Edwin van der Sar has made it official. He will be retiring at the end of the season. Which leads to the big question, who replaces him?
The last time United went through this was when Peter Schmeichel left and that was not pretty as United really struggled for years to replace Schmeichel and it wasn’t until Van der Sar was signed that United got some stability at that position.
So who are the candidates to be the United #1 next season? I broke the candidates into two groups. Those currently signed, and then keepers who play elsewhere.
Currently At United
Considering that Fergie was open to the idea of Kuszczak joining Leicester City on loan this month, that is a good indication that he does not see Kuszczak as the long-term successor to Van der Sar.
United’s new signing, Lindegaard is billed as the new Peter Schmeichel. Does not have a lot of experience and I would be shocked if he was the United #1 next season. I expect him to be the new keepers back-up.
Amos is the England under-20 keeper, but is not ready to make the jump to the first team next season. Will battle with Lindegaard for the back-up role.
Rene Adler (Bayer Leverkusen)
Adler has a special clause in his contract which specifies that if Manchester United meet his buyout price that they have to sell him. That is how much Adler wants to be a United player. He has less than 18 months left on his contract at Bayer and want to come to Old Trafford.
David De Gea (Atletico Madrid)
Spain’s Under-21 goalkeeper is probably the best young goalkeeper in Europe. Fergie has personally been over to Spain to watch him as well as sending scouts to a number of his matches. Only problem is that De Gea seems happy at Atletico
Manuel Neuer (Schalke 04)
Having excelled for Germany at the World Cup, the 24 year-old is interested in a move to Old Trafford and has the big-match experience to suggest he could handle the pressure of being the United #1. club.
Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow)
Russia’s first choice keeper he starred against United in the Champions League group stage last season. Out of contract in Dec 2011 making him a good cheap option.
Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax)
At 28, is well-established and the Holland international is out of contract in Jun 2012, so he too could be signed relatively cheaply.
Julio Cesar (Inter Milan)
At 32 he is older than the other candidates, but he could still be United’s keeper for the next six or seven years. n 2009, IFFHS named him as the third best goalkeeper in the world, behind only Iker Casillas and Gianluigi Buffon. last season he was Serie A and UEFA keeper of the year. Extremely experienced, is the first-choice goalkeeper for Brazil and has expressed an interest in moving to England.
Julio Cesar is my choice to replace Van der Sar. He will not be fazed about playing for United and he has a lot of big game experience.
Why do you think will replace Edwin Van der Sar?