Real Madrid already spent another princely sum on Kaka this week, kicking off a new “Galacticos” era over there as they try to swiftly dethrone Barcelona, who just swept aside all before them in Spain (and Europe). They may still need some more defenders though, as goal scoring wasn’t their biggest achilles heel to begin with!
Ronaldo had long indicated a desire to leave. Now, he has his wish. He will be very difficult to replace at Manchester United, yet, as the linked news report noted, his relationship with players and coaches was fraying. And given that he was bought for a fraction of this transfer fee six years ago, it’s certainly terrific business. Even more so considering how much prize money he’s helped Man U claim, and, on a slightly cynical side, the millions of dollars in loans which the Glazer family (no relation to me) has to pay off on their purchase of the team. Players like Franck Ribery and Antonio Valencia will be linked with a move to Old Trafford, but could prove very overpriced in the wake of this deal. But perhaps there is someone already at United who could step in? We have seen that scenario before, with academy graduates like Gary Neville, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, and David Beckham replacing the likes of Gary Pallister, Mark Hughes, or Eric Cantona. This blogger is not the only United fan who clearly trusts Sir Alex Ferguson’s judgment on which players can be dispensed with.
As an Arsenal fan, no I don’t think it is a godsend for us. United may drop a little, but probably more in Europe than in domestic soccer. We had better focus on our own needs if we want to crash the title party next year for Man U/Liverpool (who themselves may still need upgrades and a cash injection to that end)/Chelsea. Signing Thomas Vermaelen, if it goes through, sounds like a good start to steady the defense (William Gallas is probably gone, but unlike the linked blogger, I’m not sure he did that well for us). After that, we need another forward since Adebayor clearly wants to leave, and perhaps a new goalie since I am not a huge believer in Manuel Almunia, while Lukasz Fabianski seems a somewhat questionable long-term prospect.
A wild summer of soccer transfers has probably only just begun!