The Search for a Midfielder

laughtersassassin

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If Pogba goes we need 3. Herrera is gone. Matic is useless. I like McTominay but he can't be a starter. Fred has talent but is too erratic to be a starter. That leaves us needing an entire new midfield :(
 

Saf94

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We need to end our obsession of looking for Scholes/Carrick replacements. The days are over when you have a midfield of just technical guys who control the game and provide creativity. The reason is energy and aggressiveness have taken over, your midfielders need to be able to cover and run a lot these days. Even Barca don’t play just with little guys like Xavi, Rakitic is quality but also a hard worker. They signed Vidal, the type of guy they’d never have got before but he’s shown his worth to them this season.

Liverpool have an entire midfield with 0 creativity and they’ve scored more goals than almost anyone. Spurs are stacked with hard workers like Dier, Wanyama, Sissoko etc.

Before we look for guys like Eriksen and Bruno to provide creative spark we must have the hard workers who can get the job done all over the pitch. It’s not just about getting a cdm, they need to have the right qualities. Matic was the wrong type, Schneiderlin the wrong type. Until we can sort this we’ll always have midfield issues
 

sp_107

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If Pogba goes we need 3. Herrera is gone. Matic is useless. I like McTominay but he can't be a starter. Fred has talent but is too erratic to be a starter. That leaves us needing an entire new midfield :(
If Pogaba, Herrera and Matic leaves we should try to get any 3 from the below with that money

Ndombele/Rodri/Neves *** Barella/ Teilsman /Aouar***Kai Havertz//Bruno/Felix

What you guys think of new midfield from this list and which combo of 3 you would like to go for if you are a manager?
 

Bestietom

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If Pogaba, Herrera and Matic leaves we should try to get any 3 from the below with that money

Ndombele/Rodri/Neves *** Barella/ Teilsman /Aouar***Kai Havertz//Bruno/Felix

What you guys think of new midfield from this list and which combo of 3 you would like to go for if you are a manager?

These 3 Midfielders
NDombele-----Barella-----Fernandes
 

fps

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Forget Rodriguez. His availability doesn't mean United should be in the market for him. He's another flighty, inconsistent central player, who has difficulty settling at a club. He's also another South American, and historically United just hasn't been the place for them, which I think is to do with the climate as much as anything. I know that sounds like profiling, but Veron, Kleberson, Falcao, DiMaria, Sanchez....
 

Fosu-Mens

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If Pogaba, Herrera and Matic leaves we should try to get any 3 from the below with that money

Ndombele/Rodri/Neves *** Barella/ Teilsman /Aouar***Kai Havertz//Bruno/Felix

What you guys think of new midfield from this list and which combo of 3 you would like to go for if you are a manager?
1. Rodri/Barella or Aouar/Felix(despite not being a midfielder.)
2. Ndombele/Barella or Aouar/Havertz
3. Neves/Tielemans/Bruno

Would also throw Zaniolo in the mix as his abilities are better suited to a midfield role.
Bruno should only be an option of Pogba is sold.
Would rather go for Rice than Neves.

If we are going to buy 3 midfielders this summer we are more likely to end up with Neves/Tielemans/Bruno than any of the other three options., sadly.
 

Devil may care

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Lingard might be an option in midfield to, depending on who we bring in as replacement for Pogba. Been better there for England than as an attacker for us. Played next to Alli.

Losing both Herrera and Pogba in one summer in the situation we are in will be a huge blow for us. Basically mean that we dont have a midfield next summer. Zero stability in the spine of our team. That would be a mayor issue for any coach.
Whether in a forward position or in a midfield 3 I think Lingard is a squad player at best, not someone we should be starting, on the ball I don't think he has enough in terms of passing or running with it for any sustaiability in midfield.

I agree, but unortunately we can't stop Herrera going and if Pogba wants to go and Real stump up the asking price I think well sell as he's not the type to dig in if he's forced to stay IMO.
 

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I know next to nothing about him, but I was impressed with Yves Bissouma today against Arsenal.

A quick look says he is only 22, but he's only got 1 goal and 1 assist in 32 appearances this year.... So maybe he just looked good because it was against Arsenal?

Any regular watchers of Brighton in here?
 

