Chris Smalling has been on a momentous journey, over the past two years, he has gone from non-league football in the Isthmian League with Maidstone to Premier League football with Fulham. He will now move on to the biggest club in the league (no, not Manchester City) but rivals Manchester United, despite only making a handful of appearances for the Cottagers.
Javier Hernandez or as he is also known “Chicharito” meaning Little Pea plies his trade at Guadalajara in Mexico and like Smalling will move to the Red Devils after the World Cup where he will become the first Mexican to join Manchester United. These two players are the future of the club which is £700m in debt.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s comments were particularly interesting on Hernandez: “Players like Hernandez – we have been historically very good at developing”. Ferguson has also begun to enter into the business lingo using words such as “resale value” lately.
So, is this the way the club will be going now – buying hot prospects and youth players in order to sell them on at a profit?
I believe it is. Smalling and Hernandez are both young, ambitious players and if all goes well for them at Manchester United they could, and I emphasise could be sold on at a significant profit. Fail to make an impact and they will end up on the scrapheap with famous flops such as – Eric Djemba-Djemba.
The signing of Hernandez came the same week as United were knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich, however, more importantly, it was also reported that the club had turned down the chance to sign Valencia’s David Villa. Another sign that the mountain of debt is beginning to catch up on the club, perhaps?
Apparently buying Villa would have been a risk because there would not be profit made on him in the future and considering he is 28, possibly four to five years playing at United he would be 32 and no club would pay in excess of £40million for him.
It is fair to say in light of recent performances and in the absence of Wayne Rooney that the £30.75m spent on Dimitar Berbatov was a waste of money. Therefore, it is probably best that he is the last big money signing of his kind.
“Occasionally we do go into the transfer market for mature players,” insisted Ferguson. “Berbatov was 27 when he came to us but you have to ask yourself if when a 27-year-old fulfils his contract for five years he will have little resale value.”
Since when has Fergie been worried about resale value?
Who knows what David Villa might have been like had he joined, somehow I think he would not fail as spectacularly as the Bulgarian.
So many questions and so little answers. Fergie is the master of smoke and mirrors which we discovered last Wednesday night. It could be another interesting summer where not just transfers are concerned at Old Trafford.
As the master said himself – “Football, bloody hell.”