At the start of the season, many United fans were concerned over our lack of firing power in the squad. Both Rossi and Alan Smith had been sold on and we’d still yet to buy a replacement for the goal machine, Ruud van Nistelrooy. We’d all seen enough of Dong to realize he wasn’t going to be setting the World alight and questioned Ferguson’s decision not to sign a proper striker.
Carlos Tevez finally joined, after a long and boring transfer saga, and whilst finishing West Ham’s highest scorer, he certainly wasn’t an out an out striker. We were looking for a player like Ruud, like Saha (without the sick note) who could latch on to the end of crosses and put the ball in the back of the net.
The signing of Manucho in January has given us some hope, particularly considering his form in the African Cup of Nations, but United fans would be forgiven for wanting more strength in depth than this. It’s one thing doing the business in Angola, the ACoN and Greece, and another being successful in the Premiership.
Following our history of integrating our youth policy with our first team, Frazier Campbell, currently on loan at Hull City, is looking to be the missing piece of the puzzle for United. In the pre-season, Eric Harrison tipped him as a star for the future, likening him to former United legend Mark Hughes.
He has been instrumental in Hull’s campaign for promotion to the Premiership, scoring 8 goals in his past 14 games for the club, showing he’s certainly not shy in front of goal.
Today he has stated his desire to come back to United and make a go of it with the first team. “I am contracted to Manchester United for another two years and I can’t say for sure what is going to happen there,” he said. “But I’ve come out on loan this season and done quite well for myself and the team. I wanted to get some first-team experience and go back to United a better player. Hopefully, with the experience I’ve gained, I will be able to go and compete for a place in the first team at Manchester United.”
Campbell recognises that it will not be easy gaining a first team place in a team that boasts the talents of Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, but believes he owes it to himself to give it a go. “I know that it will be difficult because of the likes of Rooney and Ronaldo,” Campbell added. “But I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I didn’t go back and give it a try.”
Aged just 20 years old, Campbell is certainly heading in the right direction for Sir Alex Ferguson to give him some time at the club. In the past month he was called up to the England Under-21 squad to play against Poland and is scoring for fun in the Championship.
Do you think Campbell has what it takes to break in to our first team?