Attacking Midfielder or Defensive Midfielder?

Walters_19_MuFc

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Throughout the season, United have been linked with both, attacking and defensive midfielders. Grealish, Maddison, Soumare, Zakaria, Partey, to name a few.

Now, it might be the case that we are actually looking to sign both, however, I feel with the recent purchase of Bruno, we will only be targeting one midfielder in the summer.

My question to you is, what type of midfielder should that be?

Quite a lot of people, including myself, seem to be on the Grealish hype. A player who, although has played quite a bit on the wing this season, is also comfortable playing as an 8/10. However, as good as he has been, assuming Ole continues with his favoured 4231 and we continue to play Bruno as a 10, then where would that leave Grealish? Yes, we certainly need to improve our squad, but there's no way we're going to spend 50M plus (or whatever the price may be) on a squad player when there's much bigger priorities.

I guess, the only way we were to bring a starting attacking midfielder in, is if we were to play Bruno deeper as a roaming playmaker - kind of like how Ole uses Pogba when he plays deep.

If not, then as I said, I can't see how we'd fit in a 10.

The other option is keeping Bruno as a 10, who has really hit the ground running since joining, and bringing in a defensive midfielder. Apart from Matic, who to be fair to him, has been fantastic since coming back into the side, we haven't got a specialist holding midfielder. Fred and McTominay, whilst very good options, are more box to box midfielders rather than players that will sit in front of the back four and break up play. Therefore, if we were to get a defensive midfielder, we could have them with Fred/McTominay beside them.

In a nutshell, what would people prefer?

Bruno
Defensive Midfield - Fred/McTominay

Attacking Midfielder
Matic/Fred/McTominay - Bruno

Could you possibly add a poll @Niall or @Damien, please?

Thanks.
 

nokillingmoths

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Attacking midfielder. We have 3 more defensive ones already and only one attacking midfielder.
 

MadMike

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Attacking midfielder. We have 3 more defensive ones already and only one attacking midfielder.
Bruno, Mata, Lingard and Pereira = 1? Interesting maths.

EDIT: not to mention Sanchez who is still on the books and young Angel Gomes.
 

jamesjimmybyrondean

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We need both but DM should be a starter and AM should be a cheap but strong bench option in case of Bruno injury or rotation.

DM - Zakaria
AM - Buendia (would be cheap when Norwich relegates)

Midfield could look like this:

.............. Bruno.............

Zakaria............. Fred.....

Bench - Romero Baily Williams Mctominay James Buendia Martial (assuming we sign a striker)

It's a solid midfield with solid back ups. Assuming Bruno injures Buendia comes in and there's still creativity, no more Lingard or Pereira. McTominay can easily fill in for Fred or Zakaria. Just my two cents
 

Pav1878

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We need both but DM should be a starter and AM should be a cheap but strong bench option in case of Bruno injury or rotation.

DM - Zakaria
AM - Buendia (would be cheap when Norwich relegates)

Midfield could look like this:

.............. Bruno.............

Zakaria............. Fred.....

Bench - Romero Baily Williams Mctominay James Buendia Martial (assuming we sign a striker)

It's a solid midfield with solid back ups. Assuming Bruno injures Buendia comes in and there's still creativity, no more Lingard or Pereira. McTominay can easily fill in for Fred or Zakaria. Just my two cents
With all due respect that's a terrible plan.

Buendia? Seriously?


There's prob 50 better options than the ones you have suggested.
 

nokillingmoths

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Bruno, Mata, Lingard and Pereira = 1? Interesting maths.

EDIT: not to mention Sanchez who is still on the books and young Angel Gomes.
Sorry. One that should be part of the first team next season. Whereas mctominay, Fred and matic have all had decent seasons. Didn't think I'd have to explain such a basic and obvious concept.
 

bosnian_red

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I think Grealish leaves us in a good position. Priority is obviously Sancho, but he shouldn't influence the midfield signing. Gives us a lot of options to adapt to opponents, rotate, competition for places, and cover for injuries. Against weaker teams:
Rashford Martial Sancho
Grealish Bruno
McTominay
Shaw Maguire Bailly AWB
Ddg
Bigger games play based on form/injuries, good to have options on the bench to change the games. Basically between the front 3 and Grealish/Bruno (and Greenwood who will still be young), we'll have 1 of them as a rotation option (seeing as both Bruno and Grealish can play in the front 3, and each of our front 3 can play in other positions on that front 3). Not overly bloated at all, it's good to have competition even among your best players. Not screwed if anyone goes down injured. To replace that attacker in bigger games we'll have Fred in basically, to have added control in midfield. Matic will rotate with McTominay if he stays. Back 4 has a backup back 4. If Pogba stays then we don't even go for a midfielder.
 

Rozay

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How about a midfielder that plays between the two? Seems that nobody discusses this type of player anymore.

