The 18-man squad and what are we lacking?

SinNombre

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There is a cliche that you should have one good substitute for every one of your starters but no top manager in the past 2 decades really believes that and they all like to work with a core group of 18 or so and use youth team players in case of emergencies.

How does that 18 person squad look like?

2 GKs. We have DDG and Hendo here. If DDG gets back to his 2018 form, or Hendo makes a step-up, we are good here.

3 CBs. As of today, these are Maguire, Lindelof and Smalling. We need a top class CB as the starter to pair up with one of Maguire/Lindelof but there is no urgency to solve this now.

3 FBs. 2 defensive, 1 attacking or 2 attacking, 1 defensive depending on how the team plays. We have Shaw and AWB who are both defensive. Clearly missing an attacking fullback.

2 deeper/defensive midfielders. We have Matic and Fred/McT here. Depth is fine and need a starting quality 6.

3 b2b/attacking midfielders. With Pogba, Bruno and DvB, we are good.

5 attackers. 3 wide forwards, 2 strikers or 1 striker, 1 support striker, many different flavors here. We only have Martial, Rashford and Mason so missing 2 players here.


Based off this, we need 2 (!) forwards and an attacking fullback as urgent team additions, and a starting xi quality CB and 6 as less urgent ones.
 

arnie_ni

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Agree pretty much.

A right winger (starter)
Left footed option up top (squad)
A deep lying playmaker (starter as matic replacement)
Attacking rb (squad)
Attacking lb (squad)
Cb (starter)

Thats what i think we need the next 2 or 3 windows.
 

NoPace

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James has talent and is young, I think the forwards need to realize they need to look for tap ins from him and Mason will. So for me, I'd be fine with:

Rashford, Greenwood, Martial, ____, James
Bruno, Pogba, Van De Beek
______, McTominay, Fred
______, Wan-Bissaka, Shaw, Williams
______, Maguire, Lindelof, Tuanzebe
De Gea, Henderson, Romero

We're basically missing an attacking LB, a CB, a DM and a 9 or right winger (Greenwood seems capable of both).

Probably too late for 4 signings, but it really wasn't asking that much to bring in say Reguilon, Upamecano, Partey and a right winger or 9
 

He'sRaldo

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There is a cliche that you should have one good substitute for every one of your starters but no top manager in the past 2 decades really believes that and they all like to work with a core group of 18 or so and use youth team players in case of emergencies.

How does that 18 person squad look like?

2 GKs. We have DDG and Hendo here. If DDG gets back to his 2018 form, or Hendo makes a step-up, we are good here.

3 CBs. As of today, these are Maguire, Lindelof and Smalling. We need a top class CB as the starter to pair up with one of Maguire/Lindelof but there is no urgency to solve this now.

3 FBs. 2 defensive, 1 attacking or 2 attacking, 1 defensive depending on how the team plays. We have Shaw and AWB who are both defensive. Clearly missing an attacking fullback.

2 deeper/defensive midfielders. We have Matic and Fred/McT here. Depth is fine and need a starting quality 6.

3 b2b/attacking midfielders. With Pogba, Bruno and DvB, we are good.

5 attackers. 3 wide forwards, 2 strikers or 1 striker, 1 support striker, many different flavors here. We only have Martial, Rashford and Mason so missing 2 players here.


Based off this, we need 2 (!) forwards and an attacking fullback as urgent team additions, and a starting xi quality CB and 6 as less urgent ones.
Not including Ighalo? I understand discounting James but Ighalo is pretty decent.
 

Annihilate Now!

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I think we need a CB much urgently then others it seems.

If we get that one top class centre back in I think that'll make a huge difference.

RW
CB
DM
ST (back up/poacher)
FB

That's the order I would get players in.
 

Bilbo

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I dont feel a huge urgency for a new centre back. The team defended well on the whole for most of the season. I think if Bailly can stay fit he offers something different and could well challenge for Lindelofs shirt.

Also, let's not write off James too early. Let the lad develop and see where it goes. He has something to offer
 

Bastian

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@SinNombre

2 GKs. We have DDG and Hendo here. If DDG gets back to his 2018 form, or Hendo makes a step-up, we are good here.

Great options - a headache for Ole to sort out, but healthy competition.

3 CBs. As of today, these are Maguire, Lindelof and Smalling. We need a top class CB as the starter to pair up with one of Maguire/Lindelof but there is no urgency to solve this now.

