Centre Back... Who do we go for?

DomesticTadpole

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The Athletic Club defender Unai Núñez is a good "cheap" option.
Don't anybody dare. He has a lot to learn yet and nobody in this team to teach him.
 

gaz1185

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The last thing we need is another short term solution.
It's not a short term solution, we'd still have 4 young players who can play in that position, but it's a chance to give them the opportunity to learn from & play alongside a more experienced player whilst they still can. Eventually the 4 young cbs we currently have would (hopefully) be at a better level than they are currently to take over both starting spots.
 

VanHaal'sRedArmy

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I'd swap Blind and Umtiti. Samuel is currently renegotiating his contract (60m buyout) and Blind would fit in with the Blaugrana style of play.
 

izec

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De Vrij
Skinirar
Koulibaly
Maguire

De Ligt is good, but not good/experienced enough yet, better to let him develop

Tah is another one who is talented enough and has a cheap buyout clause i think, in the summer at least.
 

lysglimt

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I am more than happy with Jones - it's our central midfield I am having problems with
 

Jaybomb

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David Luiz would have been the perfect ball playing CB to partner Bailly. Especially if we added Alex Sandro at LB.... But that shipped has sailed this month. He was available in January and we weren’t interested.

Now my top four picks would be Pique, Varane, Alderweireld and Marquinhos.
 

panz

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What do you think about Škriniar from Inter?
His performances with Inter this year have been great, brilliant on the ball- I've seen him confident enough to make runs in midfield with it. Can score goals (3 so far in all comps. in comparison our current CBs have 2 between them this season).

His success rate this season is 91.6%, passing being one of his best attributes, can throw long-balls on the wings as well as direct down the middle towards the #9.

Edit: Two days ago his agent spoke to a Slovakian website and when asked about interest from Man Utd, Barcelona, Man City and Real Madrid he said that Inter turned down an offer between £52.5m to £57m from one of those clubs without specifying.

From what I've seen this season I think he's ready to step up, especially if he carries on like this until the end. If it wasn't for Handanovic and Skriniar so many Inter draws would have turned in losses.
 

poleglass red

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The big thing you have to deal with when you play for Utd is that every mistake you make is highlighted to the extreme. Jones is the villain right now, yet previous league game v Burnley he was MOM. Harry Maguire is being mentioned by some, he made a mistake on Salah in their recent game, got taken to the cleaners as he was too tight on him, and Liverpool scored. You don't hear much about that, he actually had a very good game in that match. But he does that at Utd and we'd be hearing about it non stop, no mention of his general game, just that mistake.Need to be mentally strong. I don't think the lot we have are great, but certainly not as bad as some make out
 

extincti fugax hominum

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I really hope we dont sign another center back. We were poor at the back against Spurs but i think we've looked ok this season, signing yet another defender is a waste of resources which could be utilised better elsewhere
Don't think we need one. There are many more pressing issues.
Don't think we need one. Jones had a really bad day on Wednesday; but he and Bailly with Rojo and Smalling are better than most clubs and even then we have LindelovTuanzabe/TFM/Blind (if still around) as cover - we can get rid of one and not even have to replace. What we need is some protection in front in the big games - so a holding/DM should be our priority.
Agreed. We need to upgrade our fullbacks and midfield not CBs. We can even sell some CBs without replacing them. If we are to add someone to the CB position, we can get De Vrij on a free from Lazio as our ball playing CB before selling Blind and maybe Lindelof too. We have more than enough quality and quantity at CB as it is.
 

carvajal

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There are some of the list that I hardly know, but my option (for you or for Madrid) would be Giménez.
 

golden_blunder

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In all seriousness I’d be happy if we got someone like a Varane in and try to keep Bailly fit.

The others are hit and miss in terms of fitness

I still think jones has the makings of a Steve Bruce type but is hasn’t proven reliable enough yet with staying fit

Basically what’s the point of having 5 cbs when 3 of them aren’t fit and the other 2 are imho physically too weak to play Cb
 

Keeps It tidy

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CB is by far our strongest position. Before the Spurs match we had 6 clean sheets in a row and we are still tied for City with the best defensive record. With all the injuries we have had in defense that is very impressive.
 

OnlyTwoDaSilvas

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In all seriousness I’d be happy if we got someone like a Varane in and try to keep Bailly fit.

The others are hit and miss in terms of fitness

I still think jones has the makings of a Steve Bruce type but is hasn’t proven reliable enough yet with staying fit

Basically what’s the point of having 5 cbs when 3 of them aren’t fit and the other 2 are imho physically too weak to play Cb
Varane's fitness history is pretty terrible too. He's basically the French Phil Jones, who is only just now having a relatively injury free season for the first time.
 

