Sancho, Grealish, Rice or Calvert-Lewin?

Mr Smith

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Grealish, and I would be okay with Rashford losing his starting berth. The front 5 would necessarily rotate where they play.

Pogba will be gone soon, I don't see us giving him a new contract, this is Matic's last hurrah (hopefully). I'm anti-Fred, so he should not be included in future plans, in my opinion.

No idea if Diallo is going to be an answer to anything, but if so, then Martial and Rashford will compete for one spot. We took a punt on Pellistri and because he was loaned out straight away, we should probably view him like any other youth prospect (i.e., don't get your hopes up).

Bruno chases the ball anyway, so McTominay would be more of a defensive midfielder, Grealish would operate on the right or drift inside, interchanging with Rashford. I'm going to leave the CBs and keeper as is.

From front to back:


-----------------Martial---------------Cavani----------------
Rashford-------------------Bruno---------------Grealish
----------------------------McTominay-----------------------
Shaw-------Maguire-------------Lindelof-----------AWB
------------------------------DeGea----------------------------



with Diallo:


-----------------Rashford-------------Cavani----------------
Grealish------------------Bruno----------------Diallo
----------------------------McTominay-----------------------
Shaw-------Maguire-------------Lindelof-----------AWB
------------------------------DeGea----------------------------
Not sure you understand how modern football works...

Those teams are outrageously unbalanced and would be torn to shreds by any half-decent pressing team.

I get people being desperate to get Grealish. Really I do; anyone can see how good he is. But that doesn't change the fact that we have no obvious position for him. Look how much trouble Griezmann caused Barcelona's system when they bought him without any idea of how to play him, and his two best positions (CF and RW) taken up by their two best players.

We're trying to have a team that can win the league next season. We should be looking for the final pieces of the puzzle, not signing a player that will force us to change our system. We have an obvious hole at RW (Greenwood is a forward, not a winger), and an obvious lack of quality at CB. Those are our two biggest priorities. Fix those, and our side is perfectly balanced and I believe is genuinely good enough to win the league. Grealish is a dangerous distraction who a feel will unbalance the team and cause more problems than he will solve.
 

OrcaFat

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Not sure you understand how modern football works...

Those teams are outrageously unbalanced and would be torn to shreds by any half-decent pressing team.

I get people being desperate to get Grealish. Really I do; anyone can see how good he is. But that doesn't change the fact that we have no obvious position for him. Look how much trouble Griezmann caused Barcelona's system when they bought him without any idea of how to play him, and his two best positions (CF and RW) taken up by their two best players.

We're trying to have a team that can win the league next season. We should be looking for the final pieces of the puzzle, not signing a player that will force us to change our system. We have an obvious hole at RW (Greenwood is a forward, not a winger), and an obvious lack of quality at CB. Those are our two biggest priorities. Fix those, and our side is perfectly balanced and I believe is genuinely good enough to win the league. Grealish is a dangerous distraction who a feel will unbalance the team and cause more problems than he will solve.
I am convinced that if we buy Grealish it will be to play him in CM and that will not render us torn to shreds by pressing teams, it will be the opposite. Jack will calmly play us through the press. He is Xavi and Iniesta rolled into one. He would be like Pogba but much better. He would not cause problems, he would solve one of our biggest problems - the lack of quality and leadership in midfield.

I admit, I haven’t had a chorus of posters agreeing with me on this, but maybe Ole does, hope springs eternal.
 

lilcurt

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I am convinced that if we buy Grealish it will be to play him in CM and that will not render us torn to shreds by pressing teams, it will be the opposite. Jack will calmly play us through the press. He is Xavi and Iniesta rolled into one. He would be like Pogba but much better. He would not cause problems, he would solve one of our biggest problems - the lack of quality and leadership in midfield.

I admit, I haven’t had a chorus of posters agreeing with me on this, but maybe Ole does, hope springs eternal.
I want to come and live in your world.
 

Mr Smith

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I am convinced that if we buy Grealish it will be to play him in CM and that will not render us torn to shreds by pressing teams, it will be the opposite. Jack will calmly play us through the press. He is Xavi and Iniesta rolled into one. He would be like Pogba but much better. He would not cause problems, he would solve one of our biggest problems - the lack of quality and leadership in midfield.

