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Nick Powell: Were Man Utd Fans' Criticisms of Midfield Transfers Premature?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15:  Nick Powell of Manchester United celebrates with Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez after scoring the fourth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford on September 15, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Devil in a New DressSenior Writer ISeptember 17, 2012

At the end of the summer transfer window, the biggest question for United fans was why no signing was made of an established central midfielder, and further frustration came after the loss of Lucas Moura to PSG.

Following last weekend's 4-0 thumping of Wigan Athletic in which debutante Nick Powell scored, talk started over the potential of the 18-year-old. After the match, Sir Alex Ferguson had praise for Nick Powell and implicitly justified his decision to not sign a higher profile replacement for Paul Scholes (via Manchester United website):

Nick Powell is going to be a really good player who, we hope, will fill Paul Scholes' boots in terms of he's got terrific vision, good temperament, two great feet, is quick and is a great striker of the ball. For a boy of 18, he's not 19 until next March, it's been a terrific day for him.

Okay. Powell may well turn out to be a really good player for the club and his youth is a plus, but if the implication is that United fans and the media were too quick to question the non-arrival of a deeper lying central midfielder unlike Tom Cleverley and more like Paul Scholes, then I'm afraid I do not agree.

Nick Powell has had just the one game and the jury should still be out.

Sir Alex Ferguson may well see something we don't see and is making his judgement off of that, and we'll respect that.

We should also respect the criticisms of the fans who are simply judging from what they see, which is a modern-day midfield dependent on a 37-year-old veteran and a replacement who will need two to three years just to learn his trade, not to mention the years it will take for him to perfect it.

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