In the past week, many reports have surfaced claiming that Manchester United are closing in on a deal to bring Nemanja Vidic back to Old Trafford, however it is difficult to see how this move would ultimately benefit either side. Vidic left Manchester United in the summer as a free agent and was part of the major defensive exodus that resulted with United having a relatively inexperienced back four. This inexperience is part of the reason behind the poor form and appalling start to the season. But Vidic himself hasn’t fared much better in Italy, where he has struggled to settle in. Although it is startlingly clear that United desperately need to reinforce their defence, Vidic does not seem to be the best option.
When the transfer was announced, Vidic described it as “an exciting new start”, so far his time at Inter has been anything but, and at times he has even looked like a liability. On his debut, he gave away a penalty and was sent off for sarcastically applauding the referee for the decision. Three minutes into his return from suspension, Vidic misplaced a flick back to the goal keeper that was easily intercepted by a Palermo striker who went on to score. A week later he gave away another penalty for bringing down a Cagliari player in the box. The stats do him no favours as he is now ranked 81 out of all 167 defenders to have played in Seria A this season, based on overall defence score according to Squawka. This is incredibly poor from a player who is currently Inter Milan’s highest earner and it is no surprise that they are looking to offload him in January.
However at Manchester United his reputation is completely different, he is viewed as a modern day legend, the captain that led the Red Devils to a lot of winner’s medals. This status would be at great risk if he was to make his return. United’s defence is incredibly frail as it is and the last thing they need is another volatile and inconsistent presence that could expose David De Gea to even more danger. Vidic has also experienced a dramatic loss of pace in recent years and for Inter Milan he has often left his defensive partner chasing attackers that have slipped past him, an issue that United are also struggling with themselves. Manchester United need to establish some consistent dominance in defence, especially with the constant injury issues and Vidic doesn’t appear to offer that.
Even if the deal was to workout and Vidic did solve United’s current defensive crisis, it would only be a short term fix. H is 33 years old, and is now looking toward retirement, with only few years left at most, especially considering the draining pace of the Premier League. Manchester United must be searching to replace the stalwarts like Vidic and Rio Ferdinand in the long term, as opposed to a simple quick fix that will leave the Red Devils in a similar predicament in the near future. Manchester United would be much better off focusing their attention on signing a world class defender that can be relied on for years to come, whereas Vidic should work on improving his current form and should remain at Inter Milan, ensuring the United faithful remember him as the legend he was.
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