Louis van Gaal, Manchester United’s new manager is said to have expressed interest in signing the Dutch defensive midfielder Nigel de Jong, as a first step towards stabilizing United’s shaky midfield. Apparently, van Gaal has told Ed Woodward to pursue a £6 million deal for the dutch midfielder who was part of his team in all three group stage games this World cup in Brazil.
Nigel de Jong, who used to be a fan favorite in rival club Manchester City, joined AC Milan in August 2012. He played a vital role in Roberto Mancini’s squad which won the club’s first premier league title in 44 years. He began his career as a creative midfielder for Ajax and occasionally also played on right wing. A combative and feisty player, known for his physicality, has earned nicknames like “The Terrier” and “Lawnmower”. He performed the role of holding midfielder during his City days playing alongside Gareth Barry. De Jong also had the highest passing completion percentage in Premier League in 2010-11 season.
Even though De Jong is 29 years old and he might be outside the favored age range at United, he will surely have an important role to play at United more than any other club. With aging midfielders like Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher, and young midfielders like Marouane Fellaini and Tom Cleverley failing to perform, an addition to the likes of De Jong would surely fill the gaps. Juan Mata was a big addition last winter by ex-United manager David Moyes, but what lacked was a good holding midfielder who can play defense and contain the ball, to play alongside him. Van Gaal had already talked about his interest in signing players he can trust, which will help him build the team slowly, thereby making United a force again.
Manchester United line up is filled with young talents and star players, and with some right signings this summer, they can surely become a main contender to win the Premier league title again. But to become that force again, United needs some quality midifelders who can keep things in control and not allow the opposition to overrun like it happened a lot of times last season, especially at home games against Liverpool and Manchester City. Even though signing De Jong is a good move for United, there is still a long way to go this summer and they need to pursue more talents in order to become title favorites again.