Anyway, a lot of course depends on what happens with Pogba. If he stays, then we don’t need an attacking midfielder. There is perhaps an argument that we should sell both Lingard and Pereira to be fair, and if we did, then we could bring an AM in, given Pogba and Fernandes will likely both start and we would have no replacement. Still, if Pogba stays, a DM is of greater need I think.
 

MadMike

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Sorry. One that should be part of the first team next season. Whereas mctominay, Fred and matic have all had decent seasons. Didn't think I'd have to explain such a basic and obvious concept.
Well it turns out you have to explain things that make no obvious sense. If you think that from the 6 AMs on the books only one will be in the first team next season and the other 5 will leave, you’re at best hopeful and at worst delusional.

But also I would never count McTominay and Fred as DMs. I see both as CMs and Matic (who’s contract is out in the summer) as the only DM.

Anyway, opinions. To each their own.
 

buckooo1978

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right sided attacker all day long

our main problem is quality, depth, creativity and consistency in attack
 

Cathy Ferguson

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I think Grealish leaves us in a good position. Priority is obviously Sancho, but he shouldn't influence the midfield signing. Gives us a lot of options to adapt to opponents, rotate, competition for places, and cover for injuries. Against weaker teams:
Rashford Martial Sancho
Grealish Bruno
McTominay
Shaw Maguire Bailly AWB
Ddg
Bigger games play based on form/injuries, good to have options on the bench to change the games. Basically between the front 3 and Grealish/Bruno (and Greenwood who will still be young), we'll have 1 of them as a rotation option (seeing as both Bruno and Grealish can play in the front 3, and each of our front 3 can play in other positions on that front 3). Not overly bloated at all, it's good to have competition even among your best players. Not screwed if anyone goes down injured. To replace that attacker in bigger games we'll have Fred in basically, to have added control in midfield. Matic will rotate with McTominay if he stays. Back 4 has a backup back 4. If Pogba stays then we don't even go for a midfielder.
Should work since both Bruno and Grealish work hard defensively.

The average age of that front six will be around 22/23 and would have a British core.

Pogba + 70m = Sancho + Graelish?

Selling Jones, Periera or Lingard and Smalling or Bailly to finance a fox in the box or target man kind of striker who is content with playing second fiddle.

Secure the signings before the Euros and that would be one hell of a window.
 

Pav1878

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Well we need to be targeting real quality, either established names or players with real potential.

saul Niguez
partey
koke
allan
kante
Kai havertz
fabian Ruiz
ndidi
maddison
Grealish
thiago
ziyech
van Der beek

Before you say some of these are not DM or AM, the solution is not so black and white. It's about having the right blend of players with all of them with good technical abilities and all able to defend as a team. The days of having a an all out attacking mid who cannot tackle and an enforcer who cannot pass two yards have gone.

 

bosnian_red

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Should work since both Bruno and Grealish work hard defensively.

The average age of that front six will be around 22/23 and would have a British core.

Pogba + 70m = Sancho + Graelish?

Selling Jones, Periera or Lingard and Smalling or Bailly to finance a fox in the box or target man kind of striker who is content with playing second fiddle.

Secure the signings before the Euros and that would be one hell of a window.
Price wise I can see them costing 200m combined (at most), and then generate sales through Pogba (80m?) and small amounts from the rest.
 

Brightonian

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It comes down to if you think Fred or McTominay should be allowed to be the most defensive midfielder available in the squad. We have Matic, and he still seems to have some fuel in the tank if used sparingly, but that is only going to become a less and less reliable option as he ages so really he shouldn't be factored into buying decisions which are intended to influence how we line up for years to come.

In my opinion, you absolutely have to have someone who is a proper DM available, even if you don't always use them. And neither Fred or McTominay is that. If every midfield should have access to defensive, box-to-box and attacking players, we have Bruno to attack and Fred and McT box-to-box, but no-one (other than Matic) who is truly defensive.

So the answer is that we should buy both, but that the priority should be the DM. It would be lovely to be able to rotate/compete Grealish and Bruno, but it is a luxury. A DM is a necessity.
 

nokillingmoths

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Well it turns out you have to explain things that make no obvious sense. If you think that from the 6 AMs on the books only one will be in the first team next season and the other 5 will leave, you’re at best hopeful and at worst delusional.

But also I would never count McTominay and Fred as DMs. I see both as CMs and Matic (who’s contract is out in the summer) as the only DM.

Anyway, opinions. To each their own.
You've sort of missed the point again.

Pereira isn't good enough, Lingard has gone off a cliff, Gomes has shown nothing in the first team and Sanchez, ha. So that leaves bruno.

In a more defensive position we have mctominay, Fred and matic. I agree that mctominay and fred aren't probably dms as such, but they're closer to that than they are attacking midfielders.

Either way we have 3 players who have had decent seasons in a deeper position (even if that is somewhere between cm and dm) and one player who looks good enough in an attacking position.

So to sum up yeah attacking midfield is clearly the priority of the two.
 