I admit, I haven’t had a chorus of posters agreeing with me on this, but maybe Ole does, hope springs eternal.
I could maybe accept this if Pogba goes and we bring in a world class defensive midfielder or play a diamond, but for me that's the only system in which Grealish works as a CM. People should have seen Bruno enough to know he is a risk player who loses the ball a lot, which means you need cover. The problem is not Grealish being press-resistant (I'd agree that he is), the problem is both he and Bruno being caught too high up the pitch. We'd need a Fabinho/Casemiro-level player behind them in order to make what you're describing work. You describe Grealish playing an Iniesta-type role, but what you forget is that Iniesta had Xavi next to him (one of the best at retaining possession of all time, completely different to Bruno), and Sergio Busquets behind him.
 

King7Eric

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I am convinced that if we buy Grealish it will be to play him in CM and that will not render us torn to shreds by pressing teams, it will be the opposite. Jack will calmly play us through the press. He is Xavi and Iniesta rolled into one. He would be like Pogba but much better. He would not cause problems, he would solve one of our biggest problems - the lack of quality and leadership in midfield.

I admit, I haven’t had a chorus of posters agreeing with me on this, but maybe Ole does, hope springs eternal.
:houllier: :houllier:
 

Ballache

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I am convinced that if we buy Grealish it will be to play him in CM and that will not render us torn to shreds by pressing teams, it will be the opposite. Jack will calmly play us through the press. He is Xavi and Iniesta rolled into one. He would be like Pogba but much better. He would not cause problems, he would solve one of our biggest problems - the lack of quality and leadership in midfield.

I admit, I haven’t had a chorus of posters agreeing with me on this, but maybe Ole does, hope springs eternal.
Grealish is probably my biggest muppet dream, but if we sign him he's not playing CM.
 

Borys

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Jack Grealish is not the kind of player which you buy to play out of his best position (even if he "can do a job" in midfield).

Another ridiculous idea. We've failed with Pogba doing the same experiment, and Paul was much more suited to that role.

Personally I think neither of those players named in the OP suit us. Grealish looks a real deal but hot sure how he we fit him and Bruno in the team. We should spent money elsewhere.
 

OrcaFat

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Jack Grealish is not the kind of player which you buy to play out of his best position (even if he "can do a job" in midfield).

Another ridiculous idea. We've failed with Pogba doing the same experiment, and Paul was much more suited to that role.

Personally I think neither of those players named in the OP suit us. Grealish looks a real deal but hot sure how he we fit him and Bruno in the team. We should spent money elsewhere.
I believe CM is his best position. I did find some enthusiastic blogger type who wrote an article which kind of agrees with me:

https://onenil.medium.com/jack-grea...ve-a-midfield-maestro-once-again-137036bb96c2

And Jack himself of course:

https://thefootballfaithful.com/gre...-ambitions-and-reveals-his-favoured-position/
 

MadDogg

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Not today off course. I compared with their best season in PL. Coutinho’s best season in PL was immense. Definitely a step up from Grealish today.
Even at his best I never understood the hype for Coutinho. He was a good player capable of the occasional brilliant shot from just outside the box, but I never considered him even close to being one of the best players in the league, let alone the best. I'd take Grealish anyday.
 

Wing Attack Plan R

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Not sure you understand how modern football works...

Those teams are outrageously unbalanced and would be torn to shreds by any half-decent pressing team.

I get people being desperate to get Grealish. Really I do; anyone can see how good he is. But that doesn't change the fact that we have no obvious position for him. Look how much trouble Griezmann caused Barcelona's system when they bought him without any idea of how to play him, and his two best positions (CF and RW) taken up by their two best players.

We're trying to have a team that can win the league next season. We should be looking for the final pieces of the puzzle, not signing a player that will force us to change our system. We have an obvious hole at RW (Greenwood is a forward, not a winger), and an obvious lack of quality at CB. Those are our two biggest priorities. Fix those, and our side is perfectly balanced and I believe is genuinely good enough to win the league. Grealish is a dangerous distraction who a feel will unbalance the team and cause more problems than he will solve.
Condescension, here, on Red Cafe?!

Anyway, buying Grealish would be the step towards weeding out the underperforming players, it wouldn't be job done. I think we would quickly see Bruno and Grealish being titans in this team and we'd soon get shot of players like Fred.
 

zenith

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Buying players like Grealish without any sense of how to fit them in to a system would be a disaster.

We have seen too many examples of such purchases and subsequently the manager getting fired. Grealish if he comes, replaces either bruno or rashford, trying to shoehorn him as a CM is a very bad idea.

For me, Sancho would still be the ideal signing. Our RW and LW are screaming out for more quality. It would allow greenwood and martial to focus on competing for CF and add even more quality and balance to the attack.
 

Sleigh

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I’d say that realistically purchasing Sancho and pushing Greenwood into centre forward helps you from an offensive point of view.

