Manchester United supporters ‘backlashed’ against new £28 million summer Marouane Fellaini on Facebook following the news he will be out for three weeks with a wrist injury following some underwhelming performances so far.
Here, for those United fans who are experiencing a little bout of buyer’s remorse, are 10 in varying positionsplayers the English champions could have signed for £28 million or less…
1) Mamadou Sakho - £18M from Paris Saint-Germain to Liverpool
United haven’t had the best of starts to the new season with their backline coming under fire for some subpar performances and some unusual frail defensive displays. The Red Devils had been linked with the likes of Ezequiel Garay this summer but a defensive addition (other than youngster Guillermo Varela) wasn’t on Moyes’ agenda. They could have signed one of the best and still very young defenders in France in Mamadou Sakho.
2) Aleksandar Dragovic - £9 million from Basel to Dynamo Kiev
Or, they could have bought, for half that price I might add, 22-year-old Austrian centre-back Dragovic who was one of the most impressive youngsters in the Champions League with Basel last term. He is well on his way to becoming the Austrian Nemanja Vidic. Unfortunately, he’ll be doing that in Kiev.
3) Paulinho - £17M from Corinthians to Tottenham
If it was a midfield powerhouse United were after, they could have gone for Spurs’ new Brazilian buy Paulinho who has completely dwarfed Fellaini in terms of his performances and consistency, not just defensively but offensively too.
4) Victor Wanyama - £12.5M from Celtic to Southampton
If Sir Alex Ferguson was still around, I suspect he might have gone for a player who he went to scout himself up at Parkhead on numerous occasions last term – 21-year-old Victor Wanyama who is one of the most exciting prospects on the continent in central midfield where he now operates under Mauricio Pochettino at St Mary’s instead.
5) Joao Moutinho - £25M from FC Porto to Monaco
One of the continent’s most experienced and quality central midfielders is a man Tottenham were after but, strangely, United were not. Moutinho has the creativity and the technique of an attacking midfielder like Fabregas and the defensive-minded anticipation and reading of the game like Michael Carrick. For less than Fellaini, Moyes could have had one of the best players in Europe instead of one of the best players at Everton.
6) Christian Eriksen - £11M from Ajax to Tottenham
Meanwhile, it was supposed to be creative midfield playmaker Moyes was after this summer, wasn’t it? Cesc Fabregas and Ander Herrera couldn’t make it in the end but, somehow, on deadline day, Tottenham who finished fifth that least managed to convince one of the most exciting and most creative footballers in the world right now to go to White Hart Lane – for a pittance, almost.
7) Jesus Navas - £15M from Seville to Manchester City
Over at the noisy neighbours, Manchester City brought in Spanish winger ‘speedy Gonzales’ himself, Jesus Navas. The Messiah he is not, I’ll admit, but he is a much more dangerous threat on the flanks than Nani, Ashley Young and even Antonio Valencia who, at present, have been pretty diabolical and unworthy of the Red shirt so far this season. The fact that Moyes’ most exciting player so far is 18-year-old Adnan Januzaj speaks bounds about the lack of ammunition he has on the flanks.
8) Bernard - £25M from Athletico Mineiro to Shakhtar Donetsk
If it was an attacking midfielder or winger United were after, however, they could have gone for one of the hottest properties in Brazil in this 21-year-old who turned down both Arsenal Tottenham to sign for Shakhtar Donetsk.
9) Stevan Jovetic - £22M from Fiorentina to Manchester City
Now, it’s quite obvious United don’t really require another striker given the quality and depth in Moyes’ squad but, if they’d have really wanted to out-score Manchester City this term, they could have brought in Jovetic for less than Fellaini cost them.
10) Roberto Soldado - £26M from Valencia to Tottenham
Or, perhaps a more suitable option to rival City’s Alvaro Negredo would have been Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado. Robin van Persie hasn’t been himself of late and Wayne Rooney is the driving force of the team at present. The form of Danny Welbeck is exciting but having one of the top strikers in Spain wouldn’t have hurt – at least, probably not as much as £28 million on Marouane Fellaini. Still, there's always January.
image: © nicksarebi