Manchester United fans will doubtless hold their collective breath this summer as Sir Alex Ferguson stumbles into the goalkeeping transfer market once again.
The retirement of Edwin van der Sar has left a big hole to be filled at Old Trafford, it seems prudent that question marks should be hanging over Ferguson’s ability to capture a keeper which can make make the grade, making who lines up between the posts in an Utd shirt at West Brom in August an intriguing question.
The bookies favourite may well be David De Gea, with a deal for the young Spaniard possibly coming to fruition following his involvement at the under 21 international tournament, but the united fans could be forgiven for the odd sleepless night when it comes to their otherwise imperious managers judgement when it comes to appointing a new number one.
Ferguson’s reign at Utd has been littered with as many goalkeeping flops as it has trophies with some pretty high profile error of judgements putting a big blot on the managers copy book.
Names such as Massimo Taibi, Roy Carroll, and Tim Howard all flopped in a Utd shirt, while the most costly of all, the £7.8m acquisition of Fabian Barthez turned from master stroke to disaster over the course of a couple of seasons and many fans still regard the Frenchman as a big failure at united.
The stats show an indisputable Achilles heal in Ferguson’s armoury when it comes to the goalkeeping department, with his incredible turnover of 18 keepers in 25 years at United evidence of the error strewn conveyor belt between the old Trafford sticks, with well over £20m been thrown at the hole in an attempt to find a convincing plug.
Signings like Van der sar and Peter Schmeichel, who went on to become the worlds greatest with United, are the exceptions which prove the rule. Indeed, it may be the curse of having to fill such sizeable gloves as the ones left by the giant Dane which still hangs over the Stretford End so many years on, and which is the root cause of such difficulties felt by managers and ‘would be’ replacements alike.
The clear thing however, is that an endorsement from the Premier Leagues greatest manager doesn’t necessarily auger well for either party long term, and those associated with the English Champions may well nervously hope that Ferguson doesn’t repeat mistakes of the past.
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