The Hidden Gems Thread

SparkedIntoLife

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I remember a few years ago there was a thread here where posters would name some youngsters they thought were going to be class. It was then revisited a couple of years later to a varied array of success rates. I was thinking we could do the same but with hidden gem players in general, whether they're young or old. Hopefully we'll be targeting these types of players this Summer rather than frittering huge sums on the likes of Declan Rice. Especially with Rangnick's guidance as this is his modus operandi in the transfer market.

I realise this is pure transfer muppet-ville. I have watched all these play, albeit not to large extents and mostly on YouTube which doesn't say much. I've also researched them thoroughly on international football forums with native fans who watch them week in and week out.

I'll do mine in the form of a starting 11 -

GK: Maarten Vandevoordt, 20, Genk
Made his debut 3 years ago and is now first choice. All rounder. 6 foot 4, good shot stopping, great with his feet. Widely considered the successor to Courtois in Belgium.

RB: Calvin Ramsay, 18, Aberdeen
Finally it looks as though Scotland's riches at left back may not always embarrass the right hand side in contrast. Ramsay's been linked with lots of big clubs. Strong personality, hard worker but technically proficient too rather than just a grafter. Fellow Scot Hickey on the left is also promising but just misses out of this list to...

LB: Borna Sosa, 24, Stuttgart
Caused some furore a couple of years back when he declared for Germany and then found out he was ineligible. Most Croatian fans have forgiven and forgotten as he's shaping up into a cracking player. Might be the best crosser in the Bundesliga and defensively sound too. 5 assists this season in 21 appearances for a Stuttgart team that is second from bottom. Would've had more if Stuttgart hadn't missed its big target man Sasa Kalajdzic most of this season so far.

CD: Gleison Bremer, 24, Torino
Possibly the best CD in Serie A this season. Strong, quick, brave with a lot of class. Bases his game off Lucio. Looks like he may be off to Inter but not confirmed yet. If he's off the table, I'd look at Attilla Szalai of Fenerbahçe or even his partner Kim Min-jae.

CD: Nico Schlotterbeck, 22, Freiburg
Probably the star of Freiburg's unexpected push for a Champions League place. Left footed, classy, tall, quick. Passes well with both feet. Statistically the best performing centre back in Germany this season. Out of contract in 2023 and refusing to sign a new deal so expect him to go cheap.

DM: Mohamed Camara, 22, RB Salzburg
I would've said Boubacar Kamara but it feels like he's a little too well known for this list. I also considered Ilic at Verona but he's ex City so I swerved that one :devil: I went with Camara. Excellent in possession, an ideal modern midfielder, great passer. Far bigger ceiling than his countryman Haidara at Leipzig and probably even better right now.

CM: Orkun Kökcü, 21, Feyenoord
The Eredivisie can be hard to scout from for the PL but 7 goals and 8 assists from CM this season is really impressive. He's 2 footed, technically immense and the sort of player with big personality who takes responsibility on the pitch. Maybe the best CM in Holland right now. He narrowly shaded Vitinha who has grown fantastically at Porto this season.

AM: Lovro Majer, 24, Rennes
Utter utter class. Quality creative midfielder who reminds me of a young Modric. Keeps getting better and has excelled since joining Rennes in the Summer. I think he'll go to a top club very soon. Genius from Rennes who consistently buy smartly in the market.

RW: Tetê, 22, Shakhtar Donetsk
Antony is the real deal but he's gone too high profile. Ajax would demand at least 50m I'd guess. Yeremy Pino's class but feels a little obvious after his hat trick at the weekend. I've, somewhat reluctantly, gone for Tetê here. He has 31 goals and 15 assists in 108 games in Ukraine. I like that he's a left footer on the right. I've seen a fair bit of him, albeit not for a year or two, and he just looks a player. A good blend of creative and clinical. Arguably he's gone off the boil a little or plateaued this season but I recall Willian and Fernandinho having similar spells at Shakhtar where possibly the league no longer really challenged them. Given the awful situation in Ukraine, we'd probably be able to sign him for cheaper than his usual market value (which I feel an arse for even thinking of).

LW: N/A
Not sure we really need a LW. I like Sulemana a lot and Cody Gakpo could be a star in a year or two. Kaminski who is going to Wolfsburg soon is exciting.

ST: Ben Brereton Díaz, 22, Blackburn
Instead of a LW, I'm going for a second striker. It's always hard to know how a Championship top scorer will do in the Premier League. Look at Mitrovic, Jordan Rhoades et al for proof of this. From what I've heard, most regular Championship viewers and even many Blackburn supporters are genuinely 50/50 on whether this guy will succeed or flop in the PL. I think he'll surprise many. He was in our academy about 10 years ago but there started to be a lot of chatter about him before he'd debuted when he was with Nottingham Forest. It's fair to suggest he underachieved there and wasn't anything special in his early days at Blackburn. Since the Chile call up, he's gone from strength to strength however. His confidence is beaming and his all round play is so much better. I think some of the cynicism is because he looks way older than he is and his type of player can often develop later. It's similar to Harry Kane's breakthrough (not suggesting he's in the same class). After uninspiring loans at Leicester, Millwall and Norwich, not many people thought Kane would have anywhere near the career he had at Spurs. First season he scored loads, so many people suggested it was a fluke. Second season, same deal. It took him a long time to dispel the naysayers. I think BBD is the same. He's out of contract in 2023 so I think he'll not have too much of the dreaded English tax. We could do a lot worse than picking him up for £25m in the Summer as one of two options to replace Ronaldo and Cavani.

