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14 Nov 2023 13:11:43
Afternoon Ed hope all is well with you.
What is the situation with Osimhen? Are United looking to sign the player?

{Ed002's Note - Victor Osimhen (S) Napoli made it clear to Chelsea who enquired in 2021 that even €100M would not buy the player - but they do maintain an interest and he has been first choice and expect an offer to be made. Al Hilal may well offer Napoli the €200M they will look for, but that may not suit the player just yet. PSG and Real Madrid could look to him as an option but Madrid would want to offer players in exchange and have two preferred targets. There is a suggestion that Liverpool have negotiated directly with the player and his agent and not spoken to Napoli. Given Napoli registered a complaint against Liverpool over another player last year, it would seem unlikely, or particularly stupid. Napoli will seek a new contract in the first instance.}

Agree1 Disagree2

14 Nov 2023 17:54:01
Osimhen is a good striker, bit not worth anywhere near the fee Napoli would demand for him. Inconsistent touch and a poor injury record create enough doubt to easily decide that anything over 80m is too much.

The club have spent big to bring in Hojlund so I don't see them spending another huge fee on another striker. Obviously we do need another striker, but I'd expect a move for either an older player. Or a move for a good striker whose not quite in the top tier of forwards. Ivan Toney on the face of it would be ideal, 27 years old and entering his prime, EPL proven and would fit the homegrown criteria, also capable of playing wide on occasion. The only downside is that he wouldn't be that much cheaper than Hojlund most likely as he'll be coming from another EPL club. Possibly move for someone like Santiago Gimenez from Feyenoord.

14 Nov 2023 23:26:04
Crazy that people think we can't have 2 top strikers to play 1 position fergie had 5 to play 2, hojlund needs someone to challenge him not a 30-40m player to come on as a sub now and than and not really put him under pressure.

I wouldn't touch Toney he's done good for Brentford but his attitude towards his betting was awful didn't think he'd done anything wrong and in my opinion he's lucky to play again.

Giminez I'm pretty sure ed has said on the Chelsea page will cost a ridiculous amount. If we want to get serious we need top players challenging each other in every position not one comfortable player and a clear "back up" like we have at the moment.

For me we need a top striker or another young striker to get them both trying to better each other or maybe form a partnership, playing Rashford and hojlund as a 2 through the middle could be and interesting option also. We need to look to the future and building a squad to compete, all round, there aren't lots of "top" strikers out there bagging loads of goals so we should be looking to younger players like hojlund for it.

Marcos Leonardo is one linked, we were looking at sesko but he's only just moved to Leipzig, we should definitely be looking at Ferguson but he seems to have injury issues atm, I don't know enough about Giminez but I have seen he would be very expensive, Jonathan David is also a name that always pops up.

15 Nov 2023 08:17:30
Brooks, it's not about not needing/ wanting another top striker, it's about making sensible choices when rebuilding the squad.

At best we might have 200m a season to rebuild the squad. Players like Osimhen or Ferguson will cost over half of the transfer budget, seriously restricting who else we could bring in.

If we are honest we need a CB, a RB, two midfielders, and a RW for the starting first 11.

We also need a second CB, a ST, another wide player and another midfielder or two for the squad to allow rotation without a drop in quality.

A striker is in the second category, not someone needed to start, but someone needed to challenge the starter. It would be madness to spend the bulk of our budget on a player needed for squad depth thus restricting us signing one of the five players we need to actually improve our starting 11.

15 Nov 2023 08:48:18
agree with your thoughts shappy on what we need with the exception of 2 cb tbh, but i think that is what we need pdq. Factor in the next couple of windows and we could lose, maguire, lindlehof evans, varane,
midfield- eriksen, casemiro possibly even fernandes, donny
up front, martial, sancho, pellestri, antony.
Really think they could be realistic departures and soon due to form, fitting the play and age which leaves even more gaps to fill both first team and squad players.

15 Nov 2023 06:43:28

David's first touch is also poor and I would think he is way down the list for us. I think the guy from forrest, Awoniyi is a good striker and maybe not as sexy as some of the guys playing in other European leagues but PL proven and you know what you are getting.


Is there any interest in him from United or any other teams.

{Ed002's Note - ten Hag tried to sign him for Ajax butif the price can be resolved he will move to Milan.}

15 Nov 2023 12:13:53
We have to be sensible but the players your linking are stilly crazy expensive. Brentford have repeatedly said they want near 100m for Toney and he is not near worth that amount.

Marcos Leonardo is supposedly around 25-30m in Jan young and lots of potential could be a good option.

I'm not saying I have the answers but never ever should you sign "back ups" when building a team if your building your saying what you have needs improving so why would you buy someone to keep them first choice?

I agree with what we need not sure on 2 wide players we need 1 Rw with amad and pellistri. Think we definitely need 2 CBS maybe 3 Maguire and varane have to be gone for next year, Maguire's been good but playing him changes the style we play same with mctominay, varane cannot stay fit You probably keep lindelof for a year as a 4th choice so you don't have to spend silly.

