Three reasons Man United shouldn’t sign Jasper Cillessen
Ned Bristow says Man United shouldn't sign Jasper Cillessen this summer. Here are his three reasons why...
1) Sergio Romero
In normal circumstances, a goalkeeper keeping three consecutive clean sheets at the start of his Premier League career behind a depleted defence would have fans licking their lips with anticipation. And yet, due to the on-going farcical situation at Old Trafford, the ‘keeper who has been an integral part of Argentina reaching two major finals in as many years is still doubted by many. With David De Gea, Victor Valdes and Anders Lindegaard all being left out by Louis van Gaal due to their wishes to leave, Romero has stepped in as the new United number one and performed admirably to help the club to seven points from a possible nine this season as well as a Champions League group stage berth. Not forgetting, all this has occurred behind a back four plagued by injury and fitness problems, as well as off-the-pitch turmoil and a media circus following the club’s every move and pitching Romero against de Gea at every given opportunity. To assume Jasper Cillessen would come in and immediately solve problems to benefit the squad is a naïve opinion, and, should De Gea stay as is looking increasingly likely, bringing him in could turn out to be a somewhat foolish move by the Red Devils’ hierarchy. With an experienced international with years still ahead of him between the sticks, United should count themselves lucky and not look to rock the already unsteady apple cart any further.
While the addition of Cillessen would be a welcome sight to any team, it is a somewhat unnecessary one given the wealth of goalkeeping talent at Old Trafford. Even if we force ourselves to look past De Gea, Valdes and Lindegaard – the latter two being less in the picture than the former at this stage – then Van Gaal can still call upon young academy product Sam Johnstone should needs be. The 22-year-old shone in the club’s pre-season tour and was considered for a first Premier League start against Spurs despite the addition of Romero, and has long been tipped as a star of the future. Though all of his experience comes at lower league level, he has had the benefit of working alongside three world class goalkeepers this summer, and will likely be used in cup competitions by van Gaal this season. And as early as September’s visit of Liverpool we could see the return of last season’s United hero, with Van Gaal openly saying that De Gea will be considered for first-team action if he stays in Manchester beyond deadline day. That will provide a selection dilemma for the Dutch boss, with Romero’s performances not warranting reserve ‘keeper status but De Gea’s unquestionable place as one of the best in the world potentially pushing him ahead of the Argentine in the pecking order. With Cillessen also in the picture, United would struggle to keep all three international regulars happy with somewhere between limited and rotational gameplay.
The last line of defence may have been the focus for the media this summer, but it is fast becoming a secondary issue after the start United have endured. There are clear problems elsewhere on the pitch that highlight how lucky the club are to have such a wealth of options between the sticks. As the side’s only recognised goalscorer, Wayne Rooney is struggling to find the net this season, while United’s lack of pace going forward is becoming a worry as they look to exploit defences in a more dangerous fashion than against Newcastle last weekend. Additionally, the injuries at the back have led to Daley Blind filling in – admirably – at centre half, which is not a sustainable option for a side aiming for a title push and Champions League campaign over the upcoming months. The side need more experience in the heart of defence to finally replace the losses of significant members of the old guard over the past few seasons: Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra. Furthermore, a young, nippy winger is needed to pair up with Memphis Depay and add a fresh outlet, while Chicharito and James Wilson cannot stand as a replacement for Rooney in terms of contribution to the side’s goal tally as well as overall gameplay.