Potential Matic Replacements

Devil may care

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Matic is a bigger issue than the CB position, none of Smalling, Jones or Lindelof are as poor at their job as he is at his, and it's surely clear now that Ole doesn't fancy Ander as the holder, I mean they were both poor yesterday but Matic was easily the worst player on the pitch and yet Herrera came off and Matic remained in the DM role chasing shadows.

Garner only just turned 18, if he's good enough then in 2 or 3 years he'll force his way in, but we can't go into next season starting Matic again. People say Rodri is unrealistic but I don't see why, plenty of players move after one season and he has a buyout clause and we can double his money, I mean people think we can buy Rice and he just signed a 6 year deal, yet Pellegrini pretty much admitted he could be sold in the summer the other day, it shows if the money is there it can be done.
 

Adam-Utd

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Watching us against Watford reminded me how slow our midfield is. Somebody like ndombele would be huge for us, especially on the counter attack.

The only player who can drive us up the pitch is shaw/pogba, but pogba recently is playing higher so doesn’t get the chance so often.

Matic/Herrera are too slow as a pair, only 1 of them should play at a time IMO.
 

AgentP

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Watching us against Watford reminded me how slow our midfield is. Somebody like ndombele would be huge for us, especially on the counter attack.

The only player who can drive us up the pitch is shaw/pogba, but pogba recently is playing higher so doesn’t get the chance so often.

Matic/Herrera are too slow as a pair, only 1 of them should play at a time IMO.
I honestly think we need to replace both of them. We need one of Fred and Pereira to step up and start challenging Herrera for his spot. McTominay also should be pushing Matic out of the starting XI.

Also, I feel we don't need someone to carry the ball up the pitch. We need someone like Veratti to quickly pass the ball up the pitch. That's where we are really lacking. The link between defense and attack.
 

AgentP

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Matic is a bigger issue than the CB position, none of Smalling, Jones or Lindelof are as poor at their job as he is at his, and it's surely clear now that Ole doesn't fancy Ander as the holder, I mean they were both poor yesterday but Matic was easily the worst player on the pitch and yet Herrera came off and Matic remained in the DM role chasing shadows.

Garner only just turned 18, if he's good enough then in 2 or 3 years he'll force his way in, but we can't go into next season starting Matic again. People say Rodri is unrealistic but I don't see why, plenty of players move after one season and he has a buyout clause and we can double his money, I mean people think we can buy Rice and he just signed a 6 year deal, yet Pellegrini pretty much admitted he could be sold in the summer the other day, it shows if the money is there it can be done.
Agreed. Matic is done at the top level. We need to find a replacement asap. Rodri is certainly attainable. We should either get him or Neves. I'm not convinced about Rice. Being English should not be an important criteria in signing a player.
 

Devil may care

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Agreed. Matic is done at the top level. We need to find a replacement asap. Rodri is certainly attainable. We should either get him or Neves. I'm not convinced about Rice. Being English should not be an important criteria in signing a player.
To me Rice looks like a CB playing DM, much like Dier, his positional play defensively is good but he's not all that good on the ball.
 

abdo99

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Watching us against Watford reminded me how slow our midfield is. Somebody like ndombele would be huge for us, especially on the counter attack.

The only player who can drive us up the pitch is shaw/pogba, but pogba recently is playing higher so doesn’t get the chance so often.

Matic/Herrera are too slow as a pair, only 1 of them should play at a time IMO.
This exactly. There's no-one can receive the ball on half turn and dribble forward with pace. Matic takes too many touches, has no passing range, cannot get near anyone to tackle- the lack of dynamism is a shambles combined with lack of control . No wonder ole is considering pulling pogba back into centre mid again although I will prefer McT and Fred to be given a run of games.
 

