We actually don't need a midfielder! | Post your starting XI and bench with potential positions you think we'll sign! CHECK OP!

Walters_19_MuFc

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I made a thread a couple of weeks back asking whether fans feel we need an attacking midfielder or defensive midfielder. Now, a lot of us, including myself, talk about bringing in X amount of players, but don't really think about the week to week matchday squad and the players that would be potentially left out of that.

Currently, in midfield (defensive and attacking midfield position) we have:

Matic
Pogba
McTominay
Fred
Bruno
Lingard
Pereira
Mata

This means, because Ole favours a 4231, more often than not, only 5 players from the above list will be actually be in the match day squad. Normally three defensive midfielders and two attacking midfielders. More recently, it has been Bruno, Fred and Matic starting, with McTominay and Mata on the bench.

That leaves three out of the matchday squad. Now, because two of those players have recently been Pereira and Lingard, people won't bat an eyelid, as most would say they aren't good enough to make our matchday squad. However, Pogba when he returns will be in the matchday squad, so who out of that list above drops out.

This is why I say I don't think we need another midfielder. Obviously if players leave the situation changes, but as it stands, we have too many players, in my opinion.

Yes, we will possibly have injuries, but that's when the fringe/youth players come in. Give Pereira and Lingard's spot to Gomes and Garner. See how they fare.

EDIT:

To make this clearer, I want people to put their starting XI, subs and back up players, highlighting the midfielders. Add any potential signings you feel we'll make.

For example,

Martial
Rashford Bruno Winger
Fred Pogba
Shaw Maguire Lindelof Wan-Bissaka
De Gea

Romero Bailly Williams McTominay James Greenwood Ighalo

Standby: Matic, Mata

Youth players: Gomes, Garner

We could possibly get an attacking midfielder to put on the bench for James/Greenwood.
 
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Mcking

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It's not good enough in terms of quality. Lingard and Pereira haven't been good for a while and shouldn't even be considered as options. Matic and Mata have improved lately, but I think we should know by now not to put our trust in them going into a new season. Pogba, Bruno, Fred and McTominay are the ones we really have now.
Our options are not very good in terms of balance too. We don't have a specialist holding midfielder that would be able to play every game. Pogba and Bruno are our best options, and has to play. We need a holding midfielder to play with them regardless of the numbers we have.
 

AltiUn

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It's not good enough in terms of quality. Lingard and Pereira haven't been good for a while and shouldn't even be considered as options. Matic and Mata have improved lately, but I think we should know by now not to put our trust in them going into a new season. Pogba, Bruno, Fred and McTominay are the ones we really have now.
Our options are not very good in terms of balance too. We don't have a specialist holding midfielder that would be able to play every game. Pogba and Bruno are our best options, and has to play. We need a holding midfielder to play with them regardless of the numbers we have.
Bingo.
 

Brightonian

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Lingard and Pereira shouldn't be considered relevant. In a normal summer window, they'd be gone as soon as we knew we were getting someone in.

New arrivals should effectively be pushing Mata and Matic out of that list. Both are good on their day, but Matic can't stay fit if he has to play a few games in a row, and therefore shouldn't be thought of as someone who needs to be in every match day squad. Mata has something to offer, but again there are plenty of matches where his physical limitations, which age is exacerbating, are too much of a liability. If we want our squad next season to be stronger than our squad this season then neither of those two should be guaranteed a squad place.

Keep injuries in mind too. You should plan to have one midfielder injured at any given time, and need to be able to cope with more out too.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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Since our midfielders have come back from injury, Lingard and Periera haven't made the matchday squad. We're not going to replace them with Zakaria and Grealish for example, as that would mean players like Fred and McTominay not making the matchday squad. Not going to happen. We need to be realistic. This isn't fifa!
 

stepic

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Matic is the only ‘proper’ DM. And he’s old. McTom and Fred can do a job in that role but it’s neither of their natural positions.
 