ST: Charles De Ketelaere, 20, Club Brugge
I've mentioned him in basically every post I've made here for ages now. At first, I just had a feeling he'd be class and everything I've seen since has only strengthened that view. He's got shades of KDB in terms of intelligence and application but perhaps he's best described as a cross between Havertz and Firmino. Not uber quick but no slouch. Good technically but not insane. Decent finisher but not lethal. Nice passer but no creative dynamo. HOWEVER, he just brings everything together so well. He's very intelligent and his composure and cool thinking is seriously impressive for someone so young. He's getting better and better all the time; having developed as a winger or AM but now moving further up into a striking role to good effect. He's the sort of signing Leicester will make for £25/£30m (heavily linked to them FWIW) and he'll be snapped up by City for £90m+ in 5 years when he's world class. We'd regret it if we missed out, I feel. My muppetry for him is seriously risky as his stats aren't yet much to write home about... but the kid's just got IT. Please feel free to ridicule me in 3 years if I'm well off base. Other strikers I considered were Ekitike (but Newcastle were quoted figures of £35m plus in January so he isn't such a hidden gem), Gouiri (again, probably not a hidden gem), Mohamed Bayo (less sure of him) and Šeško (super young, could go either way).


Anyway, we'll see how I do in the future. I could very well read this back cringing hard. Any others?
 
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SparkedIntoLife

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P.S. The ship’s sailed on him being a hidden gem but I predict Gvardiol of Leipzig will become the best defender in the world in a few years. He’ll jump from Leipzig to a real elite or uber wealthy club.

As much as I’d like us to sign him this Summer, we’d already be looking at 50/60m plus which would be way too much on one player, given our need to strengthen many parts of the squad.

All the rest listed above would probably be gettable for 40m at the most. Many significantly less. We could probably sign 4 or 5 of them for what it costs to buy 1 Declan Rice (although I think he’s brilliant). Not to mention Kamara on a free.
 

RedDevilCanuck

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I remember a few years ago there was a thread here where posters would name some youngsters they thought were going to be class. It was then revisited a couple of years later to a varied array of success rates. I was thinking we could do the same but with hidden gem players in general, whether they're young or old. Hopefully we'll be targeting these types of players this Summer rather than frittering huge sums on the likes of Declan Rice. Especially with Rangnick's guidance as this is his modus operandi in the transfer market.

I realise this is pure transfer muppet-ville. I have watched all these play, albeit not to large extents and mostly on YouTube which doesn't say much. I've also researched them thoroughly on international football forums with native fans who watch them week in and week out.

I'll do mine in the form of a starting 11 -

GK: Maarten Vandevoordt, 20, Genk
Made his debut 3 years ago and is now first choice. All rounder. 6 foot 4, good shot stopping, great with his feet. Widely considered the successor to Courtois in Belgium.

RB: Calvin Ramsay, 18, Aberdeen
Finally it looks as though Scotland's riches at left back may not always embarrass the right hand side in contrast. Ramsay's been linked with lots of big clubs. Strong personality, hard worker but technically proficient too rather than just a grafter. Fellow Scot Hickey on the left is also promising but just misses out of this list to...

LB: Borna Sosa, 24, Stuttgart
Caused some furore a couple of years back when he declared for Germany and then found out he was ineligible. Most Croatian fans have forgiven and forgotten as he's shaping up into a cracking player. Might be the best crosser in the Bundesliga and defensively sound too. 5 assists this season in 21 appearances for a Stuttgart team that is second from bottom. Would've had more if Stuttgart hadn't missed its big target man Sasa Kalajdzic most of this season so far.

CD: Gleison Bremer, 24, Torino
Possibly the best CD in Serie A this season. Strong, quick, brave with a lot of class. Bases his game off Lucio. Looks like he may be off to Inter but not confirmed yet. If he's off the table, I'd look at Attilla Szalai of Fenerbahçe or even his partner Kim Min-jae.

CD: Nico Schlotterbeck, 22, Freiburg
Probably the star of Freiburg's unexpected push for a Champions League place. Left footed, classy, tall, quick. Passes well with both feet. Statistically the best performing centre back in Germany this season. Out of contract in 2023 and refusing to sign a new deal so expect him to go cheap.

DM: Mohamed Camara, 22, RB Salzburg
I would've said Boubacar Kamara but it feels like he's a little too well known for this list. I also considered Ilic at Verona but he's ex City so I swerved that one :devil: I went with Camara. Excellent in possession, an ideal modern midfielder, great passer. Far bigger ceiling than his countryman Haidara at Leipzig and probably even better right now.

CM: Orkun Kökcü, 21, Feyenoord
The Eredivisie can be hard to scout from for the PL but 7 goals and 8 assists from CM this season is really impressive. He's 2 footed, technically immense and the sort of player with big personality who takes responsibility on the pitch. Maybe the best CM in Holland right now. He narrowly shaded Vitinha who has grown fantastically at Porto this season.

AM: Lovro Majer, 24, Rennes
Utter utter class. Quality creative midfielder who reminds me of a young Modric. Keeps getting better and has excelled since joining Rennes in the Summer. I think he'll go to a top club very soon. Genius from Rennes who consistently buy smartly in the market.

