We need 3 new CMs. Who do we sign?

BenitoSTARR

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Koopmeiners has put in a transfer request for the end of the season and specifically talked about being interested in England.



He's someone who would probably be quite a good profile for our midfield. Played deeper earlier in his career, but in a more attacking position since joining Atalanta. Wouldn't have any issue with physical power in the PL and is good at pressing. Speed might be the only issue, considering he'd also be playing next to Mainoo. Neither are slow, but pace certainly isn't a strength either.
:drool: Koop
 

Alpha 1

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That's daft though, isn't it. We literally wouldn't have the money to afford enough central midfielders to make a viable squad. Also, see Chelsea for what happens when you wholesale import an entire new XI's worth of players all at once. Real life is not Football Manager.

Bruno may be flawed, but with so many positions where we have struggled to actually field an appropriate player, he is clearly not a vacancy worth making.
I'm not saying he should be the first to be replaced but if funds are available after replacing Casemiro plus getting another striker, and the right player is spotted, we should replace him. These days he is a liability.

Our biggest weakness is the midfield and maybe the no 9 position. I have high hopes for Hojlund but if we can a good back up or good partner for him it would worth the shot.
 

BenitoSTARR

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I genuinely have no idea how Atalanta got him for just €12m. While there's no guarantees of success (either before he signed for them or now), from what I saw of him he looked worth far more than that. Which I'm sure Atalanta will be holding out for now.
He’s always had a good mentality and his technique has always been good too.

I remember saying he’d be a good midfield option before his move to Atalanta and being told the classic tropes of “Dutch league do not want” etc.

He’s not world class. But he’s a very good player. Good fitness record, great mentality, good flexible skill set in terms of multi-positional understanding.

He’ll go for €40m+ id say depending on the club. Can’t see him going for less than Kessie.
 

daba

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3 CM is too much for 1 transfer window only, if we bare in mind we also have other needs. But my shortlist would be this with no particular order and going for options that probably wont break the bank:
  • Danilo (Nottingham Forest): this kid has tons of potential and his defensive attributes are actually very good, as one could check by his defensive stats. Some people might point we also want him to work his build-up but at this moment none of our midfielders bar McT are doing a good job on covering our defence.
  • Éderson: seems to be justifying a career leap. He's doing a very solid season. I've been impressed every time I saw him play.
  • Joey Veerman: I know we have reasons to be suspicious about the tulips league, but this guy plays very well even in European games. Ready for the next step IMO.
  • Maxence Caqueret: Lyon's season has been a mess but this guy is really good. He won't be there next season.
  • Aleix García: one of the main reasons of Girona's good season. He was a very promising player when young. Is he finally blooming? Won't be expensive, but rumours says Barça is interested.
To keep an eye:
  • Alex Scott: I think this kid has so many potential: his stats are amazing, seems like a complete midfielder. Still has a lot to learn though.
  • Archie Gray: despite playing on scum, he's clearly a massive talent.
  • Hugo Larsson: another kid with tons of potential.
Should have taken a chance on Alex Scott last summer instead of Mount with a view to him being Bruno’s long-term replacement.

Similar to Mainoo he’s very versatile and can play as a 8 or 10 equally well and also as a deep 6 if needed or even as a wide player. He also filled in a few times at RWB for Bristol City. Would have been a great squad option for a year or two before claiming a full time starting spot.
 

aeh1991

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He’s always had a good mentality and his technique has always been good too.

I remember saying he’d be a good midfield option before his move to Atalanta and being told the classic tropes of “Dutch league do not want” etc.

He’s not world class. But he’s a very good player. Good fitness record, great mentality, good flexible skill set in terms of multi-positional understanding.

He’ll go for €40m+ id say depending on the club. Can’t see him going for less than Kessie.
We should get him if he's available. Would be a great partner for Mainoo.
 

Dazzmondo

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We definitely don't need 3 new cms. I think making Joao Neves our 1 big signing would give us an extremely strong midfield tbh. Mainoo is a number 8 imo, not a long-term 6 so we should be looking for a 6. If we can't afford Neves (who is by far the best option imo), I also really like Alan Varela and he'd be cheaper (hell, going for both might not be the worst idea if we're planning to sell Cas). After that, I'm not too sure. There prob are other good options for the number 6 positions, but none that come to mind (assuming we're not going to go for Kimmich due to his age).