Loublaze

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Donny van de Beek has looked impressive in the CL. Only 22 as well. We won't attract big players so i'd like to see a hungry young player like him sign on
 

DarkRed

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Donny van de Beek has looked impressive in the CL. Only 22 as well. We won't attract big players so i'd like to see a hungry young player like him sign on
Fred looked impressive in the CL too...
We can't risk like that now, we need more solid players, preferably from English or Spanish leagues maybe Italian would work too
 

Danish Wizard

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If Miralem Pjanic is avaible, please sign him. Class player and a great leader for the young guns we have in midfield.
 

Mastoness

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I think that focus should be on players who are already accustomed to PL.

Let's say that Pogba stays and Herrera leaves, go for Doucure and Tielemans. They are young players and it wouldn't cost arm, leg and kidney to get them. Gueye would be also a good solution but he would cost the same as Doucure and is already 30.
 

Perseus

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I know next to nothing about him, but I was impressed with Yves Bissouma today against Arsenal.

A quick look says he is only 22, but he's only got 1 goal and 1 assist in 32 appearances this year.... So maybe he just looked good because it was against Arsenal?

Any regular watchers of Brighton in here?
Too early to say. Quicker feet than Lingard. Not so much stamina. Bissouma is not ready yet as Lingard was not at 22. Lingard had 3 goals in 15 at Championship level. Bissouma is more attractive on the eye than Lingard but prone to too many mistakes to be first choice at Brighton, but neither was Lingard at the same age in Brighton's injury decimated 2013-14 season.

Arsenal are not really very good. Solly March has finally arrived though after a career set back two seasons with injuries.

PS: despite reports, Pogba was the best player on the park at the Amex earlier in the season. He was allowed to be; it was the rest of the team that were no good.
 
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Fosu-Mens

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The search for a new midfield should be focused on players able to play high pressing and possessionbased football, this goes for the rest of the team as well. In our first team we currently have 2 players suited for both approaches, being Lindelof and Pogba.

Some players suited for a high press approach only, meaning they are not good enough at handling the ball: Rashford, Lingard, Herrera, Shaw, Smalling, DDG, Fred and Bailly.

Some players suited to a possession based appoach only, meaning that they do not have the legs: Pereira and Mata.

The rest of the team are not suited to neither approaches.
 

Kaglish10

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I have been watching this Tonali individual highlight touches and the boy looks class.

He's much more mobile than Pirlo though and I think he should operate as a no 8 than as a no 6 because he loves to roam and his throughballs are deadly when close to the opposition's box. I will liken him to Verratti albeit Verratti is more pacey than him although Tonali's pace looks deceptive in the no 6 role he's been mostly deployed. I have seen him catch up with the opposition's attacker to nip the ball off them and it wasn't just a one scenario. His work rate and defensive awareness are top notch too. That's not to even mention his vision, spatial awareness and techniques on the ball. The boy looks class and he's only going to become better. At a young age, he was already given the deep sitting registra role and that speaks more of his mature play more than anything, similar to how Xavi was previously deployed before he was moved forward to the no 8 role.

I would love if we could get him and Van De Beek in the summer.
 

Perseus

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We need to end our obsession of looking for Scholes/Carrick replacements. The days are over when you have a midfield of just technical guys who control the game and provide creativity. The reason is energy and aggressiveness have taken over, your midfielders need to be able to cover and run a lot these days. Even Barca don’t play just with little guys like Xavi, Rakitic is quality but also a hard worker. They signed Vidal, the type of guy they’d never have got before but he’s shown his worth to them this season.

Liverpool have an entire midfield with 0 creativity and they’ve scored more goals than almost anyone. Spurs are stacked with hard workers like Dier, Wanyama, Sissoko etc.

Before we look for guys like Eriksen and Bruno to provide creative spark we must have the hard workers who can get the job done all over the pitch. It’s not just about getting a cdm, they need to have the right qualities. Matic was the wrong type, Schneiderlin the wrong type. Until we can sort this we’ll always have midfield issues
I reluctantly came to the same conclusion. One player must have steel in midfield. Foreign players, even if any good need half a season to get up to pace.
 

willhse456

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I know next to nothing about him, but I was impressed with Yves Bissouma today against Arsenal.

A quick look says he is only 22, but he's only got 1 goal and 1 assist in 32 appearances this year.... So maybe he just looked good because it was against Arsenal?

Any regular watchers of Brighton in here?
He's the classic type of player that moves to a midtable club for 30 million, and we get linked to him a couple of seasons later for 70 million.
 

