Whilst most fans remain fixated over the possible arrival of Thiago Alacantra, other midfield targets seem to be looming large in David Moyes’ thoughts. As he prepares to take office on the 1st July, midfielders of various size and style have been linked to moves to Old Trafford and, armed with a sizeable war chest, Moyes seems keen to close the midfield black hole that Sir Alex allowed to open.
One such player on Moyes’ radar is Columbian international, Fredy Guarin, who is valued at £17m by his club, Inter Milan. Excelling in an advanced role for the Italian outfit, Guarin has attracted interest from Tottenham Hotspur and could well be attracted to play in the Premier League this summer. Despite being is a key player for Inter, the financial incentives offered by English clubs could well lure him from their grasps.
Following his arrival in 2012, Guarin became an integral part of Walter Mazzari’s midfield this season, playing 34 times and scoring 10 goals. Driving forward behind Cassano and Palacio, his shots were too hot for many keeper’s to handle and he ended up as Inter’s third top scorer.
Having already made 40 international appearances for Columbia, the 26-year-old is likely to appear at the 2014 World Cup, with Columbia currently sitting second behind Argentina in qualifying. During the tournament, Guarin will be looking to showcase his tough tackling, relentless running and tremendous technique behind Falcao and Co.
Whilst at his previous club, Porto, Guarin had to bind his time behind Raul Meireles. However, once the opportunity arose, Guarin soon made an impression on their domestic and European exploits and soon helped them win the UEFA Europa League trophy in 2010/11. Showing his European ability further this season, Guarin scored an impressive 4 Champions League goals this campaign.
Using his aggression, stamina and vision in an effective manner, Guarin has matured into a highly desirable, highly mobile midfielder. Equally omfortable in high tempo CL games and low tempo Serie A games, Guarin is clearly an intelligent player whose progression shows no sign of slowing down.
Standing at 6ft exactly, Guarin is an imposing midfielder who has traditionally played in centre or right midfield. As such, Guarin has primarily been labelled a box-to-box midfielder who can break up attacks as well as create them.
However, Guarin actually played at the head of Inter’s 3 man midfield this season. Playing as the link between midfield and attack, Guarin excelled when given the opportunity to attack the opposition back line. Lacking the subtlety of Mata and Cazorla, two of the Premier League’s most creative central attacking midfielders, Guarin instead relied more heavily on his physicality to force his way through the opposition before relying on others to make the magic happen.
Guarin is a hard-working midfielder who would have no problem adapting to the pace of the Premier League. Similar to Yaya Toure, Guarin has the ability to dominate through midfield, unlike any other player in United’s squad, and would be a valuable addition to the squad.
By all accounts, David Moyes has roughly £50 million to spend this summer, excluding the money spent on Zaha by his predecessor in January. As such, it is likely he will have £35 million left to spend if he successfully signs Thiago (1/5 on at the moment) and Guarin would therefore represent at least half of his remaining budget.
Putting all his cards on the table, it remains to be seen whether Moyes would be prepared to gamble away such a large amount of his kitty on one area of the squad. Just as a gambler might decide to spread his bets at intertops casino home, Moyes may well decide to spread the money more wisely throughout defence, midfield and attack.
Nonetheless, despite Sir Alex Ferguson’s insistence that no midfielder was needed to improve the squad, it is clear that reinforcement are needed. Seeing as the likes of Modric and Martinez have already been proven to be outside United’s price range, Guarin may be the perfect mid to high-priced midfielder for Moyes’ squad.