Every summer Manchester United fans get used to their club being linked with moves for so many players, they would be forgiven for feeling more than a little bit dizzy.

This summer has been no different, with new manager David Moyes being linked with moves for left-backs (Leighton Baines), strikers (Robert Lewandowski), world-class stars (Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale) and a whole host of central midfielders all surfacing at one time or another.

One rumour that is persisting, however, is a move for a centre-half. Ex-Real Madrid man Ezequiel Garay was outstanding last season in a Benfica side that only lost the league title on the penultimate weekend and lost out in the Europa League final to Chelsea.

But do United need him? Undoubtedly, United stalwarts Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand aren't going to last forever; age is catching up with both of them, as are a series of chronic injuries which show no signs of going away. But even so, if both players produce 20 games a season for the Red Devils, they have three top, young centre-backs ready to step up to the mark.

After being a scapegoat for United's defensive failures in the early parts of his career, Jonny Evans proved last season that he has what it takes to become an Old Trafford regular with a series of commanding performances.

When Chris Smalling first arrived at United, his stature, build and playing style led to many dubbing him the natural successor to Rio Ferdinand. Injuries have hampered his progression in the last couple of years, and at the age of 23, it would seem that this season will be critical for his Old Trafford future.

Phil Jones has impressed in his two years in Manchester, and has swiftly become a fan favourite through his admirable performances in central midfield and at right-back. However, Jones himself sees himself as a future centre-half, and with Vidic and Ferdinand nearing the ends of their respective careers, he will be looking to assert himself as a dominant force this season.

All in all, the signing of another senior central defender could clearly hamper the progression of United's young, British players. And although fans will be eager to maintain the faith in Moyes that the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson demanded, many will be hoping that he will forget about the transfer of Garay, and strengthen the Red Devils in the positions where it's clear they need strengthening most.


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