Why Manchester United don’t need a striker and have snapped up De Gea

Manchester United needed De Gea to land a striker, except they don’t actually need a striker. Plus Havertz failing upwards, the Saudi Muslim attraction and ‘blindly following Jurgen’.

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Man Utd’s moral dilemma
Manchester United have been much pointed and laughed at for the fact that we seem to be either not addressing adequately, or indeed at all, the most glaring weakness in the side; the lack of a quality center going forward. It has led us from Weghorst to perhaps Taremi via speculation over Kane and Osimhen.

What I haven’t heard mentioned much is that the club already have under contract arguably the best young striker in the world not named Erling; Mason Greenwood.

We all know the story in the press, I’m sure most people have opinions about it (personally, and I know from lived experience, if you don’t know the people involved directly or haven’t seen the case files, don’t really know what that has happened).

Putting that unpleasantness aside for a moment, this is a superbly gifted 21-year-old who looked set to develop into a £100m+ player 18 months ago. From both a financial and football point of view it would make complete sense. Moral? It’s a little more difficult. People will have very different views on it. It just seems odd to me that it isn’t mentioned as a possibility.
Lewis, Busby Way

The Gea strategy
Man United’s transfer money is only £120 million, very limited. They have paid a ridiculous £55 million for Mason Mount, even though he only had a year left on his contract. Letting De Gea leave means they now have to sign a top goalkeeper and a proven world-class striker at £65m. On what planet is that possible? How are they going to achieve their stated need to fill the forward and goalie positions with that amount? They lack strategy as it seems strategically wise to trigger De Gea’s one-year extension and free up money to get the much-needed good striker. We will be back to square one without a number 1 striker next season unless the Glazers release more transfer funds. Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal in particular spend strategically big money within FFP rules, so why are United using FFP as an excuse for the very low transfer kit?
Professor (Dr) David Achanfuo Yeboah

‘Follow Jurgen blindly’
I feel a bit of a tit with the news that everything is fine for us sign Dominik “the boss” Szoboszlai.
Talking about how we are going to have a crisis due to Keita, Milly and Oksen leaving… as if Klopp never had it under control.

A fitting case of in Klopp we trust, from now on I follow Jurgen blindly.

Wik, Pretoria, (even down a well) LFC

The Saudi attraction
Hard to know where to start with Paul K’s absolute mess of an email about Muslim footballers heading to Saudi Arabia. Having lived and traveled extensively in the Middle East for the past 15 years, and having a large extended family who are ethnic Palestinians who grew up in Jordan (but now live split between the UK and the US), I can confidently say that Paul’s email features several offensive mischaracterizations and assumptions about Muslims.

First, Saudi Arabia is not in itself some kind of Islamo-Disneyland for Muslims. Saudi Arabia’s importance to Muslims centers around making the Haj/Umrah to Mecca, and to a lesser extent the religious significance of Al-Masjid an-Nabawi. In the same way that Catholics largely did not go to settle in Vatican City or Santiago de Compostella or Lourdes, but might visit on pilgrimages because of the places’ religious significance, the majority of Muslims would not choose to live within the confines of Saudi’s ultra- harsh religious landscape. Many Muslims I have spoken to are actively concerned about what they perceive as a schism between their more modernized views of their faith and what they see as the immoral misappropriation of the Qur’anic scriptures in Saudi Arabia, knowing that making Shark is a crucial aspect of their faith.

Second, Paul K is operating under an assumption that I know offends many Muslims, which is that all Muslims are religious puritans and pimps with no tolerance for others’ lifestyles or beliefs. Most Muslims really don’t care if others drink alcohol, dress differently or eat pork, and I’m also not yet aware of Premier League clubs shoving bacon and hotdogs down the throats of Muslim players, like Paul on a weird way alludes to. . Like people of any religion, there are polarities where the vast majority of Muslims intersect their faith with what might be perceived as more progressive, liberalized worldviews. Most Muslim countries are also interfaith, with churches and temples sitting peacefully alongside mosques. What we would consider neoliberal, individualistic Western ideologies and behaviors are widespread in the countries of the Islamic world, even Saudi Arabia.

People like Benzema, Kante, Koulibaly and Ziyech grew up within and were acculturated in Western European countries and have categorically not had to live in a way that completely contradicts their beliefs. The concept of social democracy may be separate from the prevailing Middle Eastern political structures of absolute monarchies and theocratic dictatorships, but the values ​​of social democracy and Western liberalism are not automatically incompatible with Islam. As a side note, here is a list of Muslim-majority countries that I have visited and seen Muslims drinking in: Oman, UAE, Jordan, Syria, Bahrain, Lebanon, Turkey, Kosovo and Azerbaijan. Regarding the idea of ​​Muslims being put off football or offended by the irreligiosity of football in the West, I would suggest that Paul K visit a bar or cafe in downtown Amman, Beirut or Muscat on a Premier League matchday to see how affected Muslims are of the sin and degradation that Paul K suggests the Premier League represents to them. Unless Saudi establishes complete football hegemony, Islamic football fans will continue to do what they have always done: support their favorite European clubs,

