Thomas Partey | Time to get the partey started?

Brightonian

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-I don't think we can contend for the league and Europe and have 2 fullbacks who aren't above average going forward, and Wan-Bissaka is more reliable than Shaw all in all.
-Williams did fine but he wasn't exactly Evra out there and honestly that's what we need. I think he'll be a useful squad player because he can play both sides, has good energy and aggression going forward and is a clever short passer for a fullback
-Dalot does have the potential one would think to become a proper threat, but only on the right

If you wanna argue we should just spend big on the next Brazilian teenage LB who projects as Marcelo going forward because Shaw and Williams can handle the spot for a couple years then fine, but Liverpool and before that Real Madrid had elite fullback creativity when they won the CLs (Robertson/TAA and before that Marcelo and even Carvajal) and we have very little at the moment.

And if we want to play 3 at the back more where Shaw did well as an LCB, we need that proper assist machine at LWB, be it a left back who is great going forward (Grimaldo? Max?) or a left midfielder who can play there like McNeil from Burnley or Saka from Arsenal (contract ends in a year) and the other names that come to mind aren't realistic transfers at the moment (Sessegnon).

I haven't seen much of him but it seems like we might have missed out by not buying that Skov guy who scored a million goals, since he did that cutting in on the right as a winger but has apparently done well at LB and LWB in the Bundesliga and could have been our 3-5-2 LWB and our backup RW, hopefully to Sancho, since James is better on the left or might even have to play on the right since we might not buy a proper backup for Bruno and have to make Sancho our backup 10 or else have a midfield with no creativity (assuming Pogba goes). Might have been 10M well spent. Mourinho wanted a player of this profile and thought it could be Perisic, I recall.
Honestly I just think that Shaw is pretty good and not as bad going forward as people seem to have decided, and that Williams is already a decent back-up and might well turn into a really great fullback. I don't believe in spending money on positions where you are good. Teams get better when they have stability over a number of seasons. Whatever degree of improvement on Shaw we might be able to buy would probably not balance out the difficulties created by the risk that this other player just doesn't work out, that we have to spend a season settling them in, that they do ok but adding a load of new names disrupts the squad all over again. There are positions where we can so obviously and dramatically improve that a signing is a good idea, like RW and DM. But LB? You'll do more harm than good.

I also think our fans always, always want us to replicate what the current best teams in the world have just done. But those 'best teams' tend to get there by doing something new, which tends to be a case of their quality managers responding to the resources available. When Barca were killing everyone with tiki taka, we were all clamouring for delicate Spanish possession-favouring midfielders. Then Dortmund (and to an extent Bayern) shook things up with more direct, less intricate styles of attacking football and all of a sudden we all hated LVG because he prioritised possession football, forgetting that in Fergie's last years that was what we all wanted.

Currently, a lot of good teams have very attacking fullbacks. A lot of their creativity comes from those fullbacks, whose defensive weakness they cover with strong, hardworking DMs. We don't have that. What we do have is probably the two best defensive fullbacks in the league. One of them is one of the best defensive fullbacks in the world right now. Rather than jumping on Football Manager to pick out some marauding wingbacks to expensively replace them, why not actually play in a way that suits our assets. Stick Shaw and AWB in the back line and, secure in the knowledge that they won't need much help from their midfielders, go with a Bruno-Pogba-Fred midfield which is defensively light but will provide loads of ammunition to our forwards.

We should try and be good at being Manchester United, building on our best Manchester United players, instead of spending loads of money to replace those perfectly good players with a different type of player just because that's currently what Real Madrid and Liverpool are doing. By the time we manage to make that happen - two seasons of trial and error and bad form and disruption - the European giants of the moment will probably be doing something completely different.
 

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Honestly I just think that Shaw is pretty good and not as bad going forward as people seem to have decided, and that Williams is already a decent back-up and might well turn into a really great fullback. I don't believe in spending money on positions where you are good. Teams get better when they have stability over a number of seasons. Whatever degree of improvement on Shaw we might be able to buy would probably not balance out the difficulties created by the risk that this other player just doesn't work out, that we have to spend a season settling them in, that they do ok but adding a load of new names disrupts the squad all over again. There are positions where we can so obviously and dramatically improve that a signing is a good idea, like RW and DM. But LB? You'll do more harm than good.

I also think our fans always, always want us to replicate what the current best teams in the world have just done. But those 'best teams' tend to get there by doing something new, which tends to be a case of their quality managers responding to the resources available. When Barca were killing everyone with tiki taka, we were all clamouring for delicate Spanish possession-favouring midfielders. Then Dortmund (and to an extent Bayern) shook things up with more direct, less intricate styles of attacking football and all of a sudden we all hated LVG because he prioritised possession football, forgetting that in Fergie's last years that was what we all wanted.

