Conventional wisdom holds that a team can be built in one of two ways. You can unearth and develop young players through a well-built scouting network and academy system, or you can just have other clubs do all that hard work and you just swoop with bags of money and pay for the finished product. But there is a third way, friends. Just as JAY Z once “drove by the fork in the road and went straight,” so can a team by built by both investing time and money in a player’s development and by paying a large transfer fee for that same player. This rarely-trodden path is reserved for those particularly inept clubs with more money than foresight, like our very own Manchester United.
Not content with having to buy back one former academy player for an inflated fee, United are set to repeat the trick for a second consecutive summer by snagging Michael Keane from Burnley. According to ESPN, United face competition from Liverpool for the 24 year-old center back’s signature. Remember when Louis van Gaal thought that Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair were better prospects than Michael Keane? Hahaha. Good times.
Monaco’s brilliant young side is a joy to watch, and will inevitably be broken up in the summer, so enjoy them while you can. United have already been linked with Kylian Mbappé and Tiemoué Bakayoko, but it seems their envious eyes have also been cast on Bernardo Silva. If there’s one thing we seem to be lacking in recent years it’s those attacking types who are best through the middle but who can do a job out wide, so this move makes perfect sense.
In this summer’s outgoing column, Matteo Darmian has offered some understandably noncommittal quotes on his future. He sounds like a man who knows that he’ll be on the move. He’s been dependable enough in the last few weeks, but let’s face it: nowhere near good enough.
Some potentially good news on the injury front as Juan Mata blogs that he could be back before the end of the season.
I had never been in a situation like this before (I’ve been very lucky), but the truth is I’m feeling much better now and I hope to be back with the team soon, to try to help in the last spell of the season.
Let’s hope so. We miss him.