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09 Apr 2024 16:22:27
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Shappy has written an article entitled, The Entire Manchester United defence needs to be rebuilt

Agree10 Disagree0

09 Apr 2024 18:04:03
Shappy - Some supporters often talked about a ball playing GK being transformative last summer but I’ve always been of the opinion we needed at least two new CB’s.

I was absolutely gutted when we lost out on Kim Min-Jae. How you can go from him to Evans is mind blowing, two completely different types of CB. I’m not having a go at Evans, he’s done very well, but hardly the type of CB the Club needed if you want to play a higher defensive line.

If we want to play modern football we’ve simply got to get that defensive line higher. That’s a non negotiable. We need two physical, aggressive, mobile, fast CB’s that will allow us to push that defensive line 10-15 meters further forward and condense the space in midfield. They must also be comfortable on the ball.

The type of CB’s at the Club must change. Maguire, Evans and Lindelof just aren’t mobile or quick enough. It’s time they were all moved on.

We need a new No6, a mobile, aggressive, ball winner also comfortable on the ball and press resistant.

We obviously need a new CF. I often wonder if Hoijlund was the right choice of CF considering the way we play. Would a false 9 type be a better choice. Someone to drop off the front, a good dribble and passer, someone that could look to feed our wingers making runs in behind, whilst also allowing us to keep the ball better? We don’t really create chances for our No9, I expect Rashford, Anthony and obviously Garnacho to all be here next season so I don’t really see that changing. Maybe something a bit different to Hoijlund might give more options to the team.

Two new CB’s, a new No6, new CF, then a new LB.

09 Apr 2024 18:24:33
Thanks for taking the time to write this Shappy.

I agree with most of the article:

Maguire and Lindelof need to move on while they can still command a fee (and lower the wage bill)

Varane and Evans will leave for free

I think Martinez will stay, so long as he gets more protection from midfield. Still many doubts about his fitness and suitability for the highly-physical Premier league (woukd be amazing in a less physical league) . So, depending on what doctors think, maybe he might go as chance he’ll never recover to be the player he was last season.

Dalot will probably stay. Think AWB will be sold - not good enough for United.

Shaw’s injury record a huge concern, but maybe Shaw and Malacia can be rotated until Harry Amass bulks up a bit.

Thus only guaranteed remainder will be Kwambala, who probably needs a loan in a less demanding league for a season.

Possible defence next year:


Patrick Schulte
Ben Mee




+ incoming (Denzel Dumfries? )

Centre Back:

Possibly Martinez, depending on medical assessments
Incoming? (Branthwaite, Todibo, Silva, Inacio? )

As an aside, wondering if anyone with knowledge of the youth teams knows who the next break through youngsters might be? Obviously lots of excitement about Lacey, Ibragimov, etc, but seem a bit young at 16 years old.

Wondering if anyone has any insights who might be the next youngsters fast-tracked into first team contention?

09 Apr 2024 19:24:15
DLIB, I actually think Onana has had a very understated impact on the team. He's done much better than most give him credit for and unfortunately he needs more technically sound defenders who can receive a pass under pressure turn and move the ball forward.

Kim Min-Jae would have been a phenomenal and transformational signing for us last year. Unfortunately when we've been as far off the pace as we have been it will be tough to compete with the likes of Bayern Munich for top players.

As for Højlund I think he's been a very good signing, and to be honest I didn't see anyone else on the market who would have been better other than Kane. Yet we all know Kane would have cost us 40m more than he cost Bayern, that's if he would even want to join us over the Bravarians.

Osimhen for me will flop in the EPL, and there are so few other proven strikers. Maybe in hindsight we should have gone for Gyökeres, but could you imagine the fan backlash if we tried to sign a striker from Coventry for a big fee?

Højlund will be a great player for us, we just need to start playing for him. We have too many greedy wide players who would rather shoot themselves then give someone else a better chance.

Personally I think the striker signing is probably the hardest to get right this summer. We need someone who is good enough, can challenge/ rotate with Højlund but won't cost the earth. If they are capable of playing in the wide positions as well then that would be a huge bonus as I can't see us signing all the defenders and midfielders we need then signing a ST and a winger. One who I think could be a really smart signing if we can get him for the right price is Bryan Mbeumo from Brentford.