15 Nov 2023 15:38:41
Thanks Ed. So no interest from United?

15 Nov 2023 16:24:15
Funky, If Martinez fully recovers and gets back to last season's form then I think we only need one starting CB to play along side him. While a second would be needed for squad depth.

If we are looking at our "best" starting 11 if everyone is fit then it'll be something like:

Onana, Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Shaw, Casemiro, Eriksen, Antony, Bruno, Rashford, Hojlund.

For me the ones that need replacing are Varane, Casemiro and Eriksen due to their age and the fact they are declining. With Dalot and Antony needing replacing due to them not being good enough to be first choice (maybe decent as squad options) .

Which is why for me it's RB, CB, CM, CM, and RW. Maybe players like Mainoo or Amad make a case for a spot at CB or RW if they can step up.

For me the issues at RB and RW while troublesome are not as impactful as the issues in the heart of the team at CM and CB. It is our soft centre and lack of ability to dominate the middle of the pitch that makes it impossible for us to play well with any sort of consistency.

This is compounded by the fact that the back up options are a massive drop off in quality. Maguire, Lindelof, Evans, McTominay, Donny, and Amrabat are just not good enough.

Maybe Lindelof could stick around as a decent 4th choice CB, but ideally would be replaced. Yet I can't see us signing 3 CB's in one or two summers.

In midfield we have a few youngsters who could step up in Mainoo, Hannibal and Gore. Yet they are the only one's I'd keep. Mason Mount for me is the longer term Bruno replacement and occasional cover deeper in midfield depending on how we set up. However, we need a minimum of two probably three midfielders if we are going to control games and be more tactically flexible.

For me the order of priority would be CDM, CB, CM, RW, RB. Then after those 5 positions are bought I'd look at ST, CB and another CM (although I'd hope Mainoo has lessened the need by this point) .

How quickly we can get these players in will dictate how quickly we start seeing a more consistent style and higher level of performance.

Brooks, I tend to agree that Toney would be too much. I'm not sure what sort of price Gimenez would command. I'd have thought playing in the Netherlands for Feyenoord would mean he'd be at the cheaper end. However, if the Ed's say differently then I'll bow to their superior knowledge.

Either way the point remains the same, we need to find a cheaper back up player, but one with enough quality to be able to make a difference and for us to not see a massive drop off when they play. That is much harder than it seems.

16 Nov 2023 00:15:19
I agree we need to look to build for me we need to look at having a 1st choice and a young player to go with that position my target age range would be 18-24 no older, younger would be longer term unless it's a crazy special player.

GK onana and bayindir with a youth player or someone like Heaton that's pretty much sorted

RB I agree dalot probably needs to be let go and improved on AWB can be very useful to see games out or for a specific man marking job

CB needs a clear out only one to keep is Martinez maybe lindelof gets a year for the budget

LB for now it's ok I've always had concerns over Shaw his tracking back isn't great and he doesn't stop crosses at all malacia is a back up you may let him go to keep Fernandez around

DM casemiro was too much and too expensive needs to go, amrabat just doesn't look good enough

CM mount needs time, McT needs to go, eriksen and casemiro were bad signings for the money/ wage/ age they provide no energy to the team, as you say mainoo Hannibal and gore offer depth options we need 1st choice I think 2 with mount and those 3 would be enough

RW Antony probably needs to be moved on and same for Sancho leaves you with pellistri/ amad you probably want a first choice or you sell pellistri use amad to back up Bruno play mount here and buy a youngster bargdhi?

AM Bruno all day every day, amad/ mount can offer back up if their other positions are correctly filled

LW Rashford and Garnacho this spot is sorted for a while

St hojlund and the new Phil Jones Anthony martial needs someone to actually challenge hojlund for his spot push him to be better.

So sell:
Lindelof (maybe keep 1 more year)
Malacia (maybe 1 more year)
Pellistri (? )

2x CBs
2xCm (maybe 3 depending on mount and rw)
1x rw (young or first team depending on mount)
ST just a top quality challenger for hojlund

With the youth in midfield you maybe get 1 slightly older midfielder but is say aged between 22-26, striker could go either way but again wouldn't go older than 26.

We have to build which means the players have to be around for a couple of years, buying younger should also help those players keep their value of they don't work out.

16 Nov 2023 10:53:08
Brooks, I think we are pretty much on the same page. The only slight difference is that I'd be considering a third midfielder depending on how the youngsters do rather Mount. I think we need 4 really good options for the deeper midfield positions (No.6 and No.8).

At the moment the only one I'm fairly convinced has a future there in our squad if Mainoo. Gore will need more time and probably a loan, and while Hannibal has the talent it's yet to be seen if he has the temperament. He needs to learn to control his emotions and channel his frustration. Otherwise the manager will have to keep subbing him off to avoid going down to 10 men. You can't be successful at the top of the game when you are a liability.

