Looking at Sir Alex Ferguson's amount of spending this summer or lack thereof, one can only imagine that he is trying to prepare for this new financial rule. With one significant signing this summer thus far, should Manchester United fans be concerned? Well as an outsider looking in, after coughing up a significant lead in the standings late in the season last year, United fans certainly would have hoped for a bigger investment this summer.
If we look back on the previous summer transfer purchases of SAF, he has always managed to bring in at least three or four players while this season he has only managed two. Of those two, 18 year-old Nick Powell will more than likely see time on the reserve squad or go out on loan to gain some experience.
Shinji Kagawa remains the big signing of the summer, while their appears to be no advanced negotiations for anyone else. Although the 'Red Devils' did put in an offer for Robin van Persie just this week, Arsenal didn't seem content with the offer. Will this summer be one of SAF's lowest spending in recent years?
For a team that had a lot of depth issues in the back line last year, its surprising that they have yet to go out and bring in any defenders. Utilizing Antonio Valencia at right back seems to keep SAF happy, but why waste a player with his talent in such a defensive position? Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic both featured in a friendly match against Barcelona yesterday, but United still does not have adequate cover if their two starters go down with an injury. Why has SAF not made any adjustments to eliminate this problem?
Johnny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling will not be ready for the start of the season, leaving United fans on the edge of their seat with every tackle or sprint Vidic and Ferdinand make. A significant injury to either of them would be devastating for United, although they could certainly point the finger at their long time manager.
A club like Manchester United that tops the list of highest revenue of all sports teams should not face issues of this sort, but SAF seems to think it's not an issue although he had to deal with it last season.
All their rivals, with the exception of Manchester City have brought in significant reinforcements this summer while United remains a spectator to all the spending. For City to not spend money in this transfer window wouldn't be all that bad considering the depth they have in their squad, something United doesn't have.
It seems like Ferguson is setting high expectations for players who shouldn't be that highly rated going into the 2012-13 season. Tom Cleverly will be returning to the team after being out last season with an injury, but will the young Englishman be as influential and dominant as Ferguson expects or would like him to be?
Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are both past their prime yet they can still offer some greatness to United but how much is the question. They both shouldn't be starters for a team like United although Ferguson may have a different opinion. Players like Rafael and Fabio have struggled to leave a positive mark since arriving at United and that could well be due to their size and lack of physicality.
A concern that United has had for a few years now that has still not been addressed with a permanent fix is their lack of a true central midfielder who can set the tone throughout the match. United lacks a player like Steven Gerrard or Scott Parker who will slow the game down when needed or pile on the pressure when things get tough. Someone who will not only pull strings from the midfield but also not be afraid to knock people around when needed. Yes Paul Scholes is well-known for that, but lets not forget he is also 37 and to have SAF call him out of retirement last season showed how desperate the United manager was. So why not fill that gap with a proven and experienced player before you run into the same problem again?
Anderson and Carrick have both failed to stay consistent while Fletcher's future is still up in the air. Shinji Kagawa will obviously offer a lot to the United offense, but he is not that hard-nosed midfielder that United needs to push the opponents around like Paul Scholes used to do. The good thing about bringing in Kagawa is that Wayne Rooney won't have to drop so deep into the midfield to create offense for the 'Red Devils', freeing him up in the offensive third.
Their is clearly still plenty of time for United to bring in players considering the transfer window doesn't close until the end of the month, but if Ferguson is planning on bringing anyone else in, what is taking him so long? This waiting game is not like Ferguson, or it's not what he has accustomed his fans to. Lets also not forget that United will be back in the Champions League this year which can take a toll on your players. With not much depth in the back line and question marks in the center of the pitch, does United have a serious chance at challenging for the title, considering all the spending Chelsea has done?
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