Jean-Clair Todibo

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Of course we'd miss them. Every team in Europe would struggle if their two left backs and left centre back were to get injured, regardless of squad depth.

Let's have a look at the top three in the EPL, as they possibly have the strongest squads:

Arsenal

White/Timber - Salbiba/White - Gabriel/Kiwior - Zincheko/Kiwior

Cedric and Tomiyasu

Man City

Walker/Lewis - Dias/Stones - Akanji/Ake - Gvardiol/Ake

Gomez

Liverpool

TAA/Gomez - Konate/Matip - Quansah/Van Dijk - Robertson/Tsimikas

Bradley

Man Utd

Dalot/Wan-Bissaka - Varane/Maguire - Lindelof/Martinez - Shaw/Malacia

Kambwala and Evans

Now, as I said before, I get that Shaw is injury prone, and maybe it is time to part ways with him, but no one would have foreseen the amount of injuries we've had put up with, especially in the same area, and as you can see above, any team would struggle if they had to put up with that.

Going into next season, I think a RCB and LB will be enough.
Fair enough. I'd personally prefer two versatile players ala Akanji and Ake.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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Fair enough. I'd personally prefer two versatile players ala Akanji and Ake.
Yeah, to be fair, I don't mind either way. I did suggest Hato for that reason, as he's a player who can play LCB and LB. I just think the way we currently utilise our left back means we should be going in for a specialist, as that's one our main areas of creativity. With that being said, Man City and Arsenal seem to get away with it, so maybe it's something ten Hag should be looking to do. I think we'll definitely purchase a player who can play left back, though.
 

DWelbz19

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If true, the £20m or so we could save signing him over Branthwaite might be a big factor.
 

Rojofiam

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40m is great value for him, even if he's not even in my top 3-4 CB choices
 

aeh1991

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We need a RCB in first place (assuming Varane and one of Maguire/Lindelof will leave), so I don't understand why people have Branthwaite as their 1st choice CB. Todibo, Yoro or Bremer are the most linked CBs with us, next to the Everton CB. Diomande, Silva, Tapsoba, etc. don't seem to be high on our list. Considering all factors, Todibo seems like the most likeliest and for 40m that would be a good deal (although I'm hoping to get a lower fee due to INEOS).
 

andersj

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Yoro, Diomande, Branthwaite, Tapsoba
Impressive talents. Not sure Tapsoba will leave. The rest of them are exciting, but I must say I have a preference for «young but experienced». Bit like Rio/Vidic and even Martinez. 24-25 with plenty of senior games.
 

Rojofiam

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Impressive talents. Not sure Tapsoba will leave. The rest of them are exciting, but I must say I have a preference for «young but experienced». Bit like Rio/Vidic and even Martinez. 24-25 with plenty of senior games.
Todibo and Tapsoba have the most experience in top 5 leagues from these players, that's for sure.
 

dubplate warrior

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Impressive talents. Not sure Tapsoba will leave. The rest of them are exciting, but I must say I have a preference for «young but experienced». Bit like Rio/Vidic and even Martinez. 24-25 with plenty of senior games.
I really like Todibo for his ability to dribble and bring the ball out from the back. He would work brilliantly with Onana and Mainoo.
 

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If true, the £20m or so we could save signing him over Branthwaite might be a big factor.
I’d try and get them both tbh. If Everton go down they’re in deep shit - and they already need money. It’ll probably be a case of 5 or 6 clubs low balling the feck out of them and the player deciding where to go.
 

Rojofiam

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I’d try and get them both tbh. If Everton go down they’re in deep shit - and they already need money. It’ll probably be a case of 5 or 6 clubs low balling the feck out of them and the player deciding where to go.
If we can get the pair of them for 100-110m combined, it's good value for money.
 

Kingslayer18

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Yoro, Diomande, Branthwaite, Tapsoba

Although, in my opinion they'll all go for 60m+, if they move this summer

Todibo could be a very shrewd signing for around 40 million

I like your list although I would have Todibo ahead of Branthwaite and Tapsoba, unless Branthwaite and Tapsoba are your LCB options? Yoro is amazing but I don't think we can bring him in as a starting RCB. He's still very inexperienced and needs some filling out. He's two footed and plays at LCB at times for Lille, so if we brought in Yoro and Diomande/Todibo, that would be a great pairing. We could probably pay 100m for those two players and have our defense set for the next decade. Yoro could rotate with Martinez and be an upgrade on him in a year easily, whilst Diomande/Todibo would be our starting RCB from day 1.

