As we head into the last hour of transfer deadline day and Big Ben threatens to toll the end of business at 11pm, some fans could be forgiven for thinking that their clubs haven’t done enough business this winter. Even clubs like Newcastle United, who have now signed a total of six players on permanent deals, could have done with another striker this window – and it is invariably the business that your club didn’t do rather than that which it did that is instrumental in the final position at the end of the season.
For Manchester United, the need to strengthen might have appeared less pressing than for others – they currently sit seven points clear at the top of the table, having lost only three times all season. But the so-called “business end” of the season can change everything, and Sir Alex will need no reminding that his team overcame a 12 point deficit to overtake Newcastle United back in 1996 to win arguably their most famous Premier League title.
4. David De Gea
It’s a chilling indication of your problems when Massimo Taibi comes out in the press and suggests that he can see something of himself in you. That’s the player widely recognised as one of United’s worst ever Premier League era signings thanks to THAT howler against Southampton.
And while it is somewhat cruel to suggest that Spanish ‘keeper De Gea is anything like as poorly received as Taibi was, the big stopper is rather unfortunately hobbled by confidence issues (or so it seems) and can be prone to errors, which cannot be endured by a team of United’s stature. Sir Alex has form with keeping errors after all, and though his custodian cost a big chunk of cash, he isn’t invincible.
Right now, United don’t have the quality in reserve to really replace De Gea from within, and unfortunately the longer De Gea is questioned this season, the more his confidence could suffer. And goal is the worst place to have any kind of chink in the armour.
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This article was first posted on January 31, 2013