“A TV weather man reluctantly goes to cover the story of Punxsutawney Phil for the third year in a row. Making no effort to hide his frustration about this, he covers the story and moves on, expecting his job to be finished. However, he awakes the ‘following’ day and discovers that it’s Groundhog Day again, and the fun happens again, again, and again. First he finds this be burdensome and unavoidable no matter what, then he soon realizes he must take advantage of it in order to secure the love of a coworker.”
This might be a synopsis of Bill Murray’s 1993 classic movie Groundhog Day but when it comes to midfielders and Manchester United, it resonates deeply (apart from the fact there has been no love story at the end of it thus far).
Thiago Alcantara, Wesley Sneijder, Cesc Fabregas, Lucas Moura, Eden Hazard et al. There have been too many instances to count from recent years where United have seemingly been the grabber in the arcade which is always inches away from securing a fluffy prize before tragedy strikes and you’re forced back to square one.
So far, this summer has seen a similar pattern followed.
First, it started with William Carvalho after multiple reports suggested we had a deal in place that was going to be completed before the World Cup. Since then, he has pledged his future to Sporting Lisbon and insisted he is going nowhere. There is still time for a deal to happen but the trail has gone cold.
Then came Toni Kroos. After it was clear he was available, United fans rejoiced, prematurely, as Louis van Gaal ruled out a move for him which left United fans scratching their heads.
Now we’re in the middle of Fabregas part II, following where we left off last summer.
Those three aside, you could look at the likes of Ivan Rakitic and Koke as available midfielders who Van Gaal seemingly isn’t interested in.
Now, Van Gaal must know something that we all don’t because he must have one hell of a reason to turn his back on five top class midfielders when United are so desperately lacking in that depatment.
Is it because Van Gaal has his eyes on other targets like Kevin Strootman, Arturo Vidal or Paul Pogba? Given the list of names he isn’t interested in, it would have to be a top level midfielder.
Van Gaal’s a top class manager and has a track record of success but he’ll have to pull the rabbit out of the hat at this rate if we are to sign some top quality in midfield. Time may still be on our side but top quality, available midfielders aren’t two a penny.