Manchester United – Should Van Gaal Splash Cash On This Super Dutch Winger?

Kanchelskis, Sharpe, Giggs, Beckham and Ronaldo. Those are just some of the wingers who have made Old Trafford their own in the past two decades. During Sir Alex Ferguson’s trophy-laden tenure, the Red Devils played some free-flowing attacking football and much of it was thanks to their wingers. Whether it was delivering a pin point cross ala Beckham or dribbling past the opponent ala Ronaldo, United have a long and storied history of wing play, something that has become integral to the way they attack.


One of the main reasons why the treble-winning team of 1999 was so successful was the midfield, specially the wingers. In Beckham and Giggs, they had two players who were equally capable of beating their and putting in a brilliant cross. But towards the end of Ferguson’s career, the quality of the wingers gradually started to decline.

When Ferguson finally left, his successor was left with Ashley Young, a player who was known as much for his diving as his footballing qualities, Nani, a player who was full of promise, but never quite had the consistency to go with his skill and Antonio Valencia, arguably the most consistent of the three, but one who has been afraid to go forward and attack ever since his horrific injury last season.

Although the arrival of Adnan Januzaj was one of the few bright sparks in United’s dreadful season, the fact is that they still lack an experienced world-class winger amidst their ranks. With the appointment of Louis Van Gaal, plenty of Dutch players have been linked with a move to United. And the Dutchman who is at the top of that list is Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben.

Now, the question on everybody’s lips would be, is Robben really what United need at the moment? After all, the Dutch winger is 30 and is approaching the end of his career, wouldn’t United be better off going for a younger winger, who has a lot more years in him?

To answer the first question, the answer is most certainly yes. Why? Because the current squad is severely lacking in stardust and although he is 30, Robben will bring something that United haven’t had since the departure of Ronaldo, a player who can strike fear in the hearts of the opposition.

Even though he is approaching the end of his career, the Dutchman is still at the peak of his powers as demonstrated by his first-team status at Bayern Munich. Not only that the Dutchman will also bring a much needed decisiveness in front of goal and a goal threat. For all their good qualities going forward, if there is one thing that Nani, Young and Valencia lack, is a goal threat and the addition of Robben will certainly address that concern.

Another reason why Robben is a good option is because he is a player for the present. While it is true that United can go for younger wingers in the market, there aren’t that many around, who are proven not just in Europe, but in the Premier League as well. Having already played in the Premier League, Robben is not only well-suited to it, but can also hit the ground running, which is what United need at the moment, not a player who will come good in two or three years.

The rebuilding phase which United are in at the moment means that they need World class players who can help the club get back to where they belong and in Robben, they certainly have that. While it is true that he has no real resale value, he is what United need at the moment. With plenty of young wingers like Januzaj, Lingard and co. coming through the ranks at United, Robben, with all of his experience, might just prove to be what the squad needs. And that is why United should go for Robben, who, even at 30, is one of the best wingers in Europe at the moment.

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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