We are going to be playing in the CL. A Lindelof-Maguire pairing is far too slow, and not redeemed in other aspects. If we don't sign anyone, we'll have to hope Tuanzebe can get over his injury nightmare.

3 FBs. 2 defensive, 1 attacking or 2 attacking, 1 defensive depending on how the team plays. We have Shaw and AWB who are both defensive. Clearly missing an attacking fullback.

Shaw misses far too many games. If Ole wants to play Williams on the right, that's healthy competition for AWB. But we are definitely one short.

2 deeper/defensive midfielders. We have Matic and Fred/McT here. Depth is fine and need a starting quality 6.

There is only one player capable of playing the DM role at the club (Garner aside, who may be too young, but I'd still keep him at OT this season). A clear issue.

3 b2b/attacking midfielders. With Pogba, Bruno and DvB, we are good.

We're solid. Just need to sell 2 of the 3 squad players. Make room for youth in the squad.

5 attackers. 3 wide forwards, 2 strikers or 1 striker, 1 support striker, many different flavors here. We only have Martial, Rashford and Mason so missing 2 players here.

One good forward who is looking more and more like a striker, in Martial. Ighalo is a few levels below in quality. No actual wingers at the club still. A huge issue.
 

cyril C

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Take away the 3x keeper, you are talking about 15 seasoned players for 10 field positions.

How can you get 2 players for every position - you can't. Unless you expand your squad to 20+

Or you can get 1 or 2 players capable of playing in different positions. 2 defenders, 2 attackers, and 1 MF, is the best that you can achieve. Get 3-4 Academy players ready to reinforce in these 3 categories, and your squad is healthy and young.

The fact that Rojo and Jones were hardly used, didn't help your 18 players squad at all.
 

RashyForPM

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Starting RW (Sancho)
Backup RW (Brooks, James will be backup LW)
Starting DM (Ndidi, Partey, Rice)
Rotational LB
Starting CB (Upamecano)
 

AsonUnique

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RW - We haven't had a natural RW for 5 years. Even a prospect that rotates with Mason would be huge for our whole front line.

I think next summer or even January we need to look at DM, ST and CB. But right now get a RW in.
 

croadyman

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RW - We haven't had a natural RW for 5 years. Even a prospect that rotates with Mason would be huge for our whole front line.

I think next summer or even January we need to look at DM, ST and CB. But right now get a RW in.
We needed a CB & RW this window and got no hope of getting either which is depressing
 

SinNombre

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CB is no chance.

I still think Woody will cave in on Sancho.

Hopefully we can buy Telles or some other attacking fullback which will still meet our most urgent needs assuming none of the forwards get injured.
 

croadyman

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CB is no chance.

I still think Woody will cave in on Sancho.

Hopefully we can buy Telles or some other attacking fullback which will still meet our most urgent needs assuming none of the forwards get injured.
Woody had his chance to cave in on Sancho weeks ago and he blew it,however until O Jogo or Romano start reporting Telles then won't believe a word.

Don't even get me started on wasting an opportunity to get Upamecano before his release clause expired too which was an absolute farce.
 

SinNombre

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Woody had his chance to cave in on Sancho weeks ago and he blew it,however until O Jogo or Romano start reporting Telles then won't believe a word.

Don't even get me started on wasting an opportunity to get Upamecano before his release clause expired too which was an absolute farce.
Not the thread for it but I posted on the Sancho thread why there are financial reasons for Woody to cave in after Sep 30 (Oct 1 or later), that's still my expectation.
 

croadyman

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Not the thread for it but I posted on the Sancho thread why there are financial reasons for Woody to cave in after Sep 30 (Oct 1 or later), that's still my expectation.
I just don't see it happening that late because they won't have time to get a replacement
 

ghagua

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1) A proper center back to play alongside Maguire. A backup as well would not be a bad idea depending on how Tuanzebe and Mengi get along.
2) An attacking left-back.
3) A defensive midfielder
4) A right-winger
5) A clinical striker who likes to live in the penalty area (finish off the chances like the thousand created against Villa)
6) Pray that Wan-Bissaka develops some sort of attacking game.
 

croadyman

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1) A proper center back to play alongside Maguire. A backup as well would not be a bad idea depending on how Tuanzebe and Mengi get along.
2) An attacking left-back.
3) A defensive midfielder
4) A right-winger
5) A clinical striker who likes to live in the penalty area (finish off the chances like the thousand created against Villa)
6) Pray that Wan-Bissaka develops some sort of attacking game.
Scary when you see just how much that this team still needs but try telling the board that
 

JakeC

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A right winger would complete our starting XI for where we need to be this season, then we can trust our rotational defenders to do a job and help support Luke, Harry, Victor, and Aaron before bringing in a couple of starters depending on who progresses this season.