AP88

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Bailly and Jones generally works, as did Jones and Rojo last season; common factor being Jones....but he still needs to keep working to iron out his flaws.

Maguire would be a good third option to fill in for the often-injured Jones and Bailly - he’d certainly play a lot of football.

I’ve got good vibes about Regan Poole as well, but that’s just based on potential; if he can get a proper Championship loan he might be able to impress sufficiently.
 

DannyCAFC

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Skriniar is probably the best, most realistic option from that list IMO. I think he'll eventually grow in to a top 5 defender in the world, has been brilliant this season he reads the game really well and is mobile and comfortable on the ball and just 23 I think. Inter are notoriously difficult to negotiate with though, obviously, so he'd be expensive but I think he'd be willing to make the move.
 

Swift Football

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Like many say - a match is won by center forward but the league is won by center halves. It is very important to have center halves who are reliable and can play with concentration season long. Of course, they will make occasional mistakes here and there, but that should be occasional.

Our center halves though have big shortcomings, so put any pair , it would not be complete. The pair of Baily- JOnes had shown good promise but because of injuries, they have not get chance to play alongside each other again. Even when they are fit, they definitely have weaknesses.

It is utmost important to win headers given PL teams like to play long balls to big man upfront, and we have only Smalling who can deal with such balls. But we all know he is such a nervous wreck in the ball. Our center halves are not that great in reading the game, except for Lindelof, but he is so poor in the air, also lacks strength to wrestle off the ball. Rojo seems to be more complete than others, but he makes rash tackles every now and then and so susceptible to cards and suspensions.

I think we should buy one center half and pair him with Baily (Koulibaly would be my choice). We can sell Blind/Rojo and even one of Smalling/Jones if we can get good money and then invest in a CB who is more complete. Good thing about us is that we, as a team, have a very good defensive organisation. But when we are chasing a goal, the lack of quality in our back is shown when our center backs have to defend a large space or when they have to make passes to keep going rather than back pass to DE Gea.

I mentioned in Fellaini post that, in many europa games, we tend to hoof the ball towards Fellaini who will control the ball and then we directly play from opposition box. If Fellaini leaves or when he is not fit, our center backs will hard time buuilding up play from back.

As much as we need fullbacks and a midfielder, we need one center half too and we can actually sell some of ours to fund the move.
 

Yagami

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Why would most people agree? Because we lost a game?

Jones and Smalling are two of the best defenders in the country. We have one of the best defences in Europe.

Harry fecking Maguire is better than neither. Jesus.
The only reason our defensive record is so good is because of de Gea. I think most would agree on that. He's probably tested more than most other top GKs, too, because time and time again I see opposition teams waltz through us.

Jones is fine for lower teams that sit back, but his and Smalling's lack of on the ball skills hamper us both offensively and defensively. Especially in the big games. Hoofing it all the time when they have time to take it down or pass to a player resulting in the opposition team getting back up the pitch happens so often. I've defended Smalling for a number of years but he isn't good enough. I don't think Jones is either but we need options.

I, and many others, would take Maguire over both in a heartbeat. I'm not saying he'd be a guaranteed success but he's the type of CB we should be moving towards. It won't solve our problems because we're still a horribly coached team but I think it's about time both were upgraded on.
 

POF

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It seems that most agree with the need for a proper center back to partner Bailly in the future. With Lindelöf still being young and not quite ready yet, Smalling/Jones just not good enough and Rojo too inconsistent, it wouldn’t be a big surprise if United spend a decent amount to bring in a new center back in the summer.

Who do we go for?

Some candidates:
David Luiz
Sokratis Papastathopoulos
Kamil Glik
Kostas Manolas
Kalidou Koulibaly
Samuel Umtiti
Ezequiel Garay
José Giménez
Mateo Musacchio
Ömer Toprak
Stefan De Vrij
Jonathan Tah
Eric Dier
Daniele Rugani
Matthijs De Ligt
Lucas Hernández
Alessio Romagnoli
Harry Maguire
Milan Škriniar


I don’t watch that much football outside the Premier League, but from what I know, my personal preference would be Manolas or Koulibaly (if top tier players like Boateng aren’t available)

@Damien or any other modmin, a poll with some of the main candidates would be greatly appreciated.
Do most really agree? I certainly don't. The options at centre back are really good. Jones has had an outstanding season, Smalling is a very good defender and Rojo was the best defender in the squad last season before his injury. That is before taking the big money summer signing into account and an extremely talented youngster in Tuanzebe.

