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

Bestietom

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This season we've played 4-2-3-1 with two DMs behind the AM. Pogba, Matic, Fred, and McTominay have all been shuffled as the two DMs. That's 4players for 2 positions and if you break it down it's 2 players for 1 position. If Pogba stays and we persist with the 4-2-3-1 then I don't see why we would need a DM
Matic is getting on and is the only real DM we have. All top teams look to improve every year, and if there is better players than you have, you go for him.
 

jamesjimmybyrondean

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Matic is getting on and is the only real DM we have. All top teams look to improve every year, and if there is better players than you have, you go for him.
Mctominay and Pogba played in a pivot as the DMs beginning of the season. Pogba injured and we switched over to Mctominay and Fred. If any of them injures again we switch over to Matic and Fred/Mctominay. Im just judging based on what I've seen this season and by that we clearly don't need another DM.

Based on the formation and where Pogba Fred Matic and Mctominay have all played this season(in the pivot behind the AM)we have 4 players for 2 positions. You say Matic is the only DM we have yet its only recently he started playing again for us as a starter

You're right that all top teams look to improve every year. We need to improve on Lindelof and Shaw but should we spend money on postions that are already decently covered when we have other positions that are more pressing
 

M Bison

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I cant see us bringing in another DM with Matic signing up for another year, assuming Pogba stays we have enough in midfield in my view, although suspect we will pursue Bellingham but he'd be for the longer term.
 

Bestietom

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I cant see us bringing in another DM with Matic signing up for another year, assuming Pogba stays we have enough in midfield in my view, although suspect we will pursue Bellingham but he'd be for the longer term.
We will also pursue Grealish.
 

Bestietom

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Mctominay and Pogba played in a pivot as the DMs beginning of the season. Pogba injured and we switched over to Mctominay and Fred. If any of them injures again we switch over to Matic and Fred/Mctominay. Im just judging based on what I've seen this season and by that we clearly don't need another DM.

Based on the formation and where Pogba Fred Matic and Mctominay have all played this season(in the pivot behind the AM)we have 4 players for 2 positions. You say Matic is the only DM we have yet its only recently he started playing again for us as a starter

You're right that all top teams look to improve every year. We need to improve on Lindelof and Shaw but should we spend money on postions that are already decently covered when we have other positions that are more pressing
We left a big hole in Midfield when we were without Matic which is why we seen we had to bring him back into the side.
Fred and McTominay were playing as a pivot defensively, and it left this big hole in midfield, which is why we were losing games.
Most top teams have a holding DM in front of their back 3/4 now, it's the way the game has gone.
 

Craig Ward

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We 100% need to sign a defensive minded midfielder this summer.

Pogba i think we can discount - he's pretty meh as a DM anyway

Matic has been a great squad option this year and has proved his worth and deserves the extension

Fred and McTom are pretty much valuable first teamers, but you always need quality squad options.

We have been hampered by injuries this year and thats not going to change in the next few seasons, we cannot keep playing Periera or Lingard deeper cos we have no other options. Reducing Matic's game time and replacing him BEFORE he leaves is also vital, we've been left wanting by more transfer planning for too long. Time to change that

Plus added quality around the squad will make players up they're own levels. Fred and McTom could do with being pushed to keep them hungry for a x11 spot.

Zakaria or a K.Phillips look good options for me
 

Zlatattack

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Yes.

1. Matic is our only natural DM and is getting on a bit.
2. McT and Fred can do a job, but we should be aiming higher than that as a club. I'm not saying their bad players, i'm just saying we should move away from the model of square pegs and round holes which we adopted in recent times (see Rooney, Valencia, Young and Mata).
3. We finally have a few decent players in the midfield position. We should build on that and get genuine competition for places. The strong will rise, the weak will sink. We need to have a very high standard of competition in all positions.
 

Bestietom

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We 100% need to sign a defensive minded midfielder this summer.

