The Search for a Midfielder

MyOnlySolskjaer

Creator of Player Performance threads
Joined
Nov 27, 2014
Messages
16,568
Location
Player Performance Threads
José Mourinho said:
In midfield Michael Carrick will be not the No.16. Who will have Michael Carrick in his shirt next season, so we lose a player. It's there in midfield where we need to improve but to get a player to compensate the situation of Michael.

If Fellaini leaves we have two gaps there so let's see what happens. But in relation to Fellaini the good thing is he wants to stay with us and we would like him to stay with us. To sign a contract the person must be happy and let's see.
Mourinho here is confirming that we will be after a central midfielder in the Summer, potentially a second midfielder as "two gaps" may occur if Fellaini leaves. So a deep lying midfielder and potentially a more box-to-box midfielder.

This is going to be a pivotal signing in our evolution and it's hopefully going to be the one that sees us transition out of 4-2-3-1 (especially in the big games.)

So do your work Redcafe Scouts, who should we go after? Weigl, Kovačić, Seri, Fred, Verratti? Which midfielder out there do you think would be the best fit for our current squad.
 

nokillingmoths

Full Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Messages
5,008
Someone who runs about, breaks up play, passes it about, defends well, has good positional play and isn't called ander herrera.
 

Jazz

Full Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2014
Messages
21,057
Good. Glad to hear he agrees with most of us. Strengthen that midfield and it will go a long way to making us much much better.

I'm not a scout so haven't a clue. Can only say he needs to not only be talented, but hard as nails. We need balls in that midfield.
 

MaxiPaxi

Dagestani MMA Boiled Egg Expert
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Messages
15,175
Only seen the youtube highlight, admittedly, but Jorginho looks like a great Carrick replacement. Not sure if he can read the game defensively well as Carrick. It's hard to incapsulate that in a 8 to 10 minute video.

PS - I think we could possibly need 3 midfielders in the summer.

We have Herrera, Pogba, Matic, McTominay left assuming Fellaini leaves adding another 2 midfielders will not be enough judging by Matic's form. He's gassed half way through the season - it's clear he needs rotation. If Pogba is injured we're a shadow of the team. Say Pogba is injured and Matic is out of form who do we start that can fill the gaps of two quality players.
 
Last edited:

Ali Dia

Full Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
1,880
Location
Souness's Super Sub/George Weahs Talented Cousin
Good. Glad to hear he agrees with most of us. Strengthen that midfield and it will go a long way to making us much much better.

I'm not a scout so haven't a clue. Can only say he needs to not only be talented, but hard as nails. We need balls in that midfield.
Matic, Pogba, Ander and fellaini are all fairly tough. Do you mean an enforcer? We haven’t really been linked with anyone?
 

Devil may care

Full Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
31,878
Hopefully we'll finally be rid of Fellaini this summer, I am so sick of seeing his lumpy arse lumber on in every game no matter what is happening. We need to add two to really freshen the midfield up.

One needs to bring some dynamism and the other needs to add some metronomic control IMO.

Weigl, Pjanic, Jorginho or Kroos for one, for the other Saul, Kovacic or if we have to go inexperienced Barella.
 

Scholsey2004

Full Member
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
2,385
Location
Barnsley
Jorginhos agents were supposedly talking to united at one point and his name has come up a few times. Wouldn't be surprised if that's set up for the summer window.
 

Grande

Full Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2007
Messages
2,594
Location
The Land of Do-What-You-Will
Good. Glad to hear he agrees with most of us. Strengthen that midfield and it will go a long way to making us much much better.

I'm not a scout so haven't a clue. Can only say he needs to not only be talented, but hard as nails. We need balls in that midfield.
Right now I suspect Matic is feigning not having an injury and Mourinho is deploying Pogba as a false six. Or, Pogba seems to think of himself as an extra man in midfield, and Matic sees himself maybe as the odd man out in defense. Either way ...

