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Analysis Opinion Insight

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rooney & Villa

A warm welcome, to United Journal's latest aquisition, Manjunath Kashi, and without further ado, his first piece, also to appear on the Transfer Analysis Page.  

David Villa and Wayne Rooney should be a double act to fear, but the Theatre of Dreams is a one-man show.

Weekend press reports linked Manchester United with a massive £35 million bid for the Valencia hot-shot. If the story came to fruition, two of the sport’s deadliest hit men would be paired together.

With a chasing pack containing Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City, the acquisition of the Spanish international will test the negotiating skills of chief executive David Gill. However, he shouldn’t waste his breath.

While undoubtedly amongst the greatest centre forwards in the game, the similarities between Rooney and Villa make the transfer superfluous. Even though the club is in the chase for domestic and European supremacy, squad improvements have been flagged up in different areas.

Villa’s reputation as one of the most ruthless centre forwards around demands respect. An outstanding record for Spain of 37 goals in 55 internationals has made him the apple of coach Vicente Del Bosque’s eye, while his midweek Europa League hat-trick saw him reach 22 strikes in 34 appearances for Valencia this campaign.

Crucially, this ratio has been claimed playing exactly the same role and style as Rooney. Whether in the more common 4-5-1 with David Silva, or 4-4-2 with Nikola Zigic, ‘El Guaje’ has used expressive technique and a goal-poacher's instinct to find space in the penalty area to bury any chance that has come his way.

The new and improved Rooney has thrived performing the same function. A new desire to float ominously in the area after casting off the shackles of Cristiano Ronaldo has been rewarded with 33 goals in all competitions, with none coming from outside the box.

Two ‘fox in the box’ players together leads to the hope of every chance created being snaffled away. Instead, the frustrating sight of two thoroughbreds banging heads appears.

Rather than buying an expensive replica of Rooney, the priority for the Scot should be to buy ready-made replacements for his old guard. Next term should be the last for legends Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville.

The trio’s sterling service and advancing years demands top drawer acquisitions to fill in. With a medal collection containing the same volume of gold as the vault in the Bank of England, no premium can be placed on their successors.

In particular, the desire to bring in a natural left winger blessed with Giggs’ lightning pace and ability to hug the touchline is high on the agenda. With the purse-strings tightening at United, big money moves for Benfica’s Angel Di Maria or a wild-card approach for Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben should take precedence.

The £80m resting in the club’s accounts after the sale of Ronaldo is burning a hole in the fantasy pockets of fans and left space for a new star name. No matter his spotless reputation, Villa is not the answer if United choose to flex their muscles in the summer market once again.

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