Pogba i think we can discount - he's pretty meh as a DM anyway

Matic has been a great squad option this year and has proved his worth and deserves the extension

Fred and McTom are pretty much valuable first teamers, but you always need quality squad options.

We have been hampered by injuries this year and thats not going to change in the next few seasons, we cannot keep playing Periera or Lingard deeper cos we have no other options. Reducing Matic's game time and replacing him BEFORE he leaves is also vital, we've been left wanting by more transfer planning for too long. Time to change that

Plus added quality around the squad will make players up they're own levels. Fred and McTom could do with being pushed to keep them hungry for a x11 spot.

Zakaria or a K.Phillips look good options for me
Yes, I like Zakaria. 45 million is a bargain now.
 

Fosu-Mens

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Assuming we are going to play with 4-2-3-1:
CM/CDM options:

Fred: Great when the team is not in possession, not consistent enough on the ball or when passing to be really useful when we are controlling the games against weaker teams in the EPL.
McT: Good when the team is not in possession, not efficient enough on the ball or when passing to be really useful when we are controlling the games against weaker teams in the EPL.
Matic: As long as he does not play many games in a row, he can serve.
Pogba: Should be sold. Not a good match for the club or player.
Bruno: Should play as a CAM, but if needed would still be better as a CM/CDM than our current options.
Garner: Should be loaned out to championship to get more experience.
Pereira: Not good enough.

I think we lack quality on the ball from our midfielder. It is apparent when we look at how we have done against teams that are controlling the games against us compared to games where we are "forced" to control the game. Both McT and Fred are better/more effective when the team is not in possession, and when teams start to mark Bruno out of the game, we will struggle like we did when teams started to double team PP last season. We need midfielders that are better on the ball. Buying another defensive-minded player that is effective in the same areas as Fred and McT will not be the best solution.

My dream would be Tonali and Partey. Both are good on the ball, hardworking (the grit mentality OGS seems to prefer), and can be bought for what we get from PP. Tonali also got the technical and passing ability to operate as a CAM if needed.

Partey - Tonali
Bruno​
With McT and Fred as players to cover for them and against teams controlling the games.
 

Bestietom

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Assuming we are going to play with 4-2-3-1:
CM/CDM options:

Fred: Great when the team is not in possession, not consistent enough on the ball or when passing to be really useful when we are controlling the games against weaker teams in the EPL.
McT: Good when the team is not in possession, not efficient enough on the ball or when passing to be really useful when we are controlling the games against weaker teams in the EPL.
Matic: As long as he does not play many games in a row, he can serve.
Pogba: Should be sold. Not a good match for the club or player.
Bruno: Should play as a CAM, but if needed would still be better as a CM/CDM than our current options.
Garner: Should be loaned out to championship to get more experience.
Pereira: Not good enough.

I think we lack quality on the ball from our midfielder. It is apparent when we look at how we have done against teams that are controlling the games against us compared to games where we are "forced" to control the game. Both McT and Fred are better/more effective when the team is not in possession, and when teams start to mark Bruno out of the game, we will struggle like we did when teams started to double team PP last season. We need midfielders that are better on the ball. Buying another defensive-minded player that is effective in the same areas as Fred and McT will not be the best solution.

My dream would be Tonali and Partey. Both are good on the ball, hardworking (the grit mentality OGS seems to prefer), and can be bought for what we get from PP. Tonali also got the technical and passing ability to operate as a CAM if needed.

Partey - Tonali
Bruno​
With McT and Fred as players to cover for them and against teams controlling the games.
Don't think we need a pivot. One good DM with a Box to Box and an attacking midfielder is fine. Zakaria would be my choice with Matic as backup.
 

Fosu-Mens

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Don't think we need a pivot. One good DM with a Box to Box and an attacking midfielder is fine. Zakaria would be my choice with Matic as backup.
Partey and Tonali can operate in both roles, dependent on the game plan.