Suvvernmanc

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We absolutely need a player or 2 in central midfield with high energy that can pass and create chances. Herrera is our only player who makes a difference in midfield currently with his energy and yet seems to be close to leaving.

Pogba, Fred and Matic all seem to have 0 ball retention skills and seem too slow in their possession. Having a set of midfielders that work together to keep possession when in tight areas or under pressure from a pressing team, by passing in simple triangles is something all the top teams do. Our group of midfielders really lack this skillset.
From a counter attacking point of view, it's only Pogba who creates anything with his runs with the ball, but ultimately makes the wrong decision (or more recently just passes to the opposition).

We need at least 1 top #6 to replace Matic and if Herrera leaves a b2b/#8 will be needed. My choice to replace Herrera would absolutely be Tanguy N'dombele. He fits the profile I feel we need for our midfield. Only 22 as well so room to grow and get better.

Not sure if its realistic but Ivan Rakitic and Cristian Erikson are another two players that would absolutely transform our midfield with their ball retention skills. They are more attack minded than N'dombele so are different types of players, but both have incredible ball retention skills and in Eriksons case, is very high energy.

A Matic/Fred replacement for the #6 position is a problem as I don't think Ole will sell either, but neither are good enough. Kante would be the dream but a cheaper more gettable option would be Ndidi of Leicester, or Idrissa Gana Gueye of Everton. Both are quick and mobile holding midfielders who can pass from deep to start attacks but also have a great knack of breaking up the oppositions play much like Kante. Their stats are great in this aspect and are very under rated due to the clubs they play for.
 

Loublaze

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Fred looked impressive in the CL too...
We can't risk like that now, we need more solid players, preferably from English or Spanish leagues maybe Italian would work too
So because Fred has taken long to adjust it must apply to everyone else outside a Spanish or English league? Your wording is strange because by using the plural you're implying that the Scottish or Irish leagues are better places to scout talent than the Eridivisie, if that's what you mean by English leagues. Anyway, he looks a cracking player and he's being tracked by Bayern and Real Madrid. Which more solid player(s) from English and Spanish leagues would you consider then?
 

Okey

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Wilfred Ndidi was excellent tonight, even better than usual. Against a team like Citeh. Worth a mention. I wonder if scouts watch these games...
 

DarkRed

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So because Fred has taken long to adjust it must apply to everyone else outside a Spanish or English league? Your wording is strange because by using the plural you're implying that the Scottish or Irish leagues are better places to scout talent than the Eridivisie, if that's what you mean by English leagues. Anyway, he looks a cracking player and he's being tracked by Bayern and Real Madrid. Which more solid player(s) from English and Spanish leagues would you consider then?
By Leagues I meant English and Spanish, rest are a bigger gamble that we can't take right now as we have no back up.

I don't think that it took Fred a year to adjust, he just can't play in EPL, in the CL to style of play is very different, no one is pressing him and he can take his time.
From the same opera - look at Tadic, looks like one of the best players this year in the CL, but would you buy him?

The player I would go is Rodri, as many here wanted for the DM role, and the idea of Dani Ceballos sounds great too for example, but I'm sure there are many more options.
 

Kaglish10

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By Leagues I meant English and Spanish, rest are a bigger gamble that we can't take right now as we have no back up.

I don't think that it took Fred a year to adjust, he just can't play in EPL, in the CL to style of play is very different, no one is pressing him and he can take his time.
From the same opera - look at Tadic, looks like one of the best players this year in the CL, but would you buy him?

The player I would go is Rodri, as many here wanted for the DM role, and the idea of Dani Ceballos sounds great too for example, but I'm sure there are many more options.
Even in the CL last season, Fred stats showed that he often lost the ball several times however he got to play in his favoured position which is the left side hence looked better. The problem with Fred is that he isn't consistent with his right foot touch and that's a problem for a player in the midfield.

Van De Beek is actually two footed and he's at his best in the central midfield. I actually noticed him when he came on for Schone against us in the Europa final match. He really improved the non inventive Ajax side with his long passes to switch play and his incisiveness in the final 20 mins he was on the pitch and that was what caught my eyes because prior to that, Ajax weren't incisive and looked clueless with all the possession they had. He, Onana and De Ligt were the three who caught my eyes in the final. I actually feel he's even underutilized in the no 10 role he's been deployed to accommodate Frenkie and Schone in the midfield but he's owned the role despite the struggle at the beginning. He's that intelligent, tactically astute and mentally strong. Personally, if he were to come here, I would love him to be deployed as a no 6. The role wouldn't stop his goal scoring attributes because he's capable of scoring from any angle and has a wicked long distance shot on him. I would like us to get the three of Ceballos, Van de Beek, Tonali. We at least deserves these playmakers after the mess we've had in the midfield for so long.

