Out of nowhere, news this morning that Manchester United will pick up Henrik Larsson on loan in January until the Swedish season resumes in mid-March.
Yeah, Larsson’s 35. He went home to Helsingborg to finish his career. But he’s still a dangerous striker; you saw that in the Champions League with Barcelona, and you saw it in the World Cup.
United is short of striking options. Smith and Solskjaer are permanent injury worries and continue to be “on the road to recovery.” Currently, Rooney and Saha are the only fit first-team forwards. Guiseppe Rossi’s loan at Newcastle ends in January, but it will probably be extended now, and honestly, he’d probably be better served staying at Newcastle the full season, where he’ll hopefully (in United’s point of view) see more time than Larsson will at Old Trafford (although he hasn’t so far).
Larsson should fit in perfectly as well. Like van Nistelrooy, he will subsist on half-chances and cherry-picked predatory opportunities, which United frequently create in spades. He should be able to work with Rooney or Saha, and either pairing creates different, but intriguing, options.
I haven’t really had time to think about it having just read this news, but I can’t think of a much better option. He’ll be happy as a backup, and is exactly the player United needs. It is barely costing United anything; I doubt his wages will be anywhere near prohibitive, especially when you considering the amount Manchester’s shelling out to Rooney in his new contract. And if it doesn’t work, Henrik will be gone by March.
It is getting really, really annoying frequently complimenting Man U, but this seems a smart move.