Currently, a lot of good teams have very attacking fullbacks. A lot of their creativity comes from those fullbacks, whose defensive weakness they cover with strong, hardworking DMs. We don't have that. What we do have is probably the two best defensive fullbacks in the league. One of them is one of the best defensive fullbacks in the world right now. Rather than jumping on Football Manager to pick out some marauding wingbacks to expensively replace them, why not actually play in a way that suits our assets. Stick Shaw and AWB in the back line and, secure in the knowledge that they won't need much help from their midfielders, go with a Bruno-Pogba-Fred midfield which is defensively light but will provide loads of ammunition to our forwards.

We should try and be good at being Manchester United, building on our best Manchester United players, instead of spending loads of money to replace those perfectly good players with a different type of player just because that's currently what Real Madrid and Liverpool are doing. By the time we manage to make that happen - two seasons of trial and error and bad form and disruption - the European giants of the moment will probably be doing something completely different.
This is a good post and I think your points have a lot of merit. That said, I don’t believe the desire for offensive full backs is necessarily about ‘creativity from full back areas’. For me, it is a more fundamental requirement to have width in your team. In a game where wingers are now half 9s, half 10s - it is all cluttered in the middle. The option to have a vertical threat in wide areas is certainly useful.
 

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This is a good post and I think your points have a lot of merit. That said, I don’t believe the desire for offensive full backs is necessarily about ‘creativity from full back areas’. For me, it is a more fundamental requirement to have width in your team. In a game where wingers are now half 9s, half 10s - it is all cluttered in the middle. The option to have a vertical threat in wide areas is certainly useful.
I agree with that, and if we are playing to our existing strengths as I suggest, then I have to admit that doesn't include any old-school touchline-hugging wingers. Hopefully next season our wide men will be Rashford and Sancho so there's some width there, but both will also be coming central plenty too.

That said I think both Shaw and AWB do provide width. Shaw's contribution to attack has been underestimated for a while, in my opinion. If you watch back a video of all our goals this season its striking how many of them actually involve him in the build-up. Particularly, Bruno has already created goals a number of times by slipping the ball through the a marauding Shaw. So I'm not concerned that there's anything to fix there really. We don't really want a Marcelo type who would be getting in Rashford's way. Just someone to make those complementary runs at the right time to help create options and space.

AWB is further behind on that track, but even this season we've seen a dramatic increase in his attacking contribution. And if he doesn't yet create as many chances as he could, the one thing you have to say is that he does now reliably offer width. He can normally be found our there in the 'Valencia' position ready to receive a long diagonal, and his attacking style leans towards a similarly Valencia-esque strategy of turning his man back and forth a few times until he can steal a yard or two near the byline to whizz a cross in. He seems like someone who will perfectly complement Sancho, whose starting position tends to be wide but who does take the ball inside more often than not.
 

UpWithRivers

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-I don't think we can contend for the league and Europe and have 2 fullbacks who aren't above average going forward, and Wan-Bissaka is more reliable than Shaw all in all.
-Williams did fine but he wasn't exactly Evra out there and honestly that's what we need. I think he'll be a useful squad player because he can play both sides, has good energy and aggression going forward and is a clever short passer for a fullback
-Dalot does have the potential one would think to become a proper threat, but only on the right

If you wanna argue we should just spend big on the next Brazilian teenage LB who projects as Marcelo going forward because Shaw and Williams can handle the spot for a couple years then fine, but Liverpool and before that Real Madrid had elite fullback creativity when they won the CLs (Robertson/TAA and before that Marcelo and even Carvajal) and we have very little at the moment.

And if we want to play 3 at the back more where Shaw did well as an LCB, we need that proper assist machine at LWB, be it a left back who is great going forward (Grimaldo? Max?) or a left midfielder who can play there like McNeil from Burnley or Saka from Arsenal (contract ends in a year) and the other names that come to mind aren't realistic transfers at the moment (Sessegnon).

I haven't seen much of him but it seems like we might have missed out by not buying that Skov guy who scored a million goals, since he did that cutting in on the right as a winger but has apparently done well at LB and LWB in the Bundesliga and could have been our 3-5-2 LWB and our backup RW, hopefully to Sancho, since James is better on the left or might even have to play on the right since we might not buy a proper backup for Bruno and have to make Sancho our backup 10 or else have a midfield with no creativity (assuming Pogba goes). Might have been 10M well spent. Mourinho wanted a player of this profile and thought it could be Perisic, I recall.
We don't need to play like Liverpool and Chelsea. We need to figure out our own system. Neville was not the best going forward but all he needed to do was overlap every now and again and give Beckam the space to cross. Different players but Sancho/WB and Rashord/Shaw can work on thier strengths and weaknesses and become formidable pairings on either side.
 

