The search for an attacking midfielder!

The Boy

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Agree with @Rasendori, Ødegaard could be an astute signing for United. Has a knack for delivering perfectly placed/timed final balls (which is a characteristic that can't really be trained unless you have an innate sense of time/space and a deft touch), like this:



Technically accomplished, quite press resistant and explosive in short bursts (in contrast with an Eriksen or Mata), a proficient dribbler and markedly industrious for a flair-based creative player. One of the best players in La Liga this season, and could be a complete package at the position in short order. Plus, he was used in varied roles in different segments of the pitch at Vitesse (where he matured a great deal) and now Sociedad — players with those qualities add supplementary value to the squad as a whole.

e.g. He could easily play in these positions, which would open up a lot of possibilities in a myriad setups...




Olmo or Kulusevski could also be quality additions — young, technically robust, fairly explosive and versatile.
Odegaard would be a great signing, but I can't see any circumstance where Real would sell him while he is progressing so well. Even as part of a Pogba deal, Real would surely just offer cash and if Pogba wants out then United don't really hold any cards to force Odegaard into the deal.

But if by some miracle Ole could pull off Odegaard, Sancho and Haaland in the next 12 months you'd be a team transformed. More likely you'll end up with Eriksen though I think.
 

Hawks2008

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Problem is with Maddison or Havertz is due to their age and potential I don't see them going for any less than £80m and Leicester especially will bleed us dry. Considering we need 5-6 quality players I don't want to blow the majority of a budget on one player like we did with Maguire.

There's a lot of quality options like Fernandes, Ziyech, Odegaard, Olmo, Van de beek, Eriksen who would not cost the world. One of them + a midfielder like Partey/Zakaria for around 100m combined would make us much stronger than just signing one player for that kind of money.
 

NoPace

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Seems apparent from this thread that there's a wealth of cracking options out there, many of whom are playing at historically smaller clubs, likely on far lower wages than we could offer.
Many big teams can't really accommodate a pure #10, but if Pogba does indeed leave this summer then we'd be a rare big team that really could have one as first choice. One CM signed to rotate with McTominay and Fred and then one pure #10 to start in front of 2 of them would make sense.

There might be shortages at other positions (particularly a player whose best position is RW and maybe the LB we need), but the market should really be friendly to find a #10 type, whether that's a veteran like Eriksen or a young up and comer like Olmo.
 

Spotkick

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Pogba was excellent in that role when solskjaer first arrived i think united should go for a player who can play as a ten and also play right wing i feel sancho or maybe havertz
If you're looking for that player it has to be Ziyech. So incredibly creative he would inmediatly improve our frontline..however I dont know if he even wants to come here. He would thrive at city butt we play a different brand of footie. Also love to see Donny vd Beek here who can run perfectly between the front three and midfield whom can take advantage of his runs. He creates spaces for other players.
 

Isotope

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A motivated Pogba is a better player than all those options mentioned. The key is "motivated", though.
 

Aouer-United

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Attacking midfielder? I don't want attacking midfielder but well all-round CM who can actually pass like Thiago, Verratti.

I prefer 8# CM who can carry balls glued to his feet, good in tight space and ability to pass under high pressure and can exploit space and the ability to control the game.

Young CM like Odegaard, Ruiz, Van de Beek, Aouar and maybe Maddison would be decent for us

Ability to carry ball and go past opponents player is one of the most important in midfielder's aspects so they can lay it off to attacking the player in the box when they get near the box but it may look too easy but it's difficult to execute this technical skills, it require great decision making to move ball where they can spot space and exploit it.

Exploiting space and carry the ball to go past opponent player is just important as people who can actually make a chance.
 

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Eriksen? I know he does not fit the age profile, but AFAIK he has yet to sign a new contract and i have read rumors Jose does not fancy him. If we can get him for cheap he might be a good temporary solution
 

jamesjimmybyrondean

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If at all there's a chance for player + cash in the Pogba deal then Odegaard is worth a try. I doubt Perez will ever sell Odegaard and the player himself has stated a number of times his desire to play for Madrid.

There are still a shit load of players we could go for. Off the top of my head: Maddison Grealish Olmo Zaniolo Ziyech Van De Beek Eberechi Eze Kulusevski Havertz Fernandes and Eriksen.

My first pick is Odegaard because we could get a player that we desperately need while also adding to our transfer budget. But it's an unlikely scenario.

I think from the list the unrealistic ones are Havertz - Too many suitors, Eriksen - Does not want to come to us, Fernandes - Signed new contract with 100m release clause

The most expensive one will be Maddison and Lord knows I don't want Leceister taking us to the cleaners again. The rest will still improve us drastically but my pick will be Zaniolo
 

Ballache

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Wasn't Grealish shifted to the wing this season because he kept on losing the ball in the centre? Or am I imagining this?
 

theklr

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Problem is with Maddison or Havertz is due to their age and potential I don't see them going for any less than £80m and Leicester especially will bleed us dry. Considering we need 5-6 quality players I don't want to blow the majority of a budget on one player like we did with Maguire.