Again the same with midfield, we're clearly stacked at 8 and 10, but depending on how Matic does this season it's a position we need to consider filling unless VDB proves stronger in defense than we thought. We then have to ask a difficult question about Scott and Fred, unless we decide this is Nemanjas last season and Andreas is also shown the door.
 

croadyman

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A right winger would complete our starting XI for where we need to be this season, then we can trust our rotational defenders to do a job and help support Luke, Harry, Victor, and Aaron before bringing in a couple of starters depending on who progresses this season.

Again the same with midfield, we're clearly stacked at 8 and 10, but depending on how Matic does this season it's a position we need to consider filling unless VDB proves stronger in defense than we thought. We then have to ask a difficult question about Scott and Fred, unless we decide this is Nemanjas last season and Andreas is also shown the door.
Gonna struggle without signing some LB cover in the next couple of weeks,have accepted we aren't getting a CB until next summer
 

snowkarl

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Gonna struggle without signing some LB cover in the next couple of weeks,have accepted we aren't getting a CB until next summer
Would be very risky going into the most hectic season of ALL TIME with Shaw being as injury prone as he is being our only real left back. Williams honestly isn't ready to consistently start for us but he will be relied upon for far too many games unless we get some reinforcements.
 

croadyman

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Would be very risky going into the most hectic season of ALL TIME with Shaw being as injury prone as he is being our only real left back. Williams honestly isn't ready to consistently start for us but he will be relied upon for far too many games unless we get some reinforcements.
He isn't a LB and Ole needs to realise that before the end of window,need to get Mykolenko or Telles
 

snowkarl

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I am not against Brandon being a backup RB because it's his natural side and offers more of an attacking threat
Well sure... but compare him to our rivals back up right backs;
Liverpool - Gomez
City - Cancelo
Chelsea - Reece James
Spurs - Aurier
Arsenal - Cedric/AMN

I'd argue he is far below the required quality as of now.


Would you be confident if he started a CL Quarterfinal due to injury or suspension?
 

croadyman

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Well sure... but compare him to our rivals back up right backs;
Liverpool - Gomez
City - Cancelo
Chelsea - Reece James
Spurs - Aurier
Arsenal - Cedric/AMN

I'd argue he is far below the required quality as of now.


Would you be confident if he started a CL Quarterfinal due to injury or suspension?
Yeah that is a very valid point,maybe we need to find someone who is comfortable on both sides which looks a tall task to say the least
 

reelworld

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- right back backup
- left back backup/or the one that could challenge for starting 11
- back up striker
- right winger/forward backup/rotation

I think midfield should be ok. I think Pogba, VDB, Bruno would surprised alot of people who think it's not balanced enough.
For right wing, I prefer to keep Mason there and get a backup/rotation quality type of player
Left back and right back, feck know who were going to get. Most likely just hope Williams and Dalot would develop better this season.
For back up striker, it would be great if we could get an upgrade from Ighalo. But I think we'll addressed it on Jan after Ighalo loan is finished
 

croadyman

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- right back backup
- left back backup/or the one that could challenge for starting 11
- back up striker
- right winger/forward backup/rotation

I think midfield should be ok. I think Pogba, VDB, Bruno would surprised alot of people who think it's not balanced enough.
For right wing, I prefer to keep Mason there and get a backup/rotation quality type of player
Left back and right back, feck know who were going to get. Most likely just hope Williams and Dalot would develop better this season.
For back up striker, it would be great if we could get an upgrade from Ighalo. But I think we'll addressed it on Jan after Ighalo loan is finished
Mason needs to be a backup on the right and not a starter,in regards to Williams he should be nowhere near that LB spot and same applies to Dalot on the right as Ole doesn't rate him at all.

I do agree that we are right to look at the backup striker situation when Ighalo leaves in January though.
 

