Matic/Fred/McTominay - do we really need to sign a new DM?

AltiUn

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Absolutely. Fred and McTominay aren't DMs, neither have the passing range I'd like to see from a DM either so I don't think they could be converted to a DM successfully. In all honesty I'd like more of a DM/DLP hybrid than anything else. Matic is in his 30s now and we've seen what happens if he's run into the ground and as good as he's been I would like someone with a bit more mobility, especially if we have trophy-winning aspirations. It'd be a really good time to invest in a new DM, because we're currently not desperate so we could avoid being fleeced, to an extent.
 

dove

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We 100% do. Matic is. the only DM we have at the club who is decent but is not getting any younger.
 

davidmichael

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If Pogba signs a new contract and stays then we can probably get by for another season as the likelihood is Matic is enough as he’s only likely to play when Fernandes and Pogba play together.

If we play 4-2-3-1 then it’s likely two from Pogba, Fred and McTominay will play as as the two with Fernandes as the 10 and we’d have Garner and Matic too so that's five players for two positions.

If Pogba leaves in the summer then yes a defensive midfielder is needed as is an attacking midfielder too, in the right set up and the right players Pogba can play well in either a two man midfield or as an attacking midfielder so even though he hasn’t consistently shown his ability I think we need two players to replace him if he goes.
 

caid

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Yeah, Fred and McTominay aren't dm's. Matic cant play every week. Were not desperate by any means, we can just play without one and fred and mctominay will manage. But it'd be one of the more obvious areas to upgrade
 

Leftback99

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We don't need a 'destroyer' type DM we don't even play with one. We'll need a Pogba replacement capable of playing there if required (could be Grealish). The Bellingham interest says to me its not seen as a priority in the short term, we also have Garner to hopefully make the step up.
 

Wing Attack Plan R

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I think its pretty unanimous across the fan-base that we're crying out for a RW, I don't think many would dispute that. However, a lot of the threads discussing transfer activity go on to say that we should be signing a new DM.

Earlier in the season I would have agreed but with Fred playing out of his skin, Matic all of a sudden looking the part and McT returning from injury, do we actually need another DM? Assuming we play 3 CM's, with Bruno and Pogba (assuming he's now staying) thats 5 players for those positions, plus potentially Garner and, fingers crossed, Gomes. It feels as though we have ample options there.

This isn't a thread to outline what positions people believe we need to sign, more asking the question on whether we should sign another DM or go with what we have.
Yes, we should sign a new DM. Matic is on his last legs, I love him, but this season is his farewell. Fred is a workhorse but he’s not good enough. McTominay stays.
 

RUCK4444

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Yes we need another DM to cover an ageing Matic.

Matic has had a renaissance recently but his age and sluggish style means another big dip in form could be just around the corner.

That said Matic in this form has been a big factor to this run of games we are on. Wish we had signed him when he was younger.
 

RedRonaldo

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It depends. If Pogba stays we will play Bruno+Pogba+Fred or Mctominay, with Matic as backup, there's really no need for us to buy another DM.
 

Invictus

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• Signing a right winger shouldn't influence other needs across the pitch in a significant way, methinks. A behemoth like United can and should be able to sign 3-ish good players in a window given the resources and scouting/recruitment personnel at the club's disposal, and depending on how you view the position, a defensive midfield signing falls within that range.

• The need for a defensive midfielder depends on our first choice combination, how they interact with each other, the overall midfield scheme and so forth. If we choose to use Pogba and Fernandes as the two most advanced midfielders, that position (triangle between them as well as the centerbacks) becomes a priority because Matić usually performs best when he is frequently rested (and is no spring chicken at the stage of his career), and Fred/Tominay aren't genuine defensive midfielders in terms of passing tendencies and positional application. Even if Pogba leaves and we employ a double pivot setup with Bruno as the #10, someone like Partey or Saúl could take our midfield up a notch as medium-long term partners for Fred/McTominay. Sometimes a player can provide greater balance and make a profound impact, even in a good team — like Martínez at Bayern under Heynckes (who already had the likes of Gustavo, Tymoshchuk, Kroos, Schweinsteiger in midfield), so one must keep an eye out for improvement.

