It was the summer of 2013 and United were on the hunt for creative forces to aid their ageing squad.
Amidst the back and forth transfer rumours of that time the fact that Manchester United biggest concern was their midfield was not lost on anybody.
Despite dominating EPL scenes season in season out, their midfield remained one big bag of big concern and was mostly at fault each time they faltered. The double Champions League final losses to Barcelona had more to do with their mid-spine.
In breaking the bank and having Anders Herrera and MarouaneFellaini, plus Michael Carrick still hanging around, United can be said to have finally fixed an overdue bug and with that everyone’s clamour has been laid to bed.
Still, United this season managed to finish 24 points behind champions Chelsea and 7 off the Champions League spots, leaving them hanging on Wednesday’s Europa League thread as their last resort to the UCL route. And that’s plain shameful.
Their shortcomings despite having a robust midfield and a good enough defence have redirected the searchlights of concerns to their attack. The addition of Zlatan Ibrahimovic amidst the prospect of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashfordhas simply failed to click.
Unlike the midfield concerns of yesteryears their attack happens to have just about enough capable personnel. The only missing tiny piece of puzzle is an element that can perfectly link the midfield and attack lines, someone capable of transforming the static passes at the middle of the park to the speedy forwards, a through ball specialist.
Very few players, if any, do it better than current out-of-favourGalatico James Rodriguez. And given the Colombian’s undeniable talent and reasonable experience and availability, Ed Woodward and his unit would do well to secure the former Monaco winger’s signature. They need him.