How good is Manchester United’s new “signing”

by Sam Peoples

According to reports from various media outlets including Mundo Deportivo and RecordManchester United have already made their first signing of the summer in Ezequiel Garay.

The 26-year-old defender has been heavily linked with a summer move to Manchester United and reports have been surfacing all year of United sending scouts to watch Garay in action with Benfica. A recent switch to join forces with super agent Jorge Mendes, the agent responsible for helping bring Ronaldo to Old Trafford, only furthered the rumours.

Despite there being no official statement from either Benfica or United, Garay has commented on the situation and wouldn’t have joined up with Mendes if he wasn’t looking for a move away in the summer. So, how good is Garay and should United be interested in signing him?

garay-jerrad-petersGaray started his career at Argentinian outfit Newell’s Old Boys before joining Racing Santander in 2005. In his first full season for the La Liga side, he scored nine goals in 31 appearances, highlighting just how much technical ability he possessed. He was the second highest scoring central defender in Europe that season.

In 2008, Real Madrid secured his signature but immediately loaned him back out to Racing Santander. When Garay returned to Los Blancos, he found himself as fourth-choice and only made 25 appearances in two seasons before switching to Benfica in 2011 in a €5.5 million deal.

Since he joined Benfica, he has been a revelation. Alongside Brazilian powerhouse Luisao, he has adopted a sweeper role in the same mould as a Rio Ferdinand of old – a point made by Jerrad Peters of The Independent. Happy to bring the ball out from the back, Garay is brilliant at being a focal point at the start of an attack.

Comfortable in possession, strong in the air and intelligent with his passing, Garay is not your typical no nonsense defender. He is a cultured and rounded centre-back more attuned with the old school sweeper role that doesn’t exist in the modern game.

He has broken his way into the Argentinian national side and at 26, certainly has his best years ahead of him as a player – but is he really what Manchester United need? Given the fact that Real Madrid are set to receive 50% of his transfer fee, he certainly wouldn’t come cheap either.

Ferdinand, Vidic, Evans, Jones and Smalling. United have five fully fledged international centre backs on their books. Ferdinand and Vidic might be getting towards the twilight of their careers but Jones, Evans and Smalling are three of the most promising centre backs in the league.

What United need is a midfield enforcer, not another centre back. A player more in the mould of Victor Wanyama or Kevin Strootman would be a more appropriate signing for United. A season ending injury to Fletcher made United exclusively dependent on Carrick for controlling the midfield and it is something that needs to be addressed.

Despite his Wikipedia already stating that he has joined Manchester United, there has been no official statement so everything should be taken with a pinch of salt. It is unlikely that any deal has already been wrapped up and with Anderson potentially leaving at the end of the season, Ferguson needs to be looking at strengthening United’s midfield now more than ever.

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18 comments

larry 04/25/2013 - 02:23

I think. United need a midfielder like kevin strootman aswell as 2 defender,1 right back as a cover up replacement for raphael and a central defender. ,and we also need a striker like lewandoffski who can also.provide united with at lease 20 goals in a season,incase super van persie is injured,so rooney can play is natural possition as a free role not a converted striker

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The Peoples Person | Daily Manchester United news and analysis 04/24/2013 - 08:38

[…] Ezequiel Garay, Frickson Erazo and Eliaquim Mangala have all publicly responded to rumours linking them to United but unless Ferguson intends to let Ferdinand or Vidic go this season, it would seem strange that United were in the market for another centre back. […]

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The Peoples Person | Daily Manchester United news and analysis 04/15/2013 - 14:08

[…] are in the market for a centre-back having been strongly linked with the likes of Frickson Erazo, Ezequiel Garay and Eliaquam Mangala to make a move to Old Trafford in the […]

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kenyan 03/25/2013 - 12:17

you have already said he is very similar to rio. we all know rio’s contract is almost running out. would i be wrong to suggest that rio is on his way out? more so after the recent withdrawal from the three lions team which didnt go down very well with english fans. the transfer widow is barely open so there is still time to get the midfielders as expected. but an enforcer is highly unlikely with carrick around.