• Luckily for United, a handful of good (or potentially really good) defensive/holding midfielders could be available over the summer — including youngsters with immense potential/instincts, like Luís from Benfica (linked with Milan and Nice in the winter window) or Camavinga from Rennes — who could be carefully introduced to the rough and tumble of hgih-stakes English football behind Matić over the next year or so, instead of being thrown into the deep end. Some of them might develop into world-class players who make a genuine difference over the long haul, so we would be wise to act proactively if the opportunity presents itself, IMO.

Mind, this is just how some of us view things, so there's bound to be a difference of opinion with others — also...maybe that assessment is flawed and we don't necessarily need a defensive midfielder, maybe Fred/McTominay/Matić will suffice in the configuration Ole employs, maybe Fred/McTominay grow into more disciplined defensive roles, maybe Garner steps us under Carrick's tutelage...who knows, really?
 

M Bison

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No but ideally

Pogba Bruno
New DM

Or

Bruno
Pogba Fred
New DM​
So in scenario 1, no Fred or McT and in scenario 2 no wide players?

I think that’s my point really, we have ample midfielders now, I’d blow our budget on Sancho and Grealish personally, really don’t see the need for another midfielder.
 

hobbers

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Of course we do.

McTominay and Fred are not DMs. And Matic will be atrocious next season if he follows the pattern of his last 5 years in football (good one season, abysmal the next), not to mention he'll be 32.
 

Brightonian

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To echo what I'm sure everyone else has said, Fred and McT aren't really DMs and while Matic has proven he has something to offer for another season at least, he has only been good when he's been rested for at least every other game, if not more. We can't hope to challenge for the title if our only true DM can't play a few games in a row without going to pieces.

For me the order of priority goes:

RW
DM
AM
CB
 

cyril C

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Absolutely. Fred and McTominay aren't DMs, neither have the passing range I'd like to see from a DM either so I don't think they could be converted to a DM successfully. In all honesty I'd like more of a DM/DLP hybrid than anything else. Matic is in his 30s now and we've seen what happens if he's run into the ground and as good as he's been I would like someone with a bit more mobility, especially if we have trophy-winning aspirations. It'd be a really good time to invest in a new DM, because we're currently not desperate so we could avoid being fleeced, to an extent.
DM, as we understand it, responsible for shielding the back 4. So passing range is non essential, although useful for 2-in-1. Fred's passing skill is good, long and short, and in ball possession as well. Ideally you would like to see Matic + Fred in 1 person but be realistic. The 2nd responsibility of DM or CM is to link up with the defense to initiate a counter-attack, Matic is not very good in this aspect, but Fred is.

Initially they play Pogba as CMF because he has got everything, except his heart and mind.

If you notice how we play 352 against top clubs, is that ball will be pass to the 2x wingback as part of the counter-attack, so no need of a passer. Nevertheless, a good passer is always required in normal attack flow.
 

jamesjimmybyrondean

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For those saying we should get a DM, if Pogba stays I'm pretty sure this will be Ole's starting midfield trio

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

Pogba....... Fred

So if we get Partey or Zakaria who should either of them bench from the above. Like others have said a DM won't be necessary if Pogba stays. If it was left to me though I'd sell Pogba for 100m and use the money to get Partey and Grealish. A midfield of Bruno Partey and Fred with Mctominay and Grealish as rotation is the dream for me
 

NoPace

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I think the front 6 we should hope for next year would be something like this:

---------------Martial--------------- (Striker)
Rashford---------------Sancho (James, Greenwood)
---------Pogba----Bruno-------- (Fred, McTominay, Sancho)
----------------Fred------------------ (McTominay, Matic)

and if Pogba leaves we definitely need to replace him with another #8 with some creativity.

I'm not scared to play Fred or McTominay as a DM, we need to be thinking far more offensively than we have the last few seasons. Man City and Leicester and even Liverpool aren't scared to play 2 attacking mids with one deeper player and we have far more defensive fullbacks than them anyways.

Easy enough to go 5-3-2 by dropping an attacker if we have to or a diamond with Mctominay or Sancho as a 4th midfielder.