He's the really good EPL level player, has some room for growth and can play right across the front line. For 40-50m he'd be a really smart signing, unfortunately I doubt we could get him for that price. Openda has had a breakout season at Leipzig, but again would cost a fortune. Jonathan David could be an option, can play across the front line, and might be a little cheaper than some other options. Another who could be an interesting and potentially cheaper option is Terem Moffi from SJR's Nice. He's at that same stage Openda was at last year, done well in Ligue 1, however top clubs aren't quite yet convinced to sign him and he might need a year or two at a stepping stone club before a top side comes in and spends big on him.

Which means we might be able to get him for around 30m this summer, which if he kicks on would be a steal in the current market. But we might need to take more of a gamble on a forward as established ones have a starting price of 50m and EPL proven ones probably starting at 60-70m.

The No.6 position is so key as well as that position unlocks the whole team, they shield the defence, and allow the other midfielders to play to the best of their ability. For me I can't see past Florentino Luis, he'd be expensive, but I don't see a better option out there. His all round game and proven ability in being the foil for midfield partners like Enzo Fernandez and now João Neves makes me think just how good could Mainoo be alongside him.

Athletic, quick, mobile, aggressive, technical, with a top level passing range. For me Florentino is the guy who could get closest to Rodri as the best CDM in the world. 24 years old, 25 at the start of next season, just starting to enter his prime and has a great amount of top level European experience. He could be the guy to guide Kobbie and give him the license to get forward more often, and we've all seen what he can do when he's around the opposition's penalty area.

Dream summer for me probably looks something like Branthwaite, Todibo, Ait-Nouri, Florentino Luis and Bryan Mbeumo.

Three EPL proven players ready to step up a level, plus two great players with a good level of experience and just starting ot enter their prime from the continent.

Rebuilds the defence, solidifies the midfield and offer flexibility and quality in attack. The list might not be flashy as some might like, but all 5 in my opinion massively upgrade us and with a limited chance of them flopping.

09 Apr 2024 19:27:36
Wallace, I agree that AWB isn't good enough, but I can't see us replacing him this summer. Given that Shaw and Malacia have been out pretty much the entire season and we cannot even be sure they will be back for pre-season means we have to sign a LB this summer. I'd love for Amass to be ready, but as talented as he is I'd be stunned if he really was ready to play EPL football, he's only just turned 17. Literally only a handful of players have ever been ready to play EPL football before they were 18.

Two CB's for me is an absolute must, Branthwaite being my preferred top target, along with someone like Todibo.

09 Apr 2024 22:35:30
Like I said in an earlier post, new back 4 and a real No6. All of a sudden we’re back in the game.

Our defence is awful - Maguire, AWB, Linekof are all not right for our style of play. Varane is always out, and sadly Martinez is crocked too. Wonder if we played him as our 6 next season?

10 Apr 2024 00:12:14
Again, 'Varane is always out'. he's our most played CB in the league!

{Ed001's Note - that's not a fair stat to use as it is skewed. You seem to forget that he is the first choice, so he goes straight into the team when fit, while others that you are comparing him with might well sit on the bench for weeks while fully fit and available. How many of his appearances has he actually been fully fit for?}

10 Apr 2024 02:25:36
Branthwaite, Todibo, Ait-Nouri, Florentino Luis and Bryan Mbeumo.

Plus a backup GK and Frimpong.

Perfect window.

Shappy what do you think the outs will look like?

10 Apr 2024 03:03:13

I'd be shocked if we got Branthwaite, Todibo and Ait-Nouri in one window.
Ait-Nouri will likely cost over £50m, Branthwaite £60-70m, Todibo maybe £40m.
That's a potential outlay of £150-160m in one summer for three defenders, I'd be stunned if that happened.

The consensus is that this summer we'll also need a CDM and a CF - that'll surely be another £100m+.

SJR is expected to bring a level of nous and shrewdness we've been starved of for many years.
I doubt very much that he'd consider paying over £250m on 5 players unless he can raise at least half that figure through sales.
Greenwood and Sancho could be easy sales, Casemiro would be, Rashford could be if PSG were serious.

Like yourself, I'd rather keep Maguire than Lindelof.
I know the latter has a little more finesse, but he's hardly Varane and possesses not a single standout attribute. He also makes Onana look uneasy by staying too close or moving to foolish areas that draw the press because he's scared of receiving the ball under pressure.
Maguire, for all his faults, never goes missing and can occasionally slip into a beast-mode level of physicality that few CBs in the PL could dream of.