Redrich91

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Just get Ndombele and problem solved.
 

beingshe7don

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Matic has been shit. Honestly, he needs to be be sold. The guy is terrible. He's slow and his decision making has been crappy as well and he still gets picked. I understand Mourinho being in love with him but why is Ole picking him time and time again... Please play McTominay instead. The guy may not be talented but he atleast sticks to the game plan. Matic plays like he's playing in the garden with his kids... half hearted and without any aggression. We need a proper replacement for Matic... Not too sure how good Declan Rice is but we definitely need someone whose willing to cover most parts of the pitch and break up play.
 

Kaglish10

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No to Declan Rice but yes to Rodri Hernandez. We are better off shelling the money on seasonal quality players such as Rodri than potentials such as Declan. We have our own potential in MCTominay who's similar to Declan in style of play whereas Rodri is the total package when it comes to incisive passes and turning the defence into attack suddenly. He's also no slouch when it comes to defending.
 

United Pro

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A few (not so popular) young options: Lobotka (Verrati style midfielder that I reckon will make a big move soon enough), Thomas Partey (physically strong and quick), Ascacibar (Torreira style midfielder), Gbamin (strong, quick and technically sound), Zubeldia (nippy midfielder that intercepts and is solid on the ball), Berge (tall, strong and decent on the ball), Maier (very good dribbling and long shot but a little raw) and Roca (Matic style midfielder that's slightly better on the ball).

The more popular options include: Neves, Rodri, Ndidi and Weigl.

I can't say I'm a big fan of Rice tbh - reminds me of Dier.
 

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Whoever it is needs to be also good technically and able to quickly initiate transitions, to pass forward through the lines, not just break up play but be unable to pass, or control a ball from the keeper.
 

Hawks2008

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Whoever comes in needs to be more than a destroyer. Names that have linked like Partey or Rice are not the right fit.
 

NoPace

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I was impressed with Neves against Watford today. Didn't get on the ball a ton but Doucoure's runs were well martialed and in his part of the pitch and Neves is just so keen to try the killer ball. He really gets around the pitch, too.

Now rooting for

Pogba---#8---
----Neves----

with Fred and Mctominay backing them up and Pogba's backup basically being a #10 like Pereira or Lingard when it's not Fred.
 

deafepl

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What about Thiago? Matic is holding midfielder with poor offensive, Thiago would be upgraded on him especially his mobile, agility and passings, he could run the show against a beatable team, Thiago averaging like more 30% amount of pass than Matic and superior passing in term of accuracy 93% to Matic's 87%.

If you are bothered about Thiago's height, replace him with Rodri, I believe he could do a better job than Matic as holding midfielder/DM.
 

abdo99

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What about Thiago? Matic is holding midfielder with poor offensive, Thiago would be upgraded on him especially his mobile, agility and passings, he could run the show against a beatable team, Thiago averaging like more 30% amount of pass than Matic and superior passing in term of accuracy 93% to Matic's 87%.

If you are bothered about Thiago's height, replace him with Rodri, I believe he could do a better job than Matic as holding midfielder/DM.
Next to a holder yes. But not holding. PL needs someone that can tackle and retrieve the ball at holding DM. Plus his passing will be kind of wasted in DM.
 

deafepl

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Next to a holder yes. But not holding. PL needs someone that can tackle and retrieve the ball at holding DM. Plus his passing will be kind of wasted in DM.
Matic is not the type of DM ball winner, he's holding midfielder, he holds the team together and disubuate balls to his teammate, he's not even DLP. If you watch a lot of Thiago, he has very good defensive work rate, if not better than Matic, his pressing is superior and always deep of midfield trio, collecting balls from the defense.
 

abdo99

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Matic is not the type of DM ball winner, he's holding midfielder, he holds the team together and disubuate balls to his teammate, he's not even DLP. If you watch a lot of Thiago, he has very good defensive work rate, if not better than Matic, his pressing is superior and always deep of midfield trio, collecting balls from the defense.
He never played as sole DM to my knowledge. Javi martinez is the DM for bayrrn Munich and busquets for Spain. Thiago is one of the number 8's or a number 6 alongside a DM. Not a Matic replacement. Herrera replacement.
 

