Man Utd fan En Lim shares her thoughts on whether the Red Devils have lost their appeal to sign foreign marquee players
By En Lim | Goal.com Singapore
Lets face it. As much as United fans do not want someone like Eden Hazard in our team, as he seems to be moving for money under the guise of fulfilling his ambition, we did lose out on signing him. So good luck to him at Chelsea.
Hazard is the latest in a list of foreign superstars who have snubbed Manchester United. In 2011 it was Wesley Sneijder, and in 2010, Karim Benzema.
So why did we lose out on these foreign players? Is the Manchester United brand name no longer appealing?
The answer is... we're losing out because it’s all about the money.
Money that Manchester United unfortunately do not have to splurge around. But hey, at least we are nowhere in danger of failing to comply with the Uefa Financial Fair Play regulations.
It is the unfortunate truth in the world of football these days that owners make or break clubs. Just look at the positions of Chelsea and Manchester City versus the likes of suffering Glasgow Rangers and Portsmouth. It can’t get any clearer than this - money makes the football world go round.
Pockets of United fans have consistently blamed the Glazer ownership for the failure of the club to sign marquee players, as gone are the days where the Red Devils is the first choice destination for most players looking to move to England.
Are the Glazers at fault? Partly yes. With net debt rising up, and the club supposedly 26 million pounds worse off now as compared to a year ago, the purse strings are indeed tighter at Old Trafford these days. We are definitely losing out in races for worldclass superstars.
But while United will not be able to compete financially in paying exorbitant amounts of weekly wages for foreign-based players, Manchester United as a club does not seem to have lost its appeal on English players and one Shinji Kagawa, who is seemingly on his way to Old Trafford.
English lads and players like Kagawa know that if Manchester United comes a-calling, you don’t say no. Phil Jones, Ashley Young and Chris Smalling all had clubs aplenty that were chasing for their signatures but these players chose United.
As for Kagawa, after a championship-winning season with Borussia Dortmund, the playmaker can have any club of his choosing as he looks to develop his playing career. Yet it does seem more likely than not that he will be coming to Manchester. Critics will say that it is just another way for United to sell jerseys in Asia. No doubt that may be true, but Kagawa himself is a class act. His signature will no doubt abate the restlessness and disappointment among fans that we lost Hazard.
These lads know how it works. At United, your future is secure. You will get managerial stability, no worrying about your position in the squad if the owner decides to change a manager at his whims and fancies. At United, you get a core group of players who would die for the club on the pitch, who play with their heart and soul with one thing in mind - to win trophies. It’s all about the team, never about them, and they are proud to say they play for Manchester United.
Is it a surprise that the last English signings made by Manchester City and Chelsea are nowhere to be found in the regular starting XI? Adam Johnson warms the bench more than he gets a chance on the pitch, while Gary Cahill gets a chance every now and then when John Terry or David Luiz are injured or suspended.
Compare that to Phil Jones. 19 years old and in his first season, he played 40 games in total for United, and in any position the manager asked him to. No complaints, no whines. Just glad to be on the pitch in a red shirt.
Foreign superstars are a different breed altogether. Motivated by the idea of playing abroad, the temptation tends to be to go where the money is. Eden Hazard is just the latest in a string of these players. Yaya Toure is always a favourite example of mine, and how can we forget, Carlos Tevez?
Funded by the bottomless pockets of Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour, the danger for Chelsea and Man City will be, what if one day these two men decide that they have had enough and off they go and leave the club in a lurch?
The number of managers changed at both clubs combined will soon equal the number of League titles United have won.
So Manchester United fans, fret not. As an old saying goes “good things are worth the wait”. It is just a matter of whether the price is right for the quality of players that we are getting. Patience, the new signings will come.
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