It’s now almost seven years since Diego Forlan left Old Trafford, and Sir Alex Ferguson is now prepared to bite the bullet and tempt the Uruguayan back from cash-strapped Atletico Madrid. Forlan has been in superb form since switching the Premiership for La Liga, and won the Golden Ball at the World Cup over the summer. Fergie, however, might find himself in competition with his old foe, fact-fan and Internazionale manager Rafa Benitez.
Ferguson signed Forlan for £7.5million from Argentine side Independiente in 2002, but the striker struggled for form in his early days in Manchester, mocked for a lack of goal-scoring ability: he made his debut for the club in January 2002, but didn’t score his first goal until September of that year. Forlan did enjoy a certain cult status with the club’s fans, especially after scoring twice at Anfield in a 2-1 win over Liverpool, but Forlan ultimately left United for Villareal after two and a half years.
His goal-scoring form improved drastically in Spain, scoring an impressive 123 goals in 212 La Liga games for Villareal and Atletico Madrid. He was heralded over the summer as the only player to truly get to grips with how to hit the controversial Jabulani ball.
Forlan’s clearly a cracking footballer, something that was evident even during his mis-firing spell at Old Trafford. I wasn’t exactly heralding him as a future Golden Ball winner back in the day, but his reputation as a “flop” is ludicrously over the top. Many media outlets are picking up on his record of just 10 goals in 63 Premiership games, but of those games 40 were substitute appearances. And he scored some great goals, like this belter against Rangers.
The unfortunate question that would remain, however, is ‘why’? He’s 31, and United already have, including those out on loan, eight first team strikers on their books. Not to mention promising goal-scorers in the youth and reserve ranks like Will Keane and John Cofie. So as much as I like him, I’m just not sure it’d be the right move.
Are you a United fan? Would you have Forlan back in a United shirt?
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