Manchester United Transfers: Are Eriksen and Strootman the Perfect Signings?

Terry CarrollContributor IIIJune 17, 2013

Robert Lewandowski, Thiago Alcantara, Cesc Fabregas, Claudio Marchisio and, of course, Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to Manchester United's official website, the club and David Moyes have been linked with at least 15 players so far in June alone. In May there were 21 different names.

And yet The Telegraph says he won't return from holiday until Monday 24 June. So you can understand the growing nervousness of some United fans as their main competitors (even those who also have new managers) seem to be hoovering up some of the best players.

But can we honestly believe that one of the biggest clubs in world football would do nothing while their new manager is on holiday for three weeks? Or that the driven professional that Moyes is would be so chilled as to wait until his return before assessing or improving his squad?


What did Moyes put in train before he went on holiday?

We already know that David Moyes spent time at Manchester United before he left for his annual vacation, according to a number of sources, including the Manchester Evening News. They reported that the ex-Everton manager would "probably be doing two jobs for the next week or so."

So what did he do before he left for what may be his last proper vacation for years?

Given that Sir Alex Ferguson will not interfere with the new manager's plans, while being available if needed, it would be very surprising if the two hadn't spent some time on four key issues:

  • Which players should be released
  • Who are the brightest up-and-coming stars;
  • Which players are planned sales and which might be sold if necessary, if the right bid came in, or as "makeweights" in a deal for a new signing;
  • Which players have already been heavily scouted and targeted if available, including where outline deals may be in place with their agents and/or clubs

Moyes may also have spent some time with the players who were still around, before they left for their own holidays or summer tournaments, to establish rapport, put them at ease and outline some of his own plans for the future. He would be sure not to undermine the confidence at Old Trafford after yet another successful season.

And indeed since then, several players have said positive things to the media, including David de Gea, Robin van Persie and Rafael.

While all the signs are that Moyes will be "his own man," why would he want to cause upheaval to the "next generation" squad that Sir Alex has built? And if the latter decided months ago to retire, can we really believe that there haven't been conversations between the two about the future?


Kevin Strootman and Christian Eriksen to United?

Strootman continues to be cited by the likes of the Express, suggesting that "David Moyes has dispatched scouts" to watch him.

Well, he has actually been linked with United for almost 15 months, according to the Mirror. So this might turn out to be the worst-kept secret in the Premier League, no matter how much Kevin refuses to be drawn in interviews like this one.

His suitability for United has been widely discussed, including here on Bleacher Report recently.

But one young man who looks like a Manchester United player through and through is Christian Eriksen. Like Strootman, he is a natural leader and, like Michael Carrick, always seems to have time on the ball.

And yet while he was mooted as a United signing by Metro at least 19 months ago, rumours seem to have died down recently, except for a possible move to Dortmund. Although The Star suggests the door is not yet closed for United or Liverpool.

There is so much "smoke-screening" by agents these days that it is perfectly possible such rumours are designed to flush out a firm offer, improve the personal terms for Eriksen, or put people off the scent.

When you consider how quiet the signings of Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Javier Hernandez, Angelo Henriquez and Guillermo Varela were kept, then anything seems possible.

Mind you, that also means that Isco might be coming to Old Trafford.

In Strootman's case, surely nothing was going to be done while he was involved in captaining the Netherlands U21s (which, by the way, he did particularly well, if you watch this).

But if either or both are going to be signed they will surely wait until Moyes' return on June 24 so that the world's media can have the photo-shoots.

That will surely apply to any impending signings, the other most likely of which seems to be Ezekiel Garay according to the Mirror.


How Strootman and Eriksen would fit perfectly

Let's face it. We can talk about Luka Modric, drool about Isco and Cesc Fabregas, or persuade ourselves that Thiago Alcantara would leave Barcelona for Manchester.

The facts are that there are many other attractions at Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea, Monaco and PSG, not the least of which is money.

If Thiago or Modric, for example, are set on coming to Old Trafford, then great. But if—like Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez, Eden Hazard and Samir Nasri, money seems to be a key factor—then maybe the players on that dream wish list aren't going to arrive anytime soon.

And in any case, they would not be suitable for United if money is the driving factor.

But Strootman and Eriksen seem, like Robin van Persie, to be utter professionals and well-balanced young men. It is most likely they will go where their heart is and where they are most likely to become a key feature at the heart of the team.

And this is why they would fit so well at United and also with each other.

While Strootman is predominantly left-footed, Eriksen is more two-footed, as is Carrick and, for that matter, Tom Cleverley.

So unless Darren Fletcher is going to make a full recovery, we would be very likely to see two out of three from Strootman, Eriksen and Carrick starting, with the third on the bench. 

Moyes could rotate the pairings as appropriate to each match and competition. Both Strootman and Carrick are suited to a holding role, but the Dutchman can also be the type of box-to-box player that Roy Keane was.

And both of the players would fit very well in the team ethic that was the bedrock of United's success again last season.

Until such signings happen they are all, of course, speculation. But the media has gone relatively quiet on these two, and they are definitely the sort of hard-working, adaptable and indeed potentially world-class players that would appeal to David Moyes.

And for those who think Phil Jones should be our box-to-box or defensive midfielder, it only occasionally suits United's attacking style of play, and one of Moyes' first tasks should be to develop him into the outstanding centre-back he can become.

Varela's signing could also put a stop to Jones being played at right-back.


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