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@Kaglish10 mentioned Donny Van De Beek as a possible acquisition in the #6 role. He's still very young and will be turning 22 later this month. I don't know too much about him, but he seems to be a very good footballer with good passing and very mobile from the video below. He's also press resistant and has played very well for Ajax in the UCL. What's your opinion on him @Ajaxsuarez ?

Hopefully @Devil may care approves..:D

 

Inigo Montoya

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@Kaglish10 mentioned Donny Van De Beek as a possible acquisition in the #6 role. He's still very young and will be turning 22 later this month. I don't know too much about him, but he seems to be a very good footballer with good passing and very mobile from the video below. He's also press resistant and has played very well for Ajax in the UCL. What's your opinion on him @Ajaxsuarez ?

Hopefully @Devil may care approves..:D

He was good in Dawson’s Creek
 

Ajaxsuarez

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@Kaglish10 mentioned Donny Van De Beek as a possible acquisition in the #6 role. He's still very young and will be turning 22 later this month. I don't know too much about him, but he seems to be a very good footballer with good passing and very mobile from the video below. He's also press resistant and has played very well for Ajax in the UCL. What's your opinion on him @Ajaxsuarez ?

Hopefully @Devil may care approves..:D

He hasn't (been allowed to) develop(ed) into the player I've always seen in him. He's a hard worker with a really good functional technique and good passing range, who could have been a fantastic box-to-box midfielder or just proper central midfielder, which is also how he first properly found his way into the team taking Schöne's place in a number of games under Bosz.

Unfortunately the summer after that season Klaassen left, and with that being the spot available and Donny being a hardworking blonde Dutch midfielder, he increasingly got shoehorned more and more into the exact Klaassen, a far more football-technically limited player, role.

He's been played as a sort of second striker, Müller type 10 all season and I think he definitely has a lot of tactical value in that role in how his movement pulls defenders (see his runs for the RM away goals) and midfielders (see how he completely exploited Martinez in Bayern away) out of position, but it's really limited his influence on the ball and his development as a more complete player.

So no, he's definitely not a Matic replacement, in his current version anyway.

To actually touch on his abilities and limitations:

Positives: great in short combinations, inventive in how he creates chances both on and off the ball, functionally good with his weak foot, can finish (though seemingly not too good in proper striker type 1 on 1 chances), can press very well, has an aggression in him though imo he's not actually made steps in that aspect since becoming a first team player, surprisingly skillful at times in small space though othertimes seems a bit clunky.

Negatives: His "action" radius has just become way too small. It's partly the role and position he's played in, as a 10 with two midfielders behind him he tends to either receives the ball in very busy areas, often not with the play ahead of him, or out wide when he's drifted there. As a result, he really mainly operates in max 5-10 radius around him in his passing, running with the ball, but also in his defensive pressing, he sort of leads the press in the midfield and so it's very short distances he is actually involved at any time. Hard to explain what I mean by this, but take De Jong, he tracks opposition over 20-40 metres, dribbles and passing over a similar distance. Donny's qualities should have been more in that sort of direction, as a Gerrard type player, but instead he's a player that I think few teams would use beyond tactical motivations.

I think I've just written some entirely unhelpful, uninteresting to anyone not an Ajax supporter, nonsense here, but basically he's not United quality and unless he makes big steps in a new role is unlikely to ever come particularly close. I really really really like him and want him to do well but unfortunately he's looking more limited than I had hoped he would turn out.

I actually really hope that Ten Hag decides to switch back to a system with a 6 instead of a 10 next season or if not moves van de Beek back to take De Jong's vacancy in the "double pivot"(or whatever you wanna call it) and then let's see how he develops
 

Kaglish10

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He hasn't (been allowed to) develop(ed) into the player I've always seen in him. He's a hard worker with a really good functional technique and good passing range, who could have been a fantastic box-to-box midfielder or just proper central midfielder, which is also how he first properly found his way into the team taking Schöne's place in a number of games under Bosz.

Unfortunately the summer after that season Klaassen left, and with that being the spot available and Donny being a hardworking blonde Dutch midfielder, he increasingly got shoehorned more and more into the exact Klaassen, a far more football-technically limited player, role.