RW: Tetê, 22, Shakhtar Donetsk
Antony is the real deal but he's gone too high profile. Ajax would demand at least 50m I'd guess. Yeremy Pino's class but feels a little obvious after his hat trick at the weekend. I've, somewhat reluctantly, gone for Tetê here. He has 31 goals and 15 assists in 108 games in Ukraine. I like that he's a left footer on the right. I've seen a fair bit of him, albeit not for a year or two, and he just looks a player. A good blend of creative and clinical. Arguably he's gone off the boil a little or plateaued this season but I recall Willian and Fernandinho having similar spells at Shakhtar where possibly the league no longer really challenged them. Given the awful situation in Ukraine, we'd probably be able to sign him for cheaper than his usual market value (which I feel an arse for even thinking of).

LW: N/A
Not sure we really need a LW. I like Sulemana a lot and Cody Gakpo could be a star in a year or two. Kaminski who is going to Wolfsburg soon is exciting.

ST: Ben Brereton Díaz, 22, Blackburn
Instead of a LW, I'm going for a second striker. It's always hard to know how a Championship top scorer will do in the Premier League. Look at Mitrovic, Jordan Rhoades et al for proof of this. From what I've heard, most regular Championship viewers and even many Blackburn supporters are genuinely 50/50 on whether this guy will succeed or flop in the PL. I think he'll surprise many. He was in our academy about 10 years ago but there started to be a lot of chatter about him before he'd debuted when he was with Nottingham Forest. It's fair to suggest he underachieved there and wasn't anything special in his early days at Blackburn. Since the Chile call up, he's gone from strength to strength however. His confidence is beaming and his all round play is so much better. I think some of the cynicism is because he looks way older than he is and his type of player can often develop later. It's similar to Harry Kane's breakthrough (not suggesting he's in the same class). After uninspiring loans at Leicester, Millwall and Norwich, not many people thought Kane would have anywhere near the career he had at Spurs. First season he scored loads, so many people suggested it was a fluke. Second season, same deal. It took him a long time to dispel the naysayers. I think BBD is the same. He's out of contract in 2023 so I think he'll not have too much of the dreaded English tax. We could do a lot worse than picking him up for £25m in the Summer as one of two options to replace Ronaldo and Cavani.

ST: Charles De Ketelaere, 20, Club Brugge
I've mentioned him in basically every post I've made here for ages now. At first, I just had a feeling he'd be class and everything I've seen since has only strengthened that view. He's got shades of KDB in terms of intelligence and application but perhaps he's best described as a cross between Havertz and Firmino. Not uber quick but no slouch. Good technically but not insane. Decent finisher but not lethal. Nice passer but no creative dynamo. HOWEVER, he just brings everything together so well. He's very intelligent and his composure and cool thinking is seriously impressive for someone so young. He's getting better and better all the time; having developed as a winger or AM but now moving further up into a striking role to good effect. He's the sort of signing Leicester will make for £25/£30m (heavily linked to them FWIW) and he'll be snapped up by City for £90m+ in 5 years when he's world class. We'd regret it if we missed out, I feel. My muppetry for him is seriously risky as his stats aren't yet much to write home about... but the kid's just got IT. Please feel free to ridicule me in 3 years if I'm well off base. Other strikers I considered were Ekitike (but Newcastle were quoted figures of £35m plus in January so he isn't such a hidden gem), Gouiri (again, probably not a hidden gem), Mohamed Bayo (less sure of him) and Šeško (super young, could go either way).


Anyway, we'll see how I do in the future. I could very well read this back cringing hard. Any others?
Wow yout depth of knowledge through many leagues is impressive.

I think Jonathan David from Lille will go to Arsenal, Chelsea or even city. That's my only hidden gem outside of the PL.
 

Niemans

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Yeremi Pino (19) - RW
Nico Williams (19) - RW, LW

Now riskier bets:

Pablo Torre (18) - AMC - Racing Santander
Alberto Moleiro (18) - AMC, LW, - Las Palmas
 

Sea-Cow

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I remember a few years ago there was a thread here where posters would name some youngsters they thought were going to be class. It was then revisited a couple of years later to a varied array of success rates. I was thinking we could do the same but with hidden gem players in general, whether they're young or old. Hopefully we'll be targeting these types of players this Summer rather than frittering huge sums on the likes of Declan Rice. Especially with Rangnick's guidance as this is his modus operandi in the transfer market.

I realise this is pure transfer muppet-ville. I have watched all these play, albeit not to large extents and mostly on YouTube which doesn't say much. I've also researched them thoroughly on international football forums with native fans who watch them week in and week out.

I'll do mine in the form of a starting 11 -

GK: Maarten Vandevoordt, 20, Genk
Made his debut 3 years ago and is now first choice. All rounder. 6 foot 4, good shot stopping, great with his feet. Widely considered the successor to Courtois in Belgium.

RB: Calvin Ramsay, 18, Aberdeen
Finally it looks as though Scotland's riches at left back may not always embarrass the right hand side in contrast. Ramsay's been linked with lots of big clubs. Strong personality, hard worker but technically proficient too rather than just a grafter. Fellow Scot Hickey on the left is also promising but just misses out of this list to...

LB: Borna Sosa, 24, Stuttgart
Caused some furore a couple of years back when he declared for Germany and then found out he was ineligible. Most Croatian fans have forgiven and forgotten as he's shaping up into a cracking player. Might be the best crosser in the Bundesliga and defensively sound too. 5 assists this season in 21 appearances for a Stuttgart team that is second from bottom. Would've had more if Stuttgart hadn't missed its big target man Sasa Kalajdzic most of this season so far.

