Just when Manchester United fans were fully expecting reinforcements to come into Old Trafford in January, boss Sir Alex Ferguson insisted yesterday that there was no need to bring any new players over the winter. “No, definitely not” he said emphatically. With the Glazer family reported to have made a large transfer kitty available for Sit Alex to spend as he sees fit after the Wayne Rooney saga was resolved, hopes were high that at least one big signing will be made during the winter transfer window but the manager has decided otherwise.
“We won’t be buying in January, definitely not” Ferguson made clear before flying out to Turkey for the Champions League game in Bursa. “If you want someone to play in Europe, you are limited right away” he explained “there are hundreds of players cup tied.”
“You have five months left of the season and I will have Antonio Valencia back hopefully towards the end of February which is a new player coming back. If Michael Owen gets back, it is another new player coming back. So with the squad I’ve got, I don’t see any reason for us to buy anyone.”
Ferguson also revealed Rooney is not set to return from his ankle injury for another five weeks. “I think Wayne Rooney will be out for another five weeks” he added. “He’ll have to pick up his fitness again. I would think five weeks should be about right.”
Although many fans are sure to be disappointed, you have to hand it to Ferguson for not buckling under the pressure from critics who insist that United’s squad is not good enough to challenge for top honours. As he has stated on many occasions before the season had even started, he has complete faith in the players already available backed up by a number of younger ones coming through.
If midfielder Tom Cleverley is recalled from his loan spell at Wigan in January as expected, he will give the squad yet another boost. It was interesting that Ferguson made no mention whatsoever of any expectations for Owen Hargreaves to make an imminent return from his long injury. Sadly, it can be interpreted that Sir Alex expects a comeback for the midfielder could be as far away as ever – indeed, if it ever happens.
Is Ferguson right in his judgement that he does not need to buy?