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02 Aug 2017 12:51:57
So Fellaini may well leave this summer, and if he does it is expected that Mourinho will look to sign another midfielder to replace him.

We have been linked with Dendocker, Matuidi, Renato Sanches, Andre Gomes and Brozovic.

Which really is quite a mixed bag. Different ages, and styles. Which do people think best?

Dendocker would be good coverage for Matic, but with Carrick in the squad this season do we need that cover yet?

Sanches has struggled and it is suggested he wasn't ready for the move away from his home and he has struggled to adapt to a different culture. If he struggled with the difference in culture between Lisbon and Munich then I dread to think how he would cope with Manchester. Lol. Jokes aside, I think he would be better off moving to Spain or Italy.

Andre Gomes has had a poor season in Barcelona and his confidence looks at a low ebb. He could be a good option but I think he needs regular games, would be displace either Herrera or Pogba? Not on current form.

Brozovic has had a better season in Milan, but I think he would also fall under the same category as Gomes. He needs games and his form currently isn't good enough to get a game ahead of Herrera or Pogba.

Matuidi for me looks probably the best fit for us. He has great experience and a winning mentality which will help. Plus he is at an age where rotation starts to become a key part of maintaining yourself throughout a season.

Of course there is a couple of other options. How about we don't sell Fellaini, there are no guarantees any of these players will actually be able to play better than him in the EPL. None have ever played in England.

Or we could take a leaf out of Pochettino's book. Recently he has stated the trouble with signing quality players if they know they will be stuck on the bench. He has said it can be more effective to fill out your squad with a younger player from the academy who will be more motivated to play and more accepting of a place on the bench.

We have Andreas Pereira, TFM and young Scott McTominay who has impressed in pre season. Could they along with Carrick provide cover for Matic, Herrera and Pogba?

We also have to fit Mata and Mkhitaryan into some games when we will likely play a midfield two rather than three. Four experienced players and three youngsters for 2 or 3 starting spots, is that enough? Do they have the quality?

Agree10 Disagree1

02 Aug 2017 13:01:24

Good post, not sure how everyone gets a game with who we currently have. If we assume that Matic protects whilst Herrera amd Pogba are freed up then that leaves 3 positions for Llukaku, Rashford, Miki, Martial, and Mata to contest (assumes a back four) .

I've excluded Fellaini as I am asssuming he leaves and if we replace him then that's another one to slot in. I'd stay with that we have and promote from within.

02 Aug 2017 13:18:25
I agree, and in this respect I don't understand the eagerness to sign a right back. We have Valencia, Darmian, Tuanzebe and TFM who can all play there. A left back seems much more urgent with Shaw remaining unproven, and Darmian, Blind and Rojo all playing out of position to provide cover. Blind, in particular, has looked very fragile. Maybe the problem lies as much in who's playing in front of the LB, which would explain Perisic, but I doubt that's the whole story.

One way or another it looks like this United team remains a little short on guile and finesse going forward, but may have just enough when coupled with its physical power and solidity to do extremely well in the EPL while being able to organize itself to defend effectively against the best European teams, relying on strong counterattacking rather than possession going forward.

02 Aug 2017 13:28:38
Who said it was expected that another midfielder would come in?

02 Aug 2017 13:47:17
Good post shappy. I really like the way Dendocker plays. He's also young and very good passer and tackler. He's also got an eye for goal.
Matuidi is my favourite out of these. Makes intelligent runs and doesn't give the ball away.
But if Fellaini goes, then maybe we should promote the younger players.

02 Aug 2017 13:48:54
Signing from within the PL is generally a good idea, especially when looking at someone who would be more of a squad player as they don't have to adapt to a new league while beong in and out of the team. For this I think Kouyate would be a good signing as a replacement for Fellaini. He may accept sitting on the bench more often than some of the others who we have been linked with but he offers plenty of athleticism. He is however, a bit inconsistent.

