The search for a left back...

TheGame

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I've been pretty content with Shaw and Williams being deployed the way they have.
Yes me too. Both have been doing great with rotation so it seems silly to waste money in this area where there are other areas we need to improve on.
 

jamesjimmybyrondean

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Left back is not a concern at all. Shaw is not a bad player and you can find players of his quality in the starting lineup of top European teams
 

jesperjaap

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We didnt need to search for a new left back before Williams broke through so we certainly dont now
 

Who's Kissing Cameras?

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Left back is as cemented as left wing now. Far more pressing areas.
 

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Saka hasn't signed a new contract at Arsenal yet. We should definitely try everything to convince him to sign for us. Very unlikely transfer, but he is going to become a top left back.
 

Bebestation

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Saka hasn't signed a new contract at Arsenal yet. We should definitely try everything to convince him to sign for us. Very unlikely transfer, but he is going to become a top left back.
I thought he doesnt want to play LB though?
 

Bebestation

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Alaba never wanted to be a defender either. He will play the position he is best in unless he doesn't want to make the most out of his career.
That's fair but he isn't going to move at the moment when hes still making that mind up and we have Rashford and shaw in two spots he thinks hes good at.

He will likely settle down another season or two at LB at Arsenal before we could ever really move for him & he maintains this form he has been in or he just moves to a different club to try his LW career out.

I agree with you though I have thought about players like Saka or even McNeil potentially at LWB but it's not that important yet and Ole hasn't surely got that much support from the United board to change every aspect of the squad like this so quickly.
 

Rozay

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Saka is class. He looks a better LB than Williams to me, looks like he has the potential to be one of the world’s best in that role. That said, despite making this thread, I accept that the position isn’t necessarily as urgent anymore, although that largely depends on Shaw staying fit, which is always a risky bet.
 

VeevaVee

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We didnt need to search for a new left back before Williams broke through so we certainly dont now
Shaw has been injured a lot. We definitely needed someone that could come in and at least do as good a job as him when he’s out. Hopefully he’s past the injuries and it’ll at least give Williams a good run if he is.
 

Rozay

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Shaw has been injured a lot. We definitely needed someone that could come in and at least do as good a job as him when he’s out. Hopefully he’s past the injuries and it’ll at least give Williams a good run if he is.
Indeed, very easy to say we didn’t need a Lb when this thread was made. Shaw was in the middle of yet another 3 month injury absence and we had to start asking whether we should move on from him. Williams has barely made his debut. A new senior LB made sense at the time, and still does if Shaw doesn’t start to show a more positive fitness record.
 

Kag

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Left back is as cemented as left wing now. Far more pressing areas.
I’d argue that Shaw is a stretch away from a three month absence and Williams isn’t enough in the long term if we aim to compete for titles. An attacking left back that offers something different to Shaw will be hugely beneficial. Williams will get lots of games across both flanks.
 

-Supreme-

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I’d argue that Shaw is a stretch away from a three month absence and Williams isn’t enough in the long term if we aim to compete for titles. An attacking left back that offers something different to Shaw will be hugely beneficial. Williams will get lots of games across both flanks.
Couldn't agree more. We are desperate for a LB cover that can cross and run with the ball on his left foot.

I have stressed the importance of balance numerous times, particular in the left side where all our attacking players like to drift in on their preferred foot and I certainly do not want our LB i.e. Williams doing the same!
 

-Supreme-

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We are linked with Pervis Estupiñán, it appears Valencia has recommended him to United.


Ex-Man Utd full-back Antonio Valencia has given a ringing endorsement to a fellow countryman with the news that the club are closely monitoring his situation prior to an approach.

Valencia
, 34, departed Old Trafford last summer to return to his native Ecuador with L.D.U. Quito.



Following his £16m arrival from Wigan Athletic in 2009, Valencia blossomed into becoming one of the club’s most consistent and capable performers over the next decade, lifting two Premier League titles along the way.

His tenure with the club gives his words gravitas, meaning his latest advocacy that Man Utd act on their interest in fellow Ecuadorian Pervis Estupiñán carries weight.


22-year-old left-back Estupiñán has impressed this season with Osasuna to the degree that he has attracted the interest of Utd, along with Atletico Madrid according to British newspaper the Metro.

The club have reportedly ‘sent scouts to keep tabs‘ on the player, who much to the surprise of many, is actually on the books of fellow Premier League side Watford.

