1. United Hour Podcast: The First Wobble
    Dismiss Notice

The Search for a Midfielder

Discussion in 'Transfer Forum' started by MyOnlySolskjaer, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. Feb 26, 2019

    Bearded One Full Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2017
    Messages:
    424
    I love Rodri. I wish we had a player like him.
  2. Feb 26, 2019

    Adnan Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2013
    Messages:
    11,755
    Location:
    United Kingdom, England
    Neves was poor again tonight against Huddersfield and Wolves would be lucky to get £30m for him considering he's been average for them in the prem.
  3. Feb 26, 2019

    Devil may care Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    30,287
    The stats were posted recently that show Matic and Neves defensive contributions are pretty similar.
  4. Feb 27, 2019

    Adnan Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2013
    Messages:
    11,755
    Location:
    United Kingdom, England
    The Wolves midfield got pressed by lowly Huddersfield and Neves kept dropping deeper until he was alongside the CB's. His mobility looks a real weakness and his passing terrible in the game. I've had a look on the Wolves forum and they seem to be running out of patience with him. I doubt City will go for him from the evidence at hand and we should stay well clear.
  5. Feb 27, 2019

    Rozay Master of Hindsight

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2012
    Messages:
    12,690
    Location:
    #SmallingPlusOne
    The only time I may put any value at all in footballing stats is if we’re talking about a player I haven’t seen myself.

    At this rate we may all as well go back to following football on teletext as the eye seems to matter less and less.
  6. Feb 27, 2019

    Devil may care Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    30,287
    Perhaps we'll just leave midfield then, as so many of the names mentioned in this thread just don't alter anything about our current midfield make-up, they literally just give an option to rotate with Ander, maybe we'll just keep up playing Matic and McTominay will become his deputy on a more regular rotational basis, these next 3 or 4 games are likely going to serve as an audition for him.

    We actually share the same perspective on this mate in regards to stats, I'm having the same debate on the previous page with bucky, I was just mentioning it as while they aren't everything perhaps they also show that Matic is no defensive titan, I'd argue that while he's improved on the ball since Ole took over he's still weak at protecting the back 4 which leads to Ander having to do way more running than he should be, kinda like Kante had to do with him at Chelsea.
  7. Feb 27, 2019

    Devil may care Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    30,287
    Well I'd expect him to be better on the ball than Ander and Matic since he's primarily an attacking midfielder, but even if €70M is not the real price it would seem that at least €50M would be and that seems crazy to me for what he is, basically cover for Pogba as I think we'd see just how much defensive work Herrera does for this team if we tried playing with Fernandes and Pogba ahead of Matic.

    I think Ole already has a pretty clear idea of what he wants with his system, he's willing to switch the front 3 aspect of the system but the midfield is essentially a B grade version of the one Juve used when Pogba was there, which makes sense as that is still the highlight of Pogba's career at club level and our B grade version has led to his best and most consistent performances for us.

    I know they used 3 at the back a lot under Conte but not so much under Allegri, they played more 4-3-3 like we do and I agree Tonali is obviously at the fledgling stages of his career so he's nowhere near Pirlo's level, but my idea was to develop him under Matic if we don't think the immediate solution is out there.
  8. Feb 27, 2019

    Adnan Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2013
    Messages:
    11,755
    Location:
    United Kingdom, England
    If we decide to leave as it is, then I think James Garner will be brought into the fold fulltime from next season and he will be the back up to Matic.
  9. Feb 27, 2019

    Devil may care Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    30,287
    Isn't he only 17? There are very few players that operate in that deeper role at such a young age, if you look at Carrick he didn't fully move into it until he joined us, mentally and physically few are ready for it as a teen, I know Rice is playing there for West Ham but that's not only a different level of pressure, the kid is a beast.
  10. Feb 27, 2019

    Adnan Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2013
    Messages:
    11,755
    Location:
    United Kingdom, England
    I think we'll sign someone, but not sure who. Tonali looks a interesting prospect but is still very young.

    Garner is still 17.
  11. Feb 27, 2019

    Devil may care Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    30,287
    I really like the look of Tonali but I'm sure Garner will be the argument against him, I mean Tonali is only slightly older. Maybe I'm just feeling like we are going to give Ole the job because he'll take it with no demands and we'll still be starting Young, Matic and Lingard every week next season with the notion that in 3 or 4 seasons Gomes, Garner and Greenwood will be worldies and we'll be challenging again without spending much.
  12. Feb 27, 2019

    Jib Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2015
    Messages:
    1,451
    If we are building the midfield around Pogba we need a playmaker ( not an attacking midfielder !! ) and a DM.