Tarrou

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I think we definitely need a defensive midfielder to come in and eventually replace Matic
 

Teja

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Coutinho on loan yay or nay?
No for me - his best position is as a CM / AM hybrid and we already have sufficient coverage there. Happy to have him if he's willing to be a rotation option for #10 along with Bruno - can take Pereira's role in the squad.

More realistically, if we get him, we'll play him at RW because he's too good to leave on the bench and he'll underperform.
 

Deery

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No for me - his best position is as a CM / AM hybrid and we already have sufficient coverage there. Happy to have him if he's willing to be a rotation option for #10 along with Bruno - can take Pereira's role in the squad.

More realistically, if we get him, we'll play him at RW because he's too good to leave on the bench and he'll underperform.
Get rid of Pereira and Lingard bring in Coutinho would cost us nothing in wages or fee no brainier for me I’d take him in a heartbeat.
 
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cyril C

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Get rid of Pereira and Lingard bring in Coutinho would cost us nothing in wages or fee no brainier for me I’d take him in a heartbeat.
So are we going to buy a proper Right Wing or not? For argument sake let's say we get Sancho, will Sancho stay on the bench for Coutinho, or Sancho starts and Coutinho bench? Both are 100m valued player. Or Bruno bench for Courtinho, but Courtinho failed at Barca as #10... Don't get into this Sanchez philosophy again, just because someone is available for "free" doesn't mean he is free....
 

Deery

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So are we going to buy a proper Right Wing or not? For argument sake let's say we get Sancho, will Sancho stay on the bench for Coutinho, or Sancho starts and Coutinho bench? Both are 100m valued player. Or Bruno bench for Courtinho, but Courtinho failed at Barca as #10... Don't get into this Sanchez philosophy again, just because someone is available for "free" doesn't mean he is free....
Get him on loan play him from the left or off the bench for Bruno, Coutinho never played right who told you that?
He would be a hell of an upgrade to the squad that’s for sure and I still think he is an amazing player just lost at the minute, he needs a home.
 

Art Vandelay

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I'd say Lingard and Pereira are gone. Pogba if someone stumps up the cash will be gone too. That leaves an aging Matic, Fred who has had a good few months but is capable of being woeful as we saw at the start, McTominay who had potential, an ageing Mata and Bruno. I think we need more than that. Either quality ahead of Bruno + 1 or quality alongside one of the first three with Bruno ahead of them. Also we are fecked if Bruno gets injured so cover there would be nice.
 

jamesjimmybyrondean

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Nope unless Pogba leaves, Matic becomes shit again and Bruno gets injured so we go back to Lingard and Pereira. These are all very likely btw
 

Yagami

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Since our midfielders have come back from injury, Lingard and Periera haven't made the matchday squad. We're not going to replace them with Zakaria and Grealish for example, as that would mean players like Fred and McTominay not making the matchday squad. Not going to happen. We need to be realistic. This isn't fifa!
I get where you're coming from, but it lacks too much quality and is pretty unbalanced.

Out of them, we only have one who is capable of sitting and shielding a defence in Matic, and, even though I've been a big fan of his since joining, he can't be a starter if we're looking to progress. He just doesn't have the legs for it.

Then we have two engine players in Fred in McTominay, and two creators in Bruno and Pogba. One injury to Bruno or Pogba and we're putting all our eggs in one basket in terms of banking on one player to create something every game, which, as we've seen during Pogba's times here, is a recipe for disaster.

Depending on how we use Bruno when Pogba comes back, we still lack a CM that can dictate games against all opposition, too. Someone like a Scholes or, to a lesser extent, Carrick. Imo, we need a CM who can take over from Matic, and another who can provide cover/competition for Bruno and Pogba, and, ideally, one of said players would also have the ability to dictate games regardless of the opposition in addition to filling said role.

