Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Forlan eyeing Premier League return?

Let’s face it; the World Cup wasn’t a great success for any of the Manchester United players. Early knockouts, time on the bench and a heavily-criticised lack of goals led to a collective disappointment for United’s World Cup contenders. Naturally, Alex Ferguson was quick to defend his frustrated players and went on say that Wayne Rooney will rule the World in 2014.

Whatever happens in 2014 remains to been seen but one things for sure, World Cup 2010 belonged to a man with a strong Manchester connection; Diego Forlan. Although his importance wasn’t overlooked by critics before the tournament, in his Adidas F50 AdiZero's the Uruguayan striker essentially upstaged the ‘big names’ at the World Cup to win the prized ‘Golden Ball’ award for the tournaments best player.

Simply put, the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Didier Drogba and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney just didn’t make the impact they were expected to. 2010 wasn’t a tournament for prima donnas and the players who were willing to roll up their sleeves and work hard for the team were the one’s that truly stood out.

After his impressive World Cup performance, Diego Forlan won’t look back at his time at Old Trafford as the next high-point in his career. Following a £6.9 million transfer from Indipendiente, Forlan was expected to set the Premier League alight. But like so many players entering the Premier League from a different footballing culture, he failed to adapt. It took Forlan 8 months to score his first goal; a penalty in the Champions league against Israeli club Maccaiba Haifa!

Based on his form at the World Cup, it’s hard to imagine how a player of Forlan’s caliber went 27 games without scoring a goal. Once Forlan found the back of the net, his goal scoring record improved but he fell way short of expectations and finished his United career with just 10 Premier League goals. A move to La Liga saw Forlan emerge as a real force in European football leaving Manchester United fans wondering what could have been.

That’s exactly the sentiment that Forlan reflected when he recently said that he and Rooney could have formed a “devastating” partnership if United had decided to keep him. Manchester United demand goals from their strikers, the Emile Heskey and Dirk Kuyt types would never be suited to Old Trafford. With such an ability to attract new players, there’s always another goal scorer that Alex Fergusson can give the next chance to.

Although Forlan felt he was starting to find his feet when he was sold to Villarreal, the move away from Manchester United reignited his career. In the wake of the World Cup, Forlan has hinted that he would be interested in a move back to the Premiership. Even if it doesn’t happen this season, at 31 Forlan still has enough time to make a return. If he could finally adjust to English football, a second chance at Old Trafford would make a remarkable final chapter in Forlan’s extraordinary career.

Written by Olly; player, and World Cup-crazy soccer fan. Olly works for SoccerPro where you will find the new Manchester United Jersey for the 2010-2011 season.


  1. I still believe Forlan could have been given more time if he comes later, as the time of Berbatov. See Berbatov was given more time than Forlan but for me Forlan is better at scoring. Forward is scoring and not being like a midfielder spreading passes.

  2. I've never really understood Diego Forlan. HE was guilty of missing some of the easiest chances ever while wearing the red shirt, but his link-up play was always good...


  3. Forlan was pretty awful for United to be honest and I was glad when we got rid of him. He has come on leaps and bounds in Spain and isnt the same player we once had.
    Anyone else think Liverpool would be wise to flog Torres and sign Forlan... why not replace Torres with the guy that replaced him at Athletico.

  4. Dave,

    I was absolutely delighted when Forlan was sold. I don't see him coming back to England though.


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