Until this season, Calvert Lewin has posted great numbers. I think many clubs will watch him for another 6 - 12 months before taking a gamble on him.

Grealish whilst being great, I don’t think you need him. He’s isn’t upgraded what you’ve already got.

I’m underwhelmed by Rice if I’m honest and don’t get the hype.
 

Borys

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I believe CM is his best position. I did find some enthusiastic blogger type who wrote an article which kind of agrees with me:

https://onenil.medium.com/jack-grea...ve-a-midfield-maestro-once-again-137036bb96c2

And Jack himself of course:

https://thefootballfaithful.com/gre...-ambitions-and-reveals-his-favoured-position/
How many times have you seen him playing in CM?

I'd not play him in midfield (specifically #6 as mentioned in the article) because we'd lose his ball carrying ability and final third passing.
I'd not play him in more advanced midfield position because we already have Bruno there.

I believe we need to reconsider all our options because as good as Grealish is, I'm not sure he's what we need. This is a strategic decision how we would like to set up next season(s). Maybe we trust in Rashford to be our long term striker (won't be a winger that's for sure) and we can get Jack and play him on the left wing.
 

beingshe7don

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How many times have you seen him playing in CM?

I'd not play him in midfield (specifically #6 as mentioned in the article) because we'd lose his ball carrying ability and final third passing.
I'd not play him in more advanced midfield position because we already have Bruno there.

I believe we need to reconsider all our options because as good as Grealish is, I'm not sure he's what we need. This is a strategic decision how we would like to set up next season(s). Maybe we trust in Rashford to be our long term striker (won't be a winger that's for sure) and we can get Jack and play him on the left wing.
Grealish would work if we played him as an LF. He offers something different to Rashford and Martial. Martial will be completing 6 years at the club and hasn't really improved all that much. Honestly speaking I would cash in on Martial. If anything, could use him in any sort of deal with Dortmund to get Sancho. Grealish could also do Bruno's job from time to time when Bruno needs a rest.

Grealish and Sancho would improve us immensely and unlike Martial and Rashford, both Grealish and Sancho are creators rather than goal scorers which brings Cavani into the fold. It also takes away most of the responsibility for creation from Bruno.
 

DCP

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Grealish would work if we played him as an LF. He offers something different to Rashford and Martial. Martial will be completing 6 years at the club and hasn't really improved all that much. Honestly speaking I would cash in on Martial. If anything, could use him in any sort of deal with Dortmund to get Sancho. Grealish could also do Bruno's job from time to time when Bruno needs a rest.

Grealish and Sancho would improve us immensely and unlike Martial and Rashford, both Grealish and Sancho are creators rather than goal scorers which brings Cavani into the fold. It also takes away most of the responsibility for creation from Bruno.
Agree with this really, our attack is ‘scorer rather than creator’ dominant.
Signing Jack Grealish and a quality right winger - Sancho? - would take us levels above where we are currently.
 

OrcaFat

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How many times have you seen him playing in CM?

I'd not play him in midfield (specifically #6 as mentioned in the article) because we'd lose his ball carrying ability and final third passing.
I'd not play him in more advanced midfield position because we already have Bruno there.

I believe we need to reconsider all our options because as good as Grealish is, I'm not sure he's what we need. This is a strategic decision how we would like to set up next season(s). Maybe we trust in Rashford to be our long term striker (won't be a winger that's for sure) and we can get Jack and play him on the left wing.
We have a fundamentally different view of how the team should play so we won’t agree about strategy and what we need.

To me Grealish is made to play 8 (I agree not no.6) and would be wasted on the wing. Saying he doesn’t play 8 now carries no weight for me - lots of players move from one position to another in their careers, I look at his qualities and he is what I want in centre midfield. Some people are happy with McT and Fred but I’m not.
 

Borys

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We have a fundamentally different view of how the team should play so we won’t agree about strategy and what we need.

To me Grealish is made to play 8 (I agree not no.6) and would be wasted on the wing. Saying he doesn’t play 8 now carries no weight for me - lots of players move from one position to another in their careers, I look at his qualities and he is what I want in centre midfield. Some people are happy with McT and Fred but I’m not.
What Fred and McTominay have to do with it? They don't play as #8, they play typical conservative midfield duo. They both have more defensive duties than offensive, so surely you wouldn't swap either of them with Grealish 1 to 1? What is the idea?
 

OrcaFat

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What Fred and McTominay have to do with it? They don't play as #8, they play typical conservative midfield duo. They both have more defensive duties than offensive, so surely you wouldn't swap either of them with Grealish 1 to 1? What is the idea?
The idea is to not play two technically deficient players in midfield. Simple as that.
 

