Date: 17th July 2011 at 3:41pm
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When a player like Paul Scholes wanders off into the sunset, it is generally considered right for their to be a short period of mourning; a time when you remember everything that player achieved throughout such an illustrious career.

According to Sir Alex Ferguson, that time is most definitely. The driven Scotsman is not one for gratuitous sentiment, and that can be witnessed plainly as his hunt for Scholes’ replacement is very much under way. After apparently deciding that Samir Nasri of Arsenal wasn’t the right choice, he has now set his sights firmly on Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder. But is the Dutch midfielder really the man that Ferguson needs in order to maintain his side’s relentless grip on the English game?

A few issues have been raised regarding the deal, the main one being the amount of money it will cost to prise Sneijder away from Italy. The problem isn’t so much the expenditure, as United have shown this summer through stretching their financial muscles that the Glazers, whether you’re a fan of them or not, are willing to back Ferguson by buying who he wants. The potential downside lies in the fact that Sneijder is 27 years old, and the United boss is not a fan of spending big on players who are approaching their 30s. He certainly doesn’t want another Juan Sebastian Veron at the club, the Argentine unable to settle into the pace of the Premier League arguably due to having spent the majority of his career in Italy.

Fortunately Sneijder has experience, albeit somewhat unhappily at Real Madrid, outside of Italy, so the new style of football should not phase him. Besides, he is from the country that invented the fast flowing, fluid version of the game; it’s in his blood.

If anything using the Dutchman’s age as a potential stumbling block is just a get-out clause in case Ferguson isn’t able to sign him, and what with his experience in the Champion’s League and at the World Cup he is hardly an unknown quantity. There’s not much chance of him turning into a Veron or, worse, a Bébé.

So he is hardly a gamble. But how would he fit into the Manchester United midfield?

A lot is made about players coming in as replacements for others, especially when their predecessor was a legend at the club. But in this case, it almost seems wrong to talk about Sneijder as a direct replacement for Scholes. The man is a World Cup finalist and a brilliant player in his own right, but unfortunately he would be coming into a midfield gap that is so fresh you can almost still see the skid marks on the pitch from the last questionable tackle.

It seems that generally United fans feel that if they had a choice between the two players that have been mooted as taking the place of Paul Scholes, being Nasri or Sneijder, they would rather have the Inter Milan midfielder in their team next season.

If this move does indeed come to pass, it would be a wonderful bit of business by the Old Trafford club. Without a doubt Sneijder has what it takes to succeed in England, and although it would break from Ferguson’s policy of buying them while they’re young and moulding them himself, the Dutchman is definitely an exception to the rule that should be made.

Written by Tom Close for Football FanCast


15 responses to “Should Sir Alex roll the dice on this star?”

  1. John Tring says:

    I thought it was a given that Sneijder is the man. You know what? Just hope Utd are not making the same mistake yet again when they lost Ronaldinho for a million quids or so. Hopefully this week will see the matter done and dusted.

  2. Jamali says:

    Seriously Bro. I can’t believe you posted an old article with a new heading.

    Come on!!! You gotta be kidding me!!!!

  3. Dan says:

    Sneijder is a poor man’s lampard.FACT!

    • Red Mick says:

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! When has tubby ever controlled a game on the big stage like Sneijder does!? He’s also declining as a player rapidly!! Whilst his waistline expands!!

    • Jamali says:

      Lampard is a poor man’s Sneijder. Actually Lampard is just….poor. If Sneijder is worth 35mil, then Lampard must be worth the most, 8mil.

      Hey moderator, we have a stray dog here. Someone tell this blue bitch he’s on the wrong blog.

  4. Pete says:

    Besides Sneijder, arre we seriously looking at any other players?

  5. Adam says:

    I want Sneijder at Man Utd, but how is Ferguson going to explain not going to him 2 years ago for £15 million? One of the reasons I see this deal falling apart this week is that Ferguson will not want to give Inter £20 million profit in just 2 years. He was a terrific player 2 years ago as well and we needed him, so why didn’t we take him in the Ronaldo deal? It makes no sense really.

  6. Gavin says:

    How can any one compare Sniejder and Lampard. Lampard is and has not won anything close to what Sneijder has let alone the talent the dutchman has, Dan get real.
    I’m a dutch fan n really like Sniejder but I don’t fancy him all that much for Utd, with prefer a more all round midfielder. His work rate is not the greatest aswell. Personally I with like to see Pogba taking a big step up and showing the rest of the world what we get to see as Utd fans, his the perfect midfielder to sit in the centre and dictate play, great vision and his passing is only getting better.

  7. moses says:

    age is just a number. i guess we will not hesitate if Xabi (Barca) was available.C’mon Fergie, bringon the Dutch magician. GGMU

  8. Ricky says:

    He’s too expensive at £35 million. He is a top player but Inter Milan want more than double what they paid 2 years ago. Last summer after his World Cup performance they could probably request a fee like that. However I don’t think this summer he is worth that amount.

    I think the deal will fall apart this week unless Inter accept a more realistic fee, which I doubt will happen, unless they really do want to sell. A fee of around £28-30 million seems more appropriate. I think personal terms with the player would have been agreed a while ago. I’m sure its the transfer fee which is preventing us from signing the player.

  9. Muazu says:

    The best replacement for scholes is Wesley Sneijder and not Samir Nasri

  10. saja says:

    common alex we realy need a midfielder a quality one for that matter so act quickly plz b4 is too late plz plz plz.