Sunday, January 09, 2011

Should Howson and Henderson be on Fergie's transfer radar?

Fergie recently stated there would be no new additions to the United squad during the transfer window; whether or not that assertion proves to be true only time will tell. There is however, no doubt that United are lacking genuine star quality in central midfield. Sooner or later Ferguson will have to make a move in the transfer market in a bid to do something about the paucity in the United engine room, because clearly Paul Scholes despite his age, is still the main creative force - putting it bluntly, this is a ridiculous state of affairs.

The question is, who should Ferguson buy? With the exception of Wesley Sneijder and Kaka, there aren't that many obvious exceptional targets.

English players usually command a premium if they are proven at the highest level, but with the possible exception of the unattainable Steven Gerrard, there are no qualifying British players. But, that most definitely is not the case when it comes to rising young stars of the English game.

Two young players spring to mind: Sunderland's Jordan Henderson and Leeds United's Jonny Howson, both players have been receiving rave reviews and both are being tipped as future senior England players.

The United manager has been linked with Sunderland's Jordan Henderson over the last few weeks and there has been renewed speculation over the weekend.

Howson was in action at the Emirates yesterday in the FA Cup, he was recently rewarded with a new contract, no doubt to ward off interest from Premier League predators.

As ever, the problem for Ferguson is that he needs to be sure that both players will live up to expectations as the asking price for either player is likely to be high. United failed to make a decisive move for Gareth Bale and Spurs won that particular transfer battle; it was by no means the first time that Spurs have beaten United to the punch when searching for new blood. The North London club also snapped up Michael Carrick and Berbatov, both for the right money - the former for proverbial peanuts.

Daniel Comolli, the former Spurs "director of football strategy" was responsible for signing Bale and Berbatov, and now the Frenchman is working at Liverpool in a similar role. If United do not make their move for Howson and or Henderson, it's a fair bet that the likes of Spurs and Liverpool will and if that happens the current league leaders could live to regret not being more decisive as was the case with Gareth Bale.

As we saw with Gareth Bale, the likelihood is that Ferguson will not make his move because he is not prepared to gamble, but failure to do so could prove to be costly; if United wanted to buy Bale now the asking price would be prohibitive.


  1. I'm a big fan of Bale. I think he has come on leaps and bounds in the last 12 months much in the way Nani has for us. I also think he is the perfect successor to Giggs in every single way. The problem is fee. Spurs would want 30m and you can bet Man City would sign him just for the sake of it. I also wonder if he would be a bit overwhelmed at United. Hes a big fish in a small pond at Spurs and you wonder if he could make the step up.
    I'd love it if we got him tho.

    The problem with young British players is you end up paying a premium price for them. Look what Villa paid for Delph and he was a league 1 player at the time. He's done nothing at all at Villa. Henderson does look promising but Sunderland will want stupid money for him. Even this Southampton winger that has been linked with Liverpool (name escapes me) is expected to cost 10m and in my opinion that is insane. £10m for a league one player! Its not surprising teams buy abroad when you can get the finished article for far less. Look at Van Der Vaart and then at this Southampton guy - potential means nothing if you don't live up to it.

    I'd be happy if we signed the likes of Bale, Henderson and Rodwell - I think it would revamp our midfield in the exact areas it needs. I just think the money it would cost to sign them would approach the sort of fee's you would pay for established quality players that are able to walk right into the first team (more focused on Rodwell and Henderson here).

  2. Dave,

    For reason (maybe money) Fergie doesn't move for players until they've really made a name for themselves, but it is costly to do it that way.


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