Have Manchester United found their next Paul Scholes?
Much has been made of the lack of creativity in the centre of midfield for Manchester United since the ageing and initial retirement of Paul Scholes. An attempt to sign Wesley Sneijder was thought to have been made last summer, while countless deep-lying playmakers have been linked with a switch to Old Trafford since. However, could Borussia Dortmund’s Mario Gotze be the answer to United’s creativity worries?
The Germany international playmaker has been on the radar of top European clubs for a number of seasons now, but it appears that the wonderkid will be a major target for many this summer. Despite being tied down to a long-term contract to the Bundesliga champions currently, Gotze has recently admitted that a switch to a top European club, such as United, would be hard to resist.
“Clubs such as Real Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester United are attractive, other top leagues would dominate you and you could develop.”
United are by no means desperate for a central midfield maestro, given the passing ability of Michael Carrick and the clever footwork and industry of Tom Cleverley. That said, with Anderson ineffectual and seemingly on his way out of the club, and continued doubts over Darren Fletcher’s fitness, Sir Alex Ferguson would be well advised to invest in someone to give the side a shot in the arm from the centre of the park.
Someone like Gotze would obviously provide that spark. At 20-years old, the Memmingen-born player has the world at his feet, and is set to be an immense talent over the next decade, or longer. With 20 international caps for a top Germany team already under his belt, it would be no surprise to see him make 100 appearances for his homeland before he finally hangs up his boots.
The fee to persuade Dortmund to sell would be considerable, plus the player has made no great shakes about leaving Signal Iduna Park. However, as good a side as Dortmund are, it is only natural that Gotze will want to play for one of Europe’s top historical sides if he progresses at his current rate, and the opportunity to move to Old Trafford would certainly appeal to him.
United will have the chance to scout the playmaker a little further next month, when Gotze, along with the rest of the Borussia Dortmund side, will face Malaga in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Dortmund are regarded as the dark horses of the tournament, and on the back of Gotze’s performances, could be playing in Wembley for the coveted crown, come May.