With Everton’s David Moyes being installed into the Old Trafford hot-seat from the 1st July, he is faced with one of the biggest challenges in managerial history: Trying to step into Sir Alex Ferguson’s shoes and consistently win as many trophies as possible. Daunting right? Well, some may quiver at the thought, but i think Moyes is an intelligient choice by Utd and i firmly believe he will be a huge success at the club. ‘Cut from the same cloth’ as Mark Hughes described this week, both Fergie and Moyes share the same work ethic, and even hail from the same area of Glasgow! Recommended by Fergie to the Utd board, Moyes will surely bring fresh ideas to the plate, but still keep the traditional values that has made the Utd machine so powerful in the last few decades.
Whilst he still needs to finish his Everton legacy in the mean time, Moyes will already be meticulously planning for the biggest step in his career, trying to work out which tools he needs to bring to the club in order to compete with the likes of big spenders Chelsea and Man City next season.
So what should be a high priority on his list?
1. Deciding whether to let Rooney leave.
Over the past week it has emerged that Wayne Rooney wants a summer exit from the club. With regular first team football now not a certainty for Rooney and the fact that RVP is now top tog in Utd’s attack seems to have had a lasting affect. With Bayern, Chelsea, PSG and possibly Madrid circling like vultures, Moyes needs to either reassure Rooney that he figures in his plans for next season OR tell him that he will now be surplus to requirements/will be aloud to leave for the right fee. My personal opinion is that while i still think Rooney has plenty to offer Utd, a fee over £30m shouldn’t be underestimated. However, his wages of £250k a week might be a stumbling block in negotiations as he is going to struggle to get this kind of salary anywhere is i would imagine. Whilst many Utd fans will be torn about losing their star striker, many will point to the fact that Rooney’s form of late has been patchy and his best days seem behind him. A big call for Moyes, and one that could be crucial for his preparations for next season.
2. Searching for a long term replacement for Evra/Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand is no spring chicken anymore at the age of 34 whilst Evra is 31 so finding long term replacements for the duo is vital. Both have been in impressive form this season for Man Utd despite injury problems and obviously hope to be included in Moyes’s plans for the coming season. On the left side, Evra has been a first team regular for many years since his arrival in 2006. However, Moyes is a huge fan of his Everton left back Leighton Baines who was recently named in the PFA Team of the Year. Baines is 28, in his prime, and is a more explosive full back than Evra at this moment in time. Will Moyes make a move as speculated heavily in the press? is the touted £15-17m price tag too much for a left back?
In the centre, Ferdinand has arguably enjoyed his best season in a Utd shirt (according to SAF) so he has every right to feel he still has what it takes to play week in, week out, if fully fit. Although he might fit into Moyes short term plans, he obviously wont be there for the long haul. Whilst Utd are blessed with talented youngsters like Evans, Jones and Smalling, who will undoubtedly figure in the future of the club, will Moyes step into the transfer window and purchase a proven performer with the quality to match? Does he need to with the 3 youngsters mentioned already proving their worth? Is it more of a priority considering Nemanja Vidic has been struggling with injury problems for the past couple of years?
3. Do Man Utd need to sign another blockbuster attacker to keep up with the inevitable spending from Many City and Chelsea?
With RVP already on board and bedding comfortably into his role with ease, rumours persist that the club are ready to make a big move for either Bale, Ronaldo or Lewandowski this summer to spearhead their attack next season. However, with their enviable strength in depth that includes Hernandez, Welbeck, and Rooney, do they really need to shell out on a new striker? My personal opinion? Yes. Welbeck is a good player, but doesn’t score enough goals for me. Whilst his man strength is holding the ball up and allowing others to come into play, he shouldn’t be considered a starter. Hernandez has proved his worth by scoring crucial goals and still has plenty left in his locker, whereas Rooney’s future is currently up in the air. A lot will depend on Rooney’s status and what kind of sum Utd will attract from any potential sale. We all know that the fans would love to see Ronaldo back at Old Trafford for a second spell, but i get the feeling he will stay at Madrid for another season. Again, this depends on other factors, with Mourinho being touted for a return to Chelsea. Bale would obviously be an amazing buy for the club but he would attract a fee of over £50m according to sources, and Lewandowski appears to be closing in on a move to German rivals Bayern Munich, so it’s anyones guess at the moment.