Manchester United: 10 Things Sir Alex Needs To Know About Sneijder

Not only is the diminutive Dutchman the vital link between defence and attack, he's also a good egg who turns it on in the big games and is perfect for Manchester United...
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Not only is the diminutive Dutchman the vital link between defence and attack, he's also a good egg who turns it on in the big games and is perfect for Manchester United...

Sir Alex Ferguson may continue to deny that he has any interest in signing Wesley Sneijder but maybe armed with these facts the Manchester United manager will change his mind on the Dutch master.

He can play in any old boots

Arriving in Milan at the end of August 2009 with just an overnight bag to sign for Inter after protracted negotiations with Real Madrid Sneijder did not pack his boots expecting to hop on a flight back to Amsterdam. However, Jose Mourinho wanted his new signing to play in the derby that weekend and dispatched a kit-man to source the playmaker’s make and size of boot. Three days later Sneijder helped tear AC Milan apart in a 4-0 demolition before hopping on a flight to Holland for a fresh change of clothes and of course his old boots.

He's the missing link between defence and attack

He ended Mourinho’s the search for that elusive missing link between midfield and attack - the trequartista. Having failed to land Frank Lampard and then Deco from Chelsea previously, Sneijder’s arrival along with that of Samuel Eto’o encouraged Mourinho to experiment even more with his formation settling for a 4-2-3-1 which would morph into a 4-3-1-2.

He loves a strong manager

Rates Mourinho the best coach he had worked under and this may be down to the Special One’s man management skills. Spotting that Wes wasn’t his usual perky self in training, Jose told him to hit the beach for a few days and the player headed off to Ibiza to return with the proclamation that he was prepared to “kill and die” for the Portuguese: Inter ended the season doing the double in Italy and lifting the Champions League where Sneijder was the competition’s best assist man with six.

He's small, like Paul Scholes, Maradona and Gianfranco Zola

Officially his height is stated as 5ft 7ins (1.70m) but standing beside him the measurement must have been taken when he was on tip-toes although he has the build of a light-middleweight so we will give him the benefit of the doubt.

He doesn't do things by halves

Never to do things by half-measures in his private life either the diminutive Sneijder hired out a medieval village resplendent with a castle in the rolling hills of Tuscany near Siena for his wedding. No amount of kitsch was spared from the groom’s pale-blue shiny suit to the couple releasing two doves. His bride Yolanthe Cabau van Kasbergen has since become the Italian paparazzi’s  favourite babe to snap.

Never to do things by half-measures in his private life either the diminutive Sneijder hired out a medieval village resplendent with a castle in the rolling hills of Tuscany near Siena for his wedding

He'll live in Manchester

A bona fide city boy in the sense that he eschewed the quiet life on the shores of Lake Coma where most of the Inter players live for an apartment within strolling distance of the Duomo. He was hailed by the city as a model citizen when he went to the aid of a cyclist who had been knocked over by an errant driver, remaining with her until an ambulance arrived and then checking up that she was fine in a phone call to the hospital.

He cost Rafa Benitez his job

Was diagnosed with anaemia after passing out in the dressing room during the half-time interval in a match at Brescia last November. He blamed the effects of non-stop football which had of course included the World Cup Final and then there was the wedding arrangements to deal with, but a subsequent month lay-off could well have cost him the 2010 FIFA Ballon d’Or award not to mention Rafa Benitez his job.

He turns it on in the biggest games

Hailed by Mourinho as the man for the big moment, his first goal in Italy came against Udinese with the last kick of the game to give the Nerazzurri victory, but entered Inter folklore in the Champions League at Dynamo Kiev where he set up the equaliser and scored the winner to save the eventual competition winners from exiting at the group stage.

He's not that expensive

Earns 4million Euros a year in a contract that runs until 2015 - half of what Samuel Eto’o takes home a year.

Has a decent goals and assists ratio

Made 26 league appearances in his first season at Inter, scoring four goals and set up eight. From his 25 outings in his second season, he again scored four goals and set up six goals.

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