NoPace

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We don't need to play like Liverpool and Chelsea. We need to figure out our own system. Neville was not the best going forward but all he needed to do was overlap every now and again and give Beckam the space to cross. Different players but Sancho/WB and Rashord/Shaw can work on thier strengths and weaknesses and become formidable pairings on either side.
It would probably mean we need more creativity from the CB and DM spots to compensate though, and I'm not sure we can find a Bonucci or a Pirlo. You can't have a back 6 without any special passers or an incredible manager to somehow obviate that, I would think, and that seems like a tall order.

Remember, we're not talking about moving up to become the quality of a 2018-19 Spurs (still a leap for us!) but a league winning side.
 

Adam_S

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This is a good post and I think your points have a lot of merit. That said, I don’t believe the desire for offensive full backs is necessarily about ‘creativity from full back areas’. For me, it is a more fundamental requirement to have width in your team. In a game where wingers are now half 9s, half 10s - it is all cluttered in the middle. The option to have a vertical threat in wide areas is certainly useful.
You could make an argument that if we have two defensively solid fullbacks then that allows our wide players further up the field like Rashford (and hopefully Sancho) to push forward a bit more and not have to worry about tracking back so much. Get Rashford fit again and get some serious talent in on the right and it might not matter quite so much what out fullbacks get up to.
 

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Can only imagine the level of disgust they must've felt reading the Arsenal rumors if they were compelled enough to pour cold water all over them :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
 
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Can only imagine the level of disgust they must've felt reading the Arsenal rumors if they were compelled enough to pour cold water all over them :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Didn't those rumors come from his father saying they were negotiating?? I think he might end up just staying at Atleti but this could just be the agent shielding the situation from a tapping up complaint
 

TsuWave

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Didn't those rumors come from his father saying they were negotiating?? I think he might end up just staying at Atleti but this could just be the agent shielding the situation from a tapping up complaint
African dad quotes are as reliable as Portuguese press.

It’s pretty easy to get on twitter and “[add words here]” then attribute them to African player’s dad at XYZ show. Not many people know African sports outlets or are willing to do the googles.
 
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As soon as I saw those quotes earlier I knew they were fake.
I'm not sure they are tbh though I hope so. Weird move from the agent either way as it hurts their negotiating position if Partey's angling for a new deal from Atleti. Only reason to squash the Arsenal rumor is that the thought of signing for them disgusts Partey OR he's afraid Atleti will complain about tapping up (like with Griezmann)
 

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I'm not sure they are tbh though I hope so. Weird move from the agent either way as it hurts their negotiating position if Partey's angling for a new deal from Atleti. Only reason to squash the Arsenal rumor is that the thought of signing for them disgusts Partey OR he's afraid Atleti will complain about tapping up (like with Griezmann)
The wording was way too convenient. It literally said every single thing you would want a confirmation to say to the extent that it clearly wasn’t true. From such a source. It’s like some random French paper saying ‘Jadon Sancho’s mother has just been on the phone and said that all the rumours about her son and Manchester United are very true, they are just working out the details and I want him to go there’. It’s quite a stretch.
 

KennyBurner

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Didn't those rumors come from his father saying they were negotiating?? I think he might end up just staying at Atleti but this could just be the agent shielding the situation from a tapping up complaint
Top players are always social distancing from Arsenal football club.
 

ThatsGreat

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Arsenal are a big club ffs. Youd think he's being linked to spurs or something.
 

Rolaholic

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Please be true...

My first choice at DM would probably be Ndidi but there's no chance Leicester sell him to us for a reasonable fee so a Partey or Zakaria providing cover for the backline would be the next best options there whenever the next window is.
 

pratyush_utd

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Please be true...

My first choice at DM would probably be Ndidi but there's no chance Leicester sell him to us for a reasonable fee so a Partey or Zakaria providing cover for the backline would be the next best options there whenever the next window is.
This and Sancho, we are good enough for a title challenge. Apparently journalist is quite reliable
 

Rozay

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TP, Sancho and Ighalo would give us, on paper, as good a side as any in the league. As good a squad even, as the depth we would have would be pretty decent too, with the likes of Fred, McTominay, Greenwood and Ighalo taking more of a squad role you would imagine.
 

