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Rossi’s future at Manchester United

Opinion on Giuseppe Rossi is split amongst Man Utd fans. Some consider him to be just the striker we need for next season (I’d be one of them), others are more interested in chasing after Huntelaar, Berbatov, Tevez or the ‘new flavour of the month’, as a comment on SL stated.

So what is it? Is Rossi good enough, or do we need a new striker?

The case against Rossi

The major gripe United fans have against Rossi is that he’s unproven. Realistically speaking you cannot count the Newcastle loan period as being relevant because Rossi barely got any chance, and most of the chances he got were as subs. It appeared to be the chairman’s decision to bring Rossi in but Roeder wasn’t too keen on playing him.

At Parma he’s done much better, playing regularly and scoring as well. However, Parma were fighting relegation and Rossi has still to be seriously tested at the top level and / or in the Premiership.

To add to the problem, Saha’s injury problems have resurfaced, making him extremely unreliable. That leaves Wayne Rooney as the only ‘big’ striker at the club, and at 21 he can’t be expected to lead the line all the time. Thus there’s a strong call for bringing striking experience into the squad (and at the same time sending Saha away or at least relegating him to the bench).

In short, Rossi might be good, but he’s one for the future and United need proven excellence, not bags of potential, at the moment.

The case for Rossi

With Saha’s injury situation it’s hard to argue that Rossi alone can solve United’s striking problems. But considering his potential AND the fact that he is fast, technically sound and a good finisher, there’s no reason why he can’t be part of a 3-man strikeforce that can lead Manchester United to a title charge next season.

Putting Rossi in the starting lineup might be rash for some but that’s the way Ferguson is planning – in the next couple of years if not the next season.

Part of the reason Manchester United won the title this season was the close bond between the squad – there were only 2 new players and they had ample time to gel. Bringing in superstar egos isn’t going to help the club, so Ferguson should ‘only’ go for a striker if he can find the right personality and / or if he finds the perfect young superstar for the job.

United need a player like Kuyt or Crouch (their type, not those two) – a good finisher who is not world-class but is fantastically reliable and can do the job off the bench or when called upon in rotation. I’m not sure if Benni McCarthy is up for sale and at 29 he’s not at the age United should be buying but he’s also a good example of the type of player United need to bring in.

Bring in an experienced striker who’s a good finisher AND has Premiership experience if possible, and rotate them with Rooney and Rossi.

Rossi is definitely a starter, and we don’t need to spend 20m on a striker just to satisfy our whims.

Your Verdict

The only exception to the above discussion would be if a player like Tevez was available for 15m or 20m (ditto for Berbatov). It’s unlikely, but if that were to happen, United would be foolish to pass up such an opportunity. Like they did with Rooney, you’ve got to move for the stars when they’re available, and if a really big name is interested in coming to United, let’s go for it.

But not at the cost of marginalising our own talent.

Let me know what you guys think.