Football

Manchester United should target Per Mertesacker

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Louis van Gaal has wasted very little time, despite his continued involvement in Holland's World Cup campaign, in rebuilding Manchester United's shaky defensive line which failed David Moyes so miserably at times.

It has been a case of out with the old and in with the new - you don't get much newer than Luke Shaw, who has been made football's most expensive teenager in a £30million deal. However, the former Southampton player may notice a worrying lack of colleagues in training.

High-profile departures

The departures of experienced duo Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic leaves a very big hole in front of goalkeeper David De Gea. Under-used England World Cup players Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are the only senior members of the centre-back department, along with eternal back-up option Jonny Evans.

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With the Old Trafford coffers in need of a rest after Shaw and Ander Herrera's big money arrivals, Van Gaal has been looking in football's equivalent of the bargain basement for reinforcements. 

Obviously, football's bargain basement will still run-up bills into the millions but when you look at some price-tags around - an eight-figure player, or just over, is small fry in the Premier League.

Vermaelen arrival? 

Thomas Vermaelen, part of Belgium's World Cup squad, is expected to leave Arsenal and move up north in a relatively cheap deal. However, van Gaal should not end his London raid just there.

No disrespect to Vermaelen, but he just hasn't got the presence to bully the opposition's front line. How often does the captain of a top four club lose his first XI place like the Belgian has done?

Big fabulous German

Manchester United need a big enforcer to be the devil that their nickname suggests. Who bigger than the big fabulous German - Per Mertesacker?

Standing just under two metres, Mertesacker joins the club of people who defy logic and physics to be good footballers - Peter Crouch being a leading member. He's been vital to Germany as Europe's World Cup chances stall in the intensive heat of Brazil. 

Leader

Despite his apparent lack of any speed and his immobility, Mertesacker has established himself as a leading Premier League defender at the Emirates Stadium.

The 102-cap international would be perfect alongside Evans, primarily, and the emerging talents of Smalling and Jones. All are quicker and better at dealing with a breakaway, but all lack certain leadership qualities and are prone to mistakes when expected to keep things tight, Mertesacker could certainly take that burden away.

If you rewind Rio Ferdinand's clock back five years, you'll find yourself with a very similar player at the fraction of the price.

Arsene Wenger would appreciate that he cannot demand millions for the former Werder Bremen star, and he would also understand that the lure of the new and exciting Van Gaal era may become too hard to resist for Mertesacker.

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Topics:
Manchester United
Germany Football
World Cup
Per Mertesacker
Premier League
Arsenal
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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