Date:13th July 2011 at 9:51pm
Written by:

Over the years there have been several players who have slipped through United’s grasp and experienced varying levels of success elsewhere. Gazza, Alan Shearer, Michael Essien, Arjen Robben, Ronaldinho were all set to sign with United, before heading elsewhere.

While United have experienced major success over the years regardless of not getting these players, there is that lingering feeling of how good United could have been with a Ronaldinho or a Ronaldo in their prime. Which brings us to another player that was heavily linked to United in the past few years.

United have been linked with a number of players this summer in a bid to get that creative midfielder the side desperately needs. Wesley Sneidjer, Luka Modric and Samir Nasri have all been linked with moves to Old Trafford this summer – but what about Franck Ribery? The Frenchman was heavily linked with a move to United in 2009 following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, but ended up staying in Germany with Bayern Munich and United signed Antonio Valencia instead.

Obviously this is all hypothetical, but how good could United have been if they had signed Ribery in 2009? Would Ribery have stepped into Ronaldo’s shadow comfortably and formed a (literally) frightening partnership with Wayne Rooney? If United had signed Ribery instead of Valencia, would they be any better than they are now?

You could say United made the right choice by not signing Ribery. Valencia has blossomed into a star at Old Trafford, with his pace, power and crossing on the wing and has proved to be a valuable asset. Valencia is more of a team-first player that won’t cause a lot of fuss if he is not the centre of attention, and if you look at it, was a bargain at £16 million (especially when you compare the £20 million Liverpool spent on Jordan Henderson).

Ribery would have cost at least twice as much as Valencia and although he may be able to produce that bit of magic or that spark that United have sometimes lacked since they lost Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid in 2009. But you can imagine that if Ribery wasn’t playing well, was dropped or wasn’t the centre of attention, his attitude could have been a problem, as it was at Bayern last season when the Frenchman was criticised by boss Louis Van Gaal.

Two years ago, Ribery was regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world, but seems to have regressed in the last few years. Constant injuries, poor form, involvement in a prostitution scandal and a sub-par World Cup for France has dented his stock, and with all the transfer speculation focused on the likes of Eden Hazard, Alexis Sanchez, Javier Pastore and Wesley Sneidjer this summer, Ribery, just like Kaka, seems to be a bit of an afterthought at the moment.

So if United fail to land the likes of Modric, Sneidjer or Nasri this summer, would Ribery be a decent alternative? He’s got the ability and he’s only a year older than Sneidjer at 28, and a change of scenery and a world-class manager in Sir Alex could do him good.

But the main problem with Ribery is the price. The Frenchman is contracted to Bayern until 2015 and wouldn’t come cheap at all, as Bayern would probably want a fee upwards of £30/35 million, as well as the high wages that Ribery would command.

That’s why it should be a seen as a blessing that United did not sign Ribery two years ago and it’s why they shouldn’t sign him this summer.

What do you think – would Ribery be a good addition to United? Are you glad United signed Valencia instead of Ribery two years ago?

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12 responses to “Did we dodge a bullet not signing this star?”

  1. AcesOnBlind says:

    A good player indeed, put he has dressing room problems. I believe he would be a negative influence for the team. Signing Valencia was the right choice. Another proof of SAF wisdom.

  2. Pez says:

    ———- De Gea
    Fabio – Ferdinand – Vidic – Evra
    ———- De Rossi
    Nani —————– Ribery
    —– Sneijder — Rooney
    ——— Chicharito
    Transfer Muppet Heaven

    on a serious note, I’m glad we didn’t buy Ribery. Valencia adds an extra dimension to United’s attack, Rooney wouldn’t have scored as many goals in 09/10 without the Ecuadorian winger. I actually rate Valencia higher than Nani, due to consistency and attitude.

    I know that Franck Ribery is a world class player but can you honestly say he is a step up from what we’ve got on the wings? I know he can play in the middle but for me he wouldn’t add anything that would make us the team we used to be. We need ideally Schweinsteiger and Modric or Sneijder to compete with Barcelona or, alternatively, just Sneijder to make us sure-fire Premier League Champions for the 20th time.

    If Fergie is accepting defeat to Barca it will be shown if we fail to sign two world class midfielders, if we only sign one midfield meastro then we will only be domestic champions. In reality neither Michael Carrick nor Darren Fletcher can provide us what it takes to dethrone Guardiola’s Barcelona.

    Tom Cleverly seems to be the only person who thinks Tom Cleverly can fill the void left by Paul Scholes. I visited the DW many times last season to see our young gun in action and, if I’m honest, he is not good enough to even be mentioned in the same breath as our homegrown hero, let alone wear his number 18 shirt and step foot on the turf at Old Trafford.

  3. Sirkolo says:

    It doesn’t matter what I think, does it?

  4. OllieWillie says:

    Good topic…….For every Ribery that we don’t sign there is a 7 Hernandez’s we could have signed.

    It’s important to realise that we can’t sign everyone and not to get too invested in a transfer target. I for one was gutted when Ozil went to Real Madrid, we went and won the league and made a champions league final…..

    This season I’ll make sure I don’t cry myself to sleep if we dont sign Sneijder

  5. des says:

    if it were up to me I’d get pastore and M’ villa or De Rossi. sneijder is great but not worth what we’ll end up paying for him. he’s unproven in the premier league as far as I am concerned and is 27. put in 20 extra mil and get a 22 year old who has the potential to dethrone messi.

  6. Jdot says:

    Well said ollie.. at the end of the day.. as long as Sir Alex doesnt announce his retirement from the game I believe we are good enough domestically.. now in Europe and with Barca it’s a different ball game.. more shoulda, coulda woulda than anything else. I still believe we had the players to beat them in the last CL final but the tactics were wrong..the way the game went was too reminiscent of the loss in Rome.

  7. ahmed says:

    i wonder what u guys c in dis 1footed,no atom of skill,nothing exciting abt him,just crossng,pace,strenght./NOTHING MORE SO BORING TO WATCH

  8. In the last Champions League final, Man Utd lost. There is no indication that Man Utd would have won it with Ribery in the team (or even reached that far!) but it’s a possibility. At the end of the day, on paper a fit Ribery is better than Valencia, so this sounds a bit like sour grapes to me.

  9. Love United says:

    ..and if you look at it, was a bargain at £16 million (especially when you compare the £20 million Liverpool spent on Jordan Henderson)..

    Yeah bargain..Thats right buddy..
    A bargain.

    Typical nonsense from a typical long life united fan..Keep up the good work, Good man.

  10. Langat says:

    Neither ribery or the in coming snidjer can help us lets look at scholes year back in da team. Age is factor have prefered sanchez for 40M n for Ribery he cant be in our minds for naw