At our peak period circa 06-09, when playing 2 CMs, we had Scholes, Carrick, Fletcher, Anderson, Hargreaves, and Giggs was starting to transition into a central player during this era, too. We had good depth for each role our CMs needed to occupy, which we just don't have right now, and that's the standard we should be aiming for, imo.
 

Web of Bissaka

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Worthy (so far):
  • Bruno (long term)
  • Pogba (problems)
  • McT (long term)
  • Fred (long term)
  • Matic (short term)
  • Mata (short term)
And maybe Pereira (inconsistent but maybe good squad player potential? Idk).

So from the 6... half of it are "settle", the other half are not. We're basically playing 3 midfielders per game with our default 4231 formation. That's too much risks for a season or if we consider long term then seasons.

We need a quality midfielder.

Surely Competitions, Fitness and Injuries, Age and Form, Contracts, Morale and Attitude/Mentality all have to be considered. Those changes throughout the seasons. Wouldn't surprise me if McT and Fred suddenly turn to rubbish players or Bruno hitching an escape out. Borrowing OP's words, this isn't fifa! It's not a game.

We need a quality midfielder.
 

Withnail

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Since our midfielders have come back from injury, Lingard and Periera haven't made the matchday squad. We're not going to replace them with Zakaria and Grealish for example, as that would mean players like Fred and McTominay not making the matchday squad. Not going to happen. We need to be realistic. This isn't fifa!
No it's not but there's such a thing as rotation and injuries.

The schedule is chocabloc.

Lingard and Pereira have gotten games lately, not as many as before granted, and they will continue to get games until they are replaced.

We also don't have a DM apart from Matic, who can't last a while season. I think it's fairly clear given how many clean sheets we've had since he's been back in the team we need another one.
 

kafta

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Yes we do. Its not only a matter or numbers, but a matter of quality.

Wouldn't mind selling the two obvious ones if we are getting one in and Pogba stays.
 

Fahad Jawaid

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Initially we saw alot of rumours of being close to Grealish transfer. But since Pogba has had a sudden change of heart (reportedly), it appears the Grealish links have died down and we will only sign him if Pogba goes.

However, i believe we should let go Pereira and Lingard and sign Grealish. He can give us an option on the wings aswell as play as a CAM. Furthermore we can also play diamond formation like Milan used to play in 2004 to 2008. Our version would be like

Martial Rashford
Bruno
Pogba Grealish
Mctominay/Fred

Furthermore, i believe we should sign Sancho aswell, it will allow provide us flexibility to play 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1. Our problem this season has been lack of creativity against smaller likes which come up to defend. With players like Bruno, Pogba, Sancho and Grealish pulling the strings we will have too much for these sides. The formation will be with something like:

Martial
Rashford Bruno Sancho
Pogba Mctominay/Fred

With options like Greenwood, Ighalo, Fred, Grealish, Matic, Romero, Tuanzebe in the bench. This is a potential league and champions league winning lineup.

As the total outlay will be close to £175m. I think if we let go these players we can recoup around £75m easily Smalling 20m
Jones 12m
Perriera 15m
Lingard 10m
Mata 10m
Sanchez 5m

Total net spend £100m.
 
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Adam-Utd

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Take out Lingard/Pereira and add in Grealish/Zakaria or similar and i'd agree.

Mata/Matic shouldn't be relied upon in the future either.
 

cyril C

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Get him on loan play him from the left or off the bench for Bruno, Coutinho never played right who told you that?
He would be a hell of an upgrade to the squad that’s for sure and I still think he is an amazing player just lost at the minute, he needs a home.
Let's count how many players prefer playing on the left - Martial, Rashford, occasionally James but he has no say. Ah, Sanchez as well.
 

Rampant Red Rodriguez

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I made a thread a couple of weeks back asking whether fans feel we need an attacking midfielder or defensive midfielder. Now, a lot of us, including myself, talk about bringing in X amount of players, but don't really think about the week to week matchday squad and the players that would be potentially left out of that.