I don’t know what’s happened to Matic, he’s a different player to the one we saw in the autumn. Pogba is, unsurprisingly, exactly the same. So yes, there is a case that we are weak in midfield.
 

abdo99

Full Member
Joined
May 26, 2016
Messages
12,101
We really need to strengthen midfield. It's the weakest area of the team and until we reinforce with 2 top quality midfielders we won't challenge for the PL or CL.
 

pocco

loco
Joined
Mar 17, 2010
Messages
15,338
Location
Keep a clean shit tomorrow, United is my final bus
To be honest I can't think of a single midfielder to add to Pogba and Matic that makes it a great midfield unless Pogba really sorts himself out. Worryingly Matic has been pretty poor for a while now, so I'm not even convinced by him to be able to perform over the course of a full season.
 

MyOnlySolskjaer

Creator of Player Performance threads
Joined
Nov 27, 2014
Messages
16,568
Location
Player Performance Threads
To be honest I can't think of a single midfielder to add to Pogba and Matic that makes it a great midfield unless Pogba really sorts himself out. Worryingly Matic has been pretty poor for a while now, so I'm not even convinced by him to be able to perform over the course of a full season.
Perhaps we shouldn't look for someone to add then, rather someone who can compete and really put them to threat. Matic and Pogba are by far our best 2, it's no contest and maybe that's something that's not helping them.
 

ThaReaper01

Full Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Messages
5,580
Location
She broke my heart, So I broke her jaw.
I don’t necessarily think this season is a write off but I don’t see the harm in using combos that have worked well this season for a run of matches. Pogba gives the midfield that impetus the midfield needed for years but you still need solidity behind him. We’ve traded one for the other.

Matic being the only real sit in midfielder hurts because he’s been very poor for most of this season tbh but you can’t really afford to have him out of the side even though he needs to be. So you’d say he’s in for sure. Pogba, like I said, brings drive and obvious quality to the midfield so he’s also gotta be in. That leaves 3 players for one spot:

Herrera who has tons of energy and is an adept tackler. Very good ball winner and would be the best presser out of the bunch but without it being a team wide thing, would merely be wasting energy. Maybe lacks a bit of class on the ball but also isn’t a plodder by any stretch.

Fellaini who is quite good aerially, both offensively and defensively, reasonably good on the ball and brings some toughness to the side. But he’s also a bit rash and has a reputation which can get him in trouble.

And McTominay who also has good energy and link up play but, like Pogba, likes to get forward which would leave Matic isolated. I think he could be develop the nous to fill in that kind of #8 roll. He’ll only develop that feel for the position (like Fletcher did) by playing.

Pick one. Roll with it for a few matches. If it doesn’t click, try another. And repeat until summer.
 

stepic

Full Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Messages
6,614
Location
London
Maybe he should play more than 2 in midfield then if he knows Pogba and Matic aren’t enough.
 

Jazz

Full Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2014
Messages
21,057
Matic, Pogba, Ander and fellaini are all fairly tough. Do you mean an enforcer? We haven’t really been linked with anyone?
Yeah an enforcer. Also don't believe our midfielders are that tough mentally. Physically imposing, but not that 'tough' imho.
 

Pexbo

Online influencer who has never watched Star Wars
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
45,579
Location
Brizzle
Oh look, We need to spend.....again:rolleyes:
Ones retiring, ones decided to leave on a free.

We’ve brought a youngster into the side who’s already played more minutes than the entire youth of City combined.

So we have 4 players for what is ideally 3 positions. Two medium term injuries next season and it’s game over.
 

YouOnlyLiveTwice

Full Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
4,907
A new shiny CM arrive then we'll be saying oh need better fullbacks then we'll say better defense, by this Matic will be 32 and we'll say better midfielder etc etc.

The excuses of spending needs to stop. We have the players to not get owned by Totenham.
We have discussed the need for 3 in midfield since Pogba came to the club. It’s not exactly a knee jerk reaction.

