Summer 2019 Midfield Rebuild

bosnian_red

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We all know there is the need for a lot of work this summer (and the next, as it'll take more than one season to rebuild us). One thing that I'm looking at very curiously is the midfield rebuild. In my opinion, we'll need pretty much a whole new midfield pretty soon.
  • Herrera announced today that he's officially leaving this summer, which we all suspected was the case.
  • Matic looks like he's excluded from the squad for the final day of the season for whatever reason, and he's barely been involved under Ole and frankly looked woeful all season. Don't think anyone would bat an eyelid if he left this summer
  • Pogba there is always talk about if Real Madrid will manage to get him from us, but given that he probably is open to leaving, will either leave this summer or next
  • Fred has struggled massively since joining and looks distinctly average, and while he is safe this summer (probably), he really needs to improve next season
  • McTominay has impressed more and more, but question marks whether he is just a squad player level or if he can be more. Probably the only one who I'd bet is even in the squad 2-3 years from now
  • Andreas Pereira has been tried in every position, hasn't really impressed in any while he's shown in the past that he is willing to move to play regularly.
Given we (and most other bigger sides these days) play with a midfield 3, that's usually split up into a holding mid, a pure central midfielder and an advanced midfielder. If Pogba decides to stay here long term, then he has the advanced midfielder locked up. But that still leaves 2 starting 11 midfielders to sign this summer next to him, and if Matic and Pereira leave this summer, that probably opens up squad space for McTominay to be first choice squad player in any of the midfield positions, Fred to be 2nd, and then James Garner possibly to be the youngster rotating in now and then. Get the feeling that Pogba might be off as well though, so that would leave us needing an entirely new midfield, which while it isn't an easy task, it is probably the easiest way for a manager to leave their stamp on how they want the team to play. Also since you are building the whole midfield, there really shouldn't be any talk of the midfield lacking balance or trying to shoehorn others in to get the best out of somebody. Neither McTominay and Fred will really cause up much of a stir if they're only squad players, that's probably what everyone expects out of them anyway. So this is a rare opportunity for a manager to build it how he wants and stamp their mark on the team and have them change how the team plays.

Given all these points, and a pretty big budget (but no CL football to get maybe those most sought after players), how would everyone build their midfield? Assume Pogba, Matic, Herrera and Pereira leave, so we need 3 starting midfielders.

Some midfielders that have been talked about over the past year at some point or other (obviously not all realistic, but just throwing down names of players since we do need a whole new midfield):

Advanced mid - Bruno Fernandes, Houssem Aouar, Sergej Milenkovic-Savic, Donny Van De Beek, Christian Eriksen

Center mid - Youri Tielemans, Marco Verratti, Miralem Pjanic, Tanguy Ndombele, Saul Niguez, Nicolo Barella, Sandro Tonali, Adrian Rabiot, Thomas Partey, Franck Kessie, Abdoulaye Doucoure

Holding mid - Declan Rice, Ruben Neves, Rodri Hernandez, Idrissa Gueye, Wilfred Ndidi
 
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Zlatattack

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I assume we'll hold onto Pogba. I hope we'll get rid of Matic. That leaves us with a midfield of Pogba, Fred, McTomminay. Hopefully we sign 2 of Fernandes, Rabiot, NDombele, Tielsman and a CDM.
 

MaxiPaxi

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I think Pogba is a good as gone. Herrera gone. Matic may be going too.

We need 3 midfielders this summer I think. It’s mental.
 

RepardReece

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At one point I liked the trio of Herrera - Matic - Pogba, but it's slow paced and awful in transition as seen this season. Low effort levels as well (disregarding Ander). I Iiked Herrera, he was an average midfielder but he was so passionate about the club and always put effort in.

Now that he's gone I want a completely new midfield this season.
CDM - Any on your list, I haven't looked into them too much so unsure but Rice is the one I've heard the most of.
CM's- Fernandes and Tielemans for me.
 

bosnian_red

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I think Pogba is a good as gone. Herrera gone. Matic may be going too.

We need 3 midfielders this summer I think. It’s mental.
Yep. Only made this thread because with Matic being left out and how badly he's declined, he could well be gone this summer, which along with Herrera leaving and Madrid for sure going to go all out for Pogba, leaves us needing a whole new midfield.
 

