Date: 30th July 2008 at 4:28pm
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Sir Alex Ferguson has expressed his regret that United do not have a good record in signing African players. The boss’ aim is to rectify this what he views as a flaw.

‘I wish we could sign more African players, but somehow we don’t seem to capture the ones we want to get.’

‘Essien was with us at 16 years of age, and Muntari. But we couldn’t get work permits for them.

‘Then they both went back to Ghana, and then Essien went to Bastia as a centre-half. He came to us as a centre-half way back then. And Lyon signed him as a centre-half and then made him a midfield player.

‘Then Chelsea came for him and the price they were prepared to pay for him, we couldn’t agree that kind of price.’


‘But we have a scout now in Ghana and we are trying to develop that part,’ he added.

‘It`s not easy because it`s such a big continent. We also now have a scouting network in Angola and within a few weeks of that, they recommended Manucho. It is tough but we’ll keep looking for the best players from all over the world, including Africa’.

Well, it’s not that we were not successful without Africans. While Essien or Muntari are undoubtedly great players I do not think it’s obligatory for a top team to have top African players. They are good – but great teams can be constructed without them and there’s no reason to look specifically for an African player.

We should keep looking for quality players and that should do.