This week Sky Sports reported that Blackburn centre-back Christopher Samba has handed in a transfer request. Samba said the following to the press:
I have today officially requested a transfer from Blackburn Rovers Football Club. I have personally informed the owners, manager and executives at the club that I want to leave in this transfer window. In my five years at Blackburn Rovers Football Club I have always given 100 per cent in every game I have played. I have had several opportunities to leave but I have always stayed. I have decided now is the right time for me to pursue a new challenge and I have asked the club to respect my decision and allow me to leave.
Goal.com have suggested that QPR have already placed a £6.5 million bid for the defender, although this falls a fair way short of Blackburn's £10 million valuation. With Samba stating that he "needs a new challenge," are QPR really what he's looking for? Maybe he is more likely looking to step it up to European competition level.
With Nemanja Vidic out until the end if the season, and Rio Ferdinand continually putting in below par performances, Sir Alex could be thinking of bringing in a star talent to add some depth to his defence. With Samba available for around £10 million, he could be an absolute steal in terms of the return he could offer on the pitch.
To add to the need for another defender, many fans have raised concerns as to whether Jonny Evans is good enough to warrant a place in the team, suggesting that he does not provide adequate cover to the first team. While Chris Smalling and Jones are fantastic prospects for the future, an injury or suspension for either would leave United very short at the back.
Samba is a very useful player at the back, as his size and ability in the air can often prove a stumbling block for attacking players. Another strength of his is his concentration, which would fit in perfectly with the rest of the United defence.
As well as being a solid defender, Samba is also an attacking threat. This season he has scored twice and assisted another two in his 16 appearances, and is a constant threat when it comes to attacking set pieces—much like Vidic.
Despite the positives, one of Samba's weaknesses is his passing. So far this season his pass completion rate stands at 76.7 percent, placing him well below the majority of the current United squad and in fact in the bottom 50 percent of the EPL. He would need to step up this aspect of his game if he made the move to Old Trafford.
Unlike many of the centre-back prospects which have been linked with United around B/R, Samba has solid EPL experience so would not have to adapt to a different style of play. He has been a consistent performer for Blackburn for the last four years, and a move to United will give him a chance to step it up to the next level.
The question is whether Sir Alex would go for a player like Samba, since recently he has shown more of an interest in buying younger players. Be it Samba, or be it someone else, SAF really needs to consider strengthening the defence in the coming two weeks.
Do you think Samba would be a good signing for United? Get your opinions heard in the comments section.