Manchester United's youthful talent and current first team's loyalty provide a formula for future success.
United lie second in the league behind neighbours City and have steadily gained form after losses at the end of 2011. However, their absence from Champions League fixtures next season, being ‘dropped’ into The Europa League, have dented their hopes for more than one title this season (they are also, knocked out of The Carling and FA Cup). So, what’s in store for United from now on?
With injuries going haywire, certain players like promising midfielder Cleverly and Ashley Young are slowly coming back into the fold. Unfortunately, keeper Lindegaard might be out for six weeks with young Spaniard De Gea slowly taking over the no.1 sport –even though the beginning of his career in England has been rifled with controversy and criticism. Following some shaky starts and mistakes, De Gea has saved many a game and with more experience he can be a future star and world great – all he needs is a little more time in the world’s toughest league. Young Ben Amos is also a promising keeper but it will be tough to take the jersey away from De Gea and Lindegaard in the coming seasons.
Young starlet Pogba is slowly gaining some first-team experience and will certainly be an asset in the team for some years to come. His control, maturity and calm on pitch shows and his talent is there for the taking.
With Rooney picking up scoring form and Chicharito slowly poaching goals like he is used to, United’s forward pair could be one of the greats for seasons to come. What remains uncertain, even though Wayne’s loyalty to the club is unwavering, is his time with the club. Berbatov, while talented up front, is a question mark. He is said to be frustrated at warming the bench week in and week out – this has prompted interest from many other European clubs. Welbeck is also one for the future as he has become a regular in the first team, providing a threat going forward and proving how much control he has gathered in recent months. With Italian attacker Macheda currently on loan and youngster Will Keane proving his worth in the reserves, Fergie could have more options up front.
With Giggs and Scholes probably down to one more year in the fold, Fergie will be looking for some midfielder replacements. I see Carrick staying in the team. Michael’s maturity and skill has grown over the past few months and his hold of possession and control is a great asset that Fergie shouldn’t do away with. With Park on hot form, he probably has a short spell left with the club while Nani, Valencia and Young could be features for along time. Antonio, especially, has been magical for the past few weeks, dribbling and using his runs to create goals.
Defensively, Vidic’s injury is a great loss but has given youngsters Smalling, Evans, Jones and Rafael a chance to show their worth – most likely United’s future defensive line. Evra is a great leader and captain and his loyalty is unwavering – will be around until retirement in a few more seasons. With Vidic fit and Evra in the fold, United’s future looks bright. I can see Rio going on for two or three more seasons, too. I believe we’ll have to fight off future bids for Vidic –I can see Madrid and Barca (even City) breaking records for the rock defender. Fabio and Rafael also possess astounding talent and are proving to be attacking defenders who link up well with the wings. Rafael is the favoured twin though and is starting regulary.
In the Summer window, a move for a striker and midfielder could be on the cards. Wesley Sneijder has been a United pursuit but his personal agreements always seem to be mounted in greed. He’d be perfect, though and a Sneijder-Cleverly-Carrick would be almost unbeatable. Another playmaker United is keen on is Modric who has been great for Spurs this season – scoring and assisting in goals. United are also looking to provide defensive options in Crystal Palace’s Nathaniel Clyne – a central defender.
United’s future looks promising as Fergie’s youngsters have continued to break first team spots. Short-term, United will be looking at the midfield area to beef up future title hopes and will be experimenting with Lindegaard and De Gea to see which player should fill Van Der Sar’s massive boots.