Centre Back... Who do we go for?

Fracture90

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Its funny when people still refer to Valencia as "a converted winger" and mean this in a deragotory way.
One: is this like a bad thing for some reason? There are a lot of really competent fullbacks that did not start out their careers as fullbacks.
Two: Tony has soon been a fullback longer than he ever was a winger or even a CM, where he played quite a lot for Ecuador. When are people going to stop hitting him with a stick that is not a stick to begin with?
Same with Young. He has been a fullback for quite awhile now.
These digs are nonsense IMO.
Just realised I went quite off topic. Apologies.
I was actually referring to Young (since Valencia is leaving at the end of the season) and it paints the real state of affairs, he's been an offensive player for the great majority of his career, he can't just like that convert to a whole new position, that's completely opposite to what he has known for so long, that requires whole different set of skills, much higher discipline, so late in his career when he's past his physical prime and be what we need there which is only proven with him being our weakest link in by far.
 

NoPace

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Options for RB position are a converted 34y old winger and very attacking minded 20y old kid…
Honestly if we are to choose between gutting the most of our transfer budget to get an overpriced CB or stick with Smalling & Lindelof, I prefer we stick with them 2 and spend big on RW, RB and another MF.

I think our needs go like this, ranking them by the odds we currently have a player who can have a very good season (like the kind Herrera, Shaw or Lindelof is having, don't need to be De Gea or Pogba to be a position of strength).

RW - 10% chance we have a player in the squad who can have a really strong year at RW.
We absolutely need one, nobody really has the potential to have a strong year there in the squad except Rashford and he and Lukaku are our 9s, and he's also probably our best option at LW after Martial. Lingard isn't good out wide, Dalot doesn't seem like a strong RB and while Lukaku does well enough out there, that's probably more of a specific tactical counterattacking move than a week to week thing under Ole (I do sort of think there are a couple managers who could maybe make that work weekly).

RB - 25% chance we have a player in the squad who can have a really strong year at RB
We have Dalot is 20 and there's no real reason to think he's ready to play 45 games and have a strong season as a starter next year. 15 games backing up the RB and another 10 at RW, RWB (if we go 3-5-2) and LB and lots of sub appearances would be a fine season for him. I have this below RW only because at Dalot's age and with how highly he's rated, it's at least plausible he has his breakout season like a guy like Alexander-Arnold or Bellerin did, a year or two before one would probably have expected it to happen.

CB - 40% chance we have a player in the squad who can have a really strong year at CB.

Smalling is a very solid if limited player and while right now it seems unlikely Bailly will have a strong season and become a starter, we all liked what we saw of him a couple years back and he will only be 25 next year.

and then we need a midfielder but can survive another year with the current group if nobody leaves, as we have a star in Pogba, a good player we all trust in Herrera and then Fred and Matic are solid, proven players, I'd say 50% chance Pogba and Herrera stay healthy and one of either Fred comes good or Matic has a strong comeback old #6 Thiago Motta at PSG style season, with more rest and a stronger team around him, and I suppose a sliver of a chance McTominay breaks out and passes them with his age and his playing better as of lately.

I can't imagine we won't sign 2 rightsided players and a CB. Even if we strike out on Sancho and De Ligt and a top RB, surely the club would go after some very gettable, more affordable but still productive players hungry for a big move like Ziyech, Pepe, Thorgen Hazard, Neres, Malcolm, Oyarzabal, Lozano/Bergwijn, Bailey, Alderweild, one of the Serie A center backs people seem to rate (Andersen, Manolas has a release clause, Milenkovic), one of the better Ligue 1 right backs (Atal, Lala and Sarr I guess).
 

Kweku Amonoo

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Axel Tuanzebe will be coming back next season. That kid is the real deal. There's no point in signing any youngster to take up his place.

Forget De Ligt. He's good, but he's very overrated. The only thing he's better at than Axel is defending aerial balls. He has the hype because he's playing in the Champions League.

Sign Alderweireld and let Axel deputise. I'm sure he'll be ready to take over after a season or two.
 

Just shoot me

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Axel Tuanzebe will be coming back next season. That kid is the real deal. There's no point in signing any youngster to take up his place.

Forget De Ligt. He's good, but he's very overrated. The only thing he's better at than Axel is defending aerial balls. He has the hype because he's playing in the Champions League.