I don't like the idea of us going for Barella. I much prefer building around Mainoo as our 1st choice there and being more clever about where we're prioritising our funds. Can't let the same mistakes as last summer happen again. Make sure the biggest problem areas are sorted first.

Douglas Luiz is a good shout if his price tag is reasonable but I could see him costing too much. Koopmeiners isn't really a 6 is he? Good player, but not what we need.
 
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aeh1991

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I would get Koopmeiners (30m-40m), Thuram (30m-40m) and Guido Rodriguez (free).

CAMs: Bruno, McTominay/Hannibal
CMs: Mainoo, Thuram
DMs: Koopmeiners, G.Rodriguez
 

Avero

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I think Casemiro stays, as Amrabat and Eriksen are leaving. Not going to replace the entire midfield in one summer.

I would like to see two out of Joao Neves, Alan Varela and Florentino Luis coming in.

Giving us this midfield

------------------- Bruno
------------------- Mount
---- Mainoo -------------- Casemiro
----- Neves ------------------ Varela

or


------------------- Bruno
------------------- Mount
---- Mainoo -------------- Casemiro
----- Neves --------------- Florentino


Edit: McTominay a squad player that can play anywhere
 

aeh1991

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I think Casemiro stays, as Amrabat and Eriksen are leaving. Not going to replace the entire midfield in one summer.

I would like to see two out of Joao Neves, Alan Varela and Florentino Luis coming in.

Giving us this midfield

------------------- Bruno
------------------- Mount
---- Mainoo -------------- Casemiro
----- Neves ------------------ Varela

or


------------------- Bruno
------------------- Mount
---- Mainoo -------------- Casemiro
----- Neves --------------- Florentino


Edit: McTominay a squad player that can play anywhere
But why would you sign Neves for 100m and then let him share minutes with Mainoo? That doesn't make any sense for both.
 

Avero

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But why would you sign Neves for 100m and then let him share minutes with Mainoo? That doesn't make any sense for both.
They could play together now and then, but Mainoo is 18 and Neves 19. I don't think they are ready to play every game at this level already next season. Neves should be eased into the team as well. Casemiro won't be able to play that often either and will probably leave next year, so I think it would work out just perfectly. Someone always gets injured anyway.
 

André Dominguez

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Florentino is amazing defensively. But very limited in contributing to the build-up.
 

cpresc

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I think Casemiro stays, as Amrabat and Eriksen are leaving. Not going to replace the entire midfield in one summer.

I would like to see two out of Joao Neves, Alan Varela and Florentino Luis coming in.

Giving us this midfield

------------------- Bruno
------------------- Mount
---- Mainoo -------------- Casemiro
----- Neves ------------------ Varela

or


------------------- Bruno
------------------- Mount
---- Mainoo -------------- Casemiro
----- Neves --------------- Florentino


Edit: McTominay a squad player that can play anywhere
yeah I'd be happy with that
 

aeh1991

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They could play together now and then, but Mainoo is 18 and Neves 19. I don't think they are ready to play every game at this level already next season. Neves should be eased into the team as well. Casemiro won't be able to play that often either and will probably leave next year, so I think it would work out just perfectly. Someone always gets injured anyway.
That's why it doesn't make sense to do this. I'd rather spend the 100m on other players.
 

NoPace

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But why would you sign Neves for 100m and then let him share minutes with Mainoo? That doesn't make any sense for both.
Mainoo can't play every game at his age, but he is good enough that, assuming we can spend big on one midfielder and medium sized on another, we sign the best young DM we can basically regardless of price and then maybe a cheaper option of a #8 who is already in his prime to share time with Mainoo.

No idea who the DM is, though, and at CM someone like a Sabitzer (maybe more like 27 instead of the 29 he was) would make sense but he wasn't particularly impressive here, so a guy at his level might or might not work out. Probably more of a classic #8, though in the CL for Dortmund he's looked good in that role (not sure about in the Bundesliga).
 

Avero

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Florentino is amazing defensively. But very limited in contributing to the build-up.
Yeah, I was thinking he would be good to have when we need a boost defensively.

