When Anderson arrived at Manchester United in 2007 I remember thinking, “Wow, this guy’s the perfect fit for Man U.” Exactly what they need – a dynamic winger turned attacking mid with enough flair, speed, dribbling and vision to quickly move the ball forward in attack. The perfect player to support both Rooney and Ronaldo (before his exit). Boy was I wrong.
Since then, Anderson has been a massive under performer, so much so that he’s been on loan all this year. The large issue was that he tried to adapt to center-mid (with obvious trouble) and unlucky for him, any middy trying to follow in the footsteps of Paul Scholes portends failure to live up to the hype. That said, I really don’t think that he was a major disappointment. At times he did perform admirably, but despite his best efforts, he was never able to be a conduit of good fortune able to move the ball forward with ease like the aforementioned Ginger Prince. Now that I’ve wasted precious time on Anderson, let’s move on…
When assessing Manchester United’s needs, it seems rather obvious that they still need a replacement for Scholes, and, while I do respect Mata’s game highly, he’s no engine. I know that he can keep possession, make the necessary pass on the counter, and stun you with his flair, but that’s still not enough for me… (I’m of the firm belief that Oscar won the starting role at Chelsea because Mourinho wanted to build a team like Brazil’s; in other words, Oscar already proved he could fit a scheme that drives the ball forward in a fast paced nature like he did at last summer’s Confederations Cup, helping destroy Spain in the Final; in other other words, after four years at Real Madrid being demolished by Ticki-Taka, Mourinho went to Chelsea to build a club to combat it). Back to Manchester United, start Carrick, start Mata, sell Fellaini, and buy a midfield engine… Here’s why:
Manchester United need an identity and style, and it’s impossible for clubs to fear them without one. They need players that are fast, brutal and intense; their one-one draw with Bayern was the biggest statement that they made all year, and they were able to do so because they fielded a team full of rage, aggression and experience (the one player that lacked experience was Danny Welbeck, and due to his lack of composure in front of goal, missed out on some great opportunities in the first leg that really could have advanced them. That said, I think he can prove to be as good as say a Daniel Sturridge given the opportunity to develop confidence and composure, but that is a post for another time).
Marco Reus completes Manchester United: he’s only 24, he’s not a project, he’s played in a Champions league final, and more importantly, he can give them the identity that they so sorely need, and that Moyes failed to provide (Yes, sometimes players can offer their clubs more of an identity than their manager). Reus is an engine beyond compare, and he can drive everyone on Man United to better heights.
Furthermore, Reus is an immensely skilled player, he’s fast, creative, aggressive, and in my opinion, better than either Ozil or Götze. Call me crazy, but I think at this point in his career, if better talent surrounds him, (Rooney, Van Persie, Welbeck, Valencia, Carrick, Mata) and he gets chance to play somewhere as intense as the field of dreams, he’ll give his opponents constant unrelenting nightmares.
Please let me know what you think about all this, I’m more than curious to hear your responses – whether they be mean, nice, or ignorant.
Other players that I feel could help: Lucas Moura (Probably would be impossible to sign, also don’t think he has the personality enough to offer them an identity, but certainly has the talent)