After a difficult season, one cannot overestimate the value of experience to a team bouncing back from disappointment. Can Manchester United really afford to lose the wealth of experience that they are willing to part ways with this summer?
United have had a good transfer window so far, bringing in two young players in positions that desperately needed to be filled. But there is still much to do.
The midfield still needs a “general”, someone of Arturo Vidal’s stature would be best suited to this role. A central defender is also desperately needed with the departure of both Vidic and Ferdinand. Mats Hummels anyone?
On the wings, United could also do with a boost. Nani, Young and Valencia are hardly enough to strike fear into the heart of opponents.
The experience the team has lost this summer could be crucial to our hopes next season. We have lost Giggs, Ferdinand, Vidic and it is increasingly likely Evra will be off as well.
We all know what Ryan Giggs has achieved at the club, but fortunately he will be on the coaching staff for the coming season. However, we are losing the pillars of the back four for the past decade. Rio, Vidic, and Pat all have at least 300 appearances for the club, with over 45 medals between them. If you add Giggs to the equation it takes it over 80 major honours.
Yes, all these players are into the back ends of their careers, but surely United should have worked harder to retain the services of at least one or two of them. Vidic for his leadership? Rio for his composure? Pat for his charisma?
This season is a crucial season in the history of Manchester United. If we fail to make the Top 4 for a second season running, then there will be major implications in not only the transfer market, but also commercial activities. If ever we needed cool heads and winning mentalities in the dressing room, it’s now.
With the loss of three of the back four as well as Giggs, we are losing significantly more than most fans care to accept. Our most experience man now is Wayne Rooney. Is he even guaranteed a place in van Gaal’s starting line up? RVP only has a Premier League medal to go with his FA Cup medal at Arsenal. Carrick is another player whose name won’t be first name on the team sheet next season. It increasingly seems like our hopes will be pinned on the youngsters…Shaw, Herrera, Januzaj?
Man Utd have won with kids before, remember? But this time it’s different. Back then it was a club still searching for it’s identity. Now it’s a club expected to win.
Having Louis van Gaal come in should steady the ship. But there is one thing money cannot buy. Experience.
If United buy (and sell) well in the next month or so, United fans have every reason to be optimistic. However, we must look to spend money on players with experience and character after the loss of such key men in the dressing room.
Vidal, Hummels and Di Maria have all been rumoured as potential targets. All three make perfect sense, and if United were to sign 2 of those 3, they would start the season up there with the best in the league.