Manchester Musings: Thomas Vermaelen is a Good Fit at a Great Price for Manchester United

By, Kyle Gibson

Somewhere along the line at Manchester United, the club lost what had once been a fiscal sense with transfers. Ed Woodward has paid huge prices for the four main players he has brought in as chairman, Juan Mata, Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini.

United has always been known for splashing cash, but also used to make a few great deals here or there. Goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel was bought for $500,000, what Sir Alex Ferguson called the “deal of the century.” Ferguson also bought Chicharito Hernandez, who he made a starter, for very cheap, perhaps around $6 million.

Fans love when a team throws money around, but Manchester United can’t throw 25-30 million at every player it signs.

That’s why I like that United is involved with potentially signing Belgian international Thomas Vermaelen away from Arsenal. Vermaelen is 28 and still has a good amount left in the tank. For a back line that needs leadership with Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand gone, Vermaelen, Arsenal’s captain, could provide that.

What’s really promising is the transfer fee, which could be around 11 million pounds. After paying more than 60 million on two players that are relatively inexperienced in Shaw and Herrera, making a low risk move on a veteran guy is a big help.

With Shaw at left back and Raphael at right, Vermaelen, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling could alternate at the central spots. Throwing Jones and Smalling into the fire will be less painful with the experienced Vermaelen right there to help.

If this deal for Vermaelen falls through because, you know, it makes too much sense or something, Manchester United still needs to make a move similar to this. The back line needs experience and with several other high profile targets like Arturo Vidal potentially costing upwards of $45 million, that experience needs to come cheap.

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