Manchester United: A Look To The Future

Nathan CliftonCorrespondent IFebruary 15, 2008

With the January transfer well and truly shut, we must all look ahead to the summer transfer window and the mayhem that will inevitably ensue.

Although Manchester United may not look to strengthen as much as one would think, there are some areas of the team that could use some improvement.

The team are set with goalkeepers. With the return of Ben Foster from injury and the consistent form of Edwin van der Sar, Tomas Kuszczak looks like he could be a potential casualty as he searches for first-team football.

Or would van der Sar be happy to sit on the bench while an improved Foster gets the chance he so richly deserves? Only time will tell.

Defensively, United may recruit during the summer months. Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand are unlikely to be usurped as they continue their glorious form they have maintained over the past year.

Gerard Pique is an able deputy but question marks could well be raised if injury or suspension was to affect two or more of these players. Jonny Evans, on loan at Sunderland, could play a part but is the Northern Ireland international prepared to wait for his chance at United as he continues to play first team football at the Stadium of Light.

John O’Shea and Wes Brown are both proven full backs and doubts could be raised over their performance to perform at centre back.

A purchase could well be expected in the summer of a centre back and many names have been thrown around throughout the season. These include the likes of Ezequiel Garay from Racing Santander of Spain and Fernando Amorebieta from Athletic Bilbao also of Spain.

At full back the likes of Patrice Evra and Wes Brown continue to impress and with the possible retirement of Gary Neville due to injury the impressive Danny Simpson has too been given his chance to shine.

Mikael Silvestre is a possible departure so the purchase of a new left back may be a priority for Sir Alex Ferguson with Nicky Shorey’s name being touted around the English media.

In midfield it is hard to fault their strength in depth.

It is hard to pick a full strength midfield with all players performing consistently on a regular basis.

Cristiano Ronaldo: irreplaceable.

Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes: timeless.

And with the likes of Michael Carrick, Anderson and Nani as good rotation and the steely Owen Hargreaves performing the holding role, United have nothing to improve in the midfield area.

Not to mention the likes of Darren Fletcher, Chris Eagles and Darren Gibson (on loan at Wolverhampton Wanderers) the future is bright for Manchester United in this area of the field.

Up front leaves a lot to be desired.

The acquisition of Angolan striker Manucho gives promise to a particularly weak front line. Named in the African Nations Cup team of the tournament, he has been loaned to Greek side Panathinaikos to gain experience in European competition.

Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez are the starting forwards, no question. With injury-prone Louis Saha and youngster Danny Welbeck as back up to these star strikers another forward could be in the pipeline.

Amauri from Palermo in Italy has invited United’s scouts to come watch him and scouts have also been to watch Fabio Quagliarella of Udinese. Both names would be welcomes at Old Trafford.

Names that have constantly come up have been Klass Huntelaar of Ajax and, of course, Dimitar Berbatov of Tottenham Hotspur.

All of the above names are a real possibility and with the right dedication and the chase of one of these targets, a new striker is a real possibility in the summer of 2008.

Although United are well and truly in the title chase in the EPL this year and in both the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League at the time of writing, the 2008/2009 campaign looks even more promising than the current one.


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