The Hornets signed Estupiñán from Valencia’s current club in 2016, though he has spent the last four seasons out on loan to various clubs in La Liga.

Finally finding his feet at Osasuna, his impressive displays have led to Valencia endorsing a potential approach from Man Utd when asked about the interest on social media.




‘From here, I send all the positive energies to Estupinan. Hopefully, it will happen,‘ said the former Red Devils full-back.

Estupinan was understandably quick off the mark to respond to Valencia’s comments, saying: ‘I’m proud to receive the blessings of a reference like you.’

Utd are currently blessed with solid options in his favoured left-back position, with Luke Shaw experiencing a revival under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Brandon Williams emerging as a future superstar.

At 22-years-of-age, however, Estupinan fits the profile of what Utd chiefs are currently looking for in the transfer market, namely players who the club can develop and will spend the prime years of their careers at Old Trafford.
 

jesperjaap

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Shaw has been injured a lot. We definitely needed someone that could come in and at least do as good a job as him when he’s out. Hopefully he’s past the injuries and it’ll at least give Williams a good run if he is.
Well it has just been a breakthrough season for Williams, but I really like him. Whether he can build on that, has to be seen of course but he is a fantastic prospect as a back up. But I think full back wise is the least of our worries. We still dont have a good partner for Maguire at centre back despite the numbers.

Taking away Fernandes our central midfielders still havent really convinced though Fred and McTominay have done well are they title winning players? Then we have Pogba and the whole saga. Matic bar the last month he played lookign dead in the water, We still have no quality right winger, consistant striker etc etc
 

Craig Ward

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Honestly don't think Shaw is good enough. He's good enough as he's doing okay in term of buying us time (few years) until Williams is ready to take his spot playing week in week out.

However, we can't afford for a left back at the moment as there are other priority.
I think if Shaw stays fit and continues to improve (remember he's early 20's) then there's absolutely no need to entertain a LB. Williams is decent cover, but i think the entire fan base is over hyping him. He's ok, with lots of room to improve but he is nowhere near guaranteed to "take over" from anybody.

Shaw as first choice with Williams/Dalot covering is fine, no need to change
 

Rozay

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I think if Shaw stays fit and continues to improve (remember he's early 20's) then there's absolutely no need to entertain a LB. Williams is decent cover, but i think the entire fan base is over hyping him. He's ok, with lots of room to improve but he is nowhere near guaranteed to "take over" from anybody.

Shaw as first choice with Williams/Dalot covering is fine, no need to change
I’m inclined to agree, although I’d still be keeping an eye on Saka’s situation at Arsenal. There’s a potential David Alaba level player there, and one with a higher ceiling than both Shaw and Williams. An absolutely frightening LB prospect, who would also offer the tactical flexibility of playing WB. The few times we’ve gone with that system this season we’ve seen that Shaw/Williams and AWB are far from good enough offensively to be WBs, I think they can get away with offering enough as LBs, but that’s about it. That said, Williams does at least have scope to be a good WB, but he is right-footed and not as good as Saka regardless.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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I think if Shaw stays fit and continues to improve (remember he's early 20's) then there's absolutely no need to entertain a LB. Williams is decent cover, but i think the entire fan base is over hyping him. He's ok, with lots of room to improve but he is nowhere near guaranteed to "take over" from anybody.

Shaw as first choice with Williams/Dalot covering is fine, no need to change
I also did say that Shaw as first choice is fine at the moment.

However, like I mentioned before, I don't think he's good enough for long term. In my view, the purpose of him right now is to buy time until we find a new left back or Williams is ready to play regularly week in week out.

What I see from Shaw right now is completely different to the Shaw in his early 20s. Shaw doesn't offer much anymore in driving the ball forward, he tends to stay behind rather than overlapping, his pace seems to be on decline & he lacks something to offer in attack. I see lack of determination from him. Defensively, it's the one thing he is still the same or at least I can see him making improvement in the aspect as he gets older. To me Shaw is on decline despite of his age. I'm judging this based on what I saw from him as I don't see any improvement.
 

SAFMUTD

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Shaw is good defensively but not AWB good to look past his attacking side, he must improve offensively.

I know its been repeted time and time again that Shaw prior to his injury was a really ofensive full back and I think he can go back there, he seems a player that is highly affected by confidence.

If Ole can find a way to keep him motivated I think he can evolve to a really good LB.

