While writing my last article in which I talked of how big money transfers would be the solution to Manchester United’s rotation problems and ageing squad, another thought came to mind; could the strength in depth be brought back to one of the best squads in England…for free?
Obviously, the ‘free transfer’ talk has been heightened this season due to the immediate success of players like Demba Ba et al...but whether clubs across Europe would be making serious mistakes to let some top talent go is still yet to be proved. However, here is my list of those who may leave their respective clubs to make big impact, no money moves this summer…and some may surprise you.
Rene Adler – Bayer Leverkusen
Goalkeeper Age – 27 Market Value – £6.6 million
‘Don’t be silly…’ I hear you cry, ‘We know we have been sceptics of David De Gea in the past, we admit that, but he finally seems to have come good for United…and now we see his as the serious long term replacement for VDS…’ Yes, imaginary United fans, I agree with you. I think that he is a fantastic talent too, and I think he will most certainly play a huge part in any success United have in the next 10+ years…but do his lack of strength and questionable decision making in the present worry me when it comes to the big games? Yes.
Rene Adler is a very, very good goalkeeper. However, after being forcibly ejected from his starting place by someone younger than your humble author to warm the Leverkusen bench this season, he wants to move…and I don’t blame him.
Would he move to United and warm another bench? Probably.
Do I wish we had bought him 5 years ago? Definitely.
Danijel Pranjić – Bayern Munich
Left back/ Central Midfielder Age: 30 Market Value – £4-6 million
As a Manchester United fan this season, I have had to come to a very sobering conclusion. Paul Scholes isn’t the Six Million Dollar Man…we cannot always rebuild him. He is on the wrong side of 30 and knocking rather quickly on 40’s door…a replacement is needed. I am not saying that Pranjic is that replacement…I mean come on…we would need a damn sight more than 6 million dollars to replace Scholes, but he is a very good footballer with an incredible range of passing, incisive movement, and fantastic decision making skills. His experience in the Bundesliga as a full back only serves to aid his cause when moved into the midfield – see Croatia at the last EURO’s.
I could see him playing the very underrated but highly valued role at United that is often forgotten at big clubs, but is integral to those who wish not to be caught out with the quick breakaway – the ‘Makelele’ role from my last article. There has been no word from English clubs to sign him yet…but I wouldn’t be shocked if he made the move.
Ederson – Olympique Lyonnais
Central/Attacking Midfielder/Winger Age – 26 Market Value – £6-10 million
Ederson is a player I have been telling all that will listen about for the last few years, and when I heard that contract talks with Lyon had stalled this past week…I was sincerely hoping I would see him in the Premiership. After scoring with one of the best strikes in my recent memory (type: ‘Ederson super shoot’ into Youtube and you will find it), and seeing him play both for Nice and Lyon…I think he is a fantastic footballer. He maybe doesn’t score as many as he should do, but blame can be placed upon his forced placement as a winger by successive managers rather than the attacking trequartista position he seems to prefer occupying.
I think he would be a good signing for United, but as with many of the players on Bosman deals this summer…it is more a case of why couldn’t they have been brought to the Premiership and nurtured earlier? At 26, he isn’t past his prime by any means, but the formative Premier League years have been missed out on, and with Ederson…I believe that is why his impact may be stunted if he came to a team where he wasn’t playing week in, week out.
A real talent, though.
Hedwiges Maduro – Valencia
Defensive Midfielder/Centre Back Age – 27 Market Value – £4-6 million
Whether you have heard of him or not, Hedwiges Maduro is a renowned player across Europe who had been held back by a mixture of bad timing, bad management, and worst of all…bad luck. He was given his chance by Ajax and was voted Young Player of the Year in his early years at the Dutch club, and he showed a great deal of promise.
Some say that potential was never realised. He can be seen as a man who resembles a Nigel de Jong in central midfield, but with an aerial threat and presence during those dead ball situations.
I doubt he will be making the move to the Premiership, with another club in Spain perhaps being the ideal destination for both the way he plays, and the wages he would like to be paid.
THE ONE I WOULD HAVE…
David ‘Junior’ Hoilett – Blackburn Rovers
Attacking Midfielder/Winger/Striker Age- 21 Market Value – £7 – 12 million
I doubt I am the only one to think that even if Rovers stay up, Hoilett will not be there to see the 2012/13 season with them. He stands out in an average squad, and we know what happens in the Premier League when the big teams come hunting around. A Bosman transfer would perhaps be a little harsh on Blackburn…having nurtured him since being a 14 year old trainee, sponsoring his German league trips, and securing his work permit for English football, but as they say ‘That’s the game…so them’s the rules’.
We have all seen him play well week in, week out in a team of very few stars…and both his skill and direct running are surely the qualities the person to replace, or at least attempt to fill the huge boots of Ryan Giggs. He needs to work on his final ball, and perhaps his decision making, but his potential is there for all to see…and there is a LOT of potential there.
Who do you think could move on a free this summer? Any I have missed…?Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!