Eden Hazard End of the world……
The Eden Hazard saga is finally over, it’s only been a week but with all the crazy on twitter it felt ten times longer. Chelsea have got their man and if reports are to be believed they will add Hulk to the squad in the coming weeks. Mata, Hazard, Torres and Hulk is a front four to be reckoned with and will catapult them back into contention.
So is that it for United…The transfer window isn’t even open yet and people are already writing the Eulogy. Don’t get me wrong losing out on a top transfer target is always disappointing, (and probably something we should be used to by now as United fans), but we have been fairly successful without the Marquee signings so far.
We do need to spend this season to compete with the likes of City, Chelsea and Arsenal. Below are my thoughts on some of the possible targets we are looking at
Attacking Midfielder/ Winger
Kagawa had a fantastic season just past propelling them to another Bundesliga title. He plays in the hole linking up play and breaking quickly from deep. I have been impressed by what little I have seen of him, particularly his ball control and manipulation. He uses his flair effectively unlike some players and can find a pass from all sorts of angles. He is great at arriving late into the box and working the keeper. He is very quick with a low centre of gravity so suits our counter attacking play very well. This transfer looks the most likely and the closest to happen. If the papers are to be believed we will see this confirmed over the next few weeks.
Defensive midfielder / Centre back
Currently plying his trade with Athletic Club,Martinez has been a highly coveted prize for many years. Having chosen to move away from Osasuna as a raw 17 year old, Matinez quickly became the talk of the European elite with eye catching displays in the La Liga and the junior international level. This season he has been used quite a bit at centre back but traditionally has been playing in the centre of the park. He has a great range of passing, renowned for being a bit of an engine room and keeping play moving. He also reads the game well and has the ability to stop a pass at source. He isn’t the quickest player in the world though which may have influenced his move to centre back this year.
Another fantastic prospect currently making a name for himself in the Dutch league. Again two footed, plays in the whole and can devastate a team with a pass.Ajax have been building a team around his skill. At such a young age to have this much responsibility you know you are dealing with a special talent. There a question marks over his availability and his willingness to move at this moment in time. He has also been quoted as saying he would like to play in the La Liga in the future especially withBarcelona. That would concern me from a longevity perspective, could he move on as quickly as he arrived? In saying that he would add some much needed creativity in the middle of the park
Dutch international Strootman has recently been linked with Man United after a breakthrough season in the Dutch League. Having Joined PSV last summer he has went on to establish himself as a first team regular. Dutch Manager Bert van Marwijk has talked up his ‘vision’ to see the pass early, but for me he also has the steel we need in the centre. He doesn’t shy away from a tackle and his leadership has been praised by legendary Philip Cocu. His pass retention is 1st class and ball recycling is amongst the best in the business. It is unlikely he would move this summer having only been at PSV for a year. He has famously turned down the advances of foreign clubs to remain in his native Holland and will most likely wish to continue his development at PSV.
Widely linked to Arsenal as the next French star to join Wenger’s foreign legion, but maybe after the Hazard disappointment we may have a closer look. Like every tall black French footballer he immediately gets compared to Patrick Viera. He maintains some of big Pats characteristics, Good awarness, robust in a tackle etc. With this though he combines a power and drive through the middle, not unlike Yaya Toure, which makes him an interesting possibility for any club. I personally would welcome a signing like this as we lack a defensive prowess in the centre that this transfer could fix. When up against Toure our midfielders tend to struggle with the power and I could see this transfer as the perfect antidote. He has had problems off the field recently which may make Fergie look twice and we haven’t exactly been linked as widely as Arsenal. Put this one on the wait and see list.
This is only the tip of the iceberg of young talent out there. Losing Hazard could be the first step on the rebuilding process as for me it proves we have money to spend. If that money is used wisely we may be able to get a couple of players for the price of one to bring us back to the top where we belong.