Snafu17

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  • Matic looks like he's excluded from the squad for the final day of the season for whatever reason, and he's barely been involved under Ole
That's a bit of a stretch. He's been injured a lot and he started like 90% of the games he was fit for.
 

Bwuk

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Declan Rice
Donny Van De Beek
Ruben Neves/Youri Tielemans
Pogba
McTominay

Would be happy with that as our 5 first choice midfielders, supplemented by Garner etc.
 

MaxiPaxi

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Yep. Only made this thread because with Matic being left out and how badly he's declined, he could well be gone this summer, which along with Herrera leaving and Madrid for sure going to go all out for Pogba, leaves us needing a whole new midfield.
What worries me is that I don’t think we will sign 3 midfielders. A right back. A right winger and a centre back. Nothing to suggest we're (Woodward) competent enough.
 

bosnian_red

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That's a bit of a stretch. He's been injured a lot and he started like 90% of the games he was fit for.
He was injured for for 3 league games under Ole (Liverpool, Palace, Southampton), then just on the bench or not in the squad for Wolves, West Ham and City (all since the start of april). Subbed off early vs Huddersfield. Left out of the Barcelona games. The first period he started regularly under Ole, but I dont think theres much to suggest Ole has him in his plans past being a squad player, and even then, we have McTominay who can take his holding mid squad option spot. He's apparently not in the squad for tomorrow as well, and with his age and general level over the last 2 years, there's every reason to believe we'll try to get rid. Either way, if it's not this summer, then it'll be the summer after. His days are definitely numbered though.
 

passing-wind

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Rice (DM)
Tielemans / Neves (No 6)
Ndomebele / Rabiot (No 8)

Future Sandro Tonali, the guy to me seems like generational midfield talent, similar in influence overall to De Jong in the midfield but more raw talent. I hope the scouts don't sleep on him.

We can all post midfield targets but the midfield needs to be balanced, Neves / Tielemans are good distributors they can be identified as dictating the tempo. Ndombele / Rabiot are far more athletic, can both collectively dribble with the ball and open up spaces.
 

bosnian_red

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Rice (DM)
Tielemans / Neves (No 6)
Ndomebele / Rabiot (No 8)

Future Sandro Tonali, the guy to me seems like generational midfield talent, similar in influence overall to De Jong in the midfield but more raw talent. I hope the scouts don't sleep on him.

We can all post midfield targets but the midfield needs to be balanced, Neves / Tielemans are good distributors they can be identified as dictating the tempo. Ndombele / Rabiot are far more athletic, can both collectively dribble with the ball and open up spaces.
Yep this is the thing. It's always somewhat difficult to find the perfect midfielder to compliment the options you have starting, but given we could very well need a whole new starting midfield, it made sense to have just a group to target. All well and good saying you want playmakers, or energetic players, but it needs balance.
 

Rozay

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In the midst of our terrible play and overall cowardice - McTominay really stood up and showed something. That said, I don’t think he’s all that, and don’t have him as a first XI player. He’s not shown himself to be good enough in terms of close control and passing for me, but has great spirit and character. He’s shown more than I thought he had, but not enough for me to see him as a United regular.

I’m not sure I want us to sign one of these slow, quarterbacks that a few seem to want. Put one of those with Pogba and Matic and our midfield will be walked through. Herrera’s energy needs to be replaced, and Matic’s workrate needs to be upgraded.

I’d like to see:
————Rice———-
—Barella—Pogba—

Obviously there are other alternatives to Barella, but he’s one I like. Rice is a must for me though, big fan of his. He seems to have the right attitude and mentality too that we want to start reinstalling into our side.
 

MaxiPaxi

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Not just midfield. The rebuild in general is going to be massive.

Valencia
Herrera
Pogba (probably)
Matic (potentially)
De Gea (potentially)
Rojo (hopefully)
Darmian (hopefully)
Bailly (hopefully)
Lukaku (probably)

As many as 9 players could be leaving this summer. All of these guys will need replaced and upgraded on. It’s going to be a massive task.
 