Wayne's World

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Please be true...

My first choice at DM would probably be Ndidi but there's no chance Leicester sell him to us for a reasonable fee so a Partey or Zakaria providing cover for the backline would be the next best options there whenever the next window is.
Would be the signing of the summer. Not a Liverpool player could get around him or near him in the two games against Altetico....would love to see him doing that at United :drool::drool::drool:
 

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Please be true...

My first choice at DM would probably be Ndidi but there's no chance Leicester sell him to us for a reasonable fee so a Partey or Zakaria providing cover for the backline would be the next best options there whenever the next window is.
Partey is exactly what we need. Himself and Sancho would be an insane summer
 

Champagne Football

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If we added those two, Grealish and Ighalo, would be the best summer we've had in a long, long time. Partey would definitely be my first choice DM we go for. Even if we didn't get Grealish, the others would be immense too.
Our spending will be limited. I think the hope from the board will be that we can get 100 million for Pogba, and perhaps a little more for Lingard and Smalling, and use that incoming cash to buy Sancho, Partey and Ighalo. I don't think there will be money left over for Grealish too, considering we already used the summers kitty to buy Bruno.
 

andersj

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TP, Sancho and Ighalo would give us, on paper, as good a side as any in the league. As good a squad even, as the depth we would have would be pretty decent too, with the likes of Fred, McTominay, Greenwood and Ighalo taking more of a squad role you would imagine.
I dont think this is true, but it would be a great side. I feel some of the difference between us and Man Citt/Liverpool would be that they have more experience in crucial positions. Certainly in their attack.

Mane/Sterling, Firmino and Salah/Mahrez is probably at their peak. Aguero might be moving off his peak next season? Rashford and Martial will enter in the next couple of seasons. Sancho, with all his potential and quality, would still be a very young player. But, I would feel that we for the first time in several year were closing some the gap for the second summer in a row if we managed to pull that of (Partey, Sancho and Ighalo).
 

Rozay

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I dont think this is true, but it would be a great side. I feel some of the difference between us and Man Citt/Liverpool would be that they have more experience in crucial positions. Certainly in their attack.

Mane/Sterling, Firmino and Salah/Mahrez is probably at their peak. Aguero might be moving off his peak next season? Rashford and Martial will enter in the next couple of seasons. Sancho, with all his potential and quality, would still be a very young player. But, I would feel that we for the first time in several year were closing some the gap for the second summer in a row if we managed to pull that of (Partey, Sancho and Ighalo).
You are right, but when you balance it across all departments, I feel we’d be up there. Rashford is 22 on paper, but he’s no kid. He’ll be entering his 5th or 6th season in the team, with many appearances and many goals. He’s an experienced pro, and is physically developed now.

Our midfield would be better than Liverpool’s, our defence better than City’s so I think across the board - our team will be somewhere near equal, although I take your point regarding Sancho being still a kid. I don’t think the likes of Sterling and Mahrez are better than Rashford right now despite being older. I’ve said a few times that I think Firmino is the biggest con artist and not better than Martial either, but that’s personal opinion I guess.
 

RedDevilRoshi

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Please be true...

My first choice at DM would probably be Ndidi but there's no chance Leicester sell him to us for a reasonable fee so a Partey or Zakaria providing cover for the backline would be the next best options there whenever the next window is.
What's his buyout clause again?

Him and Sancho would be a dream although I am not getting sucked in completely yet, especially after Ed's comments last week. Will just need to wait and see.
 

andersj

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You are right, but when you balance it across all departments, I feel we’d be up there. Rashford is 22 on paper, but he’s no kid. He’ll be entering his 5th or 6th season in the team, with many appearances and many goals. He’s an experienced pro, and is physically developed now.

Our midfield would be better than Liverpool’s, our defence better than City’s so I think across the board - our team will be somewhere near equal, although I take your point regarding Sancho being still a kid. I don’t think the likes of Sterling and Mahrez are better than Rashford right now despite being older. I’ve said a few times that I think Firmino is the biggest con artist and not better than Martial either, but that’s personal opinion I guess.
Firmino suits Klopps football very well and he is also a good match t Salah and Mane. He is very good off the ball when the other team has the ball. And on the ball he operates in a space where Liverpool need someone.

Martial, on the other hand, has not had the benefit of playing in a team and system that suit him that well. Maybe with Sancho, Rashford, Bruno and Pogba he would?

But Martial is at a similar age as Firmino was when he arrived at Liverpool.
 

Davicho

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Partey, Pogba, Fernandes, Sancho, Rashford, Martial would be the best front six in the league and one of the best in Europe.
 