I don't think either Casemiro or Eriksen were bad signings. Both played a big role in our successes last season. We overpaid for Casemiro, but that seems pretty standard for our club. Eriksen was probably the best free agent available when we signed him. I also think both add qualities to the dressing room that this squad lacked. The only downside to both of them is that they were 5 years older than would have been ideal. They were only ever short term options. The short-term solution to not being able to sign FdJ.

I actually wouldn't be against Casemiro staying next season as an experienced squad option alongside a youthful Mainoo to act as the back up to two new signings. With a view to maybe one of Gore or Hannibal taking his place the following year or if they aren't going to be good enough sign someone else then. However, that very much depends on whether Casemiro wants to stick around that long playing more of a bit part role. If a big offer comes in from Saudi Arabia then I can see him wanting to head there for a big final pay day. I actually think the decline in Casemiro is being slightly over egged. I think the issues that are exposing him more this season are more tactical in nature as opposed to him not being fit enough or losing some pace. The defence has dropped 10 yards deeper due to having to play players like Maguire, Lindelof and Evans who all lack pace and could be exposed by a higher line. This coupled with the forward players being asked to press high has meant the midfield has to cover a much larger area of the pitch. When you ask a two man midfield to cover that much space they will struggle, especially when they are often outnumbered. That's made it look like Casemiro has declined as it looks like he's chasing shadows, as he's effectively playing Rondos every game in midfield. Unfortunately due to the imbalance of the squad it's a tactical issue without any real solutions until players return from injury. But with the right players in the squad I think Casemiro would still be a very good player for us.

I tend to agree with the age profile your suggesting. I'd probably say we should be looking at players between 21-25, this rebuild will take 2-3 season's so you want your team to be hitting their peaks around that time. There is little to be gained from adding older players to this squad. They would only eat away at the budget and become another player who needs replacing before the team is ready to challenge. While signing players under 21 means they come with very little experience and while they might be an asset in 3 years time, they can't be relied on to perform right now. We still need players to be able to perform over the next couple of seasons, to be able to play most games in order to grow as part of the team. So I'd steer clear of players with less than 2 full seasons of top level football under their belt, as a minimum.

I'm on the fence between Dalot and AWB. One needs to go and create space for a genuine first choice option. With the other staying as back up. On one hand I can see the advantage of having a more defensive option like AWB as back up. On the other hand do you really want you back up player to be at the opposite extreme to your first choice option. That means having to make fundemental changes to how your team plays when you have to play AWB. Is being a good defensive option a little to niche?
Dalot on the other hand while not specialising in any particular area is much more technically sound and tactically flexible. He can play as a third CB, a fullback, a wingback and as an inverted fullback, as well as being able to cover both right and left hand sides.
Purely as a back up/ squad player Dalot is the much better option. He'd be able to fill in any role to a decent standard, which is what you need from your squad players. For example he'd enable us to have just one fullback on the bench as he can cover both sides. Meaning the manager could put another option on the bench to allow for greater flexibility and more tactical options to influence the game. Typically your bench is made up of only two types of players, the ones needed to act as cover in case of injuries of sending offs, and the ones who you want to be able to put on to change/ influence the game. Back up keeper and defenders tend to be in the first category, forwards or midfielders with a different profile to their on pitch counterparts tend to be in the second category.

If it were me I'd be far more inclined to keep Dalot over AWB even though currently I think AWB is performing better than Dalot. I just think for the role as a backup/ squad player Dalot offers more. Also typically a defence doesn't change how they play. Defending is far more dependent on consistency and reliability. I'm not sure the niche tactical option of a player like AWB will really be of any huge benefit to us.

You have a question mark over Pellistri, I haven't. Sell him. Talented enough young player but a little too lightweight and one dimensional to be anything more than a sub at the top end of the EPL. He also needs to be playing 90 minutes every week to develop any further, he won't get that at United.

Sell him and let him develop. I also think Hannibal might end up needing to leave to develop. Although it's his temperament that holds him back. Both are talented players, but maybe lacking a little something needed to play at the highest level, especially at their ages. And if they don't play regularly then they won't develop. Both might need to leave to have any chance of reaching their potential.

Very few players under the age of 21 have the talent, physical and mental resilience to play regularly for a top side. It's easy to think of the exceptions, but literally every other player probably didn't have what it took to play at those clubs at that age.

Some players at 18 have the talent and mentality, but haven't grown into their man's body yet. Others might have the physique and the mentality but not the level of talent, while the ones that always leave us most disappointed are the ones who have the talent and physique but lack the mentality. That's are the ones who tend to get a shot, they get chances and look like they might become future stars only for it to fizzle out due to them not being mentally ready. Either they get crushed by the expectations or they get an inflated ego and stop doing the work that is needed.

That's why I wouldn't sign a young player without at least two full seasons of experience under their belt. That normally means they have proven they have all three.



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