Why Manchester United face a dilemma.

Transfer dilemnas

There is a major flaw in the current transfer system; when a new manager is appointed the first thing he invariably does is clear out of the players he doesn’t fancy and draws up a list of players he expects the club to buy on his behalf. The selling club are fully aware of this of course; the price of the targeted players becomes inflated and the chasing club end up paying over the odds for a player. It implies a long term policy as the team is being moulded in the manager’s image at a premium cost, which is okay if Fergie or Wenger is at the helm, but for most other clubs the chances are that within the next two years the whole unsatisfactory and expensive process will begin again.

Chelsea have been criticised for their collective transfer policy, led by Michael Emenalo, but as they have been the polar opposite of United and Arsenal in the managerial game such a policy surely makes sense. A look at Chelsea’s transfer dealings in the past four years would appear to back up this view; apart from the vanity signing of Fernando Torres, Chelsea’s transfer dealings have provided value for money and a continuity of style with the emphasis being on young, smaller technical players. The manager of the month is consulted and players he doesn’t fancy aren’t pursued, but basically that’s the extent of his involvement. Mourinho has publically stated that he is happy to work under such conditions, time will tell.

The situation at Old Trafford has been very different of course and Fergie’s say on who came and went verged on the dictatorial, which leaves United with the interesting dilemma of how much power to give new manager David Moyes over transfers. Moyes would undoubtedly like to bring in a few familiar faces from his old club and Baines, Jagielka and Fellaini wouldn’t seem out of place in the current United squad but they aren’t the problem. Will he be able to cope with what is essentially “Fergie’s team” and getting established players such as Ferdinand, Vidic, Giggs, Evra and possibly Rooney onside will be vital if he is to succeed.

There is a business law called the Peter principal, which states that an employee will rise to his level of incompetence; David Moyes has done a fantastic job at Everton given the resources available to him, but he is not used to buying or managing world class players. If the United board give Moyes the same level of autonomy that was granted to Fergie over transfers and Moyes ultimately proves to be inefficient with his signings, then in a few years time United could be left with some very over priced players on their books that a new manager doesn’t fancy. Will United then go down the Chelsea route, which incidentally is widely practiced by American sports teams; only time will tell.

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