There's a lot of quality options like Fernandes, Ziyech, Odegaard, Olmo, Van de beek, Eriksen who would not cost the world. One of them + a midfielder like Partey/Zakaria for around 100m combined would make us much stronger than just signing one player for that kind of money.
Odegaard would not cost more than Maddison or Havertz??

C’mon, he is bossing La Liga at 21, one of Europes hottest prospects, and a big part of Real Madrids future. And they have invested heavily in him already without him even playing there.

Only way we would get him is a straight up swap with Pogba, and even that is unlikely as Perez doesnt seem to rate Pogba as a 100 million man.

A straight up buy from Real Madrid would be in the region of 200 million. I am not saying that is Odegaard’s value (thats probably half), but that is because Real almost never sell if they dont want too, and that they have such big plans for him.
 

Jakob Knutzen

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[...]

e.g. He could easily play in these positions, which would open up a lot of possibilities in a myriad setups...

4-4-2
4-2-3-1
4-3-3

Olmo or Kulusevski could also be quality additions — young, technically robust, fairly explosive and versatile.
Could as well played as a number 8 in a 4-3-3. Works really hard, and has improved his defensive quality a lot the last year or so.
Edit: Talking about Ødegaard
 

Hammer_st

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If we could arange with a solution for the future Matias Palacios looks very talented. He could be a future world class Number 8/10.
 

Remember the geese

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When has Pogba played as a 10 for us? Also, Ole clearly wants Pogba in the deeper role in a 4231, as that's where he played him all of pre-season and at the start of the season.
Pogba was electric for us last season as an attacking midfielder. I'd like to think that a McTominay, Fred, Pogba midfield is the logical step.
 

Andersons Dietician

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Problem is with Maddison or Havertz is due to their age and potential I don't see them going for any less than £80m and Leicester especially will bleed us dry. Considering we need 5-6 quality players I don't want to blow the majority of a budget on one player like we did with Maguire.

There's a lot of quality options like Fernandes, Ziyech, Odegaard, Olmo, Van de beek, Eriksen who would not cost the world. One of them + a midfielder like Partey/Zakaria for around 100m combined would make us much stronger than just signing one player for that kind of money.
Didn’t Fernandes just sign a new deal at Sporting increasing his buy out to 80 mil. It will be Intresting to see what we do and when we do it but for me it’s a position we need and I’m not sure it’s the best position for Pogba. Think he is better seeing the play in front of him and if he has to play with his back to goal can see a lot of him just passing it back or losing possesion.
Don’t think he really has the workrate for the position either but right now him there is probably our best solution.
 

Adam-Utd

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Odegaard should be the number 1 target.

He's the only guy i'd consider in a deal to let Pogba go this summer.
 

Mark Pawelek

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Some nice, out-of-reach players discussed here; as always. Sad fact is United really need January signings. Press rumours talk about United interest in:

Dejan Kulusevski, 19, - Serie A - Parma Calcio, on loan from Atalanta
Ezequiel Barco, 20, - MLS - Atlanta United
Matheus Pereira, 23, - Championship - WBA, on loan from Sporting Lisbon

At prices from £8m to £24m.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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Pogba was electric for us last season as an attacking midfielder. I'd like to think that a McTominay, Fred, Pogba midfield is the logical step.
Slightly pedantic, but we played a 433 when Ole came in, with Pogba on the left side of midfield, but I guess he could play as a out and out number 10.

If that is the case, and Ole see's Pogba as a 10 (although I don't think he does, otherwise he'd have started the season with him there) then we need to be looking for a number 6 to go with Fred and McTominay.

I guess it would make sense. Pogba prefers to play higher up, and is very creative in the final third. I'd like to see it happen.
 

DarkRed

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Slightly pedantic, but we played a 433 when Ole came in, with Pogba on the left side of midfield, but I guess he could play as a out and out number 10.

If that is the case, and Ole see's Pogba as a 10 (although I don't think he does, otherwise he'd have started the season with him there) then we need to be looking for a number 6 to go with Fred and McTominay.

I guess it would make sense. Pogba prefers to play higher up, and is very creative in the final third. I'd like to see it happen.
He simply had no choice... Fred did not come to the preseason and Matic is Matic
 

Rozay

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Odegaard is by far the best young 10 around for me. Havertz is not the answer for me. Goal scorer more than creator from what I’ve seen.

God I wish we got Frenkie De Jong too. Love him as a player.
 

