Saturday, 9 October 2010

Van der Sar's replacement

With Edwin Van der Sar turning 40 later this month Alex Ferguson’s attention must be turning to who can replace the giant Dutchman. Rumours were rife at the start of the week that this would be his final season in Manchester; he has since come out and said he has no intention of retiring at the end of this season.

Having sold Ben Foster in the summer United will need to invest in a top class keeper who can maintain the high standards set by VDS. There are a number of possibilities being mentioned at the moment but the choice should be between 2; Buffon and De Gea.

Buffon has been arguably the best goalkeeper in the world for the last decade. Having made his debut at Parma aged 17 he signed for Juventus for a record £32.6 million in 2001 and has continued to impress throughout the Old Lady’s Calciopoli scandal. Although injuries have sidelined him for much of the last year he is still 32 and would be an ideal replacement when VDS retires.

In 1999 as young keeper came to prominence at Real Madrid; his name was Iker Casillas who has know been number one there for 10 years and is still only 29. Across the city in 2010 Athletico Madrid have unearthed their own goalkeeping gem in David de Gea who at 19 appears to be following in Casillas’ steps. It remains to be seen whether this young keeper continues to develop but early indications suggest he is going to be a world class keeper in the coming years and a move to one of Europe’s elite appears likely.

Whatever the financial situation is at United (they revealed yesterday they made a loss of £83.6 million in the last year), a new goalkeeper is something they can ill afford to not bring in. Ferguson has gone on record before stating it is an incredibly crucial position in the side and one that requires the best if United are to maintain their place among Europe’s elite.

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