Sign Alderweireld and let Axel deputise. I'm sure he'll be ready to take over after a season or two.
Come on... if you still believe De Ligt is a hype and overrated after the last two years? I doubt he even considers United, but he would be a star within 6 months and right up there with the best CB's in the league. Watch a couple of more games of Ajax and see how (even the best) forwards try to avoid any confrontation with him, because they lost all of them in the beginning. I especially enjoyed watching him against Mbappe, Ronaldo, Benzema and Lewandoski.
 

Andersons Dietician

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Just read that Bayern have announced they have signed Hernandez on a 5 yr deal for 68 mil. Please say it isn’t so. He would have been great for us.

Hopefully we don’t turn around and try to buy Hummels or Boateng off them now as I imagine one of those two will be leaving.
Neuer
Pavard Sule Hernandez Alaba
Kimmich​

Not a bad rear end that.
 
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Wheato

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Just read that Bayern have announced they have signed Hernandez on a 5 yr deal for 68 mil. Please say it isn’t so. He would have been great for us.
Bayern and Juventus have an uncanny knack for these sorts of deals. They get good players at a good price. We need a team of people working on transfers with a DOF at the head of it.
 

Wallez

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Just read that Bayern have announced they have signed Hernandez on a 5 yr deal for 68 mil. Please say it isn’t so. He would have been great for us.

Hopefully we don’t turn around and try to buy Hummels or Boateng off them now as I imagine one of those two will be leaving.
Neuer
Pavard Sule Hernandez Alaba
Kimmich​

Not a bad rear end that.
While Lucas Hernandez undoubtably is a talented player, I don't see him as a bargain at that price. Also, I see Lindelöf as a long-term CB for us, and a duo of him and Lucas Hernandez would be extremely vulnerable to aerial duels in the box, particularly with De Gea in goal.
 

AgentP

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De Ligt is the best option. But I don't think he'll choose us. Only hope is that his agent is Riaola and we seem to have a good rapport with him.

Koulibaly is the most attainable target. He is 27 but he is top class and rarely gets injured. So we can expect him to play at a similar level for atleast 3 more years. He also plays as LCB which will let Lindelof play on his favored right side. If we can get him for around 80-90m, we should go for it.
 

L1nk

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Axel Tuanzebe being compared to De Ligt, just another of the crazy things to come out of this forum, dear me :lol:
 

Cliche Guevara

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Axel Tuanzebe being compared to De Ligt, just another of the crazy things to come out of this forum, dear me :lol:
I honestly don’t know where people get their ideas from sometimes.

I’m sure there must be an element of backing an Academy player to try and fit in as a proper United fan.
 

L1nk

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So looking at Twitter tonight it seems we are apparently after a backup defender, not a starter, and we've cooled our interest in Aldereiweld. Hm, think that's the wrong way to take this, but doesn't really shock me.
 

ArjenIsM3

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In fairness to Axel I think he was doing very well at Villa (untill he got injured) and if he can pick up where he left off then he deserves a shot. I just don't think it should have anything to do with us buying another CB. Because we should still do that, and sell off a couple of our current ones.
 

Catt

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So looking at Twitter tonight it seems we are apparently after a backup defender, not a starter, and we've cooled our interest in Aldereiweld. Hm, think that's the wrong way to take this, but doesn't really shock me.
Who says that?
 

Paul_Scholes18

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I don't think central defenders should be a priority. We got some decent options around that could work with a better team around them.

RB,DM, CM, RW and a striker seem like higher priority to me. We got some decent squad players, but lack top quality to make the difference.

Of course we could need a top quality central like all teams would like to get. Although with limited budget I would not spend a lot to get one since they cost a lot more these days.
 

L1nk

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Who says that?
It's only being reported by the Mirror, so I would take it with a pinch of salt, but it does seem to echo what's been said the last few days about us being happy with our main defense options, which is worrying.
 

Member 93275

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While Lucas Hernandez undoubtably is a talented player, I don't see him as a bargain at that price. Also, I see Lindelöf as a long-term CB for us, and a duo of him and Lucas Hernandez would be extremely vulnerable to aerial duels in the box, particularly with De Gea in goal.
There's still something to learn from the Hernandez transfer. The big clubs can all dream about De Ligt, but he'll only end up at one of them, and the rest will lose out. So then they need to take the next choice from the list. Bayern seem to be the smart one to stop dreaming first and be the first to pick from the rest of the list. The clubs who dream too long about De Ligt and which will lose out except one, will have to pick from a list which gets increasingly worse. If United wants a new CB, they must act soon and not make it a summer saga.
 

Joe Sowerby

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Koulibaly is the dream but i don't really see it happening especially with how difficult De Laurinatiis is to deal with.