Full back and central midfield are far higher priority than centre back in the summer.
 

Richrip

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Proper partner for Bailly.....

somebody who will stop the soft goals and lack of concentration that creeps into our game every know and then somebody who demands more when the going gets tough. Jose needs to step up and either identify somebody or work with what he’s got and get himself a lieutenant on the pitch.
 

AgentP

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His performances with Inter this year have been great, brilliant on the ball- I've seen him confident enough to make runs in midfield with it. Can score goals (3 so far in all comps. in comparison our current CBs have 2 between them this season).

His success rate this season is 91.6%, passing being one of his best attributes, can throw long-balls on the wings as well as direct down the middle towards the #9.

Edit: Two days ago his agent spoke to a Slovakian website and when asked about interest from Man Utd, Barcelona, Man City and Real Madrid he said that Inter turned down an offer between £52.5m to £57m from one of those clubs without specifying.

From what I've seen this season I think he's ready to step up, especially if he carries on like this until the end. If it wasn't for Handanovic and Skriniar so many Inter draws would have turned in losses.
Really like him. For some reason, he reminds me of Vidic.
 

Keeps It tidy

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We probably have the best depth at the CB position in Europe right now. A lot of guys people here are mentioning are not even better than Jones.
 

Litch

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We have enough CB's. The issue for me is getting 11 players to turn up on a match day.
 

devilish

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We probably have the best depth at the CB position in Europe right now. A lot of guys people here are mentioning are not even better than Jones.
I agree that there's not many great CBs around. However that its silly. Skriniar would shit on Jones.
 

devilish

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I have mixed feelings on this. On one hand, its true that there's not many good CBs around. The times of the Rios, the Terrys, the Nestas and the Cannavaros are long over. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that there's no one better then Smalling and Jones. Bailly came here, with barely any experience, and he was in first team in no time.

So lets not underrate what we have. On the other hand lets not overrate them either.
 

Keeps It tidy

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I agree that there's not many great CBs around. However that its silly. Skriniar would shit on Jones.
I have not seen enough of Skriniar to have an opinion but, look at some of the names on the OP David Luiz, Glik, Garay, De Ligt, Dier, Toprak, Maguire, Hernandez, etc. If people are mentioning names like that they want us to sign any CB.
 

devilish

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I have not seen enough of Skriniar to have an opinion but, look at some of the names on the OP David Luiz, Glik, Garay, De Ligt, Dier, Toprak, Maguire, Hernandez, etc. If people are mentioning names like that they want us to sign any CB.
I have very mixed feelings myself. On one hand Jones and Smalling had been here long enough for us to judge that they are not United's first team level. If you put these guys alongside the various Stam, Johnsen, Rio and Vidic they will stick out like a sore thumb. On the other hand they aren't as shit as many portray them to be. In my opinion they stick in that grey area between first team and utility players. My biggest issue about the two is that they are growing old and yet they still seem to make mistakes 18 year olds do. Don't take me wrong, they aren't retiring anytime soon. However at this point in time, maturity should kick in to compensate to the slow decline physical aspects of their game. There's little maturity/football brain power in those two.

If you ask me, unless Skirniar becomes available (top quality CBs are too rare to be passed on) then I believe that United should tackle other matter first. You can't really judge your CB's pair when they are partnered with wingers as full backs and the midfield has just 1 DM and is usually played alongside an attacking midfielder in a 2 men midfield. I'd say keep the pair, strengthen the full backs positions, bring in some solid quality defensive midfield pair (Jorginho and Dier would be my favourites), play Lindelof more and send Tuanzebe on loan to a decent EPL side. That would stabilise the midfield which would allow the defence and our attack to focus on what they do best.

Then in summer 2019 we should be asking the right questions. Had Smalling/Jones improved? Is Lindelof good enough for first team? If not can Tuanzebe replace them (even in a reserve player role)? Should we move Dier in CB? Should we add a new CB? That sort of questions
 
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Nytram Shakes

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I’ve hear thier is this English center back with experience at the top level whose been pretty sensational over the last 18 months, and has out performed Bailly this season when he’s played.
He also may be going on the cheap because he had one bad game and fans Don’t like him because he was a bit dodgy 2 years ago and can’t seem to grasp that time moves on so they want us to spent mental amounts of money on players none of whom have played better the him over the last year and a half.
 

ZAGREB RED

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Alderweireld, if Spurs will sell him. Hopefully not David Luiz.