As far as transfers to Manchester United go these days, Marcos Rojo’s has been relatively fast-paced.
We’ve had a few issues along the way – mainly the manner in which he attempted to leave Sporting Lisbon – but finally, the deal is done. Rojo is red.
Indeed, particularly in the last few transfer windows, signing players has become a long and drawn-out task for United. Unlike the days of Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill, when deals were concluded swiftly, signing for United has never seemed so complicated and long-winded.
It certainly helps when a player does as much work for the move as the club he’s moving to. Rojo himself, whether you agree or disagree with his antics preceding his departure from Sporting Lisbon, made the transfer happen just as much as Ed Woodward and co.
But he’s now signed a five-year deal at United and will wear the number five at Old Trafford – the number vacated by Rio Ferdinand.
And at a time when United are finding it hard in getting the world’s top stars to put pen to paper, Rojo’s arrival could be the perfect tonic for the Red Devils.
He’s a player of multiple positions – definitely something United need, especially on the left side of that creaking defence. Granted, he hasn’t got the experience or dominance of Mats Hummels or Thomas Vermaelen, but providing both cover and competition for Luke Shaw, as well as giving another option at centre-back, is something that must have been seen as key this season.
Shaw himself won’t develop into the player we all know he could be in the future without competition for the left-back/left wing-back spot, so on that front, Rojo’s signing is excellent.
But just how much player are United getting for their money? £16m represents incredible value for money in this day and age, and if Rojo performs anything like as well as he did in the World Cup for Argentina then he’ll be a solid aquisition for Louis Van Gaal.
I’m sure I won’t be the only one to confess to not knowing an awful lot about Marcos Rojo. United fans will only really have tuned in to watch him regularly during the 2014 World Cup, with Argentina losing in extra-time in the final against Germany.
And he proved himself to be a robust defender with undoubted ability to attack, too. His crossing ability will certainly add something to United’s attack – wing-play has been a dying art at Old Trafford in recent years, with United’s wingers (rightly) taking a lot of flak.
He’s undoubtedly confident and assertive in defence, and all being well will go some way to providing some much-needed steel in United’s defence.
But it’s the player himself who should fit straight into Louis Van Gaal’s plans. He’s not a global star and therefore won’t arrive with an over-sized ego. However he’s not completely unknown – and therefore isn’t much of a gamble. And the relatively small transfer fee laid out means he’ll arrive at United under very little pressure; perfect for a team which has looked utterly paralysed by pressure to deliver since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
United fans may be demanding that big money is spent on the squad, with huge names signed – but in the short-term at least, more signings like Rojo wouldn’t go amiss.
He may not be a world-beater at this moment in time, but he will certainly help start to fill the void left by United’s summer departures.