Manchester United have reached a gentleman’s agreement for Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay, according to reports.
With the transfer set to be all but done, is the signing of Garay the right choice from David Moyes?
At the beginning of Manchester United’s 2012/13 campaign, it would have been fair to assume that they were fragile at the back. David de Gea couldn’t get to grips with life in the Premier League, it looked like Ferdinand couldn’t keep up with the pace anymore, and Vidic spent most of his time keeping the physio busy.
However a lot changes in the course of a season and that’s exactly what happened to the Manchester United defence. At the start of the season, signs were clear that the defence had lost pace and unity - conceding eight times in their first 11 Premier League games.
This was most evident when the likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon tore them apart in a 3-2 victory at Old Trafford. After a reorganisation of the tactical set-up, United’s back four managed to maintain the fifth best defensive record in the Premier League and 13 clean sheets to their name.
The point is though, despite the ageing of Ferdinand and Vidic, Manchester United’s strength in depth at the centre-back position is by far one of the strongest in the Premier League. Jonny Evans has come on leaps and bounds since last season, vastly proving that he can become one of Manchester United’s most consistent defenders. Also despite an injury hit season, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have also shown signs that they have what it takes to hold the fort at Manchester United.
Incoming manager David Moyes is blessed with a vast amount of talent at his disposal with the current crop of defenders. The clubs still maintain the core with Vidic and Ferdinand as starters and Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling as more than adequate alternatives. Although Ferdinand’s career is nearing its end, it’s always been thought that Chris Smalling would be his ideal replacement. The jury is still out for the ex-Fulham defender, whom has struggled for form this season but the player is still young and should be given more of a chance.
The club also have bright prospects within their youth team with the likes of Michael Keane and Tom Thorpe coming through.
It’s hard to see where the Argentine would fit in at Old Trafford, the strength and depth is already in place and his presence would be detrimental to the progression of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones - two players that are in dire need of some valuable experience. It’s important that David Moyes considers the needs of the squad before he finalises a deal for Garay.
If the club want to become more of a force in European football, they should be focussing on targeting suitable signings in the midfield area. Ideally Manchester United should be looking to sign one winger and either one or two central midfielders.
For all the talent that Garay may be worth, he’s simply the right player at the wrong time for Manchester United.
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