Nice optimistic post mate.

10 Apr 2024 06:03:59
Be good to see how many games Varane finishes too. He can’t be trolled on as the back e if our defence. Time to go.

Ork - I agree if we have to keep one. Ideally I’d ship both out as neither good enough, but Lindelof needs to move to Italy where he’ll have a fine career. He gets bullied in the Premier Leagie, has little pace, and is prone to switch off too many times.

10 Apr 2024 08:03:09
Lots of good posts all.
It is tough to know who we will bring in as in reality we have potential holes and questions all over the park.
Defence definitely needs addressing in all positions but I doubt we will do that all in one go. CB is key and depending on how Martinez injuries look I expect us to bring in a top end player as well as someone younger with development. I would allow that second player along with Kambawala get some decent minutes next year. Right back can wait, whilst AWB is top quality is his good enough for year 1 of the new rebuild. Left back is more important and we can't go through another seasob like we have done. Shaw/ Malacia need more cover or replacement even if they both stay. Shaw/ Martinez if fit are able to cover the 2 positions so that would be a bonus next year.

Other than that we need Holding midfielder/ second striker as well as right winger depending on what happens with Rashford/ Antony once the hierachy is finalised/ potential new manager.

Probably all too much in one window so get a few key ones done, keep bringing through from the youth, clear out the dead wood and then go again in the next 2 windows.

10 Apr 2024 08:48:35
I think there is a stat around somewhere that varane and Evan's have been the most available ed. Evan's clearly not first choice these days, although we would have been screwed without him.

McGuire, martinez, lindelof and Shaw have all been unavailable for far more games.

Kambawala I'm not sure, and possibly he was available more but not first choice, as you say.

The real question is McGuire or varane. Often fitness is given as a reason to select McGuire, who over the course of his season has had a pretty good fitness record. Varane is more money, but younger and better and enables a higher line.

The brave choice is get rid of both and bring in the new. Can't see Ineos doing that though!

10 Apr 2024 11:52:19
Eric, I wouldn’t paly Martinez as a No.6 and I doubt EtH would either as he moved him from midfield to defence because he wasn’t dynamic enough to play in midfield in the Eredivisie. The idea that he’d then be good in the far more dynamic cut and thrust of the EPL midfield seems a bit of a stretch.

Spenno, while Varane isn’t quite at the same level as Phil “the crock” Jones in terms of injuries, he isn’t someone you’d bet your house on being fit and available for all the remaining games this season. He’s also out of contract in the summer and will only stay of he has assurances of being first choice. Which given that he struggles to play 180 minutes a week for a sustained period is just something we can’t promise. Let him go this some and bring in someone who suits how we want to play, is young enough to be a fixture for the next 5 years and someone who’ll be fit most of the time.

Ork, I’d be very surprised if we didn’t sign at least 5 players this summer. We are in the unfortunate position of being in need of players in multiple positions regardless of where we might lack quality. At centre back we will see both Varane and Evans leave on free transfers. Martinez is an injury concern having missed pretty much this entire season and the last couple of months of last season. Which leaves Lindelof and Maguire (neither good enough), both of which could leave this summer, and the young lad Kambwala. We need a minimum of two CB’s this summer and would be surprised if we signed less than two.
We’ve also spent the majority of this season without a special-ist LB, Shaw continues to struggle to stay fit, while Malacia is having an injury nightmare. Neither are guaranteed to be fit and ready for the start of next season, in fact its likely that at least one if not both won’t be fully ready for the start of next season. We will need to bring in a quality LB option.
Casemiro is declining and is our only special-ist defensive midfielder, he also could leave this summer. Therefore, we need at least one signing here, ideally two. I’d expect to see one CDM sign then either Casemiro stays another year, or he leaves and someone like Dan Gore is promoted to be a squad option.
Either way we are now at for signings, and this is before we address the issue of only having one striker in the squad (Martial will be on his bike this summer) . This is actually the hardest area to recruit this summer in my opinion. There are several reasons for this, from the typically high costs of forwards (and our limited budget to sign one), to the fact that there are very few great or even potentially great forwards available making it a very competitive market.
Finally, there is the chance that Bayindir might leave this summer, in which case another back up keeper will be required. This might be the 6th and probably final signing I see us making.
There are arguments that we need to upgrade RB, and they are valid. But I expect we’ll keep Dalot as first choice and AWB as back up next season. Likewise, there are valid arguments that we need another wide player, especially with Sancho and Greenwood almost certain to leave. Yet its highly unlikely we will sell Rashford due to there being no one who can afford him and his wages. He is a conundrum, as on form he is one of the best forwards in the league, we just need to work out how to get him back into form. Garnacho for me has nailed down the right-hand side position as his spot for the next couple of years. Long-term I expect he’ll switch back to the left-hand side, yet currently playing on the right is forcing him to play with his head up more and that is helping develop him into a far more rounded threat. He needs to stay there for at least another season or two. If both are on form, then we have more than good enough first choice wide options. The issue is that the quality in depth is questionable in Antony and Amad. The realistic solution is signing a forward who can primarily be back up for Hojlund, but also a rotation option on both flanks. The only other choice might be playing Mount wide at times (something he’s shown he can do to a high level at Chelsea) .
In terms of raising funds, I think we can easily raise 100m through sales, maybe more depending on who we sell. We will also massively slash the wage bill this summer which will help with PSR. Finally new owners are permitted to make a financial investment into the club in their first year, this can be used on signings if the club want. Which means the new owners have one chance this summer to boost the transfer kitty if they want, which I expect they will.

