Has Manchester United Lost Faith in Kuszczak and Foster?
Edwin Van Der Sar moved to Manchester United on Jun 10, 2005, for a reported fee of £2 million and is billed by Sir Alex Ferguson as the best goalkeeper to play for the club since Peter Schmeichel.
The Dutchman has been in the heart of the glorious Red Devil’s lineup, which has won three consecutive Primer League titles and also the Champions League in 2008.
He was also recently named as the Best European Goalkeeper.
The 39-year-old Dutch international has continued to perform on par this season, with the standard that has been set by him since his arrival at the club.
The Dutch veteran had last season declared that the 2009/10 term will be his last, but with United’s bench goalkeeping dilemma, he is expected to take a final decision during the Christmas period.
He did not feature in the Red Devil’s side when the season began after suffering a broken hand in a pre-season encounter with Bayern Munich.
The injury gave Sir Alex Ferguson the opportunity to test the club’s goalkeeping strength that was itching to get some first-team action.
The United manager opted for the inexperienced England international, Ben Foster.
Foster came under heavy scrutiny following his high-profile errors in several league matches, especially in the 4-3 win over Manchester City in which he was at major fault.
Tomasz Kuszczak was then given a couple of chances to prove himself with the gloves and performed respectably against Wolves in his first match of the season.
However, the manager has still not found a keeper with the experience and reliability comparable to the aging Holland national.
This has led to speculation that the Red Devil’s manager is on a look out for another goalkeeper in the next transfer season, in the case that Van Der Sar decides to finally hang up his gloves.
CSKA Moscow goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev has been strongly linked to join the Premier League champions.
The Russian, is just 23, but has been a regular performer for his club and also the first-choice goalkeeper for his national side.
He has performed exceptionally against his suitors in the Champions League group stages and manager Sir Alex Ferguson was full of praise for the Russian, but has denied he is interested in signing him.
Reports have also suggested that the club is interested Villareal goalkeeper Diego Lopez and Schalke keeper Manuel Neuer.
The English daily, “The Sun,” recently reported that United had sent its scouts to observe the 27-year-old Spanish star on two recent scouting trips.
He is rated in the £15million category and impressed Sir Alex’s men. "I'm aware of rumors and the Premier League is very attractive," Lopez is quoted by The Sun.
Manuel Neuer, the Schalke shot-stopper, has also been on Sir Alex Ferguson’s radar for quite some time.
Bayern Munich has also been scouting the young Neuer, who has largely impressed in the Under-21 European Championship earlier this year.
The 6'3 Munich, is described by IMScouting’s network of scouts in Germany as:
"The new upcoming keeper in Germany. Neuer has unbelievable good reflexes, high bravery, great positioning, and very good aerial ability, all the crucial components of a world-class goalie."
However, Sir Alex, recently announced, that he believes that the future lies in the hands of either Ben Foster or Tomasz Kuszczak and that he will not seek an expensive replacement.
Both the keepers have much to prove with the high expectations of the club, if Van Der Sar does decide to call it a day, it should be imperative that the United manager opens his check-book pretty soon.
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