I do worry a DM, Fred/McTominay and Bruno as a midfield 3 is a bit light on creativity, passing and goal threat for a team trying to rack up 80+ points since there's so much reliant on Bruno and teams will try to nullify him like some big teams were able to do with Pogba when he was our only creative type.

If Matic goes then fine, buy a DM, but if we wanna wait a year on that and let Fred and McTominay battle it out with the loser the first sub at CM (along with Sancho or playing two forwards and getting James or Greenwod into the lineup) that's fine with me.
 

POF

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It's definitely not a priority position. The preferred system is 4-2-3-1. United don't play with a pure holding midfield player.

Currently it's 4 for 2 positions. McTominay and Matic for defensive balance, Fred and Pogba the creative players. Then there is Garner and Levitt as well as Mejbri for the longer term future and potentially Bellingham.

People get far too obsessed with classifying players as "box to box", "defensive midfielder", etc. Fred and McTominay are a fantastic duo because their styles really complement each other, whatever boxes people want to put them in.

If Pogba leaves and Matic stays, a pure defensive midfield player is a bad idea. They will need someone with more creativity. If they sign someone like Ndidi, any two of he, Matic and McTominay would be a really average midfield on the ball.
 

amolbhatia50k

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The priority in midfield should be a playmaker, someone who dictates the game for us. We do not have one of those. And yes our midfield needs improvement. Our points tally is poor for a reason.
 

amolbhatia50k

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I think its pretty unanimous across the fan-base that we're crying out for a RW, I don't think many would dispute that. However, a lot of the threads discussing transfer activity go on to say that we should be signing a new DM.

Earlier in the season I would have agreed but with Fred playing out of his skin, Matic all of a sudden looking the part and McT returning from injury, do we actually need another DM? Assuming we play 3 CM's, with Bruno and Pogba (assuming he's now staying) thats 5 players for those positions, plus potentially Garner and, fingers crossed, Gomes. It feels as though we have ample options there.

This isn't a thread to outline what positions people believe we need to sign, more asking the question on whether we should sign another DM or go with what we have.
Matic - has had a resurgence but let's not forget how poor he's been. At his age he can very easily revert to that level.
Mctominay - I like him but he's not exactly top class
Fred - been very good this season

The point is that we are hardly littered with top class quality among the above three. So, I'd look for a genuine playmaking CM who can run the show for us in deep areas. Hard to find but that's what we lack.
 

momo83

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ACM:Pogba/ Fernandes.
CM:Fred /
DCM:Mctomminay/

We probably do need a DCM. Probably don’t need a CM, as Fernandes or McTomminay can slip into his role if he’s out.
 

Ekeke

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If we plan to play Pogba and Fernandes as the other 2 midfielders in a 3, then yes it would be ideal to sign a new DM. But we'd be okay using Matic, Fred or McTominay on their current level of performance. It would just be more pressure on the defense than if we had one of the best defensive minded midfielders in there.

If we sign a great CB instead that would make up the difference.
 

Hawks2008

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Yeah, regardless of Fred and McT's performances they are not DM's. Denis Zakaria would be ideal, strong at winning the ball, good passing range, comfortable with the ball on deeper areas, great athleticism, and fits the age profile of the team. Really good at covering space behind him, isn't a pure holder either and can go box to box when required.

A midfield of Zakaria, Fred, and Bruno would be pretty balanced and complete IMO.
 

sport2793

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Think the ideal window would be RW, CAM, CDM, ST in that order. If the quality/personality is right in each of those positions, United will be title contenders, no question.
 

thepolice123

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McT and Fred are not defensive midfielders. I think this cannot be emphasised enough. We obviously need another DM to cover Matic.
 

Champagne Football

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I think we could still enter next season without major panic, if we were unable to land our main DM signings, but I'd imagine Denis Zakaria is high up on our wanted list.
 

wolvored

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We do need a DM as Matic could be worse or injured next season. You cant rely on a 32 year old and it would make sense to buy a top player for this roleand maybe there is a decent DM player in the reserves who could become 3rd choice with some gametime. If Pogba stays you then have midfield sorted. Creativity covered Pogba & Bruno, work horses Fred, McTom and defensive duties with Matic, new signing and youth player. Who the new player would be I dont know as im not Ole, but Zakaria looks good.
 
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So in scenario 1, no Fred or McT and in scenario 2 no wide players?

