By now, all of the transfer business has been concluded across the globe in all of the major leagues. Some people have seen the Manchester United transfer dealings as an act of futile desperation, in the aftermath of gaining just 1 point from the last 2 league games. Well that is absolutely nonsense, what we have seen here are the echoes of the Fergie era!
Manchester United and Youth
It goes as no surprise that Manchester United and young, talented, aspiring football players go hand in hand. Ever since Sir Matt Busby and the Busby Babes, there has been a sense of purpose that Manchester United should develop young talent and allow them to reach their potential. If their potential isn't good enough for Manchester United, they kindly move them on to a good club where they can establish themselves.
Sir Alex `03 and `04 Transfer Policy
The transfer dealings in and out for Sir Alex in this period were very special. This was the time that Manchester United started a 3 year drought and their only trophies consisted of the FA Cup in 03 and the League Cup in 05 with them finishing 3rd/3rd/2nd in the Premier League. Looking from the outside in, it seems a poor return especially for a club of the magnitude of Manchester United. Now lets look at the transfers behind the rebuilding of Fergies European conquering team of `08.
Notable Transfers Out Over the Period
David Beckham, Juan Sebastian Veron, Fabien Barthez, Nicky Butt, Diego Forlan, Phil Neville Kleberson, Roy Keane
Notable Transfers In
Ronaldo, Rooney, Saha, Heinze, Pique, Rossi, Van Der Sar, Vidic, Evra, Park Ji Sung
With the notable transfers in, 4 of those where players that had the utmost in potential ability. If you analyse their careers, only Rossi never really went on to establish himself as a great player. Lets not be too hard on Giuseppe Rossi though, he has been capped at international level and one of the most important players at any club he joined after Man Utd. Injuries have severely dampened his pathway to become one of the best Italian players of his generation. It took Fergie 4 years from 2003 to wrestle the title back from Jose Mourinho and also have a squad capable of taking on Europe's finest teams. Fergie did not go out and buy 25-28 year old world class players, he merely bought players on potential and it worked!
Collection of the best young talent in the world
Manchester United can now boast that they have some of the finest young footballers in the world. Memphis Depay (21), Anthony Martial(19), Adnan Januzaj(20), Andreas Pereira(19), Luke Shaw (20), Phil Jones (23), Regan Poole (17), James Wilson (19).
Out of the list above, 5 out of 8 can be expected to be first team players for a major team this season. Pereira, Wilson and Regan Poole will need to fight and impress in the "lesser" games such as the league cup and whenever they are brought on as substitutions.
In a realistic world, Memphis is the most accomplished of the Wonder-kids currently at Man United. He received many plaudits for his performances for PSV in the Eredivisie last season, where he picked up the top goal scorer award (playing as a left winger) as well as the Johan Cruijff trophy, which is awarded to the brightest Dutch under-21 player.
Martial on the other hand is a player of potential and raw ability. He himself claims to have blistering pace, Man Utd TV asked him recently what his biggest strength was and he replied "I am lightning quick". I think just having the added threat of pace in the frontline at Man Utd, there can be problems to be caused, stretching the oppositions back four giving our creators more time on the ball to pick out that killer pass.
Manchester United, this summer have brought 2 of the brightest prospects in world football to the club. There are thoughts that Man Utd wanted to wait off and stagger these purchases, but with the way the current outgoings have been added to the interest from other clubs, these deals had to be made this season.
Think of Martial as signing a young Wayne Rooney one season before he made his Euro 2004 breakthrough. Martial definitely has a lot of pressure to perform given his price tag but in his MUTV interview, he seems to have shrugged that off. Fergie himself would have been proud of the way Manchester United had gone about bringing Martial and Depay into the club, the only issue for me is that Man United have paid a little bit too much for Martial. Whether this is a knock on effect from breaking the "promise" of signing the crocked Falcao, we can only speculate. One thing is for certain and that is that this season will be a very interesting one for the Old Trafford faithful to see which way LVG's "Philosophy" takes us.
Anthony Martial's First Interview with MUTV