Currently, in midfield (defensive and attacking midfield position) we have:

Matic
Pogba
McTominay
Fred
Bruno
Lingard
Pereira
Mata

This means, because Ole favours a 4231, more often than not, only 5 players from the above list will be actually be in the match day squad. Normally three defensive midfielders and two attacking midfielders. More recently, it has been Bruno, Fred and Matic starting, with McTominay and Mata on the bench.

That leaves three out of the matchday squad. Now, because two of those players have recently been Pereira and Lingard, people won't bat an eyelid, as most would say they aren't good enough to make our matchday squad. However, Pogba when he returns will be in the matchday squad, so who out of that list above drops out.

This is why I say I don't think we need another midfielder. Obviously if players leave the situation changes, but as it stands, we have too many players, in my opinion.

Yes, we will possibly have injuries, but that's when the fringe/youth players come in. Give Pereira and Lingard's spot to Gomes and Garner. See how they fare.
Perieria is shit, Lingard is even worse and Mata is 32/33 and a wide player now.
 
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Since our midfielders have come back from injury, Lingard and Periera haven't made the matchday squad. We're not going to replace them with Zakaria and Grealish for example, as that would mean players like Fred and McTominay not making the matchday squad. Not going to happen. We need to be realistic. This isn't fifa!
I think we definitely need a defensive midfielder to come in and eventually replace Matic
Team has improved considerably in last couple of months(and hopefully continues when football back) including lots of our defenders. Think holding midfielder more important at the moment if prioritising funds.

Watched a bit of Villa (in laws are Brummies/Villa fans) and think Grealish (while decent) would be fighting with our 'better' midfielders.

Zakaria (though only seen YouTube clips) or someone else holding seems better use of funds imo.

Zakaria and Sancho would take team another step forward (as Bruno has). One takes pressure off Bruno/Pogba and screens defence, the other is a great outlet/creator/scorer.
 

MalcolmTucker

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Get him on loan play him from the left or off the bench for Bruno, Coutinho never played right who told you that?
He would be a hell of an upgrade to the squad that’s for sure and I still think he is an amazing player just lost at the minute, he needs a home.
To replace our best player until he was injured, Rashford?

We have two attacking midfielders in Bruno and Pogba, we don't need another one nor do we need someone on the left side. Perhaps if Pogba goes he'd be a good but expensive loan option.
 

Deery

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To replace our best player until he was injured, Rashford?

We have two attacking midfielders in Bruno and Pogba, we don't need another one nor do we need someone on the left side. Perhaps if Pogba goes he'd be a good but expensive loan option.
As you say we don’t know if we are keeping Pogba.
People complain about having no quality in the squad then point blank refuse to add quality.
We have to replace Mata, Pereira and Lingard, they’re all more attacking midfielders we should keep Pogba and still add Coutinho.
 

Deery

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DeGea

Wan Bissaka Maguire Lindelof Shaw

Fred Pogba

James Bruno Coutinho

Rashford​

@MalcolmTucker you could play a 4-2-3-1 and fit them all in.
 

Reynoldo

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We need a defensive midfielder and we should actually get one now so we can phase him in and Matic out. Matic can't be relied upon going forward, yes he's been great the last while but in his time here we have seen how he can be brilliant for a few months then an absolute nightmare for the rest for the season and thats only going to get worse going forward. Now is the time to make this signing not after he has his gary neville moment/season.
 

MalcolmTucker

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DeGea

Wan Bissaka Maguire Lindelof Shaw

Fred Pogba

James Bruno Coutinho

Rashford​

@MalcolmTucker you could play a 4-2-3-1 and fit them all in.
Firstly, Maguire plays left centre back and Lindelof plays right centre back - how can we take your keen tactical insights seriously when you haven't even observed that?

Second, Rashford didn't look great playing as a striker and played his best football from the left forming a partnership with Martial. Also, is Coutinho a better player than Martial at this point? I haven't seen him for Bayern but he was woeful for the entire season at Barcelona from the left. Meanwhile Martial has had a decent enough season, is entering his prime and is already at the club. What you want us to do is break-up a decent young partnership in Rashford and Martial, play our best player this season out of position and bring in an expensive player in a position(s) we're already stacked in.