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obinna ezenwankwo 03/25/2013 - 11:32

we need mildfilder and nt defenders

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jude echezona 03/25/2013 - 11:07

Man utd needs midfielder more

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derek 03/25/2013 - 07:39

man utd need midfield enforcers like gotze,strootma,isco. and a wide players

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danny 03/25/2013 - 07:03

I think united need a few midfielders…….both central and wide……the fact is we have many players in those positions but none are big game players……we keep scraping thru…but it cant last forever…what happens if RVP has his goal drought early next season and not after the titles won like this season?? after him we are lacking genuine match winners…fergie refuses to play hernandez despite his goals and insists on wellbeck who never scores…the wingers are average at best…..and carrick has been fantastic…but he will never be a match winner or a guy to grab the game by the scruff of the neck…neither is cleverly….what we need is a presence alongside either carrick or cleverly…and a goal scoring winger…fergie has got lucky with his refusal to address our problamatic areas…….the in fighting at city and chelsea have aided our cause……but if they get their acts together next season…..and we dont buy a top midfielder or two we could be struggling…i know that sounds strange 15 points clear…but does anyone believe its a true reflection??

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Tobi 03/25/2013 - 07:38

I wil like to tel sir alex to sign rodriques and mario gotze garay and nicolas giantan with suesta finally modric or di marcco

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Johnbosco Obiora 03/25/2013 - 06:11

For now we need player like James Rodriguez, or Di Maria and Strooman

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timbo 03/25/2013 - 05:06

If true then your point about the team already being well-stocked with central defenders doesn’t hold true with respect to Jones. Evans and Smalling are the future central defenders for the team once Ferdinand and Vidic hang up their boots or move on, not Jones. Garay therefore adds the level of competition and backup that the area needs, with Jones also in the mix as a standby central defender.

Ever since he arrived at the team last year, I’ve considered that Jones’ real potential is as a defensive midfielder, especially in the kind of 4-3-3 formation United seem to be looking more and more to, especially in Europe. Jones simply doesn’t have the height to excel as central defender – if one looks at the best the league has had to offer in recent years (the likes of Vidic, Ferdinand, Terry, etc) they all stand well over 6′, while Jones comes in at well under that height. It makes a huge difference when dealing with tall strikers and particularly in set pieces, not only because of the high balls but simply in gaining a better perspective on play – it’s a little hard to know what’s going on if you’re staring into someone’s back or neck! Because of his pugnacity, tackling ability, endurance, passing ability, football intelligence, and a healthy inclination to roam forward, he’d have been an ideal sweeper in years gone by. These days he has the makings of a world class defensive midfielder, and he’s shown that a few times this year when he’s been set to shut down the opposition’s most influential players. I believe, more and more, that one of the future innovations of football tactics, especially against teams with outstanding talents in the midfield and attack, will be the role of the roaming tagger, tasked to shut down the most influential players. Jones has the makings of being brilliant at the task, and could be the best midfield enforcer United has seen since the heady days of the Keane-Scholes partnership. As a central defender, much as he sees that as his primary role, he’d be largely wasted and ultimately out of place.

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Prince Koroma 03/24/2013 - 22:36

Definatelly mieldfielders are absolutelly needed inorder to solve the problem of man utd. Because there are some games worn by man utd, it is only done through the help of the potential attackers we are having. But to crown it all man utd need mieldfielders.

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dayo 03/24/2013 - 21:04

Man united should sign midfielder like isco,wayama,strootman,james,Gotze,bender,erisken,verrati

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Muritala Monsur 03/24/2013 - 19:52

ManU needs a creative midfielder lk Modric,Kevin Strootman nt a defender,am very sure if we cn have a good midfielder there is nothing preventing us from winning this season CL

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Emmanuel 03/24/2013 - 18:44

Man u shuld sign midfielda like isco,strotman,

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immanuel 03/24/2013 - 17:29

MAN U should sign rodriquez!!!!!!!!!!!

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izuchukwu 03/24/2013 - 16:11

i need man u 2 sigh mid

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Matt 03/25/2013 - 10:46

You need? Seriously?

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