I like Zakaria and would certainly not mind him either, as he would also be an improvement on our current options while still being a young player. Just prefer Partey and Tonali over him, especially as a pairing.
Partey is one of the best in the world at protecting the central defenders, but also have good technique and is a good passer. Tonali --> just watch a video of him on youtube. People talking about him being a hybrid of Pirlo and Gattuso which is not actually that farfetched.
 

Bestietom

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Partey and Tonali can operate in both roles, dependent on the game plan.

I like Zakaria and would certainly not mind him either, as he would also be an improvement on our current options while still being a young player. Just prefer Partey and Tonali over him, especially as a pairing.
Partey is one of the best in the world at protecting the central defenders, but also have good technique and is a good passer. Tonali --> just watch a video of him on youtube. People talking about him being a hybrid of Pirlo and Gattuso which is not actually that farfetched.
I like Partey and was one of the first on here to praise him, but this season I think Zakaria is the best I have seen as a complete DM. Everyone has their opinion on this and I respect that, and I really like Partey, but I just fell in love with Zakaria after seeing him play this season.
 

Fosu-Mens

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I like Partey and was one of the first on here to praise him, but this season I think Zakaria is the best I have seen as a complete DM. Everyone has their opinion on this and I respect that, and I really like Partey, but I just fell in love with Zakaria after seeing him play this season.
I think Zakaria is a little to high risk in his game as the deepest CM/CDM, and would prefer him as the B2B role in a hypothetical pairing with Partey, Fred or McT.
 

RedBanker

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A true DM does the following immaculately:

1. Intercept passes from the opposition.
2. Holds the ball through multiple oppo tackles.
3. Tackles as a last resort.
4. Shields his defence from runners.

I don't think we have any player in our team who fits the above JD.
 

jamesjimmybyrondean

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We left a big hole in Midfield when we were without Matic which is why we seen we had to bring him back into the side.
Fred and McTominay were playing as a pivot defensively, and it left this big hole in midfield, which is why we were losing games.
Most top teams have a holding DM in front of their back 3/4 now, it's the way the game has gone.
Yeah we've conceded less since Matic started performing and we seem more balanced in midfield. Which is why I'm of the opinion that we should sell Pogba and get a DM + Grealish with the money. I think a midfield trio of Zakaria Fred and Bruno is quality and very balanced. I also think that if Pogba stays we wouldn't be getting a DM because all I've seen this season is Pogba Mctominay Fred and Matic play as DMs in a pivot behind Lingard or Bruno
 

Inter Yer Nan

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Good defensive midfielders are a dime a dozen and if we have a realistic run at a Partey or a Zakaria then we really would be mental to not pursue it especially with the prices quoted. Partey IMO is a safe bet given his price, his age, his injury record, his qualities, adaptability and attitude. I know far far less about Zakaria, I'll admit.

If we sell Pogba for, what, roughly 120m? We can probably sign Grealish (great squad option as one of a midfield three vs. certain sides and perhaps on the left of a front three in other games), Partey/Zakaria and Bellingham. A midfield of say, Partey-Fred-Bruno would be immense and offer nearly everything, also a midfield of Partey-Grealish-Bruno would be very tasty too. If Pogba stays a midfield of Partey-Pogba-Bruno is probably the strongest in Europe with squad options like Fred, McTominay (and maybe still Grealish) not too shabby either.
 

Greck

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Maybe it isn't top of the list but one thing we've learnt is to never trust Matic's form. He often seems even more languid than Martial
 

Bestietom

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Good defensive midfielders are a dime a dozen and if we have a realistic run at a Partey or a Zakaria then we really would be mental to not pursue it especially with the prices quoted. Partey IMO is a safe bet given his price, his age, his injury record, his qualities, adaptability and attitude. I know far far less about Zakaria, I'll admit.