Tonali - Van De Beek - Ceballos.

All of them are defensively astute and tactically astute players and can work in tandem with one another, like Gundogan, Silva and Bernardo/de bruyne midfield.

I would prefer Van De Beek in the no 6 role because he's quite strong on the ball. Tonali is the better dribber, hence should play the no 8 role. Van De Beek can also play the no 8 role without any loss in quality, likewise Tonali in the no 6 role."
 
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DarkRed

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Tonali - Van De Beek - Ceballos.
Do you think Van De Beek can hit the ground running? I do like him a lot but would prefer to get him next year when we can easy him in slowly.

Plus I don't think Ajax are having a yard sale, they don't need the money that much and no need to sell more then 2-3 players as more would destroy them next year, and we all know who are the two players going out for sure, maybe there will be another one.
 
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Kaglish10

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Do you think Van De Beek can hit the ground running? I do like him a lot but would prefer to get him next year when we can easy him in slowly.

Plus I don't think Ajax are having a yard sale, they don't need the money that much and no need to sell more then 2-3 players as more would destroy them next year, and we all know who are the two players going out for sure, maybe there will be another one.
I think so. He's tactically astute and intelligent. He almost pushed Schone out of the team until the new coach came in and thinks his goal scoring attributes and movement should be utilised in the final third than in the central midfield where Ajax could deploy Frenkie and Schone.

He's much more mobile than Matic for example and can switch play with his long passes. His movement and positioning look solid. Also, he doesn't take too much touches on the ball before releasing it and his spatial awareness looks good. The clip below showed most of the time he was operating as a no 6.

 

Sea-Cow

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Too early to say. Quicker feet than Lingard. Not so much stamina. Bissouma is not ready yet as Lingard was not at 22. Lingard had 3 goals in 15 at Championship level. Bissouma is more attractive on the eye than Lingard but prone to too many mistakes to be first choice at Brighton, but neither was Lingard at the same age in Brighton's injury decimated 2013-14 season.

Arsenal are not really very good. Solly March has finally arrived though after a career set back two seasons with injuries.

PS: despite reports, Pogba was the best player on the park at the Amex earlier in the season. He was allowed to be; it was the rest of the team that were no good.
Thanks. Does Bissouma normally play in the middle, or out wide? Against Arsenal he seemed to be playing as a box-to-box number 8, a la Herrera.
 

ThierryHenry14

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Forget Rodriguez. His availability doesn't mean United should be in the market for him. He's another flighty, inconsistent central player, who has difficulty settling at a club. He's also another South American, and historically United just hasn't been the place for them, which I think is to do with the climate as much as anything. I know that sounds like profiling, but Veron, Kleberson, Falcao, DiMaria, Sanchez....
He was a "smash hit" at Munich under Jupp Heynckes(his own word) so i don't think weather is an issue. However i do agree with you that if Man Utd is not planning to play with a #10 then he is not the right fit for you. Jupp either set up the team as 4-1-4-1 and used James as one of the 2CM, same role as KDB in city, or 4-2-3-1 use James as #10.

He will probably go to Juventus for 40M so another good business for them.
 

NoPace

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I know next to nothing about him, but I was impressed with Yves Bissouma today against Arsenal.

A quick look says he is only 22, but he's only got 1 goal and 1 assist in 32 appearances this year.... So maybe he just looked good because it was against Arsenal?

Any regular watchers of Brighton in here?
Their fans say he's been really good lately in general. Very quick feet for a #8 (loves a nutmeg), lots of skill and mobility, but hasn't exactly run the midfield during most of the games I've seen him this year, though Brighton are so defensive it's hard to tell.
 

reddevilz007

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van de Beek ----- Bruno
----------Rice------------

that would be the midfield i'd like to see

with Felix playing as a no. 10 or false no. 9

with Pogba, Lukaku, Sanchez, Mata, Herrera, Martial all gone
 

Perseus

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Thanks. Does Bissouma normally play in the middle, or out wide? Against Arsenal he seemed to be playing as a box-to-box number 8, a la Herrera.
Middle left 4-4-1-1, although right footed. Same as Lingard played for Brighton. I would play him further forward like Lingard for United. Neither were first choice for Brighton as they were fighting for promotion (Lingard) or against relegation (Bissouma) and mistakes of younger players not acceptable. I don't think he will be good enough for United, or get enough playing time.