I also like Lucumi as a LCB option. Able to play at LCB and LB
 

DWelbz19

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I’d try and get them both tbh. If Everton go down they’re in deep shit - and they already need money. It’ll probably be a case of 5 or 6 clubs low balling the feck out of them and the player deciding where to go.
If we can get the pair of them for 100-110m combined, it's good value for money.
Why do we need two CBs? How departures are you expecting?

New CB, Martinez, Varane, Maguire, Lindelof, Evans

  • Reports are Evans may retire, which is fine.
  • Varane may leave, but there’s also been reports he’d be happy to extend on a lower salary.
  • Maguire is also a maybe, I think he’s now settled now that the football world has moved on from collectively memeing him and now he’s a sort of 20-30 game a season player.
  • Lindelof - would be happy to get him out, but haven’t seen any rumours about his departure. It’s like he’s hiding in the back whilst everyone is focussed on Varane and Maguire.

Two seems overkill unless two are leaving (excluding Evans).
 

bosnian_red

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Todibo is the most no brainer likely to happen signing for us this summer I'd say. 40m, young, RCB which is urgently needed, the Ineos connection... Would be shocked if it didn't happen.
 

bosnian_red

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Why do we need two CBs? How departures are you expecting?

New CB, Martinez, Varane, Maguire, Lindelof, Evans

  • Reports are Evans may retire, which is fine.
  • Varane may leave, but there’s also been reports he’d be happy to extend on a lower salary.
  • Maguire is also a maybe, I think he’s now settled now that the football world has moved on from collectively memeing him and now he’s a sort of 20-30 game a season player.
  • Lindelof - would be happy to get him out, but haven’t seen any rumours about his departure. It’s like he’s hiding in the back whilst everyone is focussed on Varane and Maguire.

Two seems overkill unless two are leaving (excluding Evans).
I think we'll only sign 1 CB but I'd bet we get rid of 2 of Maguire/Lindelof/Varane. Evans I think we'll push to stay as player/coach, but 3rd LCB. Kambwala will be promoted more as the 3rd RCB. Shaw will rotate more with Martinez as backup LCB, while Todibo is main RCB and then someone like Lindelof is the backup RCB.
But then we'll get a new LB so it balances Shaw going more LCB.
 

DWelbz19

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I think we'll only sign 1 CB but I'd bet we get rid of 2 of Maguire/Lindelof/Varane. Evans I think we'll push to stay as player/coach, but 3rd LCB. Kambwala will be promoted more as the 3rd RCB. Shaw will rotate more with Martinez as backup LCB, while Todibo is main RCB and then someone like Lindelof is the backup RCB.
But then we'll get a new LB so it balances Shaw going more LCB.
My ideal scenario too — but I doubt we will get another LB as you imagine Shaw and Malacia(!) will both be back next season
 

bosnian_red

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My ideal scenario too — but I doubt we will get another LB as you imagine Shaw and Malacia(!) will both be back next season
All the noise is pretty big on we are getting a new LB, and especially with this season both of ours being out all year. It's a freak situation, but it's also one that nobody will risk repeating given that the current guys aren't necessarily freak injuries. They're just injury prone (in Shaw's case).
 

Rojofiam

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I like your list although I would have Todibo ahead of Branthwaite and Tapsoba, unless Branthwaite and Tapsoba are your LCB options? Yoro is amazing but I don't think we can bring him in as a starting RCB. He's still very inexperienced and needs some filling out. He's two footed and plays at LCB at times for Lille, so if we brought in Yoro and Diomande/Todibo, that would be a great pairing. We could probably pay 100m for those two players and have our defense set for the next decade. Yoro could rotate with Martinez and be an upgrade on him in a year easily, whilst Diomande/Todibo would be our starting RCB from day 1.

I also like Lucumi as a LCB option. Able to play at LCB and LB
I don't even think we stand a chance at signing Yoro, to be honest. The reason I mentioned him is because I think he's one of, if not the best prospect out there at the moment. He's probably going to Madrid, though.

Branthwaite would be my LCB option, without a doubt. Tapsoba is more of a RCB if I'm not mistaken, but he can play on both sides as well.

Why do we need two CBs? How departures are you expecting?

New CB, Martinez, Varane, Maguire, Lindelof, Evans

  • Reports are Evans may retire, which is fine.
  • Varane may leave, but there’s also been reports he’d be happy to extend on a lower salary.
  • Maguire is also a maybe, I think he’s now settled now that the football world has moved on from collectively memeing him and now he’s a sort of 20-30 game a season player.
  • Lindelof - would be happy to get him out, but haven’t seen any rumours about his departure. It’s like he’s hiding in the back whilst everyone is focussed on Varane and Maguire.

