For the past few years, pre-season has not been my thing as a United fan. It's not that I'm not looking forward to United games after months of not watching them but that I look ahead to the new season, I consider our shortcomings in the season past, and look at our challengers and then start getting nervous way before the first competitive match is underway.
Unless you've been in a coma for the past few seasons, you should have noticed or at least heard it somewhere that Manchester United lack a quality central midfielder to complement the abilities of Scholes and Carrick. That lacuna has somewhat widened since Darren Fletcher got diagnosed with a bowel condition.
Now I've been a United fan long enough to put my full trust in Fergie. The reality is I'd rather have him than any manager in the world. It therefore goes without saying that he knows what is best for the club. If he thinks we need a central midfielder, we'll get him. However, if our recent transfer activity is anything to go by, we might just not get one this time round as well. Shinji Kagawa is virtually a false 9 if you may. The other names linked to United are Lucas Moura, who would be a brilliant buy by the way, Robin van Persie (still pinching myself) and Leighton Baines.
From that list, we need Baines to cover for Evra. Lucas Moura would be the marquee signing in my estimation. Firstly because his purchase will break our transfer record signing and that he's the closest thing we'd get to Ronaldo in the side (forget Nani). He is one of those players who could blossom in a free role and take a lot of pressure from the team in a defensive position with a killer burst of pace in a counter-attacking format that suits United's play.
Now when it comes to RVP, I struggle to see how we shall line up next season if he's in. At his age and given his record of injuries, it's one of those signings that we United fans have grown to feel nervous about. I mean for all of Anderson's failings at United, he retains a re-sale value and that has kept us somewhat comfortable with him around. It's therefore hard to fathom why United are in for the Dutchman---Having said that, as far as the short-term and nest season are concerned, adding him to the side would definitely rest some of my nerves.
We laboured to a win in Natal against Amazulu in our first pre-season tie, the biggest irony being that the player on his way out, Berbatov was our best player on the pitch. United take on Ajax Cape Town later today, and hopefully it'll be less painful to watch.