CD: Gleison Bremer, 24, Torino
Possibly the best CD in Serie A this season. Strong, quick, brave with a lot of class. Bases his game off Lucio. Looks like he may be off to Inter but not confirmed yet. If he's off the table, I'd look at Attilla Szalai of Fenerbahçe or even his partner Kim Min-jae.

CD: Nico Schlotterbeck, 22, Freiburg
Probably the star of Freiburg's unexpected push for a Champions League place. Left footed, classy, tall, quick. Passes well with both feet. Statistically the best performing centre back in Germany this season. Out of contract in 2023 and refusing to sign a new deal so expect him to go cheap.

DM: Mohamed Camara, 22, RB Salzburg
I would've said Boubacar Kamara but it feels like he's a little too well known for this list. I also considered Ilic at Verona but he's ex City so I swerved that one :devil: I went with Camara. Excellent in possession, an ideal modern midfielder, great passer. Far bigger ceiling than his countryman Haidara at Leipzig and probably even better right now.

CM: Orkun Kökcü, 21, Feyenoord
The Eredivisie can be hard to scout from for the PL but 7 goals and 8 assists from CM this season is really impressive. He's 2 footed, technically immense and the sort of player with big personality who takes responsibility on the pitch. Maybe the best CM in Holland right now. He narrowly shaded Vitinha who has grown fantastically at Porto this season.

AM: Lovro Majer, 24, Rennes
Utter utter class. Quality creative midfielder who reminds me of a young Modric. Keeps getting better and has excelled since joining Rennes in the Summer. I think he'll go to a top club very soon. Genius from Rennes who consistently buy smartly in the market.

RW: Tetê, 22, Shakhtar Donetsk
Antony is the real deal but he's gone too high profile. Ajax would demand at least 50m I'd guess. Yeremy Pino's class but feels a little obvious after his hat trick at the weekend. I've, somewhat reluctantly, gone for Tetê here. He has 31 goals and 15 assists in 108 games in Ukraine. I like that he's a left footer on the right. I've seen a fair bit of him, albeit not for a year or two, and he just looks a player. A good blend of creative and clinical. Arguably he's gone off the boil a little or plateaued this season but I recall Willian and Fernandinho having similar spells at Shakhtar where possibly the league no longer really challenged them. Given the awful situation in Ukraine, we'd probably be able to sign him for cheaper than his usual market value (which I feel an arse for even thinking of).

LW: N/A
Not sure we really need a LW. I like Sulemana a lot and Cody Gakpo could be a star in a year or two. Kaminski who is going to Wolfsburg soon is exciting.

ST: Ben Brereton Díaz, 22, Blackburn
Instead of a LW, I'm going for a second striker. It's always hard to know how a Championship top scorer will do in the Premier League. Look at Mitrovic, Jordan Rhoades et al for proof of this. From what I've heard, most regular Championship viewers and even many Blackburn supporters are genuinely 50/50 on whether this guy will succeed or flop in the PL. I think he'll surprise many. He was in our academy about 10 years ago but there started to be a lot of chatter about him before he'd debuted when he was with Nottingham Forest. It's fair to suggest he underachieved there and wasn't anything special in his early days at Blackburn. Since the Chile call up, he's gone from strength to strength however. His confidence is beaming and his all round play is so much better. I think some of the cynicism is because he looks way older than he is and his type of player can often develop later. It's similar to Harry Kane's breakthrough (not suggesting he's in the same class). After uninspiring loans at Leicester, Millwall and Norwich, not many people thought Kane would have anywhere near the career he had at Spurs. First season he scored loads, so many people suggested it was a fluke. Second season, same deal. It took him a long time to dispel the naysayers. I think BBD is the same. He's out of contract in 2023 so I think he'll not have too much of the dreaded English tax. We could do a lot worse than picking him up for £25m in the Summer as one of two options to replace Ronaldo and Cavani.

ST: Charles De Ketelaere, 20, Club Brugge
I've mentioned him in basically every post I've made here for ages now. At first, I just had a feeling he'd be class and everything I've seen since has only strengthened that view. He's got shades of KDB in terms of intelligence and application but perhaps he's best described as a cross between Havertz and Firmino. Not uber quick but no slouch. Good technically but not insane. Decent finisher but not lethal. Nice passer but no creative dynamo. HOWEVER, he just brings everything together so well. He's very intelligent and his composure and cool thinking is seriously impressive for someone so young. He's getting better and better all the time; having developed as a winger or AM but now moving further up into a striking role to good effect. He's the sort of signing Leicester will make for £25/£30m (heavily linked to them FWIW) and he'll be snapped up by City for £90m+ in 5 years when he's world class. We'd regret it if we missed out, I feel. My muppetry for him is seriously risky as his stats aren't yet much to write home about... but the kid's just got IT. Please feel free to ridicule me in 3 years if I'm well off base. Other strikers I considered were Ekitike (but Newcastle were quoted figures of £35m plus in January so he isn't such a hidden gem), Gouiri (again, probably not a hidden gem), Mohamed Bayo (less sure of him) and Šeško (super young, could go either way).


Anyway, we'll see how I do in the future. I could very well read this back cringing hard. Any others?
Great post. I didn't know much, if anything, about most of these and it was a good write up on all of them.
 

SparkedIntoLife

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Wow yout depth of knowledge through many leagues is impressive.