I think that’s my point really, we have ample midfielders now, I’d blow our budget on Sancho and Grealish personally, really don’t see the need for another midfielder.
Fred and McT have done good, but I wouldn’t start them in a 433 if Pogba stays and we get a new DM. In the 442 diamond width would come from the FBs.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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4 Option for the pivot role. (Pogba, Fred, McTominay & Matic)

If Pogba leaves then we do need one. I think our midfield will be Fred-Pogba when they are all fit. Also depends on the opponent, we could do some rotation. Right now the priority is to upgrade that Right Winger / Right Forward first.
 

Withnail

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Of course we do. As others have said Matic is our only DM.

He's also not up to a full season. We've seen him have a good run of games before but it doesn't last.

A fair bit of his good form is likely down to the rest he had through injury and then not being first choice.
 

RedRonaldo

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For those saying we should get a DM, if Pogba stays I'm pretty sure this will be Ole's starting midfield trio

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

Pogba....... Fred

So if we get Partey or Zakaria who should either of them bench from the above. Like others have said a DM won't be necessary if Pogba stays. If it was left to me though I'd sell Pogba for 100m and use the money to get Partey and Grealish. A midfield of Bruno Partey and Fred with Mctominay and Grealish as rotation is the dream for me
I have the exact same opinion as yours. Except I'd only sell Pogba for 120m, not less.
 

TrustInJanuzaj

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Everyone saying only Matić is a DM out of the 3 but if you were to draw out your ideal midfield using our current personnel, I don’t think Matic would be in it.

Id say it’s probably Fred holding with Bruno and Pogba either side.
Agreed and I don’t that that lacks solidity considering we play with defensive fullbacks and as long as Pogba and Bruno do the dirty work to go with their flair.
 

Lentwood

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I certainly wouldn’t be prioritising it.

Matic has proven that he’s still got a couple of years left in him as long as he’s not paired with Pogba and has the energy of Fred/McTominay alongside him.

McTominay will only get better and better and could become our Jordan Henderson (that’s a compliment incase anybody was wondering!)

Fred has been one of the best midfielders in the league for my money this season.

I’d be looking at RW and CF as the two areas to prioritise.
 

dutchred

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Matic is the only CDM we have and yes we do need a new one, a starting CDM that is.
When have we ever used a defensive midfielder in the successfully years?
Keane was not purely defensive , neither was Ince or Robson. If we have good enough box to box with defensive qualities we should be ok.
I think we only need a right sided attacker and possibly a left back as cover for Shaw. Williams is still learning.
 

Rude von Mistelroum

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For me we definitely need a DM this summer. Agree with the people who said Matic is the only true DM of the 3 mentioned, and he can’t be expected to play twice a week in the latter stages of the season anymore.

Also getting a world class DM this summer means that we have a starting DM with Matic competing/rotation/cover for injuries, especially if the DM we buy needs time to integrate. Much easier to do this when we have Matic still able to contribute - we need to plan player replacements while the one being replaced is still able to do a job, not wait for them to be completely past it.

It’s difficult because it does mean Fred/McT/Matic all can’t play next season given how they’ve committed themselves this season but there’s a lot of games to go around, it’s a squad game.
 
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When have we ever used a defensive midfielder in the successfully years?
Keane was not purely defensive , neither was Ince or Robson. If we have good enough box to box with defensive qualities we should be ok.
I think we only need a right sided attacker and possibly a left back as cover for Shaw. Williams is still learning.
Wasn't Carrick a DM?
 

Havak

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I think we can get away with not signing one in a rush, ie. This Summer. However, if the right one is available then we should. A lot rests on whether Pogba stays as I think we might not have the space in our squad right away.

I'm not sure that an out and out defensive midfielder is part of the plan with Ole though - I think he wants all of his midfielders to do everything.
 

Augustus Gloop

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We’ve kept the second most clean sheets in Europe, a DM isn’t a priority at all. Scott and Fred can shield the back 4 in B2B roles, we don’t need someone sitting there being static.

Matić has been above decent but he isn’t the sole reason we have kept all these clean sheets.
 

TwoSheds

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Be honest now, who has has actually seen Denis Zakaria play 90 mins?