If we sell Pogba for, what, roughly 120m? We can probably sign Grealish (great squad option as one of a midfield three vs. certain sides and perhaps on the left of a front three in other games), Partey/Zakaria and Bellingham. A midfield of say, Partey-Fred-Bruno would be immense and offer nearly everything, also a midfield of Partey-Grealish-Bruno would be very tasty too. If Pogba stays a midfield of Partey-Pogba-Bruno is probably the strongest in Europe with squad options like Fred, McTominay (and maybe still Grealish) not too shabby either.
Yes, but Partey says he is happy where he is, and Zakaria is not, and said he would love to play in the premiership.
 
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Teja

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The thing with DMs though is that they're very hit or miss and it can be hard to find a good one. You can't evaluate them as easily as you'd evaluate an attacker because eye tests and statistical measures can be deceiving.

I think trying to sign a DM will be a distraction, I'd rather focus our energy on RW and get that nailed down, get Pogba's future sorted and get Graelish if he's leaving, get yet another CB (Not totally convinced by either Lindelof or Bailly). Make sure we sell well - Would like to see Lingard, Jones and Sanchez leave one way or the other.

If we have time after doing all of this, I wouldn't mind another DM.
 
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James Ward

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Matic is playing well and doing great cover on the defense. Would still like a hungry young defensive midfielder which will give Bruno and Pogba more room to roam.

Don't think Scott is that player unfortunately. Right winger as well would be ideal.
 

SaintMuppet

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Yes we do! For most of the reasons mentioned here! Too much is always better than ‘omg why didn’t we.........’
 

OldTrevil

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With Pogba and Bruno in midfield, you have most of the playmaking and creativity needed. The defensive cover should come from a mobile DM, and I certainly don't subscribe to this seemingly majority idea that Fred is incapable of such a role. Everything I have seen from the guy tells me he could be an excellent defensive mid, surrounded by two CMs in a team set up to be dominant on the ball. The key is for such midfield to have a great understanding and work as a unit throughout the field of play. It would also be capable to seamlessly switch from one to two players sitting, depending on the in-game situation. A midfield somewhat similar to what Real Madrid have had with Casemiro flanked by Kroos and Modric. If we can solve our RW/RF issue, either with Mason maturing or with a new recruit, a midfield 3 of Pogba/Fred/Bruno is PL and CL contending calibre. All three are very close to their prime as well so we could dominate for years.

Due to the versatility Mctominay has shown, he's a very good cover in such a system and has enough time to convince us of his most effective position. From what I've seen so far, McT would be best as CM cover/competition for Bruno and Pogba. With eyes closed, I'd throw Andreas in there as another CM cover, I still want to see how he performs once we have a concrete set up in the middle. Matic has been playing well lately but you always have to be mindful of his age so he wouldn't really be cover for Fred in the mobile midfield set up. I would keep him for the occasional system change and as a mentor for the youngsters if he wishes. With the dominant mid 3, Matic could even be used as a Pep-style CB cover partnering a more robust technical defender like Tuanzebe or Bailly.

Essentially, I believe we need a DM cover/competition for Fred, and short of unearthing a prime Kante or Casemiro, I'd bet on the pastor keeping his starting spot.
 

The holy trinity 68

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We definitely need to improve as Matic is aging. For me we need to always play 2 CDM’s even with Pogba back. To be able to accommodate the 3 plus Fernandes along with not stopping both Rashford and Martial playing to their strengths as pacey strikers, we should play the below formation.

<a href="https://ibb.co/cJdZrD2">DC2-C394-E-FD2-C-463-D-BEC8-CA4-D2-BE896-CB

This allows the defensive cover for the defenders while also allowing Pogba to concentrate on doing his thing as defensive work takes away his strengths. It also allows Pogba and Fernandes to link up as our creative sparks, with Fernandes being the AM/False Nine.

Then having Martial and Rashford play as Wide Forward/CF hybrids. Alternating between playing wide and playing inside. Allowing to not take away the teams wide pacey attacking play but also to keep strong central play in midfield.
 

hmchan

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A true DM does the following immaculately:

1. Intercept passes from the opposition.
2. Holds the ball through multiple oppo tackles.
3. Tackles as a last resort.
4. Shields his defence from runners.