I think Jonathan David from Lille will go to Arsenal, Chelsea or even city. That's my only hidden gem outside of the PL.
Great post. I didn't know much, if anything, about most of these and it was a good write up on all of them.
Thanks guys. I suppose there’s not really such a thing as ‘hidden gems’ these days due to the vast amount of information gathering and scouting resources we have, plus also the fact that so much of football is filmed these days. However, it feels like United still contrive to go for the most obvious targets, no matter how unsuited or expensive they are. Hopefully that will change this year.

And yeah, I have high hopes for Jonathan David. May be slightly expensive from Lille but he’s got all the attributes to be a huge success.

Great picks @Niemans. After Pedri coming from Las Palmas, I’ll be especially interested in Moleiro.
 

Pughnichi

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I too can’t say I know a great deal about this lot. I’m nearly 40, don’t have time for FM and/or much football other than us.

the irritating thing is though, the club likely has extensive reports on them all, their current market value…yet still spaff ridiculous money on ‘English, PL proven players’

It’s about risk and reward and sometimes it’s gotta be better spending nominal fees on younger players who will keep at least their initial value (if they fail) but have a decorum of potential to be brilliant for us

great input though. Enjoyed the write up
 

Niemans

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Thanks guys. I suppose there’s not really such a thing as ‘hidden gems’ these days due to the vast amount of information gathering and scouting resources we have, plus also the fact that so much of football is filmed these days. However, it feels like United still contrive to go for the most obvious targets, no matter how unsuited or expensive they are. Hopefully that will change this year.

And yeah, I have high hopes for Jonathan David. May be slightly expensive from Lille but he’s got all the attributes to be a huge success.

Great picks @Niemans. After Pedri coming from Las Palmas, I’ll be especially interested in Moleiro.
And just today on the Marca website "Pablo Torre unleashes another fight Barcelona - Madrid"
 

Dave_MUFC

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Kaiky and Angelo from Santos look the real deal, ala Neymar, getting regular game time at 16/17. Just hope City don't end up scooping those up too..
 

Niemans

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Kaiky and Angelo from Santos look the real deal, ala Neymar, getting regular game time at 16/17. Just hope City don't end up scooping those up too..
Barça has two of the great pearls of Brazil tied and well tied. The Blaugrana club found this summer with a favorable sentence from FIFA for breach of contract between Santos and the Blaugrana club for the sale of Gabigol to Inter Milan. Barça had a preferential option on him since the signing of Neymar and the Brazilians skipped it. The debt amounted to more than three million euros, which Barça condoned by setting a fixed price for the two great promises of Santos, the central Kaiky and the winger Ángelo.

The Blaugrana club can sign them for a fixed price of 35 million euros each and it seems that they have done bingo with Angelo because he is the best young winger in Brazil. It is very likely that, in this case, they will end up signing him.
 

UnitedSofa

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Problem with this place, if United sign a "hidden gem" aka Pellistri / Amad, instead of being patient with them, if they're not forcing themselves into the first team and banging in a goal every other game. They're written off as deadwood.

We can never sign hidden gems, as much as we complain about Barca/Bayern/Madrid signing these hidden cheap gems or a team like Leicester and then us buying them off them, I think this place would do better off for it. Because we just write players off at the drop of a hat.
 

Oranges038

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ST: Charles De Ketelaere
Been impressed every time I've seen him.

Another striker I'd put in would be Adam Hlozek of Sparta Prague. Hard to gauge when they play in those leagues, but he's got a decent record and a good physique about him.

He'd be a proper David Moyes signing.
 

golden_blunder

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Problem with this place, if United sign a "hidden gem" aka Pellistri / Amad, instead of being patient with them, if they're not forcing themselves into the first team and banging in a goal every other game. They're written off as deadwood.

We can never sign hidden gems, as much as we complain about Barca/Bayern/Madrid signing these hidden cheap gems or a team like Leicester and then us buying them off them, I think this place would do better off for it. Because we just write players off at the drop of a hat.
True. Our fan base wants the idea of cheap hidden gems but demand instant success.
 

SparkedIntoLife

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Problem with this place, if United sign a "hidden gem" aka Pellistri / Amad, instead of being patient with them, if they're not forcing themselves into the first team and banging in a goal every other game. They're written off as deadwood.

We can never sign hidden gems, as much as we complain about Barca/Bayern/Madrid signing these hidden cheap gems or a team like Leicester and then us buying them off them, I think this place would do better off for it. Because we just write players off at the drop of a hat.
I would agree with you to some extent. However, I hope this thread would prove that there are ‘hidden gems’ that can come in and hit the ground running. Kante, Mahrez and co didn’t really need time at Leicester. It was clear to most of us that Amad and Pellistri need a long time. They were both very young and slight.

For what it’s worth, I was and still am very excited by Amad Diallo. A spell of injuries and average form hasn’t put me off him much because I feel the fundamentals are there and he may have an awkward time growing physically. Pellistri failed the eye test for me from word go. He is a low fee gamble.

Agreed totally that many here tear our players down too quickly sometimes. We can be way too entitled based on United’s success. However, we absolutely should be expectant and demanding of more successful transfer market activity; both in incomings and departures. We can’t keep throwing 200m a year at it either, hence the need for United to get better value and sell better too.
 

SparkedIntoLife

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Non of these players should ever touch a United shirt :lol:
Thanks for the constructive reply and reasoning! Who would you sign this Summer then? Bellingham, Rice and Haaland triple 300m swoop? Or hope Phil Jones comes good right?

