Sir Alex Ferguson has said in the Mail on Sunday that he is not looking to sign anyone for Manchester United during the summer transfer window. It’s a clear indication that the squad is settled and determined to maintain their Premier League lead over the rest of the season and wrestle the title back from local rivals Manchester City.
United currently have a number of players out injured who would all go a long way to bolstering the strength of the squad meaning that no reinforcements are needed; Anderson, Jonny Evans, Shinji Kagawa, Nani, Nick Powell and a number of other youth players.
Out of all of those familiar first team names, Nani is the only player not expected to return by the end of December. He has a hamstring problem which he picked up during the Champions League group stage and Ferguson is unlikely to sell him before the end of the season because the Portuguese winger provides vital cover in wide areas.
Ferguson may have made the comments because he has all of his key players fit and ready to play over the rest of the season. He has cover in every position along the back four, fit wingers to play out wide as well as a combination of settled central midfield players to support the four strikers currently at the club.
One of the major advantages of not bringing anyone in during the January window, is that all members of the side feel a little safer that their position in the team is not under threat. It’s almost a vote of confidence from Ferguson in his players. The big additions like Robin Van Persie were made over the summer with Ferguson knowing that he would have key players returning through the early part of the season.
This has not stopped the club from being linked with a number of key high profile players such as Kevin Strootman from PSV and Robert Lewandowski from Borussia Dortmund. Ferguson’s comments mean if there is any truth in these links then they are on the back burner for the summer which also means he may be looking to make changes and offload certain players; Nani is being linked with a move away from United.
The only January activity United are expected to be engaged in is sending players out on loan who need playing time and possibly listening to bids from other clubs for players that may not be in Ferguson’s plans for the rest of the season and beyond. The club could benefit from some additional transfer cash which can be reinvested next summer once any problems over the first half of next year have been exposed.
United fans need not worry, the players linked with the club are moves which could still happen. Ferguson has traditionally resisted the chance to bring players into the club throughout January because he seems to like things being calm and settled. He also knows he has those few key players to come back from injury which will bolster his options as and when they return.
Is Sir Alex making a mistake? Or is he simply bluffing?
image: © tomjoad