I was hoping he would grow into that holding midfielder role, but he lacks several things.

The only way we get the best out of our players is with a tactical shift. Question is if Jose is the right man to do that, but rumours say that he will be in for a midfielder to complete the three with Matic and Pogba, so let’s hope.
 

beingshe7don

Full Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2016
Messages
2,171
Yes we do need to improve in midfield. But before I address the midfield issue, I would like to express how big of an idiot Mourinho is. Why in the world would you tinker with something that has worked well so far for majority of the season and that is play Martial on the right when he's played his best on the left just to play Sanchez? For someone whose a master tactician, he acted like a dumbass throughout the Spurs game. He should have played Lingard on the right and Sanchez through the center behind Lukaku. If he actually bought Sanchez to play him on the left, I'm sorry but that isn't helping the team as we all know that our right side is the weakest and we had options of getting Moura whose actually a proper right winger and we let him go to Spurs for 25m. Are you serious, the guy is a proper winger, we could have had Moura, Sanchez in the center behind Lukaku and Martial on the left and Lingard to come off the bench.

As for the midfield, why the hell does Fellaini get game time? Not only did he come on for Pogba which makes no sense. No matter how Pogba played in the first half, he was still better than anyone that we had on the bench in terms of attack. But not only did we bring on Fellaini but wasted a substitution because Herrera came on for Fellaini. Matic was crap and could not control the game. His passes were all over the place and that affects how Pogba plays since he needs to literally play for two positions. We are finally seeing the reason why Matic was let go by Chelsea. We should have brought in Fabinho when we had the chance last summer. Matic has been good but his age is catching up with him and I don't think he's been that great when playing the top teams.

I think the biggest mistake of this Jan was not getting Lucas Moura for 25m and letting him go to Spurs. The guy will prove how big of a game changer he will be. Poch will get the best out of him.

It's not rocket science Jose, we need a freaking RW and CM and we should have atleast addressed one of the situations this transfer window.
 

Ashley R1+O

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Oct 3, 2016
Messages
2,174
We need that second player to do the water carrying between Matic and Pogba. Is it Herrera? Not on recent form, it is somebody. 4-3-3 is the way to go but then, the marble stack falls on the floor and we have to re-build the attack again around 3 players up top. It means one of Martial/Rashford/Lingard miss out as there are only 3 spots with Sanchez/Lukaku as the nailed on starters.

Decisions decisions! Glad Jose is the one making them.
 

11101

Full Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
10,254
We need that second player to do the water carrying between Matic and Pogba. Is it Herrera? Not on recent form, it is somebody. 4-3-3 is the way to go but then, the marble stack falls on the floor and we have to re-build the attack again around 3 players up top. It means one of Martial/Rashford/Lingard miss out as there are only 3 spots with Sanchez/Lukaku as the nailed on starters.

Decisions decisions! Glad Jose is the one making them.
Losing an attacker in 433 will be addressed by Pogba having less defensive responsibility and being free to attack.

He can say we need new players but I just don't know what Jose was thinking playing a two against this Spurs team. When we beat them at OT we were far more stacked through the middle with two banks of 3.
 

Bobcat

Full Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
3,697
Location
Behind the curtains, leering at the neighbors
If we are bringing in a new MF we also need to abandon 4231, because it does not fecking work witk Matic/Pofgba.

It does not even work in attack. The front four is always isolated up front, and unless Pogba pushes there is way to much space between them.
 

Ali Dia

Full Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
1,880
Location
Souness's Super Sub/George Weahs Talented Cousin
Yes we do need to improve in midfield. But before I address the midfield issue, I would like to express how big of an idiot Mourinho is. Why in the world would you tinker with something that has worked well so far for majority of the season and that is play Martial on the right when he's played his best on the left just to play Sanchez? For someone whose a master tactician, he acted like a dumbass throughout the Spurs game. He should have played Lingard on the right and Sanchez through the center behind Lukaku. If he actually bought Sanchez to play him on the left, I'm sorry but that isn't helping the team as we all know that our right side is the weakest and we had options of getting Moura whose actually a proper right winger and we let him go to Spurs for 25m. Are you serious, the guy is a proper winger, we could have had Moura, Sanchez in the center behind Lukaku and Martial on the left and Lingard to come off the bench.

