Dimitar Berbatov when he joined us in that despite being the ‘top dog’ for Spurs could he be able to play in a ‘big pack’ at Old Trafford.
Despite the fact that Modric would improve as a player even more at us (or Chelsea where he looks likely to end up), I would prefer to have Nasri at us. I just feel he brings more of a goal threat to the team and we have been lacking a 15-20 goal midfielder for a while and that would be something special for us to have.
Of course whoever we sign I have faith that Sir Alex Ferguson will have made the right decision if we are as expected do bring in a central midfielder. Surely if we do bring somebody in, the deal will go through in the next month or so before we start our season away to West Brom.
By Adam Dennehey – @ADennehey87