Two seems overkill unless two are leaving (excluding Evans).
Right now, I think Martínez is our only centre back that's completely suited to a high line and possession-based football. That's the reason I'd try to get two new players in that position, but I wouldn't be surprised if we had to settle for only one this summer, and probably another in summer 2025.

I'm expecting at least one departure from the trio of Maguire, Varane, and Lindelöf, but I could also see two, to be honest.

I'd be keeping Maguire, if I had to choose one.
 
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RuudTom83

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Shaw will be 29 in a few months, having gone through some major surgeries during his career I think he is an old 29 tbh.

With that in mind I would start to limit his minutes and play him predominantly as a LCB. He can be backup to Martinez.

Sign Todibo for the RCB and keep one of Varane/Maguire.

RCB + LB in the summer should be a realistic aim.
 

LawCharltonBest

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Probably been asked to absolute death, but since INEOS own Nice, what would negotiations look like? They'd effectively be negotiating with themselves.
 

ATXRedDevil

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Both Todibo and Branthwaite please. Agree with poster above if we can get both for 100-110m that's good business.

Varane, Maguire and Lindelof out. Promote Kwambala. Keep Evans for locker room purposes and emergency backup.
 

didz

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I do really like Todibo, but it would be a big ask for him to come in and replace Varane. At Nice he really benefits playing alongside Dante, who does the vast majority of the aerial work and, at 40, provides the leadership.

We would need to be prepared for a bit of a transitional period with him.
 

devilish

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Both Todibo and Branthwaite please. Agree with poster above if we can get both for 100-110m that's good business.

Varane, Maguire and Lindelof out. Promote Kwambala. Keep Evans for locker room purposes and emergency backup.
Selling Maguire and Lindelof should fetch 50m-60m. Meanwhile Varane should spare us 17m in salary. The former two should cover for Branthwaite.Then we can break Todibo's fee into very tiny installments (I guess we can arrange something with the owner) with Martinez, Tosin (free) and Anselmino (20m) as cover/competition
 

mu4c_20le

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I do really like Todibo, but it would be a big ask for him to come in and replace Varane. At Nice he really benefits playing alongside Dante, who does the vast majority of the aerial work and, at 40, provides the leadership.

We would need to be prepared for a bit of a transitional period with him.
We've tracked him for awhile but I always get the impression he's third or fourth choice in the list. I'd much rather we spend big money on a quality midfielder who will help us control games, and I'd be okay with Lindelof next to Martinez for another year until the right one comes along.
 

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Why do we need two CBs? How departures are you expecting?

New CB, Martinez, Varane, Maguire, Lindelof, Evans

  • Reports are Evans may retire, which is fine.
  • Varane may leave, but there’s also been reports he’d be happy to extend on a lower salary.
  • Maguire is also a maybe, I think he’s now settled now that the football world has moved on from collectively memeing him and now he’s a sort of 20-30 game a season player.
  • Lindelof - would be happy to get him out, but haven’t seen any rumours about his departure. It’s like he’s hiding in the back whilst everyone is focussed on Varane and Maguire.

Two seems overkill unless two are leaving (excluding Evans).
It’s not that we need them, but if both are available then I think getting both would be good business. The fact we’ve started our 6th choice centre half in over 20 games this season tells me that there’s plenty of minutes to go round.
 

devilish

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I do really like Todibo, but it would be a big ask for him to come in and replace Varane. At Nice he really benefits playing alongside Dante, who does the vast majority of the aerial work and, at 40, provides the leadership.

We would need to be prepared for a bit of a transitional period with him.
During Keane's last seasons, United were struggling massively. We ended 3rd which, back in the day, was the equivalent of ending 7th now. Keane left after that infamous MUTV interview, Carrick was signed and we immediately pinned the league. Varane might not be the mess Keano was at the time but he's certainly not the CB who used to play in his prime.
 

devilish

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Why do we need two CBs? How departures are you expecting?

New CB, Martinez, Varane, Maguire, Lindelof, Evans

  • Reports are Evans may retire, which is fine.
  • Varane may leave, but there’s also been reports he’d be happy to extend on a lower salary.
  • Maguire is also a maybe, I think he’s now settled now that the football world has moved on from collectively memeing him and now he’s a sort of 20-30 game a season player.
  • Lindelof - would be happy to get him out, but haven’t seen any rumours about his departure. It’s like he’s hiding in the back whilst everyone is focussed on Varane and Maguire.