He’s about to turn 25 so its make or break moment for him.
 

Macedonian Red

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According to Castles, United is interested in Monaco left back Ballo Toure. Any info about a player?
 

NoPace

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According to Castles, United is interested in Monaco left back Ballo Toure. Any info about a player?
http://www.asmfoot.fr/forum/index.php?/topic/5478-fodé-ballo-touré-rendez-nous-mendy-ou-echiejile/&page=12

It's in French, but the Monaco fans basically say he was terrible and needed to be sold and then it seems like he had a few promising weeks in Feb/March. They say he just gets lost defensively and gives the ball away or crosses inaccurately. A guy said he figures 15M if they sell him.

Terrible Whoscored numbers.

There were rumours he might be Leicester's choice to replace Chillwell.

I haven't watched Ligue 1 in a few years but the more obvious signings for a left-back there would seem to be Kamara from Reims who made teams of the season on Whoscored and L'Equipe and is 26, or Maouassa from Rennes who is only 21 and seems to have had a torrid last month or so to end the season and has french youth caps.

But I do think it would make sense for us to buy a left-footed wingback for about 15M or some similarly not huge figure since they can start at LWB when we play 5 at the back and also compete with Shaw. Williams did well but he's probably not going to be that guy out left since so few players end up playing fullback wrong side at that level anymore (I believe Jonny is the only one in the Prem now that Azpilicueta has gone to the right?)
 
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Mark Pawelek

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I’m inclined to agree, although I’d still be keeping an eye on Saka’s situation at Arsenal. There’s a potential David Alaba level player there, and one with a higher ceiling than both Shaw and Williams. An absolutely frightening LB prospect, who would also offer the tactical flexibility of playing WB. The few times we’ve gone with that system this season we’ve seen that Shaw/Williams and AWB are far from good enough offensively to be WBs, I think they can get away with offering enough as LBs, but that’s about it. That said, Williams does at least have scope to be a good WB, but he is right-footed and not as good as Saka regardless.
Saka's contract at Arsenal has another year left on it. He is, potentially, the best attacking, left-footed fullback out there. A potential worldie. We'd be insane not to bid for him this summer. He's still only 18 years old. He can also play on the right as a winger. A better "Sancho alternative" than the Sancho alternative we're currently looking into.
 
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Rozay

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Saka's contract at Arsenal has another year left on it. He is, potentially, the best attacking, left-footed fullback out there. A potential worldie. We'd be insane not to bid for him this summer. He's still only 18 years old. He can also play on the right as a winger. A better "Sancho alternative" than the Sancho alternative we're currently looking into.
I agree, potential worldie, and as you said, very versatile too. He could also give us a proper WB option for when we want to play that system. We’ve played it a few times this season with players who have no real attacking contribution.
 

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Nani convinces Solskjaer to hunt rising Portugal star, as £10m-plus offered

Manchester United are eyeing up a deal for Sporting Lisbon youngster Nuno Mendes after a recommendation from former Red Devils hero Nani, according to reports.

Mendes, 17, has accelerated through the Sporting ranks and is now a regular feature for the club’s Under-23 side, having made 17 appearances this term.

The left-back is also a rising star for Portugal, having made his Under-19s debut in September after impressing at Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 level.

According to the Daily Star, United discussed Mendes with Sporting during negotiations that eventually brought Bruno Fernandes to Old Trafford in January.

The newspaper claims that Nani – a former Sporting and Portugal star himself – has now convinced United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer about Mendes’ potential.


United are reportedly in discussions about a package worth over £10million to sign him, with the player keen to move to Manchester having told Sporting he will not be renewing his contract before it ends in 2021.

Teams in Italy and Spain are also considering a swoop for Mendes, but it is said that United are favourites to sign him.

The Daily Star adds that the Red Devils see Mendes as a talent for the future, who they can develop in their own youth or reserve ranks.

Mendes is the second left-back Solskjaer’s side have been linked with in recent weeks, after Monaco’s Fode Ballo-Toure.

United are also believed to be looking to bolster elsewhere, with a midfielder, a striker and a winger on his shortlist of targets for the upcoming transfer window.

And while the likes of Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish have been linked, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward admitted his side are facing unprecedented challenges.

Woodward said: “We remain firmly optimistic for the long-term prospects for the club and for our exciting young team once we have worked our way through what is undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary and testing periods in the 142-year history of Manchester United.”
 