Despite this I really feel Pereira could be a star and both McTominay and TFM have plenty of potential. I'd love to see these players step up and become regulars.

02 Aug 2017 13:52:00
If Fellaini left I'd be more than happy to go with Matic, Hererra, Carrick, and the young lads Pierera, McTommy and TFM. I'd rather target our obvious weak link in the side which is Left Back.

02 Aug 2017 13:55:46

Wish Matic holding Jose will expect his full backs to go forward and provide a lot in the final 3rd, Valencia can't cross, Darmian is dreadful going forward and Tuanzebe and TFM are young, I would be happy if we sign a right back better than what we have which Aurier is.

02 Aug 2017 14:11:33
We absolutely can not sign Matuidi. half the posters on here would have ready for the retirement home.

02 Aug 2017 14:19:59
It's a long season, there will be injuries and suspensions and the need to rotate. We will likely have somewhere between 50-60 games.

The trick to having a well balanced squad is to have enough players to create genuine competition for places while small enough so that players don't become disillusioned.

That's why you need a range of ages and ability as well as a range of characters. 22 Roy Keanes would tear themselves apart (and probably rule the seven kingdoms and eat dragons for breakfast. Lol) .

Personally I would prefer to promote from within unless a truly world class option became available such as Verratti for example.

I don't see the point in signing slightly better players, especially when we have great young talent already at the club.

Midfield options of Matic, Herrera, Pogba, Carrick, TFM and Pereira while letting McTominay go out on loan is good enough for me.
Then reassess next summer when Carrick leaves, do we need another option? Or has one or more of the youngsters grasped an opportunity.

Our forwards look in good condition as well. Lukaku, Rashford, Martial, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Lingard and Pereira if needed. Zlatan might well rejoin at some point as well if he can prove his fitness. We have 6-7 options and only 3-4 places in the team for them. Again I'm happy to go into the season with these options, if a world class player such as Greizmann or Neymar become a genuine option then we would be foolish not to explore it. But do we really need someone else of similar quality to what we have? Probably not.

I'm happy with the options we have in the heart of our defence, Bailly, Lindelof, Jones, Rojo, Blind, Tuanzebe and Smalling give us good depth, we could even afford to lose one or two either permanently or on loan.

It is at full back I have my concerns, we clearly have good numbers with Valencia, Darmian, TFM and Tuanzebe all able to cover RB and Shaw, Blind, Rojo and Darmian capable at LB.

My concern isn't the number of players we have but the quality of them. Only Valencia and Shaw could be described as good enough to be first choice for a team aiming to win titles. And both have issues, will Valencia's legs last him the whole season he is 32 now. And Shaw's issues are well documented. Darmian and Blind are good understudies, but lack the ability to genuinely challenge for a starting spot. A couple of world class or potentially world class full backs would transform this squad from a good one to an excellent one.

Maybe Aurier or Fabinho and Guerreiro or Bertrand. Gutted we missed out on Semedo and Mendy to be honest.

02 Aug 2017 16:47:44
Happy with what we have signed so far but the main worry is getting good crosses in the box: we struggle in dead ball situations ie corners free kicks with few being able to put the ball in over the first defender on corners!
Valencia wasnt good as a winger, and none of the others stand out so I think we will target a winger at least. We are probably one of the tallest sides in epl so surely it should beaddressed.

02 Aug 2017 17:14:15
Felliani is going no were Jose rates him it's obvious he likes his size and tactical advantages we need a winger or wing back to give us more width I think it will be the lad from PSG AND young will most likely be sold with one or two of the youngster going on loan.

02 Aug 2017 22:19:05
From what I saw of preseason Tuanzebe looks very strong and composed at right back. He also seemed to be able to get his head up and pass with intention the ball rather than just cross into the defender's body à la Valencia. From the comments regarding today's match, Blind is continuing to struggle in all aspects of his game, and Darmian is too defensive by nature. It still seems to me that left back is by far the biggest problem, especially if Smalling is playing at LCB.



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