I wrote an article yesterday praising the competition for places we now have within the squad.
For me it’s better late than never as we should have strengthened more in the summer, but at least we’ve not left it until next summer when it might have been too late.
Today I’m going to praise the actual business that we managed to “get over the line” in January. It was fantastic and the players we’ve brought in for the fees paid are exceptional. Obviously they are all officially undisclosed fees, so I’m just using the most commonly speculated fees to get to the figure spent by United. It’s not precise but by the same token it won’t be far off.
The best piece of business so far looks to be the addition of Moussa Sissoko. For a fee reported to be in the region of £1.8 million we’ve already had a return of two goals and one assist from his two matches to date. Not just that, but it also looks like there is more to come from the former Toulouse man who has the energy and presence to drive the team on.
Mathieu Debuchy cost around £5.5 million after arriving from Lille. He’s going to be our first-choice right-back and he looks like a good player. He can get forward and support the attack and can also do the dirty job of defending although he still looks like he needs a bit more time to fully adjust to life in the Premier League.
Yoan Gouffran cost under £1 million and has been a revelation. A striker with not a great striking record, Gouffran has shown pace, desire, trickery and a willingness to work for the team in his two appearances to date. He’s also grabbed himself one assist.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa we haven’t seen too much of, mainly because Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini have hit top form since his arrival. I guess that is what competition for places does for you! However whilst he hasn’t featured much I have a suspicion he will do when he finally gets the chance. He’s been highly rated by enough people and at roughly £6.5 million looks like a potential bargain when you look at his age, experience and the kind of clubs who were after him.
Two younger players, more for the future, were also added in January. Massadio Haidara and Kevin Mbabu will both be ones to watch although Haidara could step into the first-team in event of an injury crisis which is always handy. The two cost under £2 million combined.
Of course we lost Demba Ba, which was always on the cards, especially when Chelsea came calling, so when you take the money received for Ba and take it off the cost of our new guys it means we’ve laid out about £11 million. Yes we’ve lost Ba’s goals but to me we look a better team without him.
Being honest it’s not my money and I don’t really care how much players cost as long as they are quality and can add to the team. On that score it seems as though it’s job done on our part. To get them at such low cost is just a bonus which makes our recruitment look good.
£11 million it may have cost, but you can’t put a price on picking up points.