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Rodwell a good fit for United

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21 May 2010 09:17:24

Rodwell a good fit for United

Jack Rodwell, rather than David Villa, is the epitome of the type of player Sir Alex Ferguson will target as he attempts to return United to Premier League dominance. Ferguson has made clear his intention to invest in youth - preferably British - as he rebuilds at Old Trafford this summer. Which is why he kept his chequebook in his pocket as Barcelona swooped for £34m Spain striker Villa. Ferguson's interest in the prolific former Valencia forward was well-documented. A near-obsessive admirer of goal-scorers, he watched Villa on numerous occasions over the past two years before opting not to be drawn into bidding war for a player who will turn 29 later this year. He was already burned with the £30.75m purchase of Dimitar Berbatov in 2008 - a player whose value has plummeted since joining United from Tottenham. And with the purse strings getting ever tighter at Old Trafford, due to the enormous debt taken out by Glazers to buy the club, value for money is the order of the day. Which is why - at a cost of around £15m - Rodwell tops United's summer wanted list. Ferguson has already been allowed to invest substantially in recruitment this summer. A layout of £19m on unknown prospects, Chris Smalling and Javier Hernandez, this year alone is evidence enough that United's owners are still prepared to back the manager's judgement. And it is a policy that Ferguson will continue to deploy at a time when he believes transfer fees are reaching unrealistic levels in light of the sugar daddies at City, Chelsea and Real Madrid. He will instead seek out relative bargain-priced emerging talents that he hopes will become the next generation of United stars. Just as Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Darren Fletcher developed into the nucleus of a Premier League hat-trick winning side, Ferguson hopes the likes of Rodwell, Smalling, Nani and Federico Macheda can provide the backbone to United's next period of success. His continued interest in Karim Benzema and Franck Ribery, however, is proof that he will splash the cash if a genuine world class talent becomes available at the right price. Rodwell, though, ticks every box when it comes to United's recruitment policy. An elegant, versatile player, who can play in either the centre of midfield or defence, the 19-year-old is valued at a very affordable £15m by Everton. And with plenty of Premier League experience for David Moyes' side, he proved he has the temperament for the big stage when scoring a stunning solo goal in Everton's 3-1 victory against United last season. Throughout his time at United, Ferguson has always made determined efforts to bring the best young domestic prospects to Old Trafford. From Paul Gascoigne to Alan Shearer to Rooney, he has been prepared to invest huge time and money to bring Britain's best to United. And in Rodwell he could at long last have found the natural successor to Roy Keane, who he snapped up from under the nose of Kenny Dalglish at Blackburn when signing the Irishman in a then British record £3.75m deal from Nottingham Forest in 1993. Paired alongside Fletcher in the centre of midfield, he could have a partnership that could last for years - just as Keane and Paul Scholes managed in the late 90s and early 2000s. Should United go for Rodwell? Have your say.


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