As for the midfield, why the hell does Fellaini get game time? Not only did he come on for Pogba which makes no sense. No matter how Pogba played in the first half, he was still better than anyone that we had on the bench in terms of attack. But not only did we bring on Fellaini but wasted a substitution because Herrera came on for Fellaini. Matic was crap and could not control the game. His passes were all over the place and that affects how Pogba plays since he needs to literally play for two positions. We are finally seeing the reason why Matic was let go by Chelsea. We should have brought in Fabinho when we had the chance last summer. Matic has been good but his age is catching up with him and I don't think he's been that great when playing the top teams.

I think the biggest mistake of this Jan was not getting Lucas Moura for 25m and letting him go to Spurs. The guy will prove how big of a game changer he will be. Poch will get the best out of him.

It's not rocket science Jose, we need a freaking RW and CM and we should have atleast addressed one of the situations this transfer window.

We should have just conceded the league this year and brought in a top young RW and CM and bedded them in and went for top 4. Now we will have Matic and Sanchez here declining over the 3 years time blocking the pathway of players about to peak into the first team. Our transfer strategy is all over the place. Any player about to start dropping off in that city team already has a great young option ready to jump in who’s already had time to get used to the PL and we are starting all over again.
 

J_Red 11

New Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
440
Location
Banned
Whatever, just let Mourinho chooses his midfielder. Apart from Kroos, as long as he's not 28 years old or above then I'm okay.
 

Wednesday at Stoke

Full Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2014
Messages
15,298
Location
København
Supports
Time Travel
A couple of dynamic midfielders would make a world of difference. If yesterday is anything to go by, Matic will not age well.
 

charlenefan

Far less insightful than the other Charley
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
21,661
My concern at this stage is if Fellaini stays and we sign just the one midfielder (Carrick's replacement) does that player then just take Matic's spot? We all hope it means a move to a 3 man midfield and yet big game after big game Jose has gone with a two in there.

Like I said I know he hasn't had a great season but I dont understand what Herrera needs to do to get a game?
 

Ace of Spades

Full Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
3,420
I am sure we will buy more players, but Jose needs to look at himself more than just moaning about lack of players. We have no set up and game plan, we are just not well coached as a team, and no amount of players is going to change that.
 

Craig Ward

Full Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2016
Messages
1,287
We need 2 CM's, even if Fellaini stays.

Pogba is useless in a 2, he's proved time and time again he is not adept at playing in a 2. Matic needs help in there, for much of the game he was alone and is in need of a rest.

We need 2 quality additions in there. Or 1 and use Pereira. Fosu Mensah can also play DM. We've not used our squad well enough this year.

Agree we need to go 4-3-3. Matic/New CM with Pogba further forward is the only way I see our midfield working. 4-2-3-1 should only be used if Pogba is not in the 2 and plays as the #10.

As Matic will decline over the next 2 seasons, I'd like to think our recruitment would be a little smarter, signing a weigl type would make a lot of sense for me
 

owlo

Full Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Messages
579
I'd like to see Weigl + SMS. Would give us nice balance.
 

#07

makes new threads with tweets in the OP
Joined
Oct 25, 2010
Messages
17,190
If Mourinho keeps playing two in midfield I'm not sure there's any midfielders we can buy to make it work.

Virtually all the top teams regularly play three in midfield besides us. We would have to buy two players with the speed, strength and stamina of Superman to keep up with the way we're regularly outnumbered in midfield.
 

Hammondo

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Aug 21, 2015
Messages
1,878
We need a midfielder like Carrick who will run the midfield, because matic and pogba are incapable.