Snafu17

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He was injured for for 3 league games under Ole (Liverpool, Palace, Southampton), then just on the bench or not in the squad for Wolves, West Ham and City (all since the start of april). Subbed off early vs Huddersfield. Left out of the Barcelona games. The first period he started regularly under Ole, but I dont think theres much to suggest Ole has him in his plans past being a squad player, and even then, we have McTominay who can take his holding mid squad option spot. He's apparently not in the squad for tomorrow as well, and with his age and general level over the last 2 years, there's every reason to believe we'll try to get rid. Either way, if it's not this summer, then it'll be the summer after. His days are definitely numbered though.
He was on the bench against Wolves (possibly rotated after playing against Watford a few days before) and City (I'm assuming dropped after the Everton game). He was absent from training the day before the first Barcelona match and then didn't make the squad the next day, on the weekend when we faced West Ham and only made the bench for the second leg against Barca. He was also injured for the games against Liverpool, Palace and Soton, but he also started every other and completed the vast majority of other games. I think it's safe to say he was injured/not fully match fit for that period. We might improve on him over the summer but he was very much in Ole's plans in this half of the season.
 
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Rozay

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Not just midfield. The rebuild in general is going to be massive.

Valencia
Herrera
Pogba (probably)
Matic (potentially)
De Gea (potentially)
Rojo (hopefully)
Darmian (hopefully)
Bailly (hopefully)
Lukaku (probably)

As many as 9 players could be leaving this summer. All of these guys will need replaced and upgraded on. It’s going to be a massive task.
Sanchez (probably)
 

izec

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I dont think we will rebuild that much. No way are we going to replace every outgoing player. Pretty sure we will buy 5 or 6 players and fill the rest with youth. Also some players will need to stay, quite simply because we wont get rid of 10 players. It will take 2 years and 2 summers for the squad to be rebuild, in no way will we buy 10 and let go of 10 this summer, that is just FM nonsense.
 

caid

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Tielemens and Ndidi have looked good players everytime i've seen them
Dont watch enough other teams to have a strong opinion though. Judging them two on a dozen games.
 

Smores

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Not just midfield. The rebuild in general is going to be massive.

Valencia
Herrera
Pogba (probably)
Matic (potentially)
De Gea (potentially)
Rojo (hopefully)
Darmian (hopefully)
Bailly (hopefully)
Lukaku (probably)

As many as 9 players could be leaving this summer. All of these guys will need replaced and upgraded on. It’s going to be a massive task.
Some of those already have their replacements within the team or within our youth ranks. The likes of Bailey and Darmian are failed replacements themselves so rather than positions to be filled we just need to fill the original squad place.
 

settembrini

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I would love United to sell Matic but I doubt it will happen. We just aren't ruthless enough. Hopefully he drops down to squad player status next season though with Fred kicking on and becoming out first choice DM.

After that it depends on Pogba. If he stays then I think we will carry on with a midfield three and buy someone for that right sided role. Eriksen would be my dream signing but it's unrealistic, Tielemans is a more attainable player who could be good. Pereira and McTominay to provide cover and competition.

If Pogba leaves then it gets more interesting and harder to predict. Solskjaer could switch formations to a 4-2-3-1 or go really 'Man Utd traditions' and try and play a 4-4-2. That's just guessing though, Pogba is such an important and unique player that it's impossible to say how we would adjust to selling him.
 

Ballache

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Pogba is gone IMO, Fernandes to replace him. I think we will try to get Rice and keep Matic for a season. So two midfielders which leaves us with Andreas, Matic, Fred, Fernandes, McT and Rice.
We will give Fred a proper chance and give Rice time to bed in properly.
 

Rozay

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Pogba is gone IMO, Fernandes to replace him. I think we will try to get Rice and keep Matic for a season. So two midfielders which leaves us with Andreas, Matic, Fred, Fernandes, McT and Rice.
We will give Fred a proper chance and give Rice time to bed in properly.
Doubt it. Can’t see Real paying the money, and Marca have already reporting that the Madrid board have doubts and prefer Eriksen (who coincidentally would be much easier to sign).
 

SER19

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Rice
Bruno Fernandes
Mctominay
Fred
Pogba
Matic used sparingly.
 

eltigreFalcao

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For me, first choice to come in as a midfielder would be Rice, he ticks a lot of OGS's boxes imo
secondly we should go for Neves or Fernandes, the first one of those being a smarter buy imo
complete rebuild would go by the name of Tielemans or Ndombele.

