This summer is shaping up to be quite the busy transfer window for Manchester United.
Despite having already wrapped up a $40-million deal for Dutch wonder-kid Memphis Depay, manager Louis van Gaal looks set to make a number of key signings in his second summer in charge, with an emphasis on his rather thin midfield and defense corps.
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United may also lose one of their most important and consistent players from this season, with Real Madrid reportedly hot on the tails of 24-year-old goalkeeper David de Gea, whose performances this season have won United more than a handful of points on their own. So add a new starting goalkeeper to the list as well.
According to one club legend, though, replacing De Gea should be the simplest fix of United’s every problem. Paul Scholes, now a weekly columnist for the Independent newspaper in the UK, says De Gea’s replacement is sitting right under their noses — or, a few spots above in the league standings.
From Scholes’ column, in the Independent:
“If De Gea does go, United should sign Petr Cech. I remember the effect Edwin van der Sar had on the club when he arrived in 2005.
“Edwin was almost 35 when he joined United. Cech has only just turned 33. He could potentially play another six years for United. There would be no concern about having to give him time to play his way into the position or the demands that the Premier League makes of a goalkeeper new to the country. United won’t want to lose De Gea but there is a solution in the offing.”
Scholes doesn’t mention current United No. 2 Victor Valdes, who made his United debut on the weekend, but one must believe that Valdes has a chance at taking over the starting role next season if De Gea does in fact return to Madrid. Over 500 starts for Barcelona, by the age of 32? If he’s good enough for Barca for a dozen years, chances are he’s “good enough” for United.
Then again, there’s a ton to be said for having played in the Premier League and, as Scholes says, being a ready-made replacement.
Would Chelsea even agree to sell Cech to a direct title rival over the next handful of years? Many questions must be asked and answered ahead of next season, but one thing is for sure: it’s going to be a fun summer, and as is often the case, it seems Real have their finger on the first domino which will start a long series of reactions.