Friday, January 16, 2009

Manucho deal: Is Fergie going to sign another striker?

Sometimes you wonder what is going on in the mind of the wizard, aka, Sir Alex Ferguson. On Wednesday, United limped to a narrow one-nil victory over Wigan, courtesy of an early Wayne Rooney goal, but the Reds' hero sustained a hamstring injury and was replaced by Carlos Tevez.

Rooney is out of action for up three weeks - to make matters a whole lot worse, the Argentine was injured too in the same game. Now we learn that Manucho is going out on-loan to Hull City for the remainder of the season. However, it is also being reported that the Angolan hasn't yet received a work-permit, whether or not this has impacted on United's thinking in allowing the player to go on-loan is not yet clear.

Nonetheless, the decision to allow Manucho to leave at this juncture will no doubt baffle many United supporters, because it could potentially leave the Champions with just unproven youngster, Danny Welbeck, as the only recognised available striker to play alongside Dimitar Berbatov.

If this worst case scenario comes to fruition, the Champions will have no cover on the bench at the Reebok stadium when they face Bolton Wanderers on Saturday, in what is always a hard-fought contest.

It could also be the case that having taken a good look at Manucho in training, Fergie has decided the Angolan is not quite yet up to playing for United's first-team, but if that is so and with all the problems over Carlos Tevez and with the Champions still in the hunt for four trophies this season, then just perhaps Fergie will have to make a move to sign another striker in the current transfer window.

United have struggled to score goals this season and the manager has been gambling when having just three strikers' to choose from. Giggs and Ronaldo are not strikers', but in an emergency they can be pressed into action to support Berbatov, which is what I expect will happen on Saturday against Bolton.

The Reds' have worked hard to fight their way to second place in the table, this after a slow start to the campaign which saw them in the wrong half of the Premier League in the early part of the season. Having clawed their way to the shoulders of leaders Liverpool it would be criminal to allow the momentum to stop due to a lack of fire-power.

Last weekend United crushed Chelsea and the hope was that result and performance would be the perfect springboard to launch a full-bloodied goal-laden assault in the title race, but you get the feeling that, for now at least, United will have to continue to scrape to narrow victories.

United fans have faith in Fergie, and no doubting once again our nerves will be shredded at the season's end, let's just keep on hoping it's another glorious one...keep the faith.

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