Borys

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The idea is to not play two technically deficient players in midfield. Simple as that.
So you would play Grealish in two man midfield then? That's the plan? Simple as that?
Seems to me like another "splash big money on him and worry how to use him later" move.
 

OrcaFat

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So you would play Grealish in two man midfield then? That's the plan? Simple as that?
Seems to me like another "splash big money on him and worry how to use him later" move.
I want him in CM. Every thing else is a side issue.

I’m an idealist. I am in the camp that liked it when our midfield was Carrick and Giggs - who honestly thought that would work?

I like at least one proper ball player in midfield and to me Grealish is the best candidate to replace Pogba if he goes (which I hope he does, he’s too inconsistent).

I’m not trying to persuade you that I’m right. You see things differently. We probably won’t sign Grealish, but if we do, it will be interesting to look back on this conversation.
 

Borys

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I want him in CM. Every thing else is a side issue.

I’m an idealist. I am in the camp that liked it when our midfield was Carrick and Giggs - who honestly thought that would work?

I like at least one proper ball player in midfield and to me Grealish is the best candidate to replace Pogba if he goes (which I hope he does, he’s too inconsistent).

I’m not trying to persuade you that I’m right. You see things differently. We probably won’t sign Grealish, but if we do, it will be interesting to look back on this conversation.
True. I'd love us to sign Grealish, but I'd never play him in CM. Let's agree to disagree and enjoy watching Jack at Villa for now.
 

croadyman

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I am a massive Grealish fan but can also understand where people are coming from when they say that Jadon better fits our needs right now and do wonder if Jack can be the same player through the middle
 

golden_blunder

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He perform consistently on a high level, but is not world class.

I’ve watched many of his games and even if he’s good he isn’t in the same league as example Salah, Coutinho, Hazard on their best. If he was that good, RM, City and LFC ++ would’ve been crazy after him. In this regard I think Grealish is overrated.

Maybe it’s only consensus outside a subjective England ;)
You’re not taking into account who grealish plays for. The other players play/ed with better players. Yet grealish is still one of the best in the PL. most likely he’d hit new levels if he went to a club like United, Liverpool or city.

sancho has yet to prove what he can do really. He’s not shone at international level and the German league is not as tough (despite Bayern being a consistently great team)
 

Buffalo Bills

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I would rate these players in the following order, not necessarily in terms of ability but in terms of the teams requirements:

1. Rice.
2. Grealish
3. Calvert Lewin.
4. Sancho.

I know many people would say that right wing is a top priority but for this position I would look outwith Sancho based on price and his form this season.
 

MadDogg

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One thing I will say is that Grealish often has good moments from the right. His still seems to create great goal scoring opportunities with his passing and crossing. Obviously that's him just drifting out there occasionally at the moment so I'm not sure how well he'd do played on that side all the time. I tend to think he would be better than anyone we currently have, but the question of course is whether he'd be better than somebody else we could buy for cheaper. Sancho will almost certainly be cheaper than Grealish is now, and he's played most of his career on the right (even if he also is arguably better on the left).
 

croadyman

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One thing I will say is that Grealish often has good moments from the right. His still seems to create great goal scoring opportunities with his passing and crossing. Obviously that's him just drifting out there occasionally at the moment so I'm not sure how well he'd do played on that side all the time. I tend to think he would be better than anyone we currently have, but the question of course is whether he'd be better than somebody else we could buy for cheaper. Sancho will almost certainly be cheaper than Grealish is now, and he's played most of his career on the right (even if he also is arguably better on the left).
Yeah a perfect example of that was the through ball to Watkins for their goal against West Ham which surely caught the eye of Utd or is it case that because Marcus is playing on the LW that they see no need
 

passing-wind

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Jack Grealish is not the kind of player which you buy to play out of his best position (even if he "can do a job" in midfield).

Another ridiculous idea. We've failed with Pogba doing the same experiment, and Paul was much more suited to that role.

Personally I think neither of those players named in the OP suit us. Grealish looks a real deal but hot sure how he we fit him and Bruno in the team. We should spent money elsewhere.
This is facts, people need to look at what strengthens the team. If Pogba leaves you don't look at Grealish you look at a DLP a Tielemans / Neves or someone of that nature who links defence to midfield and midfield to attack.
 

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I'm sorry but you need ten players with the midset to defend (including the GK) and you probably need eight with the ability and desire to attack. This club struggles because our RW and LW don't do enough work when United lose the ball. This is why they rarely press the opposition. That's the way I see it. Everyone has a role at both ends of the pitch.