OleGunnar20

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Many big teams can't really accommodate a pure #10, but if Pogba does indeed leave this summer then we'd be a rare big team that really could have one as first choice. One CM signed to rotate with McTominay and Fred and then one pure #10 to start in front of 2 of them would make sense.

There might be shortages at other positions (particularly a player whose best position is RW and maybe the LB we need), but the market should really be friendly to find a #10 type, whether that's a veteran like Eriksen or a young up and comer like Olmo.
Well said.

I hope (and half expect, if Ole stays on) that we start looking to the future with this next raft of signings. Olmo / Havertz types are where we need to be looking, rather than Erikson.

Players on the cusp of taking that next step up but who still have it all to prove. That's what we need to be building the squad around going forward, or forever be stuck in this bloody never ending 'Transition'.
 

Remember the geese

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Slightly pedantic, but we played a 433 when Ole came in, with Pogba on the left side of midfield, but I guess he could play as a out and out number 10.

If that is the case, and Ole see's Pogba as a 10 (although I don't think he does, otherwise he'd have started the season with him there) then we need to be looking for a number 6 to go with Fred and McTominay.

You're right about us playing a 4-3-3 when Ole arrived. guess it would make sense. Pogba prefers to play higher up, and is very creative in the final third. I'd like to see it happen.
Yeah, I'd like to see Pogba freed up a bit with McTominay and Fred playing as a double pivot.
Slightly pedantic, but we played a 433 when Ole came in, with Pogba on the left side of midfield, but I guess he could play as a out and out number 10.

If that is the case, and Ole see's Pogba as a 10 (although I don't think he does, otherwise he'd have started the season with him there) then we need to be looking for a number 6 to go with Fred and McTominay.

I guess it would make sense. Pogba prefers to play higher up, and is very creative in the final third. I'd like to see it happen.
You're right about us playing a 4-3-3 when Ole arrived. Though I can still see Pogba slotting in really nicely ahead of a McTominay and Fred double pivot.

It was a surprise for me to see us begin the season with Pogba playing so deep. I can't remember if Fred was unavailable early on and through lack of options Pogba was deployed there, or whether Ole simply decided that is how he now wanted to utilise Pogba. Either way as the season has progressed it became apparent that we struggled for creativity (until recently at least), meaning that we needed Pogba's impact to come from a more advanced position on his return.

If Pogba was to stay next season, then the priority midfield wise is to either sign a number 6 as you suggested, or have faith in Garner and/or Levitt to step up and become fully fledged squad players. I assume it will be the former.
 

ReddBalls

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I can't remember if Fred was unavailable early on
He was, and he was certainly not up to speed. Ole has repeatedly stated he wants to build the team around Pogba. That would suggest he sees him as the main creator, and in Ole's system that would mean he's supposed to play as a 10.
 

NoPace

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Well said.

I hope (and half expect, if Ole stays on) that we start looking to the future with this next raft of signings. Olmo / Havertz types are where we need to be looking, rather than Erikson.

Players on the cusp of taking that next step up but who still have it all to prove. That's what we need to be building the squad around going forward, or forever be stuck in this bloody never ending 'Transition'.
Yeah, I could understand signing a veteran #9 to compete with Martial, but at RW (having James as backup to Rashford at LW and a productive starting RW would give us a genuinely strong position group), #10, CM (assuming Pogba leaves) and LB we need players who will be part of the next great United team, which is to say in their early 20s apart from maybe a particularly productive teenager or a 26 or 27 year old DM can still have 5 good years left.
 

pmgeorge

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Olmo can be brought in January if there are money for transfers. In summer he will have one year left of contract. But he is not yet finished product, Ole may want a 25-28 year old player. Everybody here want 19year players yet they start crying about results, consistency..
With Olmo, Haaland and one top CM, MU will fight for the title again
 

Lash

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Some nice, out-of-reach players discussed here; as always. Sad fact is United really need January signings. Press rumours talk about United interest in:

Dejan Kulusevski, 19, - Serie A - Parma Calcio, on loan from Atalanta
Ezequiel Barco, 20, - MLS - Atlanta United
Matheus Pereira, 23, - Championship - WBA, on loan from Sporting Lisbon

At prices from £8m to £24m.
Have we been linked to Barco? That would be interesting, seems talented. Not sure he's ready for us though.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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He was, and he was certainly not up to speed. Ole has repeatedly stated he wants to build the team around Pogba. That would suggest he sees him as the main creator, and in Ole's system that would mean he's supposed to play as a 10.
Ole did say he wants to build the team around Pogba, but that doesn't neccesarily mean playing him as a 10. It just means getting the right players around him to get the best out of him.

Now, if Ole did want to play Pogba as a 10 from the start of the season, then our priority, assuming he had enough of Matic, would have been to get a number 6 to go next to Fred/McTominay.

