It seems the season is virtually over before it began for us United fans. By December, we were all wishing it was next season and we could start again, but as April draws to a close, we don’t want it to end.
There is no doubt that our performances lately have rejuvenated not only the team but also the fans, and even though we gallantly lost to the champions-elect at Stamford Bridge, you cannot deny that had the game been decided on stats alone, we murdered Chelsea.
However, not to put a dampener on proceedings, I am getting a little worried about the constant rumours of potential signings for next season. The purchase of Di Maria and Falcao proves that a player that can excel in one league, but that doesn’t necessarily make them a safe bet for the rough and tumble, and manic pace, of the Premier League.
So, as the season approaches its conclusion and the Glazers pump more money into the MUFC accounts, is Woodward ready to be the keen negotiator he thinks he is, and will he procure the talent we need to challenge Chelsea, City and Arsenal next season?
But before Woodward dips into the hard-earned money United fans have deposited, what do we have in reserve so to speak that could do as well or better than any foreign, overpriced import?
Promoting from within: The most promising candidates
I’d like to see Chicharito return. Why he or his agent thought he would get more game time at Real is baffling in the extreme. When you think of how many goals he could have scored in the stead of Falcao! Are we really going to sell the man who scored the winning goal in the Champions League quarter final for £7m to West Ham?
Paddy McNair was superb at Stamford Bridge – not only his defending but the odd thrusts deep into Chelsea’s heart were a sign of confidence and ambition, and he almost put one past one of the best keepers in Europe at the moment, bar De Gea of course.
James Wilson, injured but not forgotten. Athletic, speedy and an eye for goal, given time, he will blossom into a keen striker and reminds me of a young Andy Cole.
Andreas Pereira is noted by insiders as being potentially as good as Pogba, but looks to be going the same way out of Old Trafford. I hope Van Gaal can man persuade him to stay and let him have his chance.
Saidy Janko, the 19-year old full-back currently on loan at Bolton, can also play right-wing and in a right-sided midfield role. The word from the youth development team is that this player has the talent to become one of the best.
Jesse Lingard, at 22, shows great potential to be a top English midfielder. He has played a big part in Derby County’s push for promotion, playing under Steve McLaren. Had a great pre-season but was cruelly injured during the first game of the season.
Tyler Blackett? The jury’s still out. He’s a decent player but loses concentration too easily, and some of his decisions cost us possession in dangerous areas. Perhaps he needs some time on loan, but if Shaw – just twenty – can keep fit, I think he’ll have a long wait at left back.
Adnan Januzaj has had a supremely disappointing season, full of stops and starts. He shows great promise, but tends to tie himself in knots. Just cross the ball, son! He can be bit Nani-esque, but again, maybe a loan spell could help him develop, before returning to realise that potential.
So, although only rumours, we might welcome Hummels for £30m, Depay for £25m+, Nicolas Otamendi for £36m, Antoine Griezmann for £32m and Carlos Bacca for £22 to name but a few. Maybe we should look within before spending another reputed £150m.