He's been played as a sort of second striker, Müller type 10 all season and I think he definitely has a lot of tactical value in that role in how his movement pulls defenders (see his runs for the RM away goals) and midfielders (see how he completely exploited Martinez in Bayern away) out of position, but it's really limited his influence on the ball and his development as a more complete player.

So no, he's definitely not a Matic replacement, in his current version anyway.

To actually touch on his abilities and limitations:

Positives: great in short combinations, inventive in how he creates chances both on and off the ball, functionally good with his weak foot, can finish (though seemingly not too good in proper striker type 1 on 1 chances), can press very well, has an aggression in him though imo he's not actually made steps in that aspect since becoming a first team player, surprisingly skillful at times in small space though othertimes seems a bit clunky.

Negatives: His "action" radius has just become way too small. It's partly the role and position he's played in, as a 10 with two midfielders behind him he tends to either receives the ball in very busy areas, often not with the play ahead of him, or out wide when he's drifted there. As a result, he really mainly operates in max 5-10 radius around him in his passing, running with the ball, but also in his defensive pressing, he sort of leads the press in the midfield and so it's very short distances he is actually involved at any time. Hard to explain what I mean by this, but take De Jong, he tracks opposition over 20-40 metres, dribbles and passing over a similar distance. Donny's qualities should have been more in that sort of direction, as a Gerrard type player, but instead he's a player that I think few teams would use beyond tactical motivations.

I think I've just written some entirely unhelpful, uninteresting to anyone not an Ajax supporter, nonsense here, but basically he's not United quality and unless he makes big steps in a new role is unlikely to ever come particularly close. I really really really like him and want him to do well but unfortunately he's looking more limited than I had hoped he would turn out.

I actually really hope that Ten Hag decides to switch back to a system with a 6 instead of a 10 next season or if not moves van de Beek back to take De Jong's vacancy in the "double pivot"(or whatever you wanna call it) and then let's see how he develops
Should we then wait till he's reverted back to the no 6 role and becomes one of the best in his position until we make our moves, knowing fully well that the likes of Barca, City and Madrid would all be hovering over him like a hawk then?

I have seen a lot to know he's good in the said role. His performance against us at the europa final where he came on for Schone and provided the needed incisiveness for a lacklustre Ajax side, right from the no 6 role is something I can't forget easily. Likewise his performance against standard Liege and Schalke in the Europa league matches. Didn't he play as a no 6 against Emmen two weeks ago and did well?
 
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Adnan

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He hasn't (been allowed to) develop(ed) into the player I've always seen in him. He's a hard worker with a really good functional technique and good passing range, who could have been a fantastic box-to-box midfielder or just proper central midfielder, which is also how he first properly found his way into the team taking Schöne's place in a number of games under Bosz.

Unfortunately the summer after that season Klaassen left, and with that being the spot available and Donny being a hardworking blonde Dutch midfielder, he increasingly got shoehorned more and more into the exact Klaassen, a far more football-technically limited player, role.

He's been played as a sort of second striker, Müller type 10 all season and I think he definitely has a lot of tactical value in that role in how his movement pulls defenders (see his runs for the RM away goals) and midfielders (see how he completely exploited Martinez in Bayern away) out of position, but it's really limited his influence on the ball and his development as a more complete player.

So no, he's definitely not a Matic replacement, in his current version anyway.

To actually touch on his abilities and limitations:

Positives: great in short combinations, inventive in how he creates chances both on and off the ball, functionally good with his weak foot, can finish (though seemingly not too good in proper striker type 1 on 1 chances), can press very well, has an aggression in him though imo he's not actually made steps in that aspect since becoming a first team player, surprisingly skillful at times in small space though othertimes seems a bit clunky.