    Since Verratti and Kante are impossible, Neves and Rice for me...
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  13. Feb 27, 2019

    Adnan Full Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2013
    Messages:
    11,755
    Location:
    United Kingdom, England
    I do think we need to get someone in, and still believe we will. Declan Rice seems to be someone that gets mentioned alot but I don't know too much about him. Rodrigo from Atletico would be the dream but I don't see that happening. The young German Maier looks a talent from the little i've seen of him and would represent a shrewd signing IMO.
  14. Feb 27, 2019

    In Rainbows Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2014
    Messages:
    2,973
    I've never really viewed Carrick as some great defensive presence in midfield. As he got slower, he sort of had to be the last man as going forward could leave him unable to help the defense. Very similar to Matic, but a better passer. I don't view Matic as some great defensive presence.

    I think Garner has more bite than Carrick or Matic. And when it comes to passing, think he has more there than Matic, but not Carrick. However, this is all at youth level and the jump to first team level could expose what we originally thought were strengths. That's the case for all of our prospects.

    I don't see Levitt as a Verratti. I think at first team level where players are faster and thus there is less time on the ball with more team pressing, he won't be able to do that style. He reminds me a bit of Gribbin and Januzaj in that he has an elegance to his game.To be clear, I don't view Levitt as a #10 like those two were. Levitt is indeed a midfielder and plays a similar midfield role to Gomes whenever Gomes does play deeper. So he plays that role more than Gomes does. I'm just noting a specific technical attribute all 3 share. And for that matter I think Matic has that a bit too. So I actually think Levitt plays more similar to a younger Carrick. Maybe people will disagree with me on the Carrick, Levitt, and Garner point. I just think Garner is a bit like Ben Pearson was in that he's a bit of a cnut and likes to get stuck in. I don't view Carrick like that.

    Gomes is most similar to Verratti. You have to remember that Verratti, Modric, De Jong, etc... all started as #10s. That's why Gomes could be argued that he's similar to Iniesta (which I used to say). However, my one criticism of Gomes these last 4 seasons is that he doesn't assert himself often. In a deeper role, I feel that criticism goes away. Gomes is the most nimble of all of our midfielders which I believe helps in that role.
  15. Feb 27, 2019

    Devil may care Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    30,287
    Declan Rice reminds me of a CB playing DM, his passing is very average, he's the kind of DM you use if you have two #8's that can both offer a lot on the ball, that's not a fit with out current set-up IMO. Rodri is class, we could afford his buyout but the question is whether he'd want to leave, Atleti have a grip on their players while Simeone is there. I like Maier as well but I get the feeling Garner and McTominay are going to be the clubs excuse to veto every younger option.
  16. Feb 27, 2019

    ravi2 Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    8,172
    Location:
    Canada
    I wonder when last have we completed a shrewd signing? Seem we are long overdue for something like that
  17. Feb 27, 2019

    Red Indian Chief Torn Rubber Thus says Kemo

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    47,281
    Location:
    Founder of IhateMakeleles.org and Gourcufffanboysa
    Garner and McTominay are the future for the Matic role. What we really lack is cover for Herrera and Pogba.

    We literally have no genuine alternatives to them 2.
  18. Feb 27, 2019

    abdo99 Full Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    Messages:
    9,592
    He's very overrated on this forum. Lack of mobility is the worst and if he can't defend we'll just end up with another Jorginho. We play wolves twice again so maybe the fans will have some second thoughts after those games.
  19. Feb 27, 2019

    Trizy Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Messages:
    11,684
    Hate to burst your confidence in youth bubble but McTominay isn't going to be a top player. I know nothing about Garner but he seems highly rated though.
  20. Feb 27, 2019

    Fracture90 Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2016
    Messages:
    8,451
    Location:
    Serbia
    It is nothing short of amazing how Atletico players are literally bewitched by Simeone. Rodri is an amazing player from what I've seen from him (watching a lot of Atletico games) and his talent was showing back during his Villarreal days, but for some reason I always thought his release clause would be higher than €90-100 million that it is.
  21. Feb 27, 2019

    Hammer_st New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2018
    Messages:
    56
    I think our midfield is very good and we can see that in the results since Ole is here.
    I'm not sure if a young man like Neves, Rice etc. will improve us.
    Therefor I would like Sancho and Joao Felix as "Midfielder". If we need more creativity Pogba can step back as an 8 and Felix or Lingard play as Nummer 10.
    On the wing Sancho should be in our starting 11.
    Pogba(felix)
    Matic(Herrera)-Herrera(Pogba)
    Could be a nice solution and in my opinion de would have two of the highest talented offensiv players in our squad.
  22. Feb 27, 2019

    Fosu-Mens Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2016
    Messages:
    1,375
    Location:
    Muppet station for next season.
    For that to work you would need Kante instead of Matic as the holding midfielder.

