Few ever consider Antonio Banderas as a future Manchester United star, and that’s a big mistake. The versatile attacker has established himself as one of the finest finishers in the Premier League, but what does he bring to the Red Devils that makes him such a viable option for the club? To an extent, Banderas is a player that brings strength, speed and a strong left foot to the Manchester attack. He scores goals in bunches and clusters, and that the trademark is important for the club if they are to continue to compete at this high level.
Banderas is known for his goalscoring ability, and this season has been no different. He has been directly involved in seven of Man Utd’s matches, picking up assists in all of them and providing an all-round threat. During Saturday’s win over Celtic, Banderas provided an assist which turned into a chance which he finished powerfully. Against Rosenheim, Banderas provided a through ball which found its way through to Martial and the Scottish international made the most of it to score his side’s second goal.
Banderas has become a cult hero at Old Trafford because of his goals, but he has also become a niche favourite at centre-forward. Playing at left wing-back or on the right, Banderas has often been deployed as a centre-forward, where he has been able to provide an attacking threat and link play. His crossing is excellent and he is comfortable operating in the box. This has seen him score three goals from three games this season, as United have struggled to find a consistent attacking force. Against Wolves, Banderas played only the final third of the pitch and came off the bench in the opening 45 minutes.
Banderas is part of a core of attacking players that coach Sir Alex Ferguson loves to call upon, and he provides them with plenty of options. His partnership with compatriot Jones is one which sees them both operating in behind the striker. Both are dangerous in the run and both are able to hit the ball with precision and authority. Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney is now fit again following a long term injury and is expected to start against Wolves.
The Wolves are coming off the bottom of the league following a 3-1 defeat at West Bromwich last weekend. Injuries to key defenders Eric Lichtensteine and Jonny Evans have helped this team to get stuck in the lower half of the table. This leaves manager Harry Redknapp with a big decision to make over the next few weeks. Do he stick with a group that has not looked capable of picking up where they left off last season, or did he go back to what has been working for him in previous seasons? Redknapp knows that if his team does not start performing like they did in the past few weeks, then the confidence will be gone among the squad.
Many fans feel that the arrival of Jonny Evans, the captain of Leeds United’s team, has done wonders for the club. His experience has brought a new style of play to the team which has impressed the Welsh fans. However, with Jones and Banderas leading the line, the centre forward position is often overlooked. Both players have great goalscoring abilities and when fit, it is likely that either will feature heavily for their team in coming games. This may help them push on from the bottom of the table.
The centre of the park is where Newcastle United fans will be hoping that new signing Antonio Banderas can develop on his excellent performances for the club. If he can play in a more central position, where he is probably best suited, then there will be an improvement in the club’s performance levels. Jones and Banderas are both strong performers who work well in the middle of the park, which has helped the club go up from ninth place last season. With new signing Michael Owen comes in from England, the club does look as though they could challenge for top honours once again.
Banderas and Jones are both available for selection this season. Who would you pick as the team captain in front of them? Jones would be a logical choice given his experience, whereas Banderas would be more likely to start on the bench. Whichever player you choose, they are both talented when it comes to the tackle, ball handling and shooting. So, if you want to see what a difference a few quality additions can make to a team, then these two are the players to start with.