Football

Nigel de Jong is not good enough for Manchester United

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It's perhaps a little surprising that Manchester United do not boast a larger Dutch contingent following the arrival of former Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal last summer.

Robin van Persie, the man appointed captain of his country by Van Gaal was already at Old Trafford, while Daley Blind was signed at the end of the summer transfer window after it became clear Arturo Vidal would not be arriving from Juventus.

But Van Gaal now has his eye on adding another Netherlands international to his ranks. Speculation has resurfaced claiming Manchester United could make a summer move for Nigel de Jong - but this, if true, should be deeply concerning news for the Red Devils' faithful.

De Jong: City reject and yellow card machine

Perhaps it's a sign of how far Manchester United have fallen behind their local rivals over the past 18 months that Van Gaal is considering a move for a player deemed surplus to requirements by Manchester City almost three years ago.

While it's true that De Jong was a useful asset for City, the tough-tackling defensive midfielder was also a yellow card machine who sometimes - as we all saw during the 2010 World Cup final - crossed the line between committed and dangerous.

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United need midfielder with more bite - but not De Jong

Yes, Manchester United require a midfielder with a bit of fire in his belly - Michael Carrick, Angel di Maria, Ander Herrera and Blind himself are all a little too nice - but De Jong is not the answer.

The first thing Van Gaal must ask himself is this: 'Is De Jong a better option than the players I currently have at my disposal?'

The answer to that is a resounding no. Blind has enjoyed a reasonably good start to his Manchester United career and while he might not be the answer for the Red Devils in the long-term, there appears to be little point in demoting him to the role of substitute in order to accommodate De Jong, who turns 31 in November.

United do need a permanent replacement for Carrick, 34 this summer, but De Jong's array of passing simply isn't in the same class as the England international's.

Herrera a better option

Herrera, the Spanish midfielder who joined United in a £29 million deal from Athletic Bilbao last summer but has been used sparingly by Van Gaal, is a significantly better all-round player.

And then there's Di Maria. If Van Gaal even contemplated the idea of replacing the world-class Argentina international with Nigel de Jong then that in itself should result in his instant dismissal, regardless of the former Real Madrid star's recent dip in form.

It's Van Gaal's responsibility to get the best out of Di Maria - and at the moment he's failing.

De Jong signing would suggest United have wrong manager

Manchester United fans hoped Van Gaal's arrival would herald the return of the same attack-minded football seen for two-and-a-half decades under Sir Alex Ferguson following 10 months of misery under David Moyes.

But the veteran Dutch coach has been ultra-pragmatic with his tactics, resulting in some pretty dreadful performances. Moyes-esque, even, on several occasions.

Replacing one of his more creative midfielders - such as Herrera or Di Maria - for De Jong would be another sign that the pragmatic Van Gaal might not be the right man to inspire Manchester United back to where they belong.

Is De Jong good enough for Manchester United? If not, who should Van Gaal sign instead? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below.

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Topics:
Nigel De Jong
Manchester City
Football
Premier League
Manchester United
Louis van Gaal
Transfer News
AC Milan

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