    Might be true, but again this can be dependent on the players available in the midfield. If we had other "playable" options in the midfield, OGS would possibly adapt to this or try new things? Next season we might have some room for experimentation.

    The same could be said about most young players. Buy them and develope. I would not mind trying this, but we need at least one player ready to step in for rotation and injuries. Combination of Tonali+Pellegrini for less than the cost of Neves could be smart.
  23. Feb 27, 2019

    Alabaster Codify7 Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2015
    Messages:
    2,953
    Location:
    Wales

    My thoughts exactly mate.
    If our fans genuinely want to see Scott given the chance to be a first-teamer in Matic's place, I don't wanna hear ANYONE moaning about how Ed Woodward and the Glazers are happy to settle with mediocrity and how our 'standards have dropped as fans' in about 2yrs time.
  24. Feb 27, 2019

    Red Indian Chief Torn Rubber Thus says Kemo

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    47,281
    Location:
    Founder of IhateMakeleles.org and Gourcufffanboysa
    Who told you capable and reliable squad players are 'top players'?. Its you who needs his bubble burst about McTominay for I never indicated any way he'd be 'a top player'

    Its Garner who will be if he fufills his potential
  25. Feb 27, 2019

    davidmichael Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    Messages:
    1,127
    I said he CAN play the Matic role which meant that if Matic was injured Rabiot would be a good option but he’s basically alternate with Herrera. He may be petulant but the same was said of Pogba and maybe being alongside French players of a similar age in Pogba and Martial would settle him in.

    As for his wages and signing on fee I don’t see where that’s a problem seeing as it’s a free transfer so that’s a saving of £40-£50 million as that’s probably what he’d cost if he had a year or two left on his contract. We’ve just moved Fellaini on and he was meant to be on £120-£150K a week so I don’t think giving Rabiot the Fellaini wages is a problem and we also apparently got £10 million for Fellaini as a transfer fee too.
  26. Feb 27, 2019

    JoaquinJoaquin Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2014
    Messages:
    6,878
    Agreed. We need genuine quality in the midfield, not a guy who can't even stand out in under 23 games. And I say this as someone who thinks he has done relatively OK the last 2 games.
  27. Feb 28, 2019

    Cheekiey Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,413
    Location:
    London
    Allan all day for me sitting behind or next to Herrera, what a pain in the butt that would be to play against. Those who think he is just a DM and can't play that killer pass think again. Yes he turned 28 last month get over it.

  28. Feb 28, 2019

    Devil may care Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    30,287
    Outside of Gomes I haven't seen much if any of these players, mostly read about them, and it was interesting last night that Ole even called Garner "The new Michael Carrick", it's rare for a manager to do something like that. The problem for all 3 is it seems like they are competing for a similar spot if your reading of their best strengths is right, and that's a shame as if one was a RB or RW there's huge openings there to take advantage of right now.

    The way Simeone has galvanized that Atletico team and hasn't been tampted away has taken the club to their best period in my life time, and it genuinely seems most players don't want to leave there, especially those that have roots like Saul and Koke, and if I am not mistaken Rodri is also originally from their academy.

    We'd definitely need a more mobile, pure DM and I don't see us making two midfield changes in one summer, which is why my focus has been on the Matic upgrade.


    It's possible as obviously this is not Ole's chosen team as such, but when he sees how well Pogba is playing I don't see why he'd mess with it, I mean even last night moving him to RCM to accomodate Fred interfered with his attacking game a bit.

    We rarely look ahead like that but I wouldn't be against it, however I can hear the Garner and McTominay arguments already as regards buying young options to develop into the role.

    I know he can play the position but he doesn't want to and has been pretty whiny about it, not ideal if he is needed there, on top of that Pogba was never petulant like Rabiot who refused to even be in the back-ups for the World Cup squad. We have a great spirit in the team right now, I just don't think Rabiot is good enough that I'd risk adding his attitude into the mix.