Negatives: His "action" radius has just become way too small. It's partly the role and position he's played in, as a 10 with two midfielders behind him he tends to either receives the ball in very busy areas, often not with the play ahead of him, or out wide when he's drifted there. As a result, he really mainly operates in max 5-10 radius around him in his passing, running with the ball, but also in his defensive pressing, he sort of leads the press in the midfield and so it's very short distances he is actually involved at any time. Hard to explain what I mean by this, but take De Jong, he tracks opposition over 20-40 metres, dribbles and passing over a similar distance. Donny's qualities should have been more in that sort of direction, as a Gerrard type player, but instead he's a player that I think few teams would use beyond tactical motivations.

I think I've just written some entirely unhelpful, uninteresting to anyone not an Ajax supporter, nonsense here, but basically he's not United quality and unless he makes big steps in a new role is unlikely to ever come particularly close. I really really really like him and want him to do well but unfortunately he's looking more limited than I had hoped he would turn out.

I actually really hope that Ten Hag decides to switch back to a system with a 6 instead of a 10 next season or if not moves van de Beek back to take De Jong's vacancy in the "double pivot"(or whatever you wanna call it) and then let's see how he develops
Thanks for the feedback mate, really appreciate it.
 

Kaglish10

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@Kaglish10 mentioned Donny Van De Beek as a possible acquisition in the #6 role. He's still very young and will be turning 22 later this month. I don't know too much about him, but he seems to be a very good footballer with good passing and very mobile from the video below. He's also press resistant and has played very well for Ajax in the UCL. What's your opinion on him @Ajaxsuarez ?

Hopefully @Devil may care approves..:D
Just as ajaxsuarez said, Van De Beek has been switched between several midfield roles just to make room for the emergent of Frenkie and also Schone who's still got something to offer in the team. Moreover, Van De Beek is the only one out of the three midfielders who can operate in the no 10 role because his movement is terrific and also, his goal scoring skill which can be handy in the position. However, I feel he's at his best as no 6 behind mobile midfielders in front of him. He's shown that against us, Schalke, Standard Liege and also the start of last season when sime de Jong and Ziyech were deployed in front of him until Schone returned back to the team.

I love the fact that he's always quick with his decision and doesn't seem to hug the ball like Frenkie does at times. Likewise his movement which is quite terrific and also, his position awareness. He seems to always know where to be and whom to pass to. His spatial awareness looks terrific from what I have seen as well his passing skills, especially his long passes and crossing skill. He's got the tenacity and anticipation required of a no 6. He's good in the air and have got lethal shots of any kind on his legs which is a bonus to have in the midfield. He ticks all the boxes for me as the ideal holding midfielder. I don't think we have to wait to see him fully return to the no 6 role before making a move for him. Some of his video clip especially "Van De Beek, the balancer" shows a lot of the time he was operating as a no 6.
 

Adnan

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Just as ajaxsuarez said, Van De Beek has been switched between several midfield roles just to make room for the emergent of Frenkie and also Schone who's still got something to offer in the team. Moreover, Van De Beek is the only one out of the three midfielders who can operate in the no 10 role because his movement is terrific and also, his goal scoring skill which can be handy in the position. However, I feel he's at his best as no 6 behind mobile midfielders in front of him. He's shown that against us, Schalke, Standard Liege and also the start of last season when sime de Jong and Ziyech were deployed in front of him until Schone returned back to the team.

I love the fact that he's always quick with his decision and doesn't seem to hug the ball like Frenkie does at times. Likewise his movement which is quite terrific and also, his position awareness. He seems to always know where to be and whom to pass to. His spatial awareness looks terrific from what I have seen as well his passing skills, especially his long passes and crossing skill. He's got the tenacity and anticipation required of a no 6. He's good in the air and have got lethal shots of any kind on his legs which is a bonus to have in the midfield. He ticks all the boxes for me as the ideal holding midfielder. I don't think we have to wait to see him fully return to the no 6 role before making a move for him. Some of his video clip especially "Van De Beek, the balancer" shows a lot of the time he was operating as a no 6.
From the YT compilations he does look a very interesting player. Hopefully he'll be deployed as a #6 by Ajax on a regular basis now Frenkie De Jong is joining Barca.
 

deafepl

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He never played as sole DM to my knowledge. Javi martinez is the DM for bayrrn Munich and busquets for Spain. Thiago is one of the number 8's or a number 6 alongside a DM. Not a Matic replacement. Herrera replacement.
Thiago is playing for Bayern as holding midfielder and play with Martinez in 2 man midfield. DM is not only one position, but it also depends on what kind of DM team want to play in 3 man midfield, for an example, Bayern uses DM as holding midfielder, so do City, Arsenal, Napoli, and Juventus.