I thought there was already a Football Manager 2022 thread in the generals?
Ever thought there might be myriad other ways of identifying non obvious talent than playing video games? Sorry, should I have just kept it to PL stars who cost four times their equivalents in alternative markets? Ignore this obviously pointless thread then; buying big names is obviously the way to go and has served us so well in recent times.
 

Corridor of Uncertainty

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Thanks for the constructive reply and reasoning! Who would you sign this Summer then? Bellingham, Rice and Haaland triple 300m swoop? Or hope Phil Jones comes good right?



Ever thought there might be myriad other ways of identifying non obvious talent than playing video games? Sorry, should I have just kept it to PL stars who cost four times their equivalents in alternative markets? Ignore this obviously pointless thread then; buying big names is obviously the way to go and has served us so well in recent times.

Van Dijk
Robertson
Alisson
Fabinho
Salah
Jota
Mane

All key players, none of them were 'hidden gems' or 'big names' as you put it. They were all at the level we used to buy when Fergie was here. Talented players who still had scope for improvement.

No one wants us to spunk £100 million on Rice, but shooting fish in a barrel of your Football Manager fantasy list in the hope we manage to get one right isn't the answer either.
 

Niemans

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Someone who follows the O. Lyon. Because Cherki doesn't play as a starter?

He has an enormous quality and talent. He is still only 18 years old.

Attitude problems? Lack ambition?
 

Mainoldo

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Thanks for the constructive reply and reasoning! Who would you sign this Summer then? Bellingham, Rice and Haaland triple 300m swoop? Or hope Phil Jones comes good right?
No let’s signs all these hidden gems and attempt to get top 4. I mean the transition to making the step up to United and expecting to compete at the top level don’t really mean nothing. Further more let’s just bring our hottest prospects from the youth team through.
 

Annihilate Now!

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Lewis O'Brien (23) at Huddersfield will be a solid prem midfielder for someone next season.
 

SparkedIntoLife

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Van Dijk
Robertson
Alisson
Fabinho
Salah
Jota
Mane

All key players, none of them were 'hidden gems' or 'big names' as you put it. They were all at the level we used to buy when Fergie was here. Talented players who still had scope for improvement.

No one wants us to spunk £100 million on Rice, but shooting fish in a barrel of your Football Manager fantasy list in the hope we manage to get one right isn't the answer either.
If you don’t follow football across other leagues and lazily rely on FM, no need to project that onto others. I didn’t just make a list; I gave actual info on the players that’s come through watching them and through research off people who know them much more. Maybe leave this discussion to people who care to discuss other footballers who appear beyond Match of the Day highlights rather than wasting your time digging at me with a lazy cliche.

Robertson was a relegated LB who was off the radar of big clubs. A hidden gem. The rest were pretty much talents that had huge asterisks by their names. Salah had ‘failed’ before for Chelsea. We were linked with Mane but most here didn’t consider him elite enough (proving my point - higher profile doesn’t necessarily mean better).

It’s also not a like for like comparison as Liverpool then were not in the same situation we’re in now. There’s now 2/3 big teams way ahead of us. Back then, I’d say that there was much more of an unsettled top tier of the Prem, hence Leicester winning the league etc.

Also we’ve long had years of overpaying. If we come in for Ruben Neves, we’d get a different starting price than, say, Liverpool.

I’m not advocating all hidden gem signings for us going forward. I would love us to sign Jude Bellingham but feel it’s pointless this year. He’s the signing you make when you have a strong base. I don’t think we have that. This Summer we need to be smart and make our money go a long way.

I don’t even think all of these guys would be suitable for United. I’m merely advocating we at least look to this profile of player to make more comprehensive squad surgery than merely buying Rice for 100m as we’ve been prone to do. Not sure why you have to be so adversarial. Are you denying that there’s quality players that are going under the radar? Don’t you want us to save money?
 

Corridor of Uncertainty

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If you don’t follow football across other leagues and lazily rely on FM, no need to project that onto others. I didn’t just make a list; I gave actual info on the players that’s come through watching them and through research off people who know them much more. Maybe leave this discussion to people who care to discuss other footballers who appear beyond Match of the Day highlights rather than wasting your time digging at me with a lazy cliche.

Robertson was a relegated LB who was off the radar of big clubs. A hidden gem. The rest were pretty much talents that had huge asterisks by their names. Salah had ‘failed’ before for Chelsea. We were linked with Mane but most here didn’t consider him elite enough (proving my point - higher profile doesn’t necessarily mean better).

It’s also not a like for like comparison as Liverpool then were not in the same situation we’re in now. There’s now 2/3 big teams way ahead of us. Back then, I’d say that there was much more of an unsettled top tier of the Prem, hence Leicester winning the league etc.

Also we’ve long had years of overpaying. If we come in for Ruben Neves, we’d get a different starting price than, say, Liverpool.

I’m not advocating all hidden gem signings for us going forward. I would love us to sign Jude Bellingham but feel it’s pointless this year. He’s the signing you make when you have a strong base. I don’t think we have that. This Summer we need to be smart and make our money go a long way.

I don’t even think all of these guys would be suitable for United. I’m merely advocating we at least look to this profile of player to make more comprehensive squad surgery than merely buying Rice for 100m as we’ve been prone to do. Not sure why you have to be so adversarial. Are you denying that there’s quality players that are going under the radar? Don’t you want us to save money?
I haven't read all that, but how was Andy Robertson, who had already played a full Premier league season with 33 appearances, a hidden gem? Yet you think Kamara isn't? Okay.
 

