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Manchester United Players

Why United Should Hold On To Smith

Yes, we and plenty other United fans who commented on our threads in the past have mostly felt that if we were to sell a striker, it had to be Smith. But at the moment we would do well to retain his services.

Here’s why…

Recent reports confirm that Manchester United have included him in the 24 strong contingent heading to Tokyo for the pre-season tour. Sir Alex has said he doesn’t want anyone in his current squad to leave and that, I believe, is said for real good reason.

However confident we may be about the Tevez situation, there remains the Premier League to deal with. Our past experiences of expressing confidence about a signing haven’t been too pleasant, to be honest. Ronaldinho and Mikel remain prime examples from recent memory. They were, of course, completely different scenarios and this latest transfer wrangle is mostly out of our hands. So there is a good chance, while we may get Tevez, the resolution of the situation could even take beyond August 31st – making his move possible only in the January transfer window.

Imagine if we had then sold Smith. Ole is returning from injury and surely cannot be expected to start. Saha is out injured. Nani and Anderson need plenty of time to acclimatise and cannot possibly be expected to slot into the team straightaway. Rossi’s situation is again in doubt based on the transfer rumours (although it might help things if he’s not sold). Park who could play as a withdrawn striker is also just recovering from his surgery facing a lengthy injury lay-off. That leaves us just with Rooney as the lone striker.

The first XI would still be formidable, make no mistake. But for how long? We would be forced into a 4-3-3 in all the games with Rooney forced in front on his own. Ronaldo and Giggs would support him, and we could still beat the ‘lesser’ teams, but we may not be as fluid, as evidenced from how we’ve fared in the past with a 4-3-3 formation. Plus, we have the other issue of maintaining momentum till Saha & Co. come into the fray. And that, from his wretched injury history, could even mean as long as December.

This is where Smith’s presence, movement and work-rate would be invaluable. I’d then expect Rooney to play upfront with Smith providing the service. There would be far more fluidity that way. Rossi is a great talent no doubt, but he would rather be blooded in with substitute appearances initially, than plunged into the deep end straightaway.

Although, as far as Richardson goes, could someone please tell me why, in God’s name, he’s still at OT? £5.5M doesn’t come everyday.