    When you put a player on those kinds of wages straight off the bat it means they become difficult to shift if they don't work out, it's why we still have so many players lingering arond the club that should have been sold, we can't get anyone to take their wages off our hands and they aren't going to lower them when they move. Rabiot is not that much of a proven commodity to be on 6 figure wages IMO.
  29. Feb 28, 2019

    Needham Full Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2013
    Messages:
    9,307
    I'd be looking to phase Matic out very soon and change the overall midfield dynamic. If we could just prize Erickson away and Garner/McTominay step up...
  30. Feb 28, 2019

    Yagami Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    5,916
    I like him, too, but,in my opinion, we do have a player like him in Matic, which is why I'm also a big Nemanja fan.
  31. Feb 28, 2019

    Fosu-Mens Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2016
    Messages:
    1,375
    Location:
    Muppet station for next season.
    Less than 24 hours after a god or bad performance people tend to be subjective. I see people stating Lukaku is class as well.
  32. Feb 28, 2019

    SteveW Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Messages:
    4,354
    I think Herrera will gradually move into Matics role and we will buy a Bruno Fernandez type (lots of stamina and quality on the ball) to eventually play alongside him. Matic is slowing down and we need a bit more creativity and class from midfield to take the onus off Pogba to do it all.

    Scott will be backup at best due to his lack of technical ability. Garner can maybe take over from Herrrera in a few years if he turns out to be good enough (its genuinely too early to say with him imo)
  33. Feb 28, 2019

    Devil may care Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    30,287
    :lol: That's true, but when Ole is calling Garner the new Carrick as well, I fear we are not even looking at holding midfield and it'll just be Matic again week in and week out next season.
  34. Feb 28, 2019

    Aloysius's Back 3 Full Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2018
    Messages:
    1,723
    Creators.

    PSG beat us because they had verrati, draxler and Di Maria playing in the same midfield.

    We only have Pogba that can create a chance and even then I'd rather see him as a box to box player that can finish chances as much as create them.

    Somone needs to dictate our player and stretch it out with key cutting passes.

    Neves is the one so far.
  35. Feb 28, 2019

    SteveW Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Messages:
    4,354
    Agreed. That's why I believe Herrera will move into Matic's position as time goes and we will sign a baller for the other CM position. Neves, Fernades , someone like that with bags of stamina and some real class. PSG beat us by man marking Pogba. It should have freed up Matic and Herrera but they don't have the type of quality to open up top teams.
  36. Feb 28, 2019

    Fracture90 Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2016
    Messages:
    8,451
    Location:
    Serbia
    Yeah it's truly something. Shame they didn't manage to pry one of those CL's from Real though, think if it wasn't for that injury to Costa in that first final, they would have won it. Yeah he went through their youth academy.
  37. Feb 28, 2019

    Fosu-Mens Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2016
    Messages:
    1,375
    Location:
    Muppet station for next season.
    I think it is more likely that Garner and/or Levitt becoming part of the starting 11 due to their own merit, than Pereira, Fred or McTominay doing it. Pereira does not suit PL, Fred is a bust, and McTominay is a player that will consitently deliver decent performances. Not doing anything great or bad, but stable. And could function as a holding CDM against weak teams if needed in the short term.
  38. Feb 28, 2019

    Devil may care Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    30,287
    That late Ramos goal was a soul crusher for Atletico, I wonder if they might get it done this year, the CL feels wide open.

    I don't know nearly enough about Garner and Levitt to give fair comment on either but I agree with your assessment of the other 3, McTominay might have an O'Shea squad player type of career but could just as easily be a Bournemouth or Watford player in a couple of seasons.
  39. Mar 1, 2019

    Fracture90 Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2016
    Messages:
    8,451
    Location:
    Serbia
    Yes of course, they faded in the overtime, had no energy left. Feel that if Costa, who was amongst the best strikers in the world at that point, was subbed off so early due to the injury, they would've won it.
  40. Mar 1, 2019

    AkaAkuma Full Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2012
    Messages:
    2,325
    The Carrick comparison is interesting, he also called Mctominay the new Fletcher.

    It suggests to me that he's planning a role for them. Which could mean McTominay covering for a year or more until Garner is ready to step up.

    The Rakitic links could just be part of contract negotiations, but he might be a better short term addition.