(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Manchester United called a press conference earlier today to unveil their two most recent first team signings, (They signed a couple of acadamy players earlier in the week. Sean Goss from Exeter, and Joel Castro Pereira), Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell. Here is what the great man had to say on his two latest recruits.
"I asked Dario if Nick could be a central midfielder. Dario thinks that's his position and Nick does too so we're all in accord. We hope he'll be a central midfield player and that's where we'll develop him."
As for Kagawa's role, the boss said: "He'll play further forward [than Powell]. We shouldn't be looking at one player changing the way we play but he could make a difference. He can give us that extra in the final third of the field. If his goalscoring record continues he could be a very good player for us."
"Shinji's coming to South Africa with us and then to China so I think you'll be seeing him pretty soon. Once he's adapted and gets to know some football phrases our players will use, he'll be used to that. He can start the first league game quite easily. I've got no problem with that.I think in Nick's case, he's got a bit of physical development to do, just as we would expect of an 18-year-old. But he'll be in the first-team squad and train with us every day. Football throws up opportunities for young players and we play young players all the time,"
Nothing much that we didn't know on Kagawa. We have suspected that he will play further forward, rather than as an out and out midfielder. What is interesting is the reference to how we play. SAF says's he may well make a difference. Again, we have thought that we could adopt a 4-5-1/4-3-3 hybrid, with Kagawa playing as a second striker in behind Wayne Rooney. Obviously, we will still use the traditional 4-4-2, but Kagawa's signing gives us a lot more flexibility than last years rigid system. When we did change our formation, we certainly did not look as fluid as previous years. To hear Fergie say something as bold as that is intriguing, and exciting.
As for Powell, it certainly seems as though his future lies in the centre of the pitch. I haven't seen enough of him to comment on his abilities, but his goal scoring record last season sounds very promising, all be it he played higher up the pitch for Crewe. We somewhat lacked goals from the centre of the park last year, and all though it would be unfair to ask him to contribute too much at all next season, if he does play, look for him to maybe grab a goal or two.
We will have more from the press conference later today, including quotes from Kagawa, Powell and more from Sir Alex regarding future transfers and the health of Darren Fletcher