MikeKing

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Either we get a much needed quality DM, incase the form of McTominay and Fred drops, or we get another attacking midfielder in which case we need to buy another CB as well. Lindelof behind Fred and Bruno will be terribly unbalanced.
 

Rampant-red

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Okay , are we going to have owners with real money or not ( we all know its coming to take REAL MODERN MEGA BUCKS to make United no1 again ?
 

Hawks2008

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Fred and McTominay are simply not suited to a holding role and Matic is past his best.

A midfielder who can protect the space between midfield and defence while being a strong user of the ball in deeper areas to partner Fred or McT in the '2' of the 4231 would bring a lot of balance to the team. We've seen 7 clean sheets in our last 9 since Matic has come in and played well and it's not a coincidence, unfortunately we cannot rely on him for an entire season and this season could easily be his last for the club so a midfielder in his mould should be a priority along with a Right Winger and a Striker.
 

jamesjimmybyrondean

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Well we need to be targeting real quality, either established names or players with real potential.

saul Niguez
partey
koke
allan
kante
Kai havertz
fabian Ruiz
ndidi
maddison
Grealish
thiago
ziyech
van Der beek

Before you say some of these are not DM or AM, the solution is not so black and white. It's about having the right blend of players with all of them with good technical abilities and all able to defend as a team. The days of having a an all out attacking mid who cannot tackle and an enforcer who cannot pass two yards have gone.
Zakaria is definitely quality with real potential. He's also more realistic than most of the players on that list. My point wasn't really about getting Zakaria and Buendia though. I was just giving examples of players in positions we need. We need a DM that should be starting and a solid AM on the bench to be a good replacement for Bruno if needed.

............ Bruno..........

...DM................Fred

Bench - Romero, Williams, Baily, Mctominay, James, AM(solid second choice to Bruno), Martial(if we by a striker)
 

SpyLuke10

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depends if pogba leaves or not. if pogba goes then an attacking midfielder must be the priority. if he stays then we ought to go for a DM. I think he will go and United will try and get Grealish. surely we could also get both?
 

POF

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The club desperately needs attacking options. James, Pereira, Lingard and Mata have played a lot of football this season and are not first team quality.

Rashford, Martial and Greenwood are extremely inconsistent in both fitness and form.

The attack lacks experienced attacking quality. Bruno comes along with an ounce of creativity and leadership and the team is transformed.

Get another couple of quality attacking players and it will transform the team. The defensive record will also be stronger if United has an attack that the opposition fears. Currently, they definitely don't.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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Well he played him mainly at AM last season, and Pogba's played about 5 games this year.
Point taken, but if Ole had plans to play Pogba as a AM, then he would have done so at the start of the season.

All throughout pre season Pogba was played deep, as he clearly had plans to play him there at the start of the season, which he did.
 

Red_Orchestra

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Well if I were to choose between Zakaria and Grealish, I think I'd choose Zakaria because a proper defensive midfielder like Zakaria is really hard to find. There are only a few young Defensive Midfielders available and a flooded market of attacking midfielders.
 
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beingshe7don

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Well if I were to choose between Zakaria and Grealish, I think I'd choose Zakaria because a proper defensive midfielder like Zakaria is really hard to find. There are only a few young Defensive Midfielders available and a flooded market of attacking midfielders.
Why would we need to choose between the two? We need both of them. Grealish would be 60m and Zakaria shouldn't be more than 35m along with Sancho for 110m. Sell Pogba and Lingard and keep Ighalo for a season while we hunt for a striker.
 

jamesjimmybyrondean

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We are working on a budget and with the recent renewal of Matic's contract I'm guessing we are not signing a DM this summer. I think our main targets are Grealish Sancho and a Striker
 

Mark Pawelek

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right sided attacker all day long

our main problem is quality, depth, creativity and consistency in attack
What we should be talking about. Looks like Matic will get a year's extension on his contract. McTominay has the skill set and discipline to play CDM. We have good midfield prospects in Garner, Levitt, Galbraith, Mejbri, and others.

Apart from Bruno Fernandes, or Greenwood, who could be our right wing? When I hear "James", I remind you he's clearly better playing from the left-wing.
 

Amerifan

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Depends on what happens with Pogba. If he stays, a DM. If he leaves, an AM.
 

BigLebowski007

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I've read we are being linked with Sergej Milinković-Savić again. He is doing really well with Lazio this season. However I haven't watched him much. I've heard he is capable of moments of brilliance. But how good is he overall? How constant are his performances? Anyone watched him regularly?

He is is also dividing opinions among his fellow countrymen Serbs. Half of them think he is decent but very overrated, the other half is saying he has the talent to the 3rd best player after Messi and CR7. Well, that's quite typical for Serbians really :)
 

Sparky Rhiwabon

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Its simple - whether a 4231 or a 433, ideally you need a DM, a box-to-box and an AM. Currently our main options are:

DM - Matic
B2B - McTominay, Fred and Pogba (if he stays)
AM - Bruno

To me, this is clear that DM is the bigger priority