I don't think we have any player in our team who fits the above JD.
I think there are very few players nowadays can fit all those criteria indeed.
 

Bestietom

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We definitely need to improve as Matic is aging. For me we need to always play 2 CDM’s even with Pogba back. To be able to accommodate the 3 plus Fernandes along with not stopping both Rashford and Martial playing to their strengths as pacey strikers, we should play the below formation.

<a href="https://ibb.co/cJdZrD2">DC2-C394-E-FD2-C-463-D-BEC8-CA4-D2-BE896-CB

This allows the defensive cover for the defenders while also allowing Pogba to concentrate on doing his thing as defensive work takes away his strengths. It also allows Pogba and Fernandes to link up as our creative sparks, with Fernandes being the AM/False Nine.

Then having Martial and Rashford play as Wide Forward/CF hybrids. Alternating between playing wide and playing inside. Allowing to not take away the teams wide pacey attacking play but also to keep strong central play in midfield.
4 Midfielders won't be able to play every game. You need a settled system with players able to slot into the side when coming on from the bench. We should have 2 players for each position fighting for their place.
 

gregor

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A true DM does the following immaculately:

1. Intercept passes from the opposition.
2. Holds the ball through multiple oppo tackles.
3. Tackles as a last resort.
4. Shields his defence from runners.

I don't think we have any player in our team who fits the above JD.
I agree that we need someone like Makelele. Although it is really difficult to find player similar to him.

My ideal line-up would be:
Code:
             De Gea/Henderson

AWB - Bailly/Lindelof - Maguire - Shaw
                  DM
                      Pogba
             Bruno
Havertz/Sancho                 Rashford
                 Martial
Against stronger opposition take one of 3 attackers out and switch to diamond formation.
Code:
            De Gea/Henderson
AWB - Bailly/Lindelof - Maguire - Shaw
                   DM
    Fred/McTominay     Pogba
                  Bruno
   Havertz/Sancho       Rashford/Martial
 

Rolaholic

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Yes, yes we do and I'm glad about all the reports saying that holding mid is one of the areas we're looking to strengthen this summer
 

M Bison

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Not many teams deploy a Makelele anymore, the sitting midfielder is a different type of player now.

I personally would go with what we have, I believe all 3 can play the holding midfielder role well and would provide a basis for Bruno and Pogba.
 

Brightonian

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Not many teams deploy a Makelele anymore, the sitting midfielder is a different type of player now.

I personally would go with what we have, I believe all 3 can play the holding midfielder role well and would provide a basis for Bruno and Pogba.
I really don't agree. Only Matic is properly suited to that role, and he doesn't have the legs to play multiple games in a row without a serious loss of form. The clue is in the name: 'holding'. Fred and McTominay both have good engines and decent brains and can both tackle, but both are instinctively players who capitalise on winning the ball by moving forward with it, starting but also joining attacks, making runs, driving forward at the defensive line. A holding midfielder needs to be someone who wins the ball then makes the pass/passes to initiate an attacking move without necessarily following up to join that attack. They hold their position, thus freeing up the other midfielders to attack without worrying too much about what happens when the ball turns over. Neither Fred or McT really plays that way.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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I really don't agree. Only Matic is properly suited to that role, and he doesn't have the legs to play multiple games in a row without a serious loss of form. The clue is in the name: 'holding'. Fred and McTominay both have good engines and decent brains and can both tackle, but both are instinctively players who capitalise on winning the ball by moving forward with it, starting but also joining attacks, making runs, driving forward at the defensive line. A holding midfielder needs to be someone who wins the ball then makes the pass/passes to initiate an attacking move without necessarily following up to join that attack. They hold their position, thus freeing up the other midfielders to attack without worrying too much about what happens when the ball turns over. Neither Fred or McT really plays that way.
Fred is all round midfielder, he's still good in the holding midfielder role. He has shown it this season. McTominay is still young to be developed for this role and few times had played in the role. Both of them are capable. Let's just focus on RW/RF position first before this holding midfielder.