Sarri's Chelsea and Barcelona only play with DLP.

Real Madrid plays DM as the ball winner behind with DLP (Kroos) and box to box player (Modric). Liverpool has two boxes to the player behind DM as a ball winner, Spurs play DM as a ball winner

Thiago is not Herrera replacement as they are not playing the same role, he plays a role where Matic is playing as holding midfielder, behind Pogba and Herrera in midfield and collecting balls from defense and disubuating balls to his teammate.

Thiago also can play as 6, 8 or 10 but his preferred position is 6.

DM has many purposes for what style of play they want to play with - DLP, ball winner like Kante, Ndidi Kante, Ndidi, etc, holding midfielder, and sweeper is part of DM.
 
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SS

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He never played as sole DM to my knowledge. Javi martinez is the DM for bayrrn Munich and busquets for Spain. Thiago is one of the number 8's or a number 6 alongside a DM. Not a Matic replacement. Herrera replacement.
Nah, he definitely played there (and quite well) last season in the 2nd leg of the CL semis against Real.
 

Wallez

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I actually think Jorginho would be an interesting option, and would probably be available if Sarri is sacked. Granted he hasn't been brilliant for Chelsea, but I think he gets a lot of stick because he is Sarri's man, like the connection between Fellaini and Moyes. Jorginho is a superb passer of the ball, and would be perfect in a Carrick role, shielding the defense and dictating our play from the back. Even though Chelsea have their transfer ban they have numbers in midfield, Kanté would probably play DM if Sarri leaves, and they get Bakayoko, Pasalic and Mason Mount back from loan. Chelsea paid around 55 mill for Jorginho and Sarri combined, and we should be able to get him for around 40 mill if Chelsea choose to scrap Sarriball.
 

jamesjimmybyrondean

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How many qauality DMs are available right now really. De jong is gone, Partey recently said he wants to stay at Atletico, Ndombele doesn’t even like to defend and I don’t see Rodrigo choosing us over City. We are linked with Rice but he’s no much impovememt to Mcctominay.

This leaves us with only Neves who is my first choice but does he want to leave Wolves. Even if he does Wolves will demand 100m plus for him which may slash out half of our budget.

I would love for us to get Neves but we shouldn’t pay anything more than 80m for him. If Wolves doesn’t listen to that price we could add a player to the deal

By the way these players I mentioned are based on the various suggestions I’ve been seeing on this forum
 

croadyman

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How many qauality DMs are available right now really. De jong is gone, Partey recently said he wants to stay at Atletico, Ndombele doesn’t even like to defend and I don’t see Rodrigo choosing us over City. We are linked with Rice but he’s no much impovememt to Mcctominay.

This leaves us with only Neves who is my first choice but does he want to leave Wolves. Even if he does Wolves will demand 100m plus for him which may slash out half of our budget.

I would love for us to get Neves but we shouldn’t pay anything more than 80m for him. If Wolves doesn’t listen to that price we could add a player to the deal

By the way these players I mentioned are based on the various suggestions I’ve been seeing on this forum
Which of our players would Wolves want though
 

Needham

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I don't even like the idea. In what sense does he have to be a replacement? Are we looking for a like for like? So restrictive. Scout out the next Arthur somewhere ffs.
 

Bestietom

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Midfield is where we are losing out in games and this has to be put right this summer. We need replacements for Matic and Herrera, and getting the right ones in is very important. They need to be able to play defensive and offensive. If Pogba wants to move on, then we need a replacement for him also.

This area is the engine of every top team, and we need to address it properly this summer.