Varane i just don't believe that he wants to leave i feel like he's just looking to get more money from Madrid.

De Ligt looks pretty much set to go to Barca so i'd probably keep tabs on Umtitis situation (I understand Umtiti has had quite a lot of injury problems this season but if the risk pays off you have a top 5 CB in the world in my opinion).

Skriniar apparently is close to signing a new deal.

Ruben Dias seems like a likely option aswell as Milenkovic, out of these 2 i'd definitely rather Dias.

Manolas i want us to stay as far away as possible from. Joachim Andersen i haven't seen enough of to comment. Then you have Toby for 25m which for me is a no brainer but we'll see.
 
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croadyman

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I don't think central defenders should be a priority. We got some decent options around that could work with a better team around them.

RB,DM, CM, RW and a striker seem like higher priority to me. We got some decent squad players, but lack top quality to make the difference.

Of course we could need a top quality central like all teams would like to get. Although with limited budget I would not spend a lot to get one since they cost a lot more these days.
Meunier,Rabiot,Kroos and Sancho
 

Tony247

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Dias is good and can be a realistic target rather chasing other mirages.
 

Wallez

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There's still something to learn from the Hernandez transfer. The big clubs can all dream about De Ligt, but he'll only end up at one of them, and the rest will lose out. So then they need to take the next choice from the list. Bayern seem to be the smart one to stop dreaming first and be the first to pick from the rest of the list. The clubs who dream too long about De Ligt and which will lose out except one, will have to pick from a list which gets increasingly worse. If United wants a new CB, they must act soon and not make it a summer saga.
I absolutely agree with you, solid business by Bayern as he and Süle will be a brilliant duo for years. However, I don't see this as a big loss for United. As you say, we should get our business done early rather than spending the entire summer chasing unrealistic dream signings and ending up overpaying for some last-minute solution just before the window closes. We should go all in for De Ligt as soon as Ajax are knocked out of CL, and if we are unable to sign him by the end of April we should move on to other targets like Skriniar and Varane. I also see Kostas Manolas as a brilliant option, and a deal with Roma should be fairly straight-forward due to his 32 mill release clause.
 

RussellWilson

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Watching the game, Alderweireld is still a top defender. Really is a no brainer for 25m with so many other needs in the team.

Despite the og which was Llloris error.
 
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goin4glory

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Axel Tuanzebe being compared to De Ligt, just another of the crazy things to come out of this forum, dear me :lol:
I honestly don’t know where people get their ideas from sometimes.

I’m sure there must be an element of backing an Academy player to try and fit in as a proper United fan.
I wouldn't give them that much credit, some people are just delusional or thick unfortunately. Had a poster comparing Herrera with Modric recently claiming Madrid would be better off with Herrera.
Sure thing bud let's forget that Modric has prob been the best CM in the world for the last 5 yeas and won 4 european cups.

Watching the game, Alderweireld is still a top defender. Really is a no brainer for 25m with so many other needs in the team.

Despite the og which was Like us error.
I agree. We also need to sign him to prevent our rivals from doing so. I'd pay 25m to not see VVD and Alderweireld lining up for Liverpool.
 

Dec9003

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Comparing Axel to De Ligt is madness obviously.
I'd still like to see Axel in the squad next season though, can deputise at CB and RB.
 

MikeKing

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Watching the game, Alderweireld is still a top defender. Really is a no brainer for 25m with so many other needs in the team.

Despite the og which was Llloris error.
Was his best game in a while that, and he scored an own goal. That is scary.
 

DarkRed

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In many games this year Luke Shaw looked as our best defender and we all know he is comfortable on the ball and can pass, so I had this question - can he play as the LCB and we just buy a new FB?
After all there were really good CBs that started out as FBs, Ramos is one that comes to mind.
 

Hammer_st

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If De Ligt is not available because offen an "agreement" with Barcelona and Koulibaly or Varane cost more than 100mio € we should go for Akanji from Dortmund. He said several times, that he is a United Fan and played very well for Dortmund. And in times were it seems, that no player want to sign a contract by United without beeing the highest payed player in the world, we should looking for players who likes to play for us.
 

Fosu-Mens

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Merih Demiral. Sassuolo since January. Scored two goals today. Despite his lanky frame, he is suprisingly mobile. Good with the ball in his feet and his clearances often goes to his team.
 

Sandikan

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Liverpool showed in the summer that centre back is an absolutely critical position.
We're crying out for top quality there, and I'd much prefer someone there then right back for instance.
 

