Manchester United’s manager, Louis Van Gaal, made some interesting comments over the weekend in an interview. He stated that United were looking to buy a “World Star” as they lacked in that department. I agree with the fact that ever since Ronald left the club, we’ve been missing that X factor on the field—missing a player who could turn the game on its head single handedly. Rooney gives us that in parts but he remains largely anonymous for most parts of the season. However, this isn’t the point I’m looking to make.
I listened to LVG’s comments over the weekend and said to myself, “This most definitely isn’t the United way of doing things.”It was a very unlike united way of him to state that the club required a “superstar” to stay competitive in the league and in Europe in the upcoming season for Man Utd. Even though I understand that most fans and owners demand immediate success since that is what they’re used to, United’s dealings in the transfer market ever since Sir Alex Ferguson left has surprised me.
If you look up Manchester United’s history, you’ll find very few if any instances of United signing a “World Class” player and it working out. We signed Ronaldo when he was pretty young and molded him into a world-class player. Charlton, Best, Giggs, Scholes, and Beckham all came through the academy, and I would definitely not categorize Van Nistelrooy or Cantona as World-class players when we signed them. Di Maria and Veron were the only two genuinely “World class” players that we signed and they turned out to be disasters for the club.
I know for a fact that Ed Woodwards has a lot of money to spend in the transfer market, but he would be better off utilizing that money by getting the world’s best facilities and best coaches for the club so that we can mould our young stars into world-class players. This would definitely eliminate the need to spend big in the transfer market in order to stay competitive.
United’s old adversary, Arsene Wenger, has a point when he says that premier league clubs should look to make world-class players rather than buying them. It’s better for Manchester united to spend money on a potential star to mold him into a world-class player rather than spending twice as much for a finished article that might not settle.
The way LVG is blowing money in the transfer market is definitely not the United way of doing things, which is something that concerns me – not doing things the “United way” has always had repercussions. This is why I ask—is signing a “World Star” really that great?
– Commentary by guest writer