Listar

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I seriously don't think we need centre backs. Axel and Mengi weither of them can have a break out season deputising for Lindelof and be our Joe Gomez next year.

We need to get the right wing sorted. I have a funny feeling we are going to pay 120 for Sancho in the end.
 

Dr Fink

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We aren’t going to strengthen all over in one window are we? My belief is that Sancho will arrive, that’s all. we have plenty of cover at full back. Next window we need a Lindelof replacement, Victor can be the cover. We then need a replacement for Ighalo, for Plan B. Fred and McTominay - at least one needs replacing in the long run. We need either proven quality or strong potential players, the latter can be moved on if not cutting it.

I hate saying this, we need to be more like City: strength in depth in every position.
 

Bestietom

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James has talent and is young, I think the forwards need to realize they need to look for tap ins from him and Mason will. So for me, I'd be fine with:

Rashford, Greenwood, Martial, ____, James
Bruno, Pogba, Van De Beek
______, McTominay, Fred
______, Wan-Bissaka, Shaw, Williams
______, Maguire, Lindelof, Tuanzebe
De Gea, Henderson, Romero

We're basically missing an attacking LB, a CB, a DM and a 9 or right winger (Greenwood seems capable of both).

Probably too late for 4 signings, but it really wasn't asking that much to bring in say Reguilon, Upamecano, Partey and a right winger or 9
It was asking a lot from Woodward to bring in 4 players. It would take ages.
 

Squeaky Bumtime

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We need a cover for LB cause Williams wont cut it, at least in that position.
We're covered in midfield and CB position although a cover for Matić would come handy, player of his ilk so to say.
We need a RW of course and maybe even a backup striker cause Ole doesnt trust Ighalo.
 

Bestietom

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We need a cover for LB cause Williams wont cut it, at least in that position.
We're covered in midfield and CB position although a cover for Matić would come handy, player of his ilk so to say.
We need a RW of course and maybe even a backup striker cause Ole doesnt trust Ighalo.
Even if we got Sancho, I still think we need a CF and a left footed CB. You can't actually say that any of our forwards will score lots of goals with their head. The crosses we would expect from Sancho or whoever we get for RW needs a big CF to convert them. imo.
 
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I thought an attacking midfielder was obvious for a year or more .. we had some good attacking talent but noone linking to them so Bruno has made a huge difference, not just because of his individual talent but the collective improvement he brings.

In the same way, I think a top defensive midfielder would improve us by more than that one players individual ability. It would allow FBs to get up more (though not saying a new attacking FB wouldn't be good too) but would allow the front 5 to focus on attacking 99% of the time. (I remember a game last season where the opposition attacked and we were nowhere and Bruno chased back 60 yards. Great but I want the 6 to do that).

In an ideal world, a 6, a FB, a CH and a winger.

If we could have two, a 6 and a CH.

If one, the 6.
 

Zlatattack

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We lack someone who can come off the bench and add goals.
We lack someone who can come off the bench and maintain the standard of the defence unless their replacing Lindelof.
We lack someone who can come off the bench and create spark (actually we probably don't now that we have VDB).

I covered this in another post but in my opinion apart from in the CM, GK and arguably CB positions, every other position in the pitch has a lower quality player in the second XI. The gap is shockingly bad across our front 3.
 

Squeaky Bumtime

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Even if we got Sancho, I still think we need a CF and a left footed CB. You can't actually say that any of our forwards will score lots of goals with their head. The crosses we would expect from Sancho or whoever we get for RW needs a big CF to convert them. imo.
Agree about CF. We do cross a lot but barely score with headers. CB is not a priority though imo.
 

Leonzo1

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GK's - DDG and Hendo.
CB's - Maguire, Lindelof, Bailly.
FB's - AWB, Shaw, Williams.
Midfield - Matic, Fred, Mctominay, Pogba, VDB and Bruno.
Forwards - Greenwood, Rashford, Martial and James.

All we really lack for the core 18 to be excellent is a forward play who can play across multiple positions, I wonder who can that be.
 

CM10

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The main thing we lack is a proper right winger, as we have done for close to a decade now. I like Greenwood a lot but it's clear to see his future is as a striker.

Besides that, we lack players who can change the game from the bench and also need better defensive cover. Our starting 11 isn't too bad but it's a squad game and we're going to really suffer once the cup competitions start kicking in if we don't do anything to change it before the transfer window shuts.