rss twitter facebook mobile

Roque Santa Cruz – Too Similar To Saha To Replace Him

Roque Santa Cruz Manchester United rumoursRoque Santa Cruz has just completed a very successful debut season in the Premiership, finishing the 4th highest scorer with an impressive 19 goals. The Paraguayan striker looks to be the complete package, with his height (6′ 3″) and age (turns 27 this summer) also on his side, so it no surprise we are being linked with the player.

“The interest from Manchester United is real,” the player claimed last week. “But I’m busy now so my representatives will handle anything if there is a concrete offer.”

23 goals and 7 assists in a total of 42 games this season makes impressive reading, however, if we delve deeper in to his past, it appears as though we might have another Saha on our hands.

Before joining Blackburn Rovers, Santa Cruz spent the previous eight years of his career at Bayern Munich. In this time, he averaged just 19 league games a season, and never scored more than 8 goals in all competitions in a season. In the league, he never scored more than 5 goals in a domestic campaign. He has 27 Champions League appearances to his name and just 5 goals.The player has seen his career thus far ravaged by injuries. Whilst last season he only missed two league games for Rovers, he proved to be a liability due to injuries in Germany. That is not to say his season was injury free for the small town in Burnley, with him suffering from groin strain, a sprained ankle and a knee injury in 2007-2008.

It seems almost certain that Louis Saha will be leaving us this summer, most likely back to France, after another disappointing season for United. When fit, Saha can do a job for us, but unfortunately, that is not something we can rely upon, and it’s time to cut our losses. it has today been confirmed that there has been no news on his future. “There is nothing on the agenda until the club says otherwise,” one of Saha’s advisors said. “At the end of the season, the club told Louis to report back for pre-season training and he is now on holiday.”

Cruz appears to be 10 times the player he was in Germany, however that is no use to us if he spends the majority of next season, like he has done in the past, on the medical table. We have suffered too many times before because of an injury prone striker, so our replacement should be someone with a cleaner track record.

Do you think signing Roque Santa Cruz is worth the risk?

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

View all posts by Scott »



  1. eric the king the king the king says:

    before reading this article i was delighted we were linked to santa bcuz i think he could compliment wayne n tevez well, i saw him properly in the flesh wen we played blackburn away, and although he didnt do much he did score and was a handful in the air, both at defending and attacking free kicks, if he is as injury prone as this article says, we should maybe look at someone else, as although nobody can guarantee 40 games a season, we dont need another louis who is out all season!!!

  2. KingOfZamunda says:

    I’m not one of those to get excited everytime we get linked with a certain player, and the same can be said of Santa Cruz- not a bad striker at all but not getting all delirious over him.
    Having said that, I do think you are being overly critical of a player who has turned his career around. The form book says he shouldn’t have scored more than 8 goals this season and not had more than 2 matches in succession- he did that and more. Take Benni McCarthy for example- never been injury prone and not shy of being a consistent goalscorer/performer- where was he last season? It’s swings and roundabouts with Santa Cruz as far as I’m reading into it, his second season will be telling of how much he really has recovered. Having said that, he was injury plagued and goal shy in a the Bundesliga and lit up the stage in a far more demanding, physically and technically, league with Blackburn so it’s not an open and shut case with Santa Cruz.
    Far as United buying a striker, I say we go really young in the shape of Benzema or Huntelaar whilst giving Manucho a chance to show us what he is really capable of.

  3. jimmy Bob says:

    Good player but like saha ashton and a host of others injury prone
    huntelara could be the new ruud or the new kezman or kuyt

    berbatov rarely injured is tall, has great touch, has proven himself in the english game and has done it in the champs lge he’d be my shout even if he costs more

  4. jsos says:

    i dont think berb fits the united culture. a little too far up his own arse already… i’d prefer someone who was a little younger and more ready to prove himself

  5. Drew Vader says:

    Santa Cruz would be a decent addition if he was willing to accept that he wont be guaranteed a starting birth like he had at Blackburn. But, the price being quoted for him is just plain stupid and if we United are suckered into paying it, i think it would be a very bad move. 15 mil for a good, not great, striker is stupid money and should be spent elsewhere.

    I would personally love it if Benzema came but i doubt it will happen. Hunteelar would be more hit or miss i think, he could be awesome or as someone said he could be another kuyt. As for Berbs, he is unquestionably a great talent and he could create some lovely football i’m sure with other genius players surrounding him, BUT i just dont think he is the kind of striker we need right now. His speciliaty is dropping deep to link up play with the midfield and to create, which we already have roon and tevez to do that for us. We need a striker with average height, just to break the current trend of midgets we have, but with brilliant pace who can lead the line and stretch defenses thus giving either roon or tevez that much more space and time to operate in. And add “good in the air” to that list and we have a winner. Now just who that mystery player is, i have no idea really.

  6. denton davey says:

    Drew Vader gets it – Berbatov isn’t the right guy for this NewUtd. He would just get in the way of both Rooney and Tevez.

    Santa Cruz is a better option BUT he has had a long, long history of injuries and that has to be a concern. He has long been known to be a huge talent but has never been able to stay healthy long enough to prove it; who knows, maybe he’s finally grown into his body.

    However, fifteen million quid for a one-year wonder is a lot of money – I’d prefer addiing that money into the BenzemaFamilyTrust. The kid is one of the two best options out there – the other is Mario Gomez, the kid who plays for Stuttgart/Germany. I know he was a bit off the pace in the first Euro game but he has been a barn-burner in the regular season.

    The other guy who is something of a curiosity is ???? Gomis of France. He has the size and the haircut but seemed a bit slow to me – something like a “French Emile Heskey”, if you can imagine that.

  7. ManUnited10titles says:

    We are not getting either Benzemza or Huntlear this season as both have steadfastly committed to their current clubs for more experience . Since We harve Cr7 one more season, I imagine we just need a stop-gap solution until both Huntlear and Benzema are available next year prime for the pickings.

    Cruz seems able to provide that service. The support of the current squad doesn’t hurt either….

  8. KingOfZamunda says:

    How about the Brazilitalian Amauri folks? Or, if we are going for the stop gap until Huntelaar/Benzema become more available, Gudjonssen?


You must be logged in to post a comment.