It's pretty obvious that Martial and Rashford are going to be starting for us whenever football kicks off again so indulging in these FM type fantasies is pointless.
 

Deery

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Firstly, Maguire plays left centre back and Lindelof plays right centre back - how can we take your keen tactical insights seriously when you haven't even observed that?

Second, Rashford didn't look great playing as a striker and played his best football from the left forming a partnership with Martial. Also, is Coutinho a better player than Martial at this point? I haven't seen him for Bayern but he was woeful for the entire season at Barcelona from the left. Meanwhile Martial has had a decent enough season, is entering his prime and is already at the club. What you want us to do is break-up a decent young partnership in Rashford and Martial, play our best player this season out of position and bring in an expensive player in a position(s) we're already stacked in.

It's pretty obvious that Martial and Rashford are going to be starting for us whenever football kicks off again so indulging in these FM type fantasies is pointless.
What would you rather do hold on to Lingard and Pereira that everyone has been crying about all season?
Making no progress at all.

Of course you’re are still going to play Martial in games but have you noticed his injury record or form?

I don’t see how it’s pointless whenever a world class player is available on loan and we need to strengthen the squad.
 

MalcolmTucker

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What would you rather do hold on to Lingard and Pereira that everyone has been crying about all season?
Making no progress at all.

Of course you’re are still going to play Martial in games but have you noticed his injury record or form?

I don’t see how it’s pointless whenever a world class player is available on loan and we need to strengthen the squad.
Lingard and Pereira have barely been near the first team since we've had Bruno and that's without Pogba being back. We're not going to sign two expensive players who are basically exactly the same within 6 months of each other, especially if Pogba stays who plays a similar role as well. If Pogba goes, I agree, he'd be a good loan option but probably best to worry about the areas we need to strengthen rather than inventing a circumstance in which to shoehorn another expensive player in.
 

Deery

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Lingard and Pereira have barely been near the first team since we've had Bruno and that's without Pogba being back. We're not going to sign two expensive players who are basically exactly the same within 6 months of each other, especially if Pogba stays who plays a similar role as well. If Pogba goes, I agree, he'd be a good loan option but probably best to worry about the areas we need to strengthen rather than inventing a circumstance in which to shoehorn another expensive player in.
It’s just a suggestion that would free up money for other areas and get rid of some deadwood.
We will probably not get Sancho but I think Partey might be a realistic signing for Matic anyway.
 

limerickcitykid

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Lingard and Pereira have barely been near the first team since we've had Bruno and that's without Pogba being back. We're not going to sign two expensive players who are basically exactly the same within 6 months of each other, especially if Pogba stays who plays a similar role as well. If Pogba goes, I agree, he'd be a good loan option but probably best to worry about the areas we need to strengthen rather than inventing a circumstance in which to shoehorn another expensive player in.
They’ve played a combined 400 minutes since February 1st. Still quite a bit. Can also add in Mata and James and there are still plenty of minutes going round to players who aren’t good enough. James is playing every game when he’s nowhere near good enough. Rashford is injured and we’re completely fecked, hence why he was worked into an injury in the first place.

All this mindset does is expect players to play 50+ games a season and then no doubt you’re the first bitching and moaning when players get injured because Ole worked them too hard.
 

MalcolmTucker

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They’ve played a combined 400 minutes since February 1st. Still quite a bit. Can also add in Mata and James and there are still plenty of minutes going round to players who aren’t good enough. James is playing every game when he’s nowhere near good enough. Rashford is injured and we’re completely fecked, hence why he was worked into an injury in the first place.

