Manchester United have continually been linked to Borussia Dortmund defender, Mats Hummels. The German international was recently reported to have been the subject of a £35 million bid from the Old Trafford outfit last week. However, German news publication BILD ( via daily star ) was quick to knock down that report, when it reported that there was little chance of Hummels leaving Dortmund in January. The agent of Mats Hummels, who happens to be his father, went a step further by claiming that his son would not leave the bundesliga this month, despite fears that he would jump ship following Borussia Dortmund poor form this season. Other reports claim United are confident of signing the player with Louis Van Gaal very keen on him.
Manchester United spent huge sums last summer to bring in the likes of Danny Blind, Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Luke Shaw and Rojo. They have shown that when push comes to shove they can put their money where their mouth is. This is why it has become important for Ed Woodward and Louis Van Gaal to do the same by coughing out the funds it needs to sign Mats Hummels.
There is clearly a lack of leadership in the club’s central defence. Chris Smalling, Johnny Evans, Blackett and McNair have not shown any leadership qualities at the back this season. Phil Jones has not fared any better either. The lack of a leader in defence has caused regular defensive problems which were again evident when Southampton went away with all three points in Sunday’s match at Old Trafford.
Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels has shown that he can be a leader in central defence, he is exactly what the club needs to address that problem. His calming influence can greatly improve a backline that does not fail to go into panic station with the eccentric characters of Phil Jones, Johnny Evans and Chris Smalling. The calming influence of Rio Ferdinand and/or Nemanja Vidic has been missed, and they have not been replaced, the Dortmund captain can fill that shoe. It’s not a surprise that the trio of Evans, Jones and Smalling have struggled without a partner who can organise the backline.
Manchester United have a history of spending big to sign a central defender. It will not be a first should they decide to spend big on Mats Hummels either. A certain Rio Ferdinand was signed from Leeds United for a record £30 million for a defender at the time in 2002. That was fourteen years ago. And the dynamism of the market has since changed.
Despite the continued link of Mats Hummels with a move to Old Trafford, a lot would depend on whether the club is willing to spend in the window after the fees expended in the summer. They could decide to wait for Champions League football to be assured before spending. Victor Valdes was signed on a free transfer. Though his case was peculiar because of his injury.
There is no two ways about it at the moment, to get quality, money has to be spent. And with an absence of a quality defender in the backline, money has to be spent to address the situation, its a simple enough logic.