A few days ago, we wrote an article about former United player Kleberson, and what life is like now for the Brazilian. After the success in that article, we thought we’d bring you another one. This time, another player who failed to impress at Old Trafford, the one and only Juan Sebastián Verón.
Here is the player that was seen as the worst signing of all of the Premiership’s history, (or at least the Times newspaper thought so) and could not live up to his expensive price tag £28.1m. At the time, the money spent of the Argentinian was the most ever in English football. Performances from Verón were not good enough, and he ever rarely impressed the Manchester United faithful.
Now plying his trade at his boyhood club Estudiantes, in Argentina, Verón has seen change for the better. Maybe the football is a shade different to what he has experienced here in England, but Verón has been successful with the club helping them succeed in league games and competitions.
Verón helped Estudiantes gain a respectable 7th position in the Primera Division, which features the likes of Boca Juniors and River Plate, and helping them reach the final of the Copa Libertadores, which is similiar to the FA Cup.
But it’s also about the individual sucess. Named as the best player in the Argentine league in 2008 by many fellow players, but his real big acheivement has to be the when he was elected South American Footballer of the Year. For the club, he has made 30 appearances and has found the net 10 times.
Have Manchester United secured their first signing of the season? Or is this just another story speculated by the media? After months of speculation, People newspaper says that Man Utd have clinched Wigan midfielder Antonio Valencia for £15.25m.
Since the departure of Ronaldo, Valencia has found himself linked to Manchester United for a few months now but it is still unclear that this story is true, considering that a tabloid has broken the news instead of the club.
If Valencia has signed, or is set to sign, he looks a welcome addition as the Ecuadorian midfielder has experienced his best season yet for Wigan, with a number of impressive performances. In total this season, Valencia has scored three goals and created five assists in a total of 31 games with the Latics.
People also claims that United are now setting their sights on capturing Lyon’s Karim Benzema for £40m and winger Alexis Sanchez who plays for Udinese. Whether or not these reports are true, it is sure to settle some nerves as United have lost two of their key men in Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez.
After four years in the dark, he’s back. Manchester United’s ‘mega flop’ Kleberson has seen his career resurrected since his move away from Old Trafford and in this year Confederations Cup has looked every part a accomplished Brazilian player.
Now at Brazilian club Flamengo, a number of good performances has earned him a recall into Brazil’s team and it’s not hard to see why. Accuracy and vision is a must for any player and he seems to have that. When he came off the bench against Italy, for the little time he did play, it wasn’t a bad game for the player that was so used to playing centre midfield on the United bench.
It wasn’t his actual performance but it was a surprise to see him with the shirt. After he left Man Utd he moved to Besiktas where he again failed to make an impact. As that didn’t work out, he arrived back in Brazil, but played in sevral reserve matches before finally getting some luck. Departures of some of two Flamengo midfielders meant that little Kleberson actually got some proper football. And since then, life is good again for a player who hardly seemd to live up to his £6.5 m paid for him by Manchester United.
(Now we go slightly off topic) The Brazil team on a whole has been terrific. Mouth watering football, playing the game the right way, and it is simply football to admire.
A mix of youth and power, this Brazilian team has everything. Boasting the likes of Kaka and Robinho, they have been devastating defences in the tournament, what with the quick rapid counter attacking and slick passing in which this team possesses.
Or the ever so reliable wall in the centre of midfield, Felipe Melo and Gilberto Silva has forged a great partnership. Teams like Italy have failed to break them down, and ended up losing 3-0 without causing to much panic to the defence.
It seems like their coach Dunga has helped Brazil recover and his mission is to get his side to have the status as the best team in the world. What we have seen of them so far, and with the World Cup next year, who knows?
According to reports Manchester United are locked in a transfer battle with Real Madrid and Chelsea for Lyon’s in-demand forward Karim Benzema, after Carlos Tevez is set to leave Old Trafford after rejecting a new five year contract. From what I’ve seen of him in the Champions League and in the French league he could certainly cause plenty of problems in the Premier League.
Lyon’s president has admitted there has been an approach for Benzema, but for the moment he claims to have convinced the 21-year-old to stay. Whether this is true or not I don’t really want to guess, his agent might say otherwise.
Personally I think Benzema would be my own preferred choice out of United’s rumoured transfer targets, as good as Franck Ribery is at £60million I’m not sure he is that much better than Benzema whose reported price is closer to the £30million mark. Benzema is the younger of the two players with Ribery five years his senior at 26. His record at Lyon is pretty good, with over 40 goals from just over 100 appearances. He also has a decent record for the French side scoring on average a goal every four games, taking into account that many of these were probably as a substitute. ‘Le Phénomène’ has also beeen the Ligue 1 top goal scorer and player of the year before and he has the credentials to be a success in the Premier League.
