Other than, ‘Welcome to Old Trafford Mr Djemba Djemba – i’m sure you’ll enjoy your football here’, there is rarely anything else that I disagree with Fergie with. This transfer is no exception either. In Saha we are losing a strong, quick striker with a good left foot – when he is fit. Today Saha decided to leave his injury nightmare behind him and join Everton and see if he can stay fit for more than 2 and a half games. You think i’m joking – have a look at the amount of Premier League games he has started compare to Rooney who signed eight months later. Saha started, in four and a half seasons, 52 games, compared to Rooney who has made 118. Ok you may argue that Rooney is a better player than Saha and obviously deserves a starting berth over the Frenchman – but Fergie splashed out £12.8Million back in 2004, and i’m sure he expected a greater return alongside Ruud VanNistelrooy.
Saha’s best run in the side probably came in the first half of the 2006/07 (and I suppose towards the end of the 2005/06 season with the decline of Ruud) season where he was a first team regular for the first time since his move from Fulham. He scored on the opening day against Fulham and then bagged two goals against Celtic at Old Trafford. He failed to convert a penalty at Celtic Park, which left United needing a win against Benfica – which was achieved…eventually. He also played a part in the 2-0 victory over Chelsea, last season, at home, winning and scoring a penalty in the final minutes. It’s such a shame that he couldn’t have kept himself fit for longer and played more of a part in the teams fortunes. After all, no one is questioning his ability – it’s just whether he can stay fit for long enough. He was never the best of finishers and would sometimes be very erratic in front of goal, but I always felt he tried and wasn’t lucky with injuries. You may suggest he suffered from the same bout of footballphobia that Arjen Robben did but then remember Bryan Robson’s injuries that he suffered throughout his career – I guess some people are just unlucky??
So with Saha out the door are we going to settle for a strike force of Tevez, Rooney and Campbell, with Manucho in the wings when he returns from injury or with the transfer of Pavlyuchenko to Tottenham does this free up a move for Berbatov? Also, how will you remember Saha? A good player that helped us to the 2007 Premier League title? Or as a injury plagued sick note player who wasn’t actually quite good enough for Manchester United?