The signings of Jones, De Gea and Young mean only one piece remains to be placed into the jigsaw that is the Manchester United rebuilding project for it to be complete. That final piece, a replacement for Paul Scholes, remains elusive although Ferguson need not search the world to find it as it may be found a lot closer to home.
The retirement of the legendary Paul Scholes, along with the realisation that Darron Gibson is actually rubbish and that Owen Hargreaves is permanently crocked have ensured that United fans have smashed the panic button as they stare at the hole in the Red Devils midfield.
In addition the news that Darren Fletcher continues to be plagued by a worryingly dehabilitating virus and the knowledge that Michael Carrick seems to pick up an equally dehabilitating bug known as ‘nerves’ when a big game arrives has been enough to make fans wake up in a cold sweat.
Various big names such as Modric, Sneijder and Nasri have been linked with a move to Old Trafford to fill Scholes’ Total 90 boots but none have signed as Sir Alex clearly has other ideas or is fed up of the transfer silly season.
Those ideas may involve giving an opportunity to those from within to take over the midfield baton. And there is an array of candidates chomping at the bit to take on the role – primarily a chubby Brazillian.
The likes of Cafu, Ronaldinho and Pele have ensured you have to be an excellent player to carry just the one name about with you and Anderson knows time is running out for him to prove he is worthy of such an honour.
The Samba star is desperate to cement a first team place having being hampered by injuries and the excellent form of the likes of Fletcher over the last couple of seasons. A lack of regular action and a need to adapt to the English game ensured Anderson has produced indifferent performances when his services have been required since arriving from Porto.
Anderson needs to be unleashed in a more attacking role, similar to that that he enjoyed at Gremio, for the 23-year-old to showcase his true talent in the final third of the pitch. Towards the end of the season he finally began to get on the scoresheet, something he will have to do on a regular basis from now on to provide United with another attacking threat.
Late last season there were glimpses of the skill the Samba star has at his disposal as he put in some excellent performances characterised by his surging forward runs and precise passing. He is also solid defensively, unlike Scholes who timed about 3 tackles correctly throughout his career.
Ferguson’s faith and the subsequent consistent selection that would come with it could well be the catalyst for Anderson to kick start his career and become one of the game’s best central midfielders. OK he may not be of the calibre to be placed in the same bracket as your Xavi and Iniesta’s but then again, who is?
A problem for Anderson could well be the tough competition for the role of Scholes’ heir. Tom Cleverley has tossed his name into the hat after a successful stint at Wigan last season. He definitely has the potential to become a regular fixture in the United side, something Darron Gibson never really looked capable of achieving.
Furthermore Ferguson has two graduates from last season’s youth cup winning team tipped for greatness. Due to YouTube it is obvious that notorious bad boy Ravel Morrison is a prodigious talent with the ability to become a superstar. Paul Pogba, because he is tall, French, black and plays in central midfield, is described as the new Patrick Vieira so if he is half the player Vieira was United are on to a winner.
All these players, especially Anderson, seem capable of contributing hugely to the United cause although none will replace Scholes like for like as the ginger midfielder is a one-off.
“You’re not going to find another Paul Scholes who lives within 20 minutes of Old Trafford, who loves the club like he does, and is going to perform like he has for the last 20 years. What the manager will find is another way of achieving success.” Gary Neville
That is what Ferguson is best at, finding a new way to achieve success when the greats move on…Ronaldo who?