No I haven’t got my figures on Robin Van Persie wrong despite the £24 million striker having a very good start to the current campaign. The £25 million in question relates to Manchester United’s brand-new medical facilities at Carrington and the impact that this will have on the first team picture.
Sir Alex Ferguson himself said of the deal:
'We made a couple of signings this summer but this is a big signing - probably the most important step forward this club has taken in a long, long time.'
Almost an admission of guilt in terms of the clubs current medical facilities not being up to scratch. Last season it could be argued that injuries to first team players were responsible for the club losing out to rivals Manchester City in the title race. Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Anderson and Tom Cleverley to name just some of the long-term absentees at Old Trafford last term.
Whilst obviously some injuries and incidents are beyond prediction or repair such as the lengthy absence of Darren Fletcher through ulcerative colitis the new technology being brought to Carrington includes a quite remarkable piece of equipment that has been used at teams such as AC Milan. The link with Japanese tech company Toshiba sees the introduction of a MRI scanner that can ‘predict’ future injuries.
It is highly sensitive and can view finite soft tissue damage on hamstrings, knees and ankles to prevent small sprains maturing into full on ACL tears which could help prevent the sorts of injuries that saw them ranked as the worst team for injury related player loss in the Premier League last year. When you consider they currently have Vidic, Jones and Smalling on the sidelines again it is surely an important step to see them improve the medical facilities, even if it is to a grand total fee of £25 million.
The new facilities will include state-of-the-art echocardiogram’s to allow for regular heart screening on players to avoid the unfortunate scenes at White Hart Lane earlier in the year when Fabrice Muamba collapsed with cardiac arrest caused by an undetected heart defect. It will also allow them to undertake medicals for potential new signings on site rather than at hospital’s in the Greater Manchester area.
While United constantly bring in precocious young talent, rear their own and bring in superstars in their own right spending big money in the process, the £25 million pound being spent on their medical facilities may prove to be the best investment they have ever made.
Can Manchester United’s new medical investment have a direct result on first-team results?
image: © nasmac