SparkedIntoLife

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No let’s signs all these hidden gems and attempt to get top 4. I mean the transition to making the step up to United and expecting to compete at the top level don’t really mean nothing. Further more let’s just bring our hottest prospects from the youth team through.
As opposed to what? Signing Rice for 100m and hoping for the best?

We’ve come to the point where we’ll probably have NO strikers this Summer. Do you reckon we should just sign Haaland for 70m and Bowen or someone for 50m as a backup and then magically have huge money left to solve our long term ‘problem position’ of DM too? Something’s gotta give man
 

SparkedIntoLife

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I haven't read all that, but how was Andy Robertson, who had already played a full Premier league season with 33 appearances, a hidden gem? Yet you think Kamara isn't? Okay.
Find me loads of threads and articles linking us to Andy Robertson and then compare them with all the hype of Kamara to United. And also, one played for Hull in a terrible season and the other plays for a big European team and has played like 3 seasons in European competitions. Again you’re showing your English league bias.

I would absolutely sign Kamara. It makes too much sense as a good value signing. I just didn’t choose to put him here because he’s been spoken about enough on Red Cafe. You’re just being deliberately argumentative at this point.
 

Mainoldo

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As opposed to what? Signing Rice for 100m and hoping for the best?

We’ve come to the point where we’ll probably have NO strikers this Summer. Do you reckon we should just sign Haaland for 70m and Bowen or someone for 50m as a backup and then magically have huge money left to solve our long term ‘problem position’ of DM too? Something’s gotta give man
You keep saying this point like I should be on your side.

Just to make it clear… I would rather spend £80m on Harry Maguire again…

Then spend a bunch of change on these hidden gems. The reason being had already been explained.

But if you want a slight look into the future. Just take our second summer transfer window under LVG.

Our player profile should be quite easy and clear. Under 22 player who has huge potential with a view of being elite (example Martial). Elite players (Di Maria) or players who are excelling at a level just below ours who are prime for a step up (Carrick). Then we fill that with established players who are good pros (Park Ji Sung).

I’ve used examples which should be relatable to you being as it is business which we have previously done.

What we don’t need his an FM scout search which some weird Money ball approach like it’s going to work here.

By the way Declan Rice fits the Carrick model and I’m all for it. So stop bringing him up.
 

anant

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Problem with this place, if United sign a "hidden gem" aka Pellistri / Amad, instead of being patient with them, if they're not forcing themselves into the first team and banging in a goal every other game. They're written off as deadwood.

We can never sign hidden gems, as much as we complain about Barca/Bayern/Madrid signing these hidden cheap gems or a team like Leicester and then us buying them off them, I think this place would do better off for it. Because we just write players off at the drop of a hat.
Exactly. We've already written Amad and Pellistri as waste of money. The issue has been that people equate potential with current ability. I remember people going sell Mata and let Gomes play 3 years ago, when in fact Gomes was not ready for senior football, and as old as Mata may be getting he was still better than Gomes then.
 

SparkedIntoLife

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You keep saying this point like I should be on your side.

Just to make it clear… I would rather spend £80m on Harry Maguire again…

Then spend a bunch of change on these hidden gems. The reason being had already been explained.

But if you want a slight look into the future. Just take our second summer transfer window under LVG.

Our player profile should be quite easy and clear. Under 22 player who has huge potential with a view of being elite (example Martial). Elite players (Di Maria) or players who are excelling at a level just below ours who are prime for a step up (Carrick). Then we fill that with established players who are good pros (Park Ji Sung).

I’ve used examples which should be relatable to you being as it is business which we have previously done.

What we don’t need his an FM scout search which some weird Money ball approach like it’s going to work here.

By the way Declan Rice fits the Carrick model and I’m all for it. So stop bringing him up.
Well, your comment on Maguire says it all. It’s all lazy projection and cliches that you’re throwing FM at me. Would you have advised Leicester years ago to stay away from Mahrez, Kante, Vardy, Okazaki and co because they’re too FM for you? Should we wait for the above named footballers to go to Villa first so we can buy them for 4 times their value?

Newsflash - we need serious squad surgery. Can’t do that just by buying 50-100m players all the time you know.
 

Mainoldo

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Well, your comment on Maguire says it all. It’s all lazy projection and cliches that you’re throwing FM at me. Would you have advised Leicester years ago to stay away from Mahrez, Kante, Vardy, Okazaki and co because they’re too FM for you? Should we wait for the above named footballers to go to Villa first so we can buy them for 4 times their value?

Newsflash - we need serious squad surgery. Can’t do that just by buying 50-100m players all the time you know.
We aren’t Leicester.

We are Manchester United. We buy Mahrez’s when he proves himself at Leicester like Manchester City did. Now give it a rest and stop thinking your smart.
 

L1nk

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Some of the comments here dear me, we really deserve to be where we are. It's like nobody has learned anything :lol:
 

SparkedIntoLife

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We aren’t Leicester.

We are Manchester United. We buy Mahrez’s when he proves himself at Leicester like Manchester City did. Now give it a rest and stop thinking your smart.
It’s “you’re”. Smarter than you, evidently.