So sorry Paul, it’s definitely about money. If parallel contracts were offered in a European club operating at the level/quality of these Saudis, not a single one of these players would move to Saudi now. Not one. None of the players you mentioned will retreat to the supposed Islamic havens of Riyadh and Jeddah. Despite its immense wealth, the quality of life in the country is worse than any footballer moving east will have experienced. Like almost all other expatriates in the region, they trade their quality of life for the promise of higher earnings. The irony of your email is that in setting yourself up to defend Muslim players, you have left behind the same ignorant, different, tired tropes and clichés about the faith that perpetuate the image of Islam as incompatible with the West, characterizing an entire faith as pearl-wearing dogmatists. This is exactly the kind of atomization that no faith or culture needs.
D*cky Malb@lls

Kane study
Does anyone disagree with that Aman’s email yesterday is probably the worst thing ever written? You give examples where you say the story may not be too kind, but they are terrible. Alan Shearer makes most PL all time XIs. You rate Cantona over him just for the stories? What?! How about you don’t rate any of them if you are so ignorant on the subject. I doubt you’re aware of this, but Shearer actually turned down guaranteed league titles at United to join his boyhood club. This does not make him a worse footballer or a lack of ambition. If anything, it’s the opposite. The Le Tissier comparison with Defoe is also strange. Completely different players. Defoe was an out and goalscorer and I wouldn’t consider Spurs a small club. Le Tissier was a technical genius who was admired by Xavi. So I’d say he’s pretty well remembered too, except for his latest nonsense.

You have gone into a completely different subject after this. Gundogan has won more trophies, but Gerrard will probably be remembered better. Likewise Kane and Vardy. We all know Kane is a better player and he will be known as a much better player too. I honestly wouldn’t rate Kane higher if he went to Bayern and won a couple of Bundesliga titles. I understand what you’re trying to say, but the examples you used were pretty bad.
Dion Byrne

I understand what Aman said in his email, and of course football is about winning, but it’s not just about winning. I have no real love for Shearer as I am a United supporter but he was massive. Aman didn’t start watching football until the end of Shearer’s career, but I can tell you he was a world class striker. Great with both feet, great in the air and had an absolutely rasping shot in his locker. Whenever Utd played Blackburn or Newcastle I was always worried when Shearer played as the man was a goal machine. 3rd in ballon d’or in ’96 and a bloody PL legend.

Le Tissier was a joy to watch and in many ways reminded me of Cantona, playing the game with a certain panache; the phrase ‘joie de vivre’ springs to mind. The type of player who played like he loves the game and loved to entertain. The types of players who are full of tricks, flicks and fantastic vision for a stunning pass with the ability to execute it. Will everyone remember Le Tissier as a legend? Probably not, but who cares anyway? There are plenty of Southampton fans and football fans in general who know how good he was.

But enough with the history lesson, back to Aman’s email. On the one hand, he dismisses statistics as effectively meaningless without trophies, suggesting that trophies are the measure of long-term fame or memorability. Trophies probably become just statistics over time, especially to those who weren’t there to witness it. When I think about the memories of Ronaldinho, Messi, Zidane, Cantona or any great footballer I’ve witnessed, I don’t even really think about the trophies they’ve won – I think about the amazing things they did on the track.

So to bring it back to Kane, it would be good to see him join another club (*cough* Utd *cough*) and not just for selfish reasons. More for him to experience the taste of winning a league title that his goalscoring exploits deserve. But not for a legacy or to live long in Aman’s memory.
Gary Vance, MUFC

Havertz fails upwards
Christ on a step rocket! Just read your article on Havertz’s wages at Arsenal

£325,000 (€380,000) a week for statistically the worst player in the league last season (a league containing actual Wout Weghorst FFS!). Talk about failing upwards!

Confusing, especially since they are already the proud owners of the contract of the second worst on the list, Eddie Nketiah.

Question to other postboxers, has there been a clearer case of this happening in the past and/or do you also think he must own compromising photos of someone high up in the club?


We all feel old
“Could Harry Kane become the modern-day Sol Campbell by joining Arsenal on a free?”

In my opinion, the Campbell transfer is still part of the modern conversation.
Then I realized that it is in fact 2023 and to discuss a twenty-two year old transfer at the time of this transfer in 2001 would be the equivalent of considering Andy Gray’s contemporary and relevant move from Aston Villa to Wolves in 1979.
Thanks for making me feel really old.
Eoin (can now remember the confusion and arguing in the schoolyard when the backpass rule changed) Ireland

Scholes for £175m?
You avoided the biggest question here, but thought it is because it’s obvious. With Lamps at £130m and Gerrard at £150m, suppose you price Scholes around £175m?

It’s the age-old debate, but surely that’s the figure that Zidane, Pirlo, Iniesta et al would place on the principle that the English midfield triumphs?
Duncan (all hail Ginger Prince)

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