While we all are getting our remotes ready and Fantasy Premier League teams prepared, Sir Alex Ferguson has quietly gone about his business and purchased 18-year old Chilean striker Angelo Henriques. This is the second teen sensation Manchester United have brought into the club after Nick Powell was signed earlier in the summer.
United’s transfer season has been less about the rumours and more about the action this year. Sure, Eden Hazard’s infamous back-and-forth did keep the reds in the news for a while; it’s their activeness in the market that has grabbed headlines. Biggest entrée, Shinji Kagawa has made a splash in the early pre-season matches which indicates a bright season for the Japanese playmaker. His signing, as well as the returns of Tom Cleverley and Darren Fletcher could help them overcome the mid-field crisis they suffered last year. Their over-dependence on Michael Carrick and Paul Scholes took a toll on their bodies which left United without any silverware for the first time in five years.
Henriques is a striker. His goal tally has steadily been rising and has caught more than just an eye on the world market. He’s consistently performed for the Chile u-17, -19 and -22 sides, as well as for his (now) former club Universidad de Chile. It was only a matter of time before a big club invested in his talent and at 4 million pounds, Angelo Henriques seems like a steal.
However, his purchase raises a rather interesting question. Will United’s keen interest on Robin van Persie die with this signing?
Robin van Persie has talked about leaving Arsenal, feeling unsatisfied seeing his performance not being converted into gold, and interest has been pouring in from all over Europe. Manchester United have been at the forefront of these rumours and seemed most likely to sign him, before it all seemed down compelling Sir Alex to personally speak to Arsene Wenger.
Henriques signing could mean two things. One, it could well be an asset for the future or two, Henriques’ immediate future is on the first-team team sheet and United have given up on buying the Flying Dutchman.
Robin van Persie has already incited a fuelling emotion of rage amongst Arsenal fans. Him staying could be detrimental to his psyche as well as the club (although we did see Carlos Tevez bounce back rather remarkably for Manchester City). Van Persie has rarely spoken about his interest in Manchester United while United keep quoting large sums of money, including a 220,000 a week contract, equivalent to their talisman Wayne Rooney.
Henriques is undoubtedly an exciting signing, but seeing his lack of experience in big competitions, it is doubtful whether we’ll see him play in United colours too much this season. Which only means United must continue haggling Wenger and bring the Dutchman into the club. The ominous headache of choosing two from Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck, Dimitar Berbatov and Robin van Persie is the best one to have. Though, it could hurt the confidence and belief in the others, as has happened to Dimitar Berbatov.Published 15 Aug 2012, 15:45 IST