How far will that policy get you? We’re not Leicester but we’re also not City and have to accept the reality. We will have large turnover pretty much forced upon us this Summer - Pogba/Lingard/Cavani/Greenwood all pretty much gone, Ronaldo probably has a CL clause in his contract and is 37, Matic and Mata are ageing, we have loads of squad deficiencies and a team built for counter attacking football when we seemingly want to go high press.

Just how would you propose all these players be replaced? 50m for Neves, 60m for McGinn, 80m for Kane? Is the criteria that you, oh wise Mainoldo scouting genius must’ve heard of them?

If you can’t be realistically constructive, don’t bother pissing over my suggestions.

P.S. Using Martial and Di Maria as examples of good transfer strategy really undermines your argument
 

Ibi Dreams

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We aren’t Leicester.

We are Manchester United. We buy Mahrez’s when he proves himself at Leicester like Manchester City did. Now give it a rest and stop thinking your smart.
This is his thread. If you fundamentally disagree with it, fine, you've made your point and you should be the one to give it a rest
 

Corridor of Uncertainty

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I struggle to understand how one person can have such a broad expertise of so many little known players playing all throughout Europe, or 'hidden gems' as you put it.

I mean, don't people on here have jobs to go to, homes to maintain, family engagements etc. I have barely enough time to watch United once or twice a week, let alone scour the swamps of Europe as if it's a full-time job as well.
 

SparkedIntoLife

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And also, you’re acting like I’m advocating us signing players from Kerala Blasters or some shit. Salzburg, Rennes, Shakhtar et al are hardly tiny clubs. Would those in the same mindset as Mainoldo have been glad we missed out at signing Haaland at Salzburg and Bellingham at Birmingham? We can’t keep signing players when they’re so fecking obvious all the time. Those are cherry on the top signings when you’re consistently winning leagues.
 

SparkedIntoLife

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I struggle to understand how one person can have such a broad expertise of so many little known players playing all throughout Europe, or 'hidden gems' as you put it.

I mean, don't people on here have jobs to go to, homes to maintain, family engagements etc. I have barely enough time to watch United once or twice a week, let alone scour the swamps of Europe as if it's a full-time job as well.
Cool, so at least you’re admitting that your knowledge is the problem now.

I’m interested in world football. Watch a lot of things on football where I can. Do my reading. Hear informed opinions. A bit of guesswork and speculation (never hid that above or pretended to be a scout or some shit).

I still do my job, look after my 2 little children, spend time with my wife, do the chores etc. Just like football and 1 or 2 other things. Not too difficult.

But mostly this thread is about inviting the expertise of others. Especially regular watchers of other leagues. We have fantastic posters here from all across the world who don’t just watch PL.
 

Corridor of Uncertainty

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And also, you’re acting like I’m advocating us signing players from Kerala Blasters or some shit. Salzburg, Rennes, Shakhtar et al are hardly tiny clubs. Would those in the same mindset as Mainoldo have been glad we missed out at signing Haaland at Salzburg and Bellingham at Birmingham? We can’t keep signing players when they’re so fecking obvious all the time. Those are cherry on the top signings when you’re consistently winning leagues.
We tried to sign both Haaland and Bellingham when they were at those clubs, so what's your point?
 

Corridor of Uncertainty

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Cool, so at least you’re admitting that your knowledge is the problem now.

I’m interested in world football. Watch a lot of things on football where I can. Do my reading. Hear informed opinions. A bit of guesswork and speculation (never hid that above or pretended to be a scout or some shit).

I still do my job, look after my 2 little children, spend time with my wife, do the chores etc. Just like football and 1 or 2 other things. Not too difficult.

But mostly this thread is about inviting the expertise of others. Especially regular watchers of other leagues. We have fantastic posters here from all across the world who don’t just watch PL.
Enjoy the January update, fellah.
 

Mainoldo

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It’s “you’re”. Smarter than you, evidently.

How far will that policy get you? We’re not Leicester but we’re also not City and have to accept the reality. We will have large turnover pretty much forced upon us this Summer - Pogba/Lingard/Cavani/Greenwood all pretty much gone, Ronaldo probably has a CL clause in his contract and is 37, Matic and Mata are ageing, we have loads of squad deficiencies and a team built for counter attacking football when we seemingly want to go high press.

Just how would you propose all these players be replaced? 50m for Neves, 60m for McGinn, 80m for Kane? Is the criteria that you, oh wise Mainoldo scouting genius must’ve heard of them?

If you can’t be realistically constructive, don’t bother pissing over my suggestions.

P.S. Using Martial and Di Maria as examples of good transfer strategy really undermines your argument
I didn’t say they was good transfers but the strategy was correct. I mean you literally mention Haaland at Salzburg. That’s a Martial strategy signing. Di Maria is the equivalent of buying Harry Kane. Top player would be an amazing striker for us. But not what we need right now.

There’s nothing wrong with what I said. It’s feasible for the type of club we are. What isn’t feasible is spending a summer buying hidden gems with the aim of this is what Leicester do and produce players like Mahrez and Fofana. But guess what those signings don’t fit in here and become successful because it’s a bigger pressure cooker here where your job as a manager requires results.

I mean we could go down the Arsenal route but even then it’s hardly a blueprint for success is it. As soon as it flourish your better players get nicked by a Man City because you are no longer considered as the end goal for a players trying to achieve the best.

In sort I’m trying to explain to you with have a position in English football and as long as we continue to have this position we can’t just revert to falling 4 levels just so we can start signing hidden gems.