Rozay

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Been seeing a lot of Nuno Mendez talk on the Twitters this week.
 

-Supreme-

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This news originated from the Portuguese daily Record. The Nani bit seems to have been added to the original story by the Daily Star it seems.
Presumably the Portuguese daily Record isn't reliable?
 

-Supreme-

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I would say their report regarding our interest in the young LB may have merit because they report a few specific details and go on to bring one of their prominent journos on video to shed further details.
Good to know.

Hopefully we are looking for a left footed LB as I don't think Williams is able to give us the balance and width required at the top level, especially when all our attacking players like to drift inside and I don't want our LB doing the same.
 

Adnan

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Good to know.

Hopefully we are looking for a left footed LB as I don't think Williams is able to give us the balance and width required at the top level, especially when all our attacking players like to drift inside and I don't want our LB doing the same.
The SCP President (Varandas) just last week stated that he'd been approached by some very big clubs with concrete proposals for the young LB who he describes as the best u19 LB in Europe. Portuguese newspaper Record are adamant that one of the clubs interested is United and are currently in discussions with SCP. The players agent is the same chap who represents Bruno and is also Bruno's brother in-law.
 

-Supreme-

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The SCP President (Varandas) just last week stated that he'd been approached by some very big clubs with concrete proposals for the young LB who he describes as the best u19 LB in Europe. Portuguese newspaper Record are adamant that one of the clubs interested is United and are currently in discussions with SCP. The players agent is the same chap who represents Bruno and is also Bruno's brother in-law.
Encouraging news.

If we get a new LB then I can see Dalot getting sold and Williams to cover for AWB instead.
 

-Supreme-

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Williams would have a even bigger problem at RB if Ethan Laird stays injury free imo.
Agreed but Williams will have the edge (at least for next season) given his displays for the first team already.
 

SportingCP96

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How highly do you rate Nuno Mendes @SportingCP96 ?
I like him a lot actually, He was a part of the pre season team last summer and was very impressive IM. In fact we have two pretty talented defenders coming through In Nuno Mendes and a center back by the name of Eduardo Quaresma.

Next season we will have a very young team with 7 youngsters being promoted to the first team.

Youngsters that will have a part in the team include

- Nuno Mendes (left back)
- Eduardo Quaresma (CB)
- Gonzalo Plata ( RW/LW)
- Rafael Camacho (RW/LW)
- Matheus Nunes (CM) * I really like this kid
- Joelson Fernandes (RW/LW) * Probably the most talented
- Luis Maximiano (GK) * Turned starter this season

* Of the players mentioned though these are the ones with the highest ceiling from what I have seen

*** Joelson Fernandes
*** Nuno Mendes
*** Matheus Nunes or Quaresma
 
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Bebestation

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I've not previously been the biggest fan of Shaw but since Wan bissaka has come and been a great defensive fullback with 'adequate' attacking ability - I'm kind of okay with keeping Shaw as our main LB since he's quite the defensive fullback too.

I dont want to get a super attacking left back on the left hand side and on the right hand side AWB is permanently holding his space in a world class way all the time but making our defence seem lopsided.

I'm liking the idea of having 2 defensive fullbacks who have the ability to provide width and cross when required only - but main job is to provide Rashford and a RW (Greenwood/ Sancho) non stop attacking capabilities without having to turn their head back much.
 

Adnan

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I like him a lot actually, He was a part of the pre season team last summer and was very impressive IM. In fact we have two pretty talented defenders coming through In Nuno Mendes and a center back by the name of Eduardo Quaresma.

Next season we will have a very young team with 7 youngsters being promoted to the first team.

Youngsters that will have a part in the team include

- Nuno Mendes (left back)
- Eduardo Quaresma (CB)
- Gonzalo Plata ( RW/LW)
- Rafael Camacho (RW/LW)
- Matheus Nunes (CM) * I really like this kid
- Joelson Fernandes (RW/LW) * Probably the most talented
- Luis Maximiano (GK) * Turned starter this season

* Of the players mentioned though these are the ones with the highest ceiling from what I have seen

*** Joelson Fernandes
*** Nuno Mendes
*** Matheus Nunes or Quaresma
Thanks for sharing that.

Do you think Varandas will try and cash in on Nuno Mendes? There's quotes attributed to Varandas, where he says that there is some concrete proposals for the young LB and Record is quite adamant that one of those clubs is United.