If the right option isnt there, why sign the wrong option? Isnt that wasting "only havin gso much to spend". There are a fair few holes yes, for me a cenral midfielder and a striker are the two glaring ones in our first eleven, so personally signing stop gaps there is completely the wrong thing to do, if the right solution isnt there we already have stop gaps, one that isnt a striker and one that has been woeful and injured for the last few seasons, we dont need another. What has signing Ronaldo who was really a stop gap himself with his age, Cavani, Ighalo, Ibrahimovic actually solved? We are still in the same position now after all of them. Even RVP was only great for 15months as he was at hs peak but that brough a title,
Our transfer plans will be helped a lot if we finish 4th as opposed to 6th. I don’t agree that it’s irrelevant if we finish 3rd or 13th as long as we don’t win the title.
Playing guys too much or being prevented from playing our preferred way due to not having the personnel will cost us pts in the standing. Guaranteed.
We are heading into an unprecedented tough 5 months of soccer this club. We have glaring holes on the roster:
(i) We don’t have a winger who can play wide on the right side besides Antony. When Elanga plays, we have to deviate from the game plan.
(ii) Martial helps with his pressing and ability to hold up the ball. Rashford has many times disappeared from games when we need a striker that can hold up the ball the most.
(iii) Martinez ability to play the ball for us is essential for Ten Hag’s style. Lindelof can fake Varane football, it’s not what we need, but it’s a place holder. None of our CBs can provide backup if Martinez is hurt.
(iv) Not to mention the lack of backup at RB that we have and how counting on Eriksen to be a total workhorse for us is stretching it.
I 100% agree with you that we have to get the right type
of players for these holes on the squad. BUT — if they fit the requirements, I think having the right types at his disposal is worth much more to ETH than being forced to plug a square plug into a round hole.
In addition, for a football player to function — nothing is more important than team structure. We have not had a functioning team in the past. We are starting to get that under Ten Hag. I think we are seeing that with Eriksen for example. Would he have made a massive difference for Ole? Never. Ole’s equation didn’t add up, the groundwork wasn’t there for the players to succeed.
Lastly, you can definitely get a lot of football, real high level football, from many many players out there — (a) if they are healthy at the moment, (b) if they are put in a positioning to succeed, and (c) if they aren’t given a too heavy work load. Put differently, if you want a player to provide play at the same high level and the player is (a) half injured, (b) put in a position that doesn’t really fit him and (c) have to play a ton of games — there are very few who can provide it.
If you have watched a lot of football and a lot of different kind of competitions, the above is apparent. You regularly see examples of lesser teams in like the Europa League all of a sudden have a name you recognize and that you thought had retired a decade ago — play really really well. For national teams it’s basically more of a rule than an exception if you look at like teams outside the top 10-12 nations. There are literary examples of like players in the 2nd tier league in Belgium doing a really good job for their national team at a high level.
To summarize, a ton of names have been spittballed in this thread that probably aren’t even remotely good fits. You can’t just pick a name out of a hat and expect to find someone who can perform based on what you saw of the player in question 3-4 years ago. Someone can have been at an awful place 3-4 years ago, and recovered his career, completely turned it around. But if you put the right guy at the right time at the right place — definitely, they can help, even if they aren’t long term solutions. Someone who has failed at a bottom tier PL league and only is doing so-so in some lesser European league, could definitely perform for us. Help ETH to get this team into the top 4.