People may discount the French league as a weaker league but there is still plenty of quality in France and Ronaldo himself came from the Portuguese league which is arguably a less competitive competition than Ligue 1. Benzema has also stood out in the Champions League, in particular against Manchester United – remember that screamer he scored in the 1-1 draw when he turned four players inside out and hit a low drive right into the bottom corner? For me there isn’t really an issue as to whether he has the quality or not.
The question will remain though as to whether Sir Alex Ferguson can convince him to move to Old Trafford instead of Stamford Bridge or the Santiago Bernabeu. Real have reportedly been loaned around 800 million euros to spend on new players and Chelsea are never short of cash to splash around. When you’re dealing with clubs the size of United, Real and Chelsea it isn’t necessarily all about money though and United could well be the most attractive option.
The loss of Ronaldo will no doubt impact on United’s title challenge but they’re still the favourites in the Premier League betting odds to emerge victorious next year. Ferguson has an outstanding record in the transfer market and he knows a good player (though there is the odd mistake, Eric Djemba Djemba and Kléberson…).
At the moment at least the rumour mill is suggesting that Benzema is Ferguson’s priority at the moment but as we all know the rumours just fly around at the moment and it could be Frank Ribery or Antonio Valencia who Ferguson is targeting and not Benzema. In a bit of weird transfer nonsense you can actually bet on Peter Crouch moving to Old Trafford in the soccer specials betting markets so it shows just how crazy these rumours can get but there does seem to be some credence in the rumours linking Benzema with Old Trafford.
The likely departure of Cristiano Ronaldo is sure to leave a huge gap in the Manchester United team, but that gap can always be filled with the £80m in exchange for Ronaldo. Who will the Red Devils bring in this summer?
Frank Ribery, Bayern Munich: Well, here is a quality winger that may just be able to fill Ronaldo’s boots, but he definitely won’t come cheap. Ribery has an impressive goal record for a midfielder, and is one of the best player in the Bundesliga. Equipped with pace and vision he could be the ideal target. But, then again the German side want nothing less than £60m.
Antonio Valencia, Wigan: Terrific player who United have had their eye on for a very long time. Both Real Madrid and Man Utd were interested, but as Madrid have focused their attention on Ronaldo, it leaves Man Utd to snap up the Ecuadorian for a fee reported of about £16m. Good deal.
Karim Benzema, Lyon: The forward isn’t exactly a replacement for Ronaldo, but with the funds that United may have, Benzema could be one of their summer signings. Has all the right assets to flourish, what with an terrific goalscoring record and ability to terrorise the opposition defence. But the Premier League may prove a different, more difficult kind of football for him.
Carlos Tevez: His future here is doubtful, but the fans will not want to see the back of him. Did not play as much as he wanted to last year, but with Ronaldo’s move to Madrid, he could just find his most successful year in a United shirt.
Who Else?: Players such as Sergio Aguero (Athletico Madrid), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham), David Silva (Valencia) have all been linked to the Premier League Champions. There were even reports that Sameul Eto (Barcelona) is a target, while Kyle Naughton of Sheffield United is another potential transfer.
Your View: Who do you think Sir Alex will bring in this summer. Make your views heard by leaving a comment.
It was pretty much surprising that Manchester United ended the season with the second best defence, considering the fact that this was the team that kept 14 consecutive clean sheets. But overall, defensive performances have been impressive and the partnership between Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic is probably the best in the world. Arguably.
A few bad performances here and there, (Liverpool and Fulham spring into mind) but all in all a season to savour for the back four. This year has seen the rise of young full back Rafael da Silva, who has looked impressive at times but his inexperience has shown. While right backs Wes Brown and Gary Neville have missed many games, John O’Shea has deputised well for them.
Vidic has been United’s best player this season, let alone best defender. He won United player of the year deservedly so, and Man Utd fans will hope he can carry this form come August.
Ferdinand has had a troubled back injury this season, but apart from that has done his job. When he has been absent, young Jonny Evans found a place in the line up. A consistent player that is not afraid to go into challenges and has a bright future ahead of him. Patrice Evra has has a decent season at left back, but has been significant both defending and going forward.
Rafael da Silva - Ratings: Tackling (6 out of 10), heading (5), composure (6), mentality (7), passing (6).
Overall 29 out of 50
John O’Shea - Ratings: Tackling (8 out of 10), heading (7), composure (7), mentality (7), passing (7).
Overall 36 out of 50
Rio Ferdinand - Ratings: Tackling (9 out of 10), heading (9), composure (7), mentality (7), passing (7).
Overall 39 out of 50
Nemanja Vidic - Ratings: Tackling (9 out of 10), heading (10), composure (8), mentality (7), passing (6).
Overall 40 out of 50
Jonny Evans - Ratings: Tackling (7 out of 10), heading (7), composure (6), mentality (7), passing (6).
Overall 30 out of 50
Patrice Evra - Ratings: Tackling (7 out of 10), heading (7), composure (8), mentality (7), passing (8).
Overall 37 out of 50