Two seems overkill unless two are leaving (excluding Evans).
  • Evans is ancient. We already tempted luck this season, let's not doing it again.
  • Varane might get a pay cut but the question is how much. He's already overpaid as a first teamer (17m a year) so the fall to a squad player on INEOS terms might be huge especially since Saudi might be circling around the guy. There's still the issue that he's injury prone and that a high line require pace, something he'll set to start losing
  • Maguire is on silly salary, he doesn't suit our game and he's reaching the end of his season.
  • Lindelof is the most appropriate to be a squad player. However we all know that he's not very good
 

DWelbz19

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  • Evans is ancient. We already tempted luck this season, let's not doing it again.
  • Varane might get a pay cut but the question is how much. He's already overpaid as a first teamer (17m a year) so the fall to a squad player on INEOS terms might be huge especially since Saudi might be circling around the guy. There's still the issue that he's injury prone and that a high line require pace, something he'll set to start losing
  • Maguire is on silly salary, he doesn't suit our game and he's reaching the end of his season.
  • Lindelof is the most appropriate to be a squad player. However we all know that he's not very good
Even if all of this was true — good luck getting four senior CBs gone in the same window. This isn’t football manager, we’re not going to have that much squad upheaval.
 

andersj

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  • Evans is ancient. We already tempted luck this season, let's not doing it again.
  • Varane might get a pay cut but the question is how much. He's already overpaid as a first teamer (17m a year) so the fall to a squad player on INEOS terms might be huge especially since Saudi might be circling around the guy. There's still the issue that he's injury prone and that a high line require pace, something he'll set to start losing
  • Maguire is on silly salary, he doesn't suit our game and he's reaching the end of his season.
  • Lindelof is the most appropriate to be a squad player. However we all know that he's not very good
I agree. We should get rid off all three if possible.

Varane, Maguire and Lindelof cost the club approx £60-70 mill this season (£35-45 mill in wages and £25 mill in depreciation) this season. That is the equivalent of signing three players at an average of £50 mill each and handing them £180-200k a week each (actually, probably a bit less).

(The smart thing would obviously be to sign two expensive defenders and one cheap. Either someone like Tosin or a young, cheap «punt/bargain» from abroad.)
 

didz

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During Keane's last seasons, United were struggling massively. We ended 3rd which, back in the day, was the equivalent of ending 7th now. Keane left after that infamous MUTV interview, Carrick was signed and we immediately pinned the league. Varane might not be the mess Keano was at the time but he's certainly not the CB who used to play in his prime.
Unless that was intended as a parable, it's obviously a false conjunction.
 

devilish

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Even if all of this was true — good luck getting four senior CBs gone in the same window. This isn’t football manager, we’re not going to have that much squad upheaval.
In normal circumstances I'd agree but these are not normal circumstances. The CB department is made up of 2 potential free agents (one is injury prone and the other is ancient) and 2 CBs who are unsuited to our game one of which is on silly salary. The only CB that fully fits the high line system had been injured throughout the season. I think that 3-4 CBs isn't that extraordinary given such circumstances especially if one comes as a free agent and the other one is a kid for the future. Lowering the salary while getting bodies in who are decent andt are available is of prime importance
 

devilish

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We were talking about names? That's news to me!
Of course we are. Varane is possibly the biggest name in current football in terms of CBs. Maguire is one of the most expensive ones in football history. What was the end result? Well they won us the league cup
 

didz

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Of course we are. Varane is possibly the biggest name in current football in terms of CBs
In which case you may have replied to the wrong post, because mine had absolutely nothing to do with names. Here is a simplified version:

Varane provides both the experience and the aerial ability, which is needed in our strongest backline, as noone else has those qualities. Todibo has been playing with Dante these past seasons, who has also provided both these things for Nice's backline. So Todibo has never had to be the leader and he has never had to be the first responder to heading situations. So he would probably have a difficult start if he was suddenly expected to do those things.

I am aware that names have been used, but that was inescapable as language more or less demands them in order to denote specific entities succinctly. However, I cannot stress enough that the intention was never to refer to the entire concept of 'Names' during the post. I had thought that would be abundantly clear, however I now realise that I should have added a disclaimer so that posters did not land at the conclusion that I was summoning up unrelated metaphysical entities out of thin air during a discussion about a footballer. I shall set about drafting up such a disclaimer post-haste, as I now see that virtually every post going forward will need it adding in order to avoid confusion.