Scroto Baggins

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There is the whole Alderweireld is 30 now and will need to be replaced in a couple of years anyway. But for 25mil should we care? Koulibaly is only three years younger but i've seen some crazy prices quoted, 80mil etc. If we are looking for a ball playing CB that is good under the press with the ball at his feet and can hit those long diagonals then Alderweireld for 25mil seems a good deal. He certainly isnt the physical monster type of CB, so depends on what we are specifically looking for.
 

An Irish Red

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There is the whole Alderweireld is 30 now and will need to be replaced in a couple of years anyway. But for 25mil should we care? Koulibaly is only three years younger but i've seen some crazy prices quoted, 80mil etc. If we are looking for a ball playing CB that is good under the press with the ball at his feet and can hit those long diagonals then Alderweireld for 25mil seems a good deal. He certainly isnt the physical monster type of CB, so depends on what we are specifically looking for.
If we had a top squad, that only needed marginal improvements, then we would care; but with so many weaknesses, and so many players needed, we'll need to take bargains when we can.

I'd far rather we brought in a defender on the cheap and spent big on a winger than doing the inverse anyway, that's for sure.
 

Sarni

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There is the whole Alderweireld is 30 now and will need to be replaced in a couple of years anyway. But for 25mil should we care? Koulibaly is only three years younger but i've seen some crazy prices quoted, 80mil etc. If we are looking for a ball playing CB that is good under the press with the ball at his feet and can hit those long diagonals then Alderweireld for 25mil seems a good deal. He certainly isnt the physical monster type of CB, so depends on what we are specifically looking for.
I agree Alderweireld for £25m is well worth it despite being 30, however 3 years difference is a lot.
 

sideshow_bob

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Romagnoli & Skriniar would do it for me if we lose both Rojo & Bailly.

Will cost a bomb & they're not the fastest but they hardly misplace passes & are decent enough in the air.
Both look like leaders too.
 

ErranMorad

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Alderweireld is a good player and sort of a bargain at 26m in this current crazy transfer fee era. However, here are the following doubts I have:

  • He plays exclusively on the right, which means he can only be paired with Lindelof or Jones; neither of the two are good headers of the ball.
  • If paired with Lindelof, the lack of pace of the two is sure to hurt us.
  • If paired with Smalling, Mike will have to play in a position he is not comfortable in.
  • He would be looking for a bumper contract and a hefty sign-on. Do we want to take that risk again after the Sanchez debacle?
The problem with our central defensive players is that 4 of the 5 prefer to play on the right. Jones is the only one of the four who is comfortable on the left, and he is injured a lot. Lindelof does reasonably well on the left but his best games in a United shirt have come playing as a RCB.

The best solution for us is to get a powerhouse central defender whose preferred position is at LCB. We should be able to generate 35m-40m by getting rid of Bailly and Rojo, which should be half the money for Koulibaly's transfer. Who, imo, is the best player we can get for the position. He is the ideal age for a CB and should be able to give us 3 to 4 years of top class service.
 

Adnan

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We should bring in Koulibaly if we want to go for someone with experience. He's just a formidable CB that is levels above the likes of Skriniar, Alderweireld etc. There was reports that Koulibaly fancied a move to the EPL after being racially abused and not much action taken against it by the Italian FA.
 

Wallez

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@Adnan I totally agree, Koulibaly is the safest option we have as he is pure class and has the abilities we need. He will be very expensive, but Liverpool have shown that price doesn't matter as long as the player is world class. At the end of the day, buying prospects for 50 mill (Fred) is far more expensive than paying 100 mill for a world class player like Koulibaly. Alderweireld looks like a bargain, but I don't see him as an ideal partner to Lindelöf. Koulibaly provide great physicality and athleticism that Lindelöf lacks, as well as great pace. Koulibaly also has valuable experience and is a great passer of the ball. He will be 28 this summer, meaning that he has at least 4-5 years left at his absolute top level.

If we can bring in Koulibaly and Wan Bissaka for a total of around 120-130 mill pounds, I think we will have a fantastic defensive platform to build or team on. Throw in a midfielder (Rabiot, 10 mill) and a right winger (Sancho, 100 mill), and I think it would be realistic to fight for the title next season. With the players being released and sold, this should be within our budget.
 

devilish

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We should bring in Koulibaly if we want to go for someone with experience. He's just a formidable CB that is levels above the likes of Skriniar, Alderweireld etc. There was reports that Koulibaly fancied a move to the EPL after being racially abused and not much action taken against it by the Italian FA.
He's not levels above Skriniar far from it.