Opinion: Manchester United is interested in Harry Kane, but should they be?
If you’ve read anything I’ve written on this site then surely by now you’re familiar with the rumor that former Tottenham and current Real Madrid star Gareth Bale is on his way to Manchester United this summer. It’s a rumor that just won’t go away and despite Bale’s agent saying his client had no plans of leaving Madrid it’s still likely to happen since Real are a business club and Bale doesn’t seem to be fitting in; therefore if United come with money, Real will accept.
While I was busy trolling my Tottenham supporter friends about this, I always made sure to throw in how great it would be in 2016 when Harry Kane followed him to Old Trafford and the two were now scoring goals for Manchester United. So you can only imagine how delighted I was last night when I saw the report in The Daily Mail that the England International is Louis van Gaal’s top transfer target and United are lining up a £45 million bid for Kane THIS summer.
Just like that United’s attack could be totally different and amazing next season. But the question is, should Harry Kane be United’s priority or should their transfer priorities lie elsewhere?
“Keep ignoring your defensive issues and buying attacking players! We’ll see how that works out for you!” Over the past year that’s become a common taunt from opposing fans about United’s recent transfers, and technically they aren’t wrong.
Louis van Gaal entered his first season at Old Trafford inheriting a team with big issues on defense. They had lost world class defenders Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, and Rio Ferdinand, and had replaced them with young players Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, and Chris Smalling, all of whom had failed to live up to expectations. He also inherited a squad that had the attacking talent of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez, Nani, Marouanne Fellaini, Adnan Januzaj, Juan Mata, and Shinji Kagawa.
In his first transfer window van Gaal seemingly ignored United’s need for a central midfielder and some real defenders, instead spending big to bring in Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao to add to United’s plethora of attacking talent. To make room he jettisoned Welbeck, Hernandez, Nani, and Kagawa.
While he did bring in defensive players such as Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind, the biggest splash van Gaal made was throwing boatloads of money at an already potent attacking force. The logical belief would then be, in year 1 van Gaal bolstered the attack, therefore this summer the priority will be on the other holes United have, namely the midfield and defense.
Naturally that would mean making Gareth Bale and Harry Kane your summer transfer priorities would be redundant and a mistake right? Wrong.
There’s no question Manchester United need to upgrade their defense and bring in another central midfielder or two to provide cover for Michael Carrick. But those are things they are already on top. They reportedly already have a deal lined up for Ikay Gundogan, which has been denied but not really denied. They’ve also been linked with Juventus’ Paul Pogba and several other central midfielders. Meanwhile Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels has been linked with the club for over a year now and practically has one foot in the door at Old Trafford already. With Hummels likely on his way, United can turn their attention elsewhere for the time being and bring in another defender if needed.
While on the surface it would seem redundant to spend big on attacking options again this summer. look at the bigger picture. Big money names Radamel Falcao and Angel di Maria have failed in their first year at Old Trafford, while Robin van Persie has been a shadow of himself and due to his age that isn’t likely to change. Reports are now coming in that United are planning on selling van Persie and di Maria this summer to get their wages off the books, while it is all but certain Falcao’s loan will not be made permanent.
That leaves United with Wayne Rooney as their only experienced striker. On the wings United are left with Juan Mata, the untested Memphis Depay, Ashley Young, and Antonio Valencia, the latter two are far removed from striking fear into European opponents.
If United truly want to challenge for the title and compete in the Champions League next season the best course of action is to admit mistakes were made and correct them. That means getting rid of players that didn’t work out and once again spending big on attacking players.
What United would be getting in Kane and Bale are two British players who won’t need to settle into life in England and have proven they can consistently score goals in the Premier League. That’s certainly a safer play then betting on a foreign player who may have trouble adapting to the Premier League a la di Maria or Falcao.
Furthermore Bale and Kane would provide United with depth on the wings and up front. Currently if Wayne Rooney needs to be deployed elsewhere, or is hurt, United’s attack becomes impotent. Having Harry Kane around helps ensure that won’t happen.
Louis van Gaal’s first season was always about just making it back to the Champions League. That goal has been completed and next year will be about competing for the title. In order for United to do that, they need to have depth that they can rely on. By the end of this season Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao were unreliable. The plan would be for Gareth Bale and Harry Kane to fix that, and that’s why it’s a smart move to spend all that money on them.
Besides, their track record of signing former Tottenham players is spotless right? Remember Dimitar Berbatov?
Of course, United’s biggest priority is their goalkeeper. They need to sign David de Gea to an extension. It’s getting ridiculous already.