Arjen Robben – 30 Years Old

Since his move to Bayern Munich, Arjen Robben has found a level of consistency and health that had plagued his time at both Chelsea and Real Madrid. One of the world’s most exciting and talented player he has been a major difference for club and country in recent years. Blessed with incredible speed, he is capable of dominating every full back in the game. Often criticised for being one footed, it is perhaps made irrelevant when you consider the strength of his left foot, knowing how to stop Robben and actually succeeding in it have been two completely different things. His close control and speed make it an extremely difficult task to get the ball away from him. In front of goal has been the area in which Robben has really improved since joining Bayern, averaging at better than a goal in every two games, he has undoubtedly become a match winner and it was showcased during the Champions League Final last year against Dortmund.

Where would he fit in?

Throughout their dominant reign under Ferguson, Manchester United possessed highly talented wingers who spread the opposition and made them cover every blade of grass. With no disrespect to the majority of the current crop but there are blatant and numerous flaws with the majority, be it consistency or quality, in some cases, both. Arjen Robben can both hug the touchline like a traditional winger, cutting inside from the right on his favourite left foot, or drift in field taking full backs with him creating space for the full backs to overlap. United, since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and perhaps until the arrival of Juan Mata, lacked goals when the strikers did not fire, Robben would introduce a new dimension to a potent strike force when fully fit.

Chances of signing?

When Guardiola arrived at Bayern almost twelve months ago, many felt that Robben would not fit in due to his individualistic nature but he has adapted and accommodated himself within a team ethic which makes a possible move away seem suspect. However, the arrival of his international and ex club manager Louis van Gaal may tempt Robben in a move to Manchester if a deal materialises. Coming towards the back end of his career but in his most productive years, the transfer value would likely remain steep, barring the purchase of Robin van Persie, United have not traditionally spent vast sums of money on aging players.

Mats Hummels – 25 Years Old

The German international and Borussia Dortmund defender has been key to his side’s rise to prominence in the last few years. The mainstay of the defence, Hummels is often the stereotypical German in his efficiency and defending. An excellent reader of the game, he relies on clearances and intercepting the ball as opposed to going into tackles frequently, however this has come at a price at times when mis-timing an interception he can leave his partner and the keeper exposed to quick breaks. Hummels satisfies both the modern and traditional centre-back as he is equally capable when he is on the ball, bringing it out from the defence in order to initiate attacks. This season he completed more successful dribbles per game than team-mates Blaszczykowski and Aubameyang.

Where would he fit in?

With the exit of both Ferdinand and Vidic, Manchester United are left bereft of experience and international quality in their defence. Smalling and Jones may well prove to be good enough to partner Evans but there would still remain a lack of depth. Hummels’ quality would be a welcome addition and give the younger defenders at the club someone they can continue to learn from. His passing ability and tendency to bring the ball out from the back is likely to be a relief for a midfield that has struggled to make its presence felt in games and provide a platform for the attacking players the club possess.

Chances of signing?

Having been consistently linked with United in recent transfer windows, the dominance of Bayern Munich in Germany may tempt Hummels to leave for greener pastures. A couple of less successful seasons in terms of silverware with club and personal performances is likely to mean that the transfer which may have cost United a considerable fortune around the time of Euro 2012, may well have decreased. With rivals City and Chelsea targeting the pair of Benatia and Mangala, the route to acquiring Hummels’ services may mean facing little competition.

Bacary Sagna – 31 Years Old

The Arsenal right back has been a bit of an anomaly at the club, in that he was highly regarded around Europe but chose to remain in North London. One of the premier league’s most consistent players in his position, Sagna’s form declined rapidly following a string of serious injuries but has since returned somewhere near his best form. Defensively solid and equipped with the natural abilities to match most wingers in the world for both strength and speed, Arsenal’s fourth best defence record in the league can be credited in large parts to Sagna’s performances this season. However, the player does struggle to make an impact on the other end of the field, misplaced crosses and a lack of desire to get past his opponents would place a great deal of pressure on the right winger to be productive. Yet, in an age when accomplished defenders are few and far between, Sagna’s quality in his own half of the field have kept him at the top of the game.

Where would he fit in?

The right back position at United was in constant flux last season under David Moyes, whilst new manager Louis van Gaal may wish to give Rafael the chance to replicate his form towards the end of Ferguson’s time at the club, Sagna would provide experience and consistency for the new manager in a position that lacks both. Like Hummels he would be a player that the younger defenders at the club could learn from.

Chances of signing?

Having decided to leave Arsenal on a free transfer this summer, there is likely to be a lot of teams interested in Sagna’s services due to the lack of fee needed to sign him. Long been touted to end up at Inter Milan may bring into question the chances of him ending up in Manchester, along with his time at Arsenal and relationship with the club but should United offer him a sizable contract, the ex-Arsenal man may end up wearing red again.




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