It seems increasingly unlikely that David Moyes is going to dip into the transfer market this month. We are very quickly approaching the halfway stage of the January transfer window, and while historically January has seen players such as Louis Saha, Vidic and Evra arrive (and rather memorably loan of Henrik Larsson from January to March 2007), United haven’t often been moved to buy during this time. The main reason for inactivity is that any top player will usually be cup-tied for the Champions League. This year however, it’s not looking likely that United will be able to dream of winning that competition, although stranger things have happened.
One thing is for sure, if they are to try and strengthen, they won’t want another repeat of the desperately unfortunate and misguided panic purchase of Marouane Fellaini. Moyes was perhaps slightly hung out to dry by the board during the summer and they will be keen to show their support for the new boss by trying to conclude any business in a timely manner.
The Missing Link
Injuries are currently ravaging the squad and, despite the return for Darren Fletcher, United really need a midfielder that has an extra bit of creativity to help them push for the Champions League places. They have only beaten one of the teams above them so far this year (Arsenal), and in order to change this around they need that missing link.
Now of course Van Persie and Rooney haven’t been present in the same side for 90 minutes too often this season, and undoubtedly United would look a very different team if that were not the case, but they just need that something extra to help them when they look devoid of inspiration, inspiration that Tom Cleverley, Kagawa and one or two others are not able to give.
The Spanish Prodigy
The only player that fits the bill is Koke of Atletico Madrid. He was linked in the summer and the rumours have never really gone away. He has a $28 million buy-out clause in his contract, that for a 21 year old who has performed consistently all season, scored 3 and assisted 8 in 16 games so far this year, seems like good value.
Those stats don’t even tell half the story. Koke has been integral in driving Atletico to joint top spot in La Liga with Bracelona this season and, having already made nearly 100 appearances for the club, he has the experience at the top level to be on the radar.
Of course, you have the argument given by many that outside of the top 3 or maybe 4 teams in Spain, the standard in La Liga is comparable to The Championship in England, but he has also consistently performed in the Champions League this year too. Moyes has been over to watch him and has apparently come back enthused about his ability.
Would he Come?
It’s difficult to see why right now. Under Sir Alex, United would at least have had a big draw in terms of the most successful manager in football, now, however, they are not exactly in prime position to get decent European Football next year, they are out of the FA Cup and the weather is rubbish. As a Spanish 21 year old who is currently in the Champions League and joint top in La Liga, I know what I’d be doing. That said, maybe he is best friends with David De Gea, who knows?