June 24, 2013
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As the summer continues, Manchester United will be linked with a number of players, from high-priced superstars (cough, cough, Cristiano Ronaldo, cough) to promising youngsters (cough, cough, Thiago Alcantara, cough).
One such player fans of the Red Devils can give up on is up-and-coming Dutch midfielder Marco van Ginkel, as it appears Chelsea will be securing his signature. And frankly, it really isn't that big of a loss for United.
From the Daily Mail:
Chelsea are close to signing £9 million Vitesse Arnhem's Marco van Ginkel after the Holland midfielder was reassured he will feature in Jose Mourinho's starting line-up.
Van Ginkel, who has been watched by Manchester United, made his senior debut for Holland last year and played for the Under-21s in the European Championship in Israel, where Holland reached the semi-finals.
It's not that van Ginkel isn't good—he very clearly is. He's a versatile, technical player that can slot in anywhere in the central midfield and has a bit of a nose for goal, scoring eight goals for Dutch club Vitesse this season.
But with United chasing Thiago, van Ginkel feels more like a luxury than a necessity. If the team lands Thiago, he would satisfy the need for a deep-lying playmaker, while either Wayne Rooney or Shinji Kagawa would play in the hole behind the striker.
Thus, United's need in the midfield would be at the holding position. And while van Ginkel can fill that role, he's much more effective moving forward in the attack than supporting the back four.
He played well for the Netherlands in this year's U-21 European Championships, earning a 7.34 rating for the tournament from WhoScored.com, settling between Adam Maher and Kevin Strootman in the Dutch midfield.
But the Premier League is a different animal altogether, and asking him to replicate that performance at a position that doesn't utilize all of his strengths would be a mistake. At Chelsea, there is room for him to develop into a Frank Lampard-esque role.
At United, it's harder to see a natural fit. And frankly, the team has bigger needs than adding two attack-minded midfielders, namely on the wings or in defensive depth. This is a team that already has a lot of classy offensive weapons.
If Thiago remains in Barcelona, of course, then van Ginkel becomes a whole lot more appealing. But for now, Chelsea's apparent lead in the race to his signature shouldn't worry Manchester United fans one bit.
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