Most players don’t ever get one ‘affair’ named after them, yet Tevez looks to be heading towards his second with the upcoming struggle for his signature, in addition to the on-rumbling court case between West Ham and Sheffield United, over his dodgy transfer to the Hammers. So where will Tevez be playing next season? At this point we may only speculate, but I for one do not think he will be at Man Utd. I also think they’ll suffer for not having him too. Why do I think this? I’ll tell you.
First of all, Tevez is only on a two year loan deal at United. He isn’t actually owned by the club and doesn’t have a permanent contract. Which means that to keep him, United are going to have to pay a transfer fee. Now we have no way of knowing how much that would be, but the holding company who ‘own’ Tevez (who said slavery was abolished?) aren’t stupid, and they will know that the man is worth a lot of money. Some of the numbers that have been flying about in the tabloids have been as large as 32 million, which seems a bit steep to me, but one can be sure it’ll be at least 20 mill I think.
So United have to go and spend twenty million pounds on a player that has already played for them for a while. And not only that, they have to spend twenty million pounds on a player that is quite regularly warming the bench this season. With their three pronged attack of Ronaldo, Berbatov and Rooney, United are getting along quite nicely, and Tevez seems very much to have been the fall guy since Berbatov joined the club. In that sense then, I cannot see that Alex Ferguson is going to spend twenty million pounds on another striker, who he can’t fit into the team. Yes Tevez is world class and yes he scores goals, but he’s not going to do that from the bench.
And Ferguson, in my opinion, needs to strengthen his midfield. They have a fantastic team there, but to me bar Ronaldo, the midfield looks a little short of ideas at times. Giggs and Scholes are obviously getting on and won’t last much longer, which Carrick and Hargreaves are both good players but not great ones. Anderson is going to be top class, but he doesn’t appear to have that genius spark of creativity and initiative that can be so devastating in a central midfielder. If I were Ferguson, I’d be seriously looking at trying to get an attacking midfielder in of the highest quality. Someone like Silva (from Valencia) or Diego (from Werder Bremen). To get a player of that quality though, will take serious money – and Ferguson will not be able to afford both Tevez and a world class attacking mid, what with the recession and all.
So that will surely mean that Tevez will leave Man United. That means another club will be lucky enough to have him amongst their number next season, but I think it will ultimately be a bad move on United’s part. I am unconvinced as to Berbatov as a truly world class player. He certainly has his moments, and in those moments is truly brilliant. However, he is also a very lazy, sulky sort of player, and if things aren’t going his way, he won’t play. Tevez on the other hand is a fighter If things aren’t going his way, it’ll only make him work harder. That is why he continues to succeed even off the bench for United. Every time he steps out onto the pitch he is proving a point, and he usually manages it. I think that in the long run, Tevez is a far better team player than Berbatov.
Still, I think Alex Ferguson will be too stubborn to concede this so soon after signing the Bulgarian for a lot of money and so some other club will be lucky enough to have Tevez amongst their number next season. But who will it be? Real Madrid were initially mentioned, as indeed they usually are when a big name is available, especially once Van Nistlerooy got injured. But they have since signed Huntelaar, who is a more direct replacement for the Dutchman that Tevez, as he is also good in the air. That suggests that maybe they have found their man, and will not be interested in Tevez after all. Mind you, a Huntelaar-Tevez duo wouldn’t be a bad thing now would it?
Another name in the hat is that of Madrid’s big rivals, Barcelona. They are apparently interested in the Argentinian, after Henry’s move to the Nou Camp didn’t prove to be as fruitful as they’d have liked. Samuel Eto’o is still as mercurial as ever though, and combined with Messi and Bojan, they seem to have rather a lot of firepower for just the one squad. Whether Tevez brings anything new to the table either remains to be seen, as those strikers are all small and quick as Tevez is, and so he would seemingly be more of the same.
Is there anyone else who could afford to make a bid for him? Of course there is, but are they interested? I have not heard AC Milan or Inter mentioned, though AC could perhaps make use of him, while Super Pippo Inzaghi gets older and Alexandre Pato gets older and Schevchenko finds his feet again, it might be handy for them to have Tevez to guarantee goals. But as I said I’ve not heard any mention of that, and somehow Tevez doesn’t seem like Milan’s type of player. It’s just a feeling.
There are two other clubs who could certainly afford him. The two richest clubs in the world, who are of course, Manchester City and Chelsea. And this is where my money lies (in fact it’s where a lot of money lies but that’s not the point). I would not be at all surprised to see Tevez turning out in blue next season. Whether it’s sky blue or royal blue depends on how deep each owner will reach into those gigantic pockets of theirs, and we could see another Robinho like stand off between the two.
Chelsea would certainly benefit from having him in their side. In Drogba and Anelka they have two tall and gangly strikers, who aren’t that similar as players, with Anelka being quicker and Drogba being stronger and better in the air, bit the problem is that they operate in similar ways. They work the same areas, make similar runs, and so they clash. This, along with the ineptitude of Kalou (and Shevchenko) has meant that the Blues have never managed to forge a truly top class strike duo. But Drogba and Tevez would do that very nicely. Both give 110%, and will fight for every ball. Both are excellent finishers, and where Drogba is strong and holds the ball up, Tevez is the perfect foil, pacey and intelligent with his runs.
Of course, the likelihood of Drogba remaining at Chelsea next season is, as usual, up in the air, but if they could secure Tevez’s services, it might just tempt the Ivorian hit man to stay in England. Man City might like him too. Up front they have of course Robinho, but he is another of those strange breed of ‘forwards’. He’s not a striker or a centre forward, but more a really floaty attacking player. They also have Jo, and a few others, including young talents Sturridge and Evans, but they lack a real top quality striker. Rumour is that Hughes is looking to reunite himself with Santa Cruz from Blackburn, which may well happen, but again, I see potential for a good partnership there, between Cruz and Tevez. There’s no doubting City have the money, but whether they can tempt him there will be down largely to who else they can bring in. If Robinho can draw in a few other reasonably big names, more will happily flock to Eastlands, including perhaps, Carlos Tevez.
That is of course, if Tevez wants to leave Man Utd. He strikes me as a player who very much likes to be settled. He is a passionate player and therefore probably a passionate man. I imagine therefore he has built up some feeling towards United during his time there. Whether he will want to leave, especially to such rivals as Chelsea or Man City may be doubtful then. But we must also consider the way he has been treated at United. Never has he really had a consistent chance to prove himself. He has always had to play second fiddle to Rooney and Ronaldo and now Berbatov, even when they were not playing well. Yet whenever he gets a chance he seems to take it, before finding himself back out in the cold when the ‘big boys’ return.
But Carlos Tevez is a big boy, and I’m sure he knows this. Tevez is not the sort of player that should be sitting on a bench. He’s a match winner, a fighter, a goalscorer, and as such, he belongs on the pitch fighting for a cause and scoring goals. I don;t think Tevez will be happy unless he is doing those things, and ultimately I think that is the reason that he will leave Man Utd whether they want to stump up the money or not. If Tevez is wearing blue next season, remember: you heard it here first (if he’s not, someone else probably said it somewhere before me).