The retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson after nearly 27 years at the helm of Manchester United has left The Red Devils in a situation they haven’t experienced in over a generation. The task of succeeding Sir Alex has been handed to David Moyes, a man who has shown his credentials in a consistent yet trophy-less decade at Everton.
Moyes will inherit the current champions of England and one of first jobs will be to ease any in-house transfer rumblings from a certain Mr Rooney whilst also trying to attract some new players.
Manchester United are always linked to tens of players throughout the two transfer windows, yet this will be the first time that David Moyes is calling the shots. These are five players that Moyes and Manchester United should have a look at.
Current club: Barcelona
If Arsenal had kept hold of the squad they had assembled 2-3 years ago, they would surely have ended their long wait for a trophy by now. However, the departures of Samir Nasri, Gaël Clichy, Cesc Fàbregas, Alex Song and Robin van Persie ultimately killed off any chances they had. With Van Persie winning his first ever league title with United this year, one player who would also like to add a Premier League winner’s medal to his collection is Cesc Fàbregas.
The arrival of Neymar to the Camp Nou has made the task of getting into Barcelona’s starting XI even harder. David Villa looks set to be leaving the Catalan club, meaning the one remaining attacking spot left over once Neymar and Lionel Messi are included will be fought for by Pedro, Alexis Sánchez and Fàbregas.
This leaves Fàbregas in a quandary: should he continue to battle for his place in the team he so dearly loves, or should he return to the Premier League to try and win a trophy he missed out on year after year at Arsenal.
If Rooney were to leave Old Trafford, Fàbregas would be the ideal replacement for him. Having already won the La Liga crown and the two major international trophies, the Premier League and the Champions League are the two remaining titles left for Fàbregas to win; his addition to the Manchester United squad would only augment their chances of winning both.
Current club: Real Madrid
Manchester United’s transfer dealings this summer will all depend on whether or not Wayne Rooney wishes to stay and work with the man who handed him his Everton debut. If Rooney were to leave, United – whose midfield doesn’t score as many goals as other Premier League teams like Chelsea – would need to find someone who is capable of hitting double figures year upon year. One man who meets this requirement is Karim Benzema.
Benzema has regularly played second fiddle to Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid and has also suffered from a rotation policy involving him and Gonzalo Higuaín. Despite all of this, Benzema’s goal-scoring record of nearly one in every two Madrid games speaks for itself. Having won the French Footballer of the Year Award for the past two seasons, Benzema is heading into the prime period of his career. His potential availability during the managerial re-shuffle at the Bernabéu should be monitored.
Current club: Everton
The arrival of David Moyes to Old Trafford has already been matched with numerous rumours surrounding who he will bring along with him from Everton. Of all the potential players in question, one player who would not look out of place in a United jersey is Leighton Baines.
Baines has been consistently linked with United for the past two seasons, but the continued brilliance of Patrice Evra in the left-back slot has meant United have never desperately needed a replacement.
However, with Evra recently passing his 32nd birthday, Moyes may want to bring in one of his favoured players from Goodison Park before anyone else tries to pry him away from Merseyside. Baines’ attacking threat and ability from dead-ball situations have made him a target for all of the major clubs in England.
With Ashley Cole’s England career having to end sometime, Baines will need to prove himself on the biggest stage to maintain the high performance levels needed for the international scene; Manchester United would be the perfect place to hone his skills.
Current club: Borussia Dortmund
Michael Carrick has been Manchester United’s most consistent player this year, but his imperious performances this campaign have somewhat covered up some alarming gaps in the middle of Manchester United’s midfield. With Paul Scholes finally hanging up his boots and Anderson potentially moving on, United need a creative force to work alongside Carrick in the engine room. Tom Cleverley, Ryan Giggs and even Wayne Rooney have operated in there recently, but United are in need of some stability.
The Champions League final gave all of Europe’s big guns the chance to watch a Borussia Dortmund side that had an average age of just 25. One player who really shone on the night and will surely garner some attention was midfielder Ilkay Gündoğan.
Gündoğan is just one of the golden generation of German footballers trailblazing Europe at the minute. A classy midfielder, the Turkish-born player can tackle, pass and has a great work ethic. After nabbing Shinji Kagawa last summer, Dortmund may be reluctant to let another one of their starlets leave for Old Trafford, but United may well be one of many courting the signature of the midfielder.
Current club: Juventus
Italy’s run to the final of Euro 2012 was no fluke; built on a solid back five, Andrea Pirlo and Mario Balotelli helped the Azzurri to a second major international final in six years. However, one player who rarely made the headlines but was just as important was Claudio Marchisio.
Having won back to back league titles with Juventus, Marchisio may now look to challenge himself in a different league, and his talents would be welcomed at Old Trafford. His industry in the middle of the park provides a fulcrum to which Juve base their attacking forays on. His versatility and cultured technique would complement Carrick very well in the centre of midfield.
As he is a Juventus player through and through, his loyalty to the club could see him stick with The Old Lady, but if he were to leave for pastures new, Manchester United would be stupid not to consider him.