On Monday morning, David Moyes arrived at Manchester United’s Carrington training complex to start work, a whole 42 days ahead of schedule. In another line of work, Moyes would be commended for his professionalism, or, on the flip side, he might be encouraged to enjoy his time off by his flabbergasted employers. However, working for The Red Devils is a full-time job, and though Moyes is destined for a short holiday, there is little doubt that his mind will be concentrated firmly on the task at hand.
Amongst many objectives, one of the Scot’s top priorities is to undertake the club’s transfer proceedings, which are always under the intense microscopic eye of fans and journalists alike. With Sir Alex Ferguson having departed after 26 and a half years at the helm, it is up to his successor to continue the magisterial triumphs that United have been afforded over the past two decades. Though there are rumors swirling around that the swashbuckling Cristiano Ronaldo might be on his way back to romance The Theatre of Dreams, the reality of proceedings is a far cry from the champagne fantasies that many United fans like to entertain.
In truth, Moyes will have to aim a little lower than the likes of Ronaldo, Falcao and Gareth Bale. Such prospects may excite you to place your bets online on who United are most likely to sign, but they are surely out of the question, and though they would inevitably make a profound impact on a squad that is still lacking a touch more excellence, it is not United’s attack line that needs addressing. With Ferguson gone, perhaps United will now seek out a dexterous central midfielder to support Michael Carrick, who was more or less left to solely hold the fort last season. The Geordie-born midfielder duly undertook the task with aplomb, but if he had not been around so frequently his team-mates would have suffered a great deal.
With Paul Scholes retired, Darren Fletcher hampered by a chronic bowel condition, and the likes of Tom Cleverley and Anderson failing to step up a gear, the issue of midfield is now more pressing than ever. If the team is to continue its trophy-winning haul in the forthcoming years, the chasm in the middle must be filled. So, step forth Marouane Fellaini, the man Moyes brought to Goodison Park for a club record fee of £15 million.