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Miranda – Overpriced but vital to Man Utd rebuilding programme

| 28.05.2014

It is generally accepted that the career of a centre back is more long-lasting than any other outfield football position. However, £25m still seems a little on the steep side for a centre half rapidly approaching his 30th birthday.

However, Lilian Thuram was an almost identical age and moved for a similar sum when transferring from Parma to Juventus in 2001 and he went on to win two Serie A titles with the Old Lady.

It is fairly obvious that Manchester United would benefit from experience and leadership as they attempt to re-emerge as credible Premier League title challengers and Atletico Madrid’s Miranda must be considered a worthy addition.

In today’s day and age, £25m is not actually that much when chasing a high-profile target, but such figures are still usually reserved for younger talents that may have an even bigger sell-on value or can potentially provide a testimonial-worthy length of service.

But the Red Devils look short of players at their pomp now and it may be best for their future aspirations to bring in three or so players in the 26-30 age bracket to provide the backbone of the team, while the youngsters gain experience around them under slightly lesser pressure.

With Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic leaving, one of Phil Jones or Chris Smalling will have to become the permanent partner of Jonny Evans and although both have made around 100 Premier League appearances, there are doubts over whether they are truly ready or of the class to enable Man Utd to compete for the Premier League and in Europe.

Smalling would be the one to benefit most from a Miranda arrival as the pair are largely similar, mixing pace with being capable in the air, although the Brazilian displays a better technique and range of passing than the England World Cup squad member.

Man Utd are third favourites to win the 2014/15 Premier League at 5/1 and an experienced central defender along the lines of Miranda or Roma’s Mehdi Benatia would greatly enhance their prospects.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.