Canagel

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TP, Sancho and Ighalo would give us, on paper, as good a side as any in the league. As good a squad even, as the depth we would have would be pretty decent too, with the likes of Fred, McTominay, Greenwood and Ighalo taking more of a squad role you would imagine.
Outfield wise only. We need a more stable goalkeeper to win big things. DDG makes too many mistakes and his distribution is terrible. And left back is still not sorted imo. We need a attacking threat from one of our fullbacks otherwise there will be too much pressure on our midfield for creativity. we badly need the threat in behind from LB to elevate this team attacking wise
 

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Acknowledging I’m in fantasy world here:

If we could get him (£44m release I think?) and Upamecano (last year of contract, apparently told club he won’t sign a new deal) for less than £90m, could offset a good chunk of that with sales:

Smalling roughly 20m
Jones roughly 10m
Lingard roughly 20m
Pereira roughly 10m

That gets a net spend of roughly £30m! Then go all out for Sancho.
 

reddevilchennai

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Outfield wise only. We need a more stable goalkeeper to win big things. DDG makes too many mistakes and his distribution is terrible. And left back is still not sorted imo. We need a attacking threat from one of our fullbacks otherwise there will be too much pressure on our midfield for creativity. we badly need the threat in behind from LB to elevate this team attacking wise
So you won't be happy with Thomas Partey, Sancho and Ighalo signing. It would sort out two of our main problems and Ighalo would provide cover for Martial in his absence.

DDG is still a better keeper. When did we play with a keeper who distributes ball like Allison or Ederson? I am not sold out on the idea that a keeper should start the attack from the back (It suits only for teams like City and Barca and we were never that team).

We can easily manage with Luke Shaw and Williams in LB. The LB position with these two is average but not as bad as you say.

SAF managed to win titles with Rafael as RB, Evans as CB etc. So one or two average players on the backline will never stop a team from winning title. Whom did City play in LB when they last won the title? Is he better than Shaw?
 

IrishMcD

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Acknowledging I’m in fantasy world here:

If we could get him (£44m release I think?) and Upamecano (last year of contract, apparently told club he won’t sign a new deal) for less than £90m, could offset a good chunk of that with sales:

Smalling roughly 20m
Jones roughly 10m
Lingard roughly 20m
Pereira roughly 10m

That gets a net spend of roughly £30m! Then go all out for Sancho.
Throw in Rojo and Fosu Mensah, as well as hopefully getting Sanchez out on loan again somewhere and the money saved on wages alone on that motley crew would be huge. I'll throw another name at you, Tonali. Said to be availble from as little as 30m euro this summer due to his club struggling financially. Can we throw him into your fantasy summer shopping list? Boot out Matic to make room. Mourinho will do us a solid there I'm sure.
If only real life was as simple as FM
 

Teja

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Muppetry aside, I don't know if we need another DM this window. I think Ole loves McT and for me, he's earned his place in the squad. Fred has been lighting it up for us this season and Matic has legs for atleast one more season (esp. in a rotation role). If Pogba leaves, I wouldn't mind bringing in two players in his position (Grealish and Partey) and rotate as needed, but it sounds like he's going to stay, so I'm not really seeing it.

My order of preference for this window is RW (Sancho), CF (Have my doubts about Tony M, Haaland would've been so perfect) and then a CB, DM.
 

kirk buttercup

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We absolutely need this type of player . If we got him and Sancho we look like a serious team . Still more to do but looking alot closer to where we should be.
 

Dve

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.................... De Gea ......................

Bissaka - Bailly - Maguire - Shaw

.................... Partey .......................

.... Fernandes ......... Fred

Sancho - Martial - Rashford


Or


.................... De Gea

Bissaka - Bailly - Maguire - Shaw

........ McTominay...... Partey

.................Fernandes

Sancho - Martial - Rashford



Or with Pogba, but no Sancho



.................... De Gea

Bissaka - Bailly - Maguire - Shaw

................... Partey

McTominay........... Pogba

................ Fernandes

..... Martial ......... Rashford



Before I woke up



.................... De Gea

Bissaka - Koulibaly - Maguire - Shaw

.................... Partey

Fernandes ................ Pogba

Sancho..... Martial .... Rashford
 

Cliche Guevara

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We absolutely need this type of player . If we got him and Sancho we look like a serious team . Still more to do but looking alot closer to where we should be.
I don’t know, man. Bringing in Sancho and Partey puts us right up there. Especially if you consider the clean sheets we’ve been racking up.

I’d be absolutely delighted with that next season.