All this mindset does is expect players to play 50+ games a season and then no doubt you’re the first bitching and moaning when players get injured because Ole worked them too hard.
They've racked up their minutes in the Europa League and the FA cup in games where we played our b-teams. Since Feb 1st, they've only accumulated 84 out of 900 possible minutes between them in the PL and haven't even been in the match-day squad in the last few games.

I'm all for having more quality and I don't want to see Lingard or Pereira play for us again, but it's about buying players that fit - I'm more likely to bitch and moan if our right side and defensive midfield is neglected once more, where we have far less depth. What's the point in having Coutinho on the bench when we have nobody on the right and Matic out injured? We have plenty of number 10s as it is.
 

Craig Ward

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We 100% need 2 quality midfielders this summer

1 defensive, 1 attacking

Pogba & Lingard are surplus and angling for moves
Periera has also had a very poor season
Mata and Matic are probably worthwhile keeping on a rotation basis for one more season

So of the Midfielders we have that are likely to stay long term we have:
Fred
McTom
Fernandes

Id personally go after:
Grealish
Zakaria/K.Phillips

We would have a good solid rotation that we havent had for years and some real quality hardworking players throughout the midfield/

With the incomings/outgoings suggested Its adaptable to 4-2-3-1 or 5-3-2
 

mu4c_20le

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If Pogba stays then it's not a priority. Fred/Mctominay can be upgraded but only if we are ready to challenge the league and go far in the CL.. i'd say a right forward is more important, because James isn't a starter.
 

L1nk

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Matic
Pogba
McTominay
Fred
Bruno
Lingard
Pereira
Mata
Of your list, those in bold aren't good enough to be starters at this club anymore and Lingard and Pereira aren't good enough for the bench either, Pogba may or may not be here, McTominay has shown good signs but has yet to show it consistently, Fred has been great for a while, but again, before that he was awful and everyone on here was saying he was awful, so let's see him do it more consistently before we fully rely on him, Bruno has been great but he's been here a couple of months.

How the hell can you say we don't actually need a midfielder.
 

RedRoseTyke

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I disagree and think we do need 1 or 2 midfielders to challenge...

Matic - good player, but time catching up (unfortunately)
Pogba (uncertain if he'll be here next season)
McTominay - developing well, potential to be excellent - part of the future
Fred - good player, can be excellent if he starts to convert more chances - part of the future
Bruno - pivotal player, part of the future
Lingard - needs a move
Pereira - needs a move
Mata - still technically very good and great vision, but age catching up

That leaves us with three future players (assuming Pogba leaves) - I'd be happier with 5 (competition, injuries etc.) and some youth challenging, so we need a couple more IMO.
 
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Van Piorsing

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1. Start convincing everyone we have midfield ready to compete and don't need anybody else.

2. Another season starts while our opponents signing players to overhaul their squads with both quality and depth.

3. Season underway and results are random while typical United scenario occurs when injuries flooding the squad to suddenly be forced to play Lingard and Pereira, while Mata and Matic having just another period where they can't play full tempo because of natural stamina issues.

4. Panic mode activates, people start to get mad at Woodward why we never use full potential of summer to get key players when they were available.

5. City/Liverpool wins another title with 15-20 points over United while threads of how United are not that far still floating around.

6. Back to point number 2. Enjoying some good results in Europa League. Think we might just win 5 of them in upcoming 10 years.

I assume United have ambitions to return on top, that means regular place in Champions League and staying actively in a title race every year, so hoping none of this will happen.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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Of your list, those in bold aren't good enough to be starters at this club anymore and Lingard and Pereira aren't good enough for the bench either, Pogba may or may not be here, McTominay has shown good signs but has yet to show it consistently, Fred has been great for a while, but again, before that he was awful and everyone on here was saying he was awful, so let's see him do it more consistently before we fully rely on him, Bruno has been great but he's been here a couple of months.

How the hell can you say we don't actually need a midfielder.
That still leaves us with 5 midfielders, who will most likely be our first choice midfielders that would make the starting XI/bench. If we were to get more midfielders, out of the players who are not in bold, who drops out?