Having said that, not sure how serious it was, but we were surprisingly linked with Sean Longstaff, who is obviously a deep midfielder. Maybe Ole was thinking to bring him in, meaning pushing Pogba further forward.

Also, despite Fred and McTominay doing very well of late, neither of them have the kind of passing range Pogba does, which I feel is a massive reason as to why Ole plays Pogba deep.

If we can get in a number 6 - preferably a deep-lying playmaker, then we could have Pogba as a 10, whilst having Fred, McTominay and New midfielder as our options in the pivot positions.
 

Devil may care

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I personally hope we stay away from Maddison because paying Leicester close to the £100m that I think they will demand for him, would be sheer stupidity for a team that needs multiple upgrades.

Odegaard in a potential Pogba deal to Madrid would be a intelligent way to bring in a potentially high calibre player for the AM spot. Great nous and know how in the last third and is coming along very well in a tactical sense, where his off the ball game and positional play is proving to be very fruitful for his current coach due to the flexibility he provides along with the craft and guile going the other way.

Zaniolo from Roma with Smalling going the other way should also be on the cards for obvious reasons. Reminds me of Kaka in the way he plays the game and even models his game on the ex AC Milan and Brazil star. He's a quality dribbler and links up superbly well with the attack and is versatile enough to work the channels/flanks. Also has a big goal threat, including headers which make him a potentially outstanding option for the role due to the variety of excellence he has in his locker. Some in Italy have already touted him as the biggest young talent in the country.
Agreed on Maddison, he's a good player but people are getting carried away with him because it's not that often England produces that type of #10, we usually have more direct players in that role off the striker. The price Leicester will want for him is just crazy for the level he is actually at, we'd be paying for his passport and his potential.

I agree on Odegaard but why he'd want to come here right now I just don't know, and I'm not sure Perez is as keen on Pogba as Zidane. I've not see Zainolo this season, how would compare him to Havertz?
 

Josep Dowling

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We don’t need one. Put Paul Pogba at number 10 and focus on getting a defensive midfielder like Matic but actually decent.
 

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I actually prefer Pogba deeper than as a 10. Haven’t really enjoyed games where he’s higher up, he doesn’t have the space he needs and loses the ball a lot. His ball retention isn’t great and it’s a position more suited to a player like Odegaard.

Give Pogba the space and he can kill you but in the majority of games many teams won’t do that and that’s why he’s better deeper.
 

Adnan

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Agreed on Maddison, he's a good player but people are getting carried away with him because it's not that often England produces that type of #10, we usually have more direct players in that role off the striker. The price Leicester will want for him is just crazy for the level he is actually at, we'd be paying for his passport and his potential.

I agree on Odegaard but why he'd want to come here right now I just don't know, and I'm not sure Perez is as keen on Pogba as Zidane. I've not see Zainolo this season, how would compare him to Havertz?
Havertz and Zaniolo are both very good prospects for the AM role and can play in various different positions which gives a coach flexibility in formation/strategy adjustments. Zaniolo is very adept at playing on the wing too and I feel he could also be deployed in a box to box role due to the tackles/duels he wins in central areas which is quite impressive for a creative flair player with a big goal threat. But for now I think he suits the #10 role and has the potential to be a elite level attacker who will provide goals and creativity in abundance.

Havertz is also very similar in some ways and can be deployed as a inverted winger but is best deployed as a AM/#10 imo. He's already shown in the German Bundesliga that he can score and assist at a significant rate for a teenager. And is quite rightly regarded as a hot prospect with many big clubs sniffing around if reports are to be believed.

As things stand I believe Zaniolo will be significantly cheaper to acquire. And as far as potential goes they're both on a similar level. So for me I'd go for Zaniolo.
 

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Eberechi Eze looks like the next sterling to me. We should snap him up. I'd also take Kalvin Phillips from the championship as DM as well but that might be more difficult. I think championship is the way to go for value now and the quality these days is very good.
 

AneRu

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Agreed on Maddison, he's a good player but people are getting carried away with him because it's not that often England produces that type of #10, we usually have more direct players in that role off the striker. The price Leicester will want for him is just crazy for the level he is actually at, we'd be paying for his passport and his potential.

I agree on Odegaard but why he'd want to come here right now I just don't know, and I'm not sure Perez is as keen on Pogba as Zidane. I've not see Zainolo this season, how would compare him to Havertz?
Agree with this, I like the player but he is not at the level that justifies a £100m + transfer fee. Very good on dead ball situations and crossing but I don't think he is as creative through the lines as other top players in the role.

I think Real will want Pogba in the summer a player plus cash deal could be the way to go for both parties so the deal will definitely be doable. Pogba is a marketing dream and I think he could be lethal in a slower league where he will get more time on the ball.
 

Red_Orchestra

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We need X-Factors in this team, I'd probably take Odegaard or Eze from QPR. Both would be great!