Over the years, Manchester United have been known to possess some of the best wingers to grace the game, such as George Best and more recently the likes of David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, yet the current collection fall way short of the mark.
With just two goals and nine assists between them this season, it is safe to say that the likes of Antonio Valencia, Luis Nani and Ashley Young have been poor.
Manchester United have always been known to play an attacking brand of football with marauding wingers and perhaps it is telling that on a number of occasions this season, Sir Alex Ferguson has played a diamond midfield despite having a relatively weak central midfield. This perhaps suggests that Ferguson doesn’t trust his wingers and with good reason.
Having already brought in Wilfried Zaha, I don’t think this will be enough. Zaha is a player for the future and due to his inconsistent performances in the Championship, cannot be relied upon to solve the problems in this area of the pitch.
United have been linked with a move for Ronaldo to try and strengthen the wide area, but it would require a huge sum of money and at 28, there is little sell-on value.
This is where James Rodriguez comes in. Rodriguez has been compared to Ronaldo due to his dribbling, free kicks and a good scoring record. Predominantly left footed, Rodriguez can play on both the left and the right wing and also through the centre.
This season he has scored 10 goals in all competitions, which is five times as many as the three wingers at United put together. Last season he got 14 goals in all competitions and 11 assists, so this is a winger who has an end product. Throw in the fact that he is just 21-years-old and you have a player who under the guidance of the coaches at Old Trafford could become a world-beater!
With all this in mind, it is likely that Rodriguez would require a large fee, so sales would potentially be required to fund the transfer, or perhaps a player swap plus money deal?
Due to the fantastic form of our strikers this season, the form of our wingers hasn’t come under the kind of scrutiny it probably should have done, but other teams will improve over the summer and the wide areas are a position that needs strengthening and James Rodriguez is the ideal candidate.
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