50/50 whether he will start against City? https://totalfootballanalysis.com/match-analysis/manchester-city-brighton-fa-cup-tactical-analysis-statistics Capable of causing a surprise. Style not really like any players I know. He could conceivably bee like another Rosicky ???
 

Fer

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van de Beek ----- Bruno
----------Rice------------


that would be the midfield i'd like to see

with Felix playing as a no. 10 or false no. 9

with Pogba, Lukaku, Sanchez, Mata, Herrera, Martial all gone
If we sell Pogba, that would be the best midfield we can build considering our situation.

Maybe someone like Barella could be slightly better than Rice, but I agree with Fernandes and Van De Beek.
 

future2future

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If we sell Pogba, that would be the best midfield we can build considering our situation.

Maybe someone like Barella could be slightly better than Rice, but I agree with Fernandes and Van De Beek.
Van De Beek has the intelligence and the work ethic to succeed at the club, could be a more refined Herrera, would love to see him, but not sure if he wants to come considering the other clubs that are after him. Ole could convince him though, with a well thought out plan for the future and a clear vision for his role in it.
 

Fer

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In the search of an attacking midfielder. Who would you sign to play behind the striker/s?

Felix, Dybala, Fernandes, Havertz, Eriksen, Ziyech, Fekir, Maddison, Van Beek, Lo Celso, Milinkovic-Savic, James Rodriguez, Isco, Coutinho, Bale or Griezmann.
 

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If Pogba goes we need 3. Herrera is gone. Matic is useless. I like McTominay but he can't be a starter. Fred has talent but is too erratic to be a starter. That leaves us needing an entire new midfield :(
You can say that about so many positions in our squad.
  • Our Goalkeeper clearly either wants Sanchez money or wants to leave and his form has been poor.
  • The defense is a bit of a mess, Though realistically we have too many players to buy anyone at the moment, and no one seems to be breaking down our door trying to sign any of our players.
  • Midfield, Herrera and Fellaini have already gone, Pogba quite clearly either wants Sanchez money or wants to leave. Matic is obviously past his best now(this is why you don't spend 40million on players 27 plus, because you only get a couple of seasons out of them before you need to replace them). McTominay stepped up a bit, but not to the level I would feel comfortable building our midfield around him. And we've only seen glimpses of what Freds capable off.
  • Attack wise, Mata is out of contract and is 31, Sanchez is past it but were only going to get rid of him by giving him away for free and paying probably 75% of his wages, (again see my Matic comment you don't invest big money in players over 27) Martial probably has the worst attitude of any player in the squad, Rashford looks like a player who has hardly progressed since he broke into the first team(not surprising when Mourinho was his coach) Lingard has had good spells, but many on here don't rate him and had and awful end to the year when he came back from injury. And Lukaku seems to want to go.
This summer is like turning up to a bomb site with dust pan and brush and wondering where to start.
 

Buster15

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We need to end our obsession of looking for Scholes/Carrick replacements. The days are over when you have a midfield of just technical guys who control the game and provide creativity. The reason is energy and aggressiveness have taken over, your midfielders need to be able to cover and run a lot these days. Even Barca don’t play just with little guys like Xavi, Rakitic is quality but also a hard worker. They signed Vidal, the type of guy they’d never have got before but he’s shown his worth to them this season.

Liverpool have an entire midfield with 0 creativity and they’ve scored more goals than almost anyone. Spurs are stacked with hard workers like Dier, Wanyama, Sissoko etc.

Before we look for guys like Eriksen and Bruno to provide creative spark we must have the hard workers who can get the job done all over the pitch. It’s not just about getting a cdm, they need to have the right qualities. Matic was the wrong type, Schneiderlin the wrong type. Until we can sort this we’ll always have midfield issues
I do agree with that.
We often see our only creative midfielder PP closed down before he is able to get a pass away.
High workrate is the main reason why James Milner is still doing well. He has always worked his socks off wherever he has played and in any position. Same for Henderson.
McTominay is one of the few United player who works at a high rate.