Baring a change in attitude Pogba should stay as well as Fred, McTominay and then nurture Garner and the boys from the academy.
 
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Hawks2008

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In: Neves, Rabiot. (Fernandes if Pogba leaves)
Out: Herrera, Matic. (possibly Pogba)

Neves, Rabiot, Pogba/Fernandes, Scott, Fred, Garner, Andreas.
 

JEredDevil

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Could see Ole playing a diamond 4 in MF very often next season. Playing a diamond 4 in MF probably takes care of the need to buy a RW. Cant see any RW that wouldn't require us to break the bank anyway so its better i guess. That being said, we would need more midfielders if we play 4 in the middle. I would hope for:

McTominay / Fred - (Depending on who our opponents are, McT can do a better defensive job than Fred, and with a decent back 4, Fred can start against the lesser teams where more creativity is needed)
Tielemans or Neves / Pereira - (Cant see us signing more than 2 mf, so either Tielemans or Neves, both are good on the ball and have that energy from deep
Pogba / James - (With James almost certain to come in, im not sure where his best position though, seems to be in kinda same position as Pogba)
Maddison / Mata (Hope Mata stays though, we have never really played him in his best position since he joined us. Would be good to have someone like him on the bench as well

Enough PL experience here to challenge for top 4 if all goes according to plan. Supported by the kids like Gomes, Chong, Garner, Puigmal. This coming season has to be the last chance for Fred and Pereira to stake a claim in the season after next.
 

beingshe7don

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We need atleast 3 central midfielders with Pogba staying. Tielemens to rotate with Pogba. I think he's a good and inexpensive replacement/ backup for Pogba. We need to have a replacement for Pogba before he even leaves the club. Tielemens will move this summer and 40m is fairly cheap in this market.

Neves - He's been decent but is still not as mobile and agile as I would like him to be.

Ndombele - What I like about Ndombele is his ability to drive with the ball. The kind of thing Pogba occasionally produces for us. He's a box to box player whose done fairly well. He's more of a team player

Bruno - The guy has goals and assists in him. He's a natural attacker but is a risk nonetheless.

Rabiot - Attitude aside, I think he's got the flair and the built to succeed in the PL. Also, he'd come for free.

With those options to consider from, Tielemens, Bruno & Ndombele would be my final options. I think all three of those options would work together as a team rather than being individualistic. Tielemens and Ndombele could play in a double pivot box to box style while Bruno could be the interlink between midfield and attack. I also feel Garner could offer us another option as the deep lying playmaker and two midfielders playing ahead of him.

Also, this may not be a popular opinion but turning TFM into a destroyer like Kante would be a great masterstoke by Ole.
 
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Wumminator

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Matic, Pogba, McTominay, Fred, Periera are our midfielders going into next year.

I’d like us to sign two midfielders. Don’t think Periera is good enough
 

Jibbs

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Bruno, Tielemens, Rabiot, if Pogba also leaves along with Herrera. If Pogba stays then Bruno + Tielemens or Rabiot.
 

Tony Banta

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I think we’ll buy just one midfielder this season, two if Pogba leaves. With areas all over the park needing attention and with only 4/5 likely signings, 3 new midfielders is highly unlikely.

I’d like to see Ndidi come in. I think he’d provide excellent cover for the back 4. He’s young, got PL experience and wouldn’t break the bank.

Address other areas this summer, and look again at the midfield next summer.
 

Wumminator

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I think we’ll buy just one midfielder this season, two if Pogba leaves. With areas all over the park needing attention and with only 4/5 likely signings, 3 new midfielders is highly unlikely.

I’d like to see Ndidi come in. I think he’d provide excellent cover for the back 4. He’s young, got PL experience and wouldn’t break the bank.

Address other areas this summer, and look again at the midfield next summer.
I think we will sign two midfielders, a right winger, a right back and then maybe that youngster from Swansea.

Midfield is our key area for me.
 

daveskimufc

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Yes. So many. I’m apprehensive and excited.
I say this knowing i wont necessarily still believe it at the start of next season, but at this point I would rather we had a mass clearout, got rid of 8 or 9, bring in as many as poss (prob no more than 4) and made the rest up from the academy. May see us compete mid table, but the thought of Jones, darmian, lingard, rojo even being close to starting is really depressing.