Utd Road, I think the outs will look a little like this:

Williams, Alvaro Fernandez, Donny, Pellistri, Hannibal, Shoretire, Greenwood and Sancho will all be sold, raising probably around 100m (60-70m for Greenwood and Sancho, 30-40m for the other 6 at around 5-10m each) .
Those eight will be joined by Heaton, Evans, Varane and Martial all leaving on free transfers. While Amrabat’s loan will not be made into a permanent deal.
Which means that’s 13 players leaving, raising around 100m and saving about 78m a year on wages. None bar Varane have played significant minutes or been a real contributor to the club this season.
We then have a list of players who could leave either because they want first team football, or because the club have received decent offers for them.
Bayindir may want to leave to play first team football. If he does it’ll be a minimal fee and the club will have to find a replacement.
I’d expect one of Lindelof or Maguire to leave, but not both. Neither are good enough to be first choice, but both have some qualities as a back up 4th choice CB. Really, it’s a flip of a coin over who stays and who goes. It most likely depends on what offers we receive.
Casemiro could well leave, he is declining and on a massive salary. The club could be caught in a situation where if they don’t sell him this summer and he struggles again next season or even declines further then there won’t be any takers for him in 2025 and the club might be forced to keep him until the end of his contract. He wants to play regular football, and if we buy a first choice No.6 this summer, he will be a back up player to them. SJR has bee outspoken in his criticism of signing Casemiro, which suggests he will be on his way this summer.
Eriksen could leave to play regular football, as could McTominay. Again, I’d expect only one of them to go and not both. This could go either way. Eriksen is technically the better player, yet its McTominay whose had the bigger impact. Eriksen would only raise a nominal fee, whereas McTominay would bring in a decent fee (20-30m maybe) .
Outside chance that Amad pushes to leave, but I’d expect the club to resist a sale given the lack of depth in wide positions.
Players like Antony, Bruno and Rashford who certain sections of the fan base want sold won’t be sold this summer in my opinion. Either because they are just too important (even if not in great form) or because the club will lose too much money, or because they is no interest from clubs wanting to buy them.
So, on top of the 13 leaving (Williams, Alvaro Fernandez, Donny, Pellistri, Hannibal, Shoretire, Greenwood, Sancho, Heaton, Evans, Varane, Martial and Amrabat), I’d imagine Casemiro will leave, maybe bringing in a 20-25m fee maybe. My preference would be for Maguire and McTominay as they would help raise another 40-50m between them, and I feel Lindelof and Eriksen are the better players. Yet I get the feeling it will be Lindelof and Eriksen who leave maybe bringing in 15-20m at most. Which to be fair Maguire and McTominay have contributed more this season, so I wouldn’t be against that. They just have to be squad player’s next season. Amad will stay in my opinion, while Bayindir will leave and be replaced with someone like Patrick Schulte if the current rumours are anything to go by.

10 Apr 2024 11:52:24
I don’t see why not dodgy. Just depends who the new coach will be and how they may fit into our new style.

Ps I’m fully expecting ETH to go now based on Ed2’s comments. Potter, de Zerbi or Nagelsman it is.

10 Apr 2024 12:04:14
Varane is out of contract and leaving in the summer DB.



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