What level do you see him playing at in 3 years?
 

DJ_21

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We should be looking at that young Brazilian for wolves. João gomes, looks very good and ticks a lot of boxes that we need in our midfield. Could easily replace Casemiro.
 

macheda14

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Speed might be the only issue, considering he'd also be playing next to Mainoo. Neither are slow, but pace certainly isn't a strength either.
I don’t think this is particularly an issue if we keep our defence and midfield more compact. Henderson, Milner and Fabinho weren’t particularly fast. Rodri, De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva neither. I’m struggling to think of a top midfield full of pace.
 

diarm

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Should have taken a chance on Alex Scott last summer instead of Mount with a view to him being Bruno’s long-term replacement.
I thought that too at the time. I also would’ve liked us to have had a look at the young lad Blackburn sold to Palace.
 

André Dominguez

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Should have taken a chance on Alex Scott last summer instead of Mount with a view to him being Bruno’s long-term replacement.

Similar to Mainoo he’s very versatile and can play as a 8 or 10 equally well and also as a deep 6 if needed or even as a wide player. He also filled in a few times at RWB for Bristol City. Would have been a great squad option for a year or two before claiming a full time starting spot.
His stats are very impressive in the defensive duties. He's not there yet, but I think he will be. Now if we go for him it will probably cost a kidney, unless his team needs urgently money.
 

André Dominguez

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Yeah, I was thinking he would be good to have when we need a boost defensively.

What level do you see him playing at in 3 years?
He might be a top 8 Premier League player level if he manages to get more minutes. I think the actual manager finally understood his importance in shielding the defence, and his season stats are very impressive in terms of tacklings, intercepetions and recoveries, despite not playing many minutes.

For a team who wishes to be a complete package (trying to win every possible competition), he would be a good a good squad asset as you pointed and well, but it could easily become one of those luxury players.
 

André Dominguez

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We should be looking at that young Brazilian for wolves. João gomes, looks very good and ticks a lot of boxes that we need in our midfield. Could easily replace Casemiro.
Very good player too. Him and Danilo (the Forest one) seem to have potential to become very solid midfielders.
 

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Casemiro, Amrabat and Eriksen are surely gone next season. McT will depend on whether he’s prepared to accept being a substitute. There’s at least a value to McT in terms of his commitment and work rate in big games. I’d keep him if he’s prepared to accept that role.

I can’t see the club making 3 midfield signings, there are needs elsewhere (CB, striker). Is there anyone in the reserves or on loan that can make a similar impact to Mainoo?
 

NoPace

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Mainoo can't play every game at his age, but he is good enough that, assuming we can spend big on one midfielder and medium sized on another, we sign the best young DM we can basically regardless of price and then maybe a cheaper option of a #8 who is already in his prime to share time with Mainoo.

No idea who the DM is, though, and at CM someone like a Sabitzer (maybe more like 27 instead of the 29 he was) would make sense but he wasn't particularly impressive here, so a guy at his level might or might not work out. Probably more of a classic #8, though in the CL for Dortmund he's looked good in that role (not sure about in the Bundesliga).
Follow up to this, the Dewsbury-Hall rumours are what I meant. There's no obvious DM to buy so a gamble on youth at DM and a #8 in his prime to rotate with Mainoo and eventually become a backup to him, but one who is better than McTominay at everything but scoring goals and costs the same:

#10 - Bruno (Mount)
#8 - Mainoo (Dewsbury-Hall)
#6 - Casemiro (Expensive young DM)

Out: McTominay (25M), Eriksen (3M)
In: Dewsbury-Hall (30M), Expensive Young DM (??)

and then we buy a backup DM next summer and Casemiro goes to MLS or Brazil or Saudi Arabia or maybe Serie A on a free or small fee.

I'm not personally saying KDH is good enough, I remember thinking his overall play was better than Ward-Prowse and England could use a left-footed midfielder as an option so he should probably sneak into the squad, but I'm really not a Ward-Prowse fan as I think he's sneakily bad outside of set pieces (no left foot, can't dribble, weak in the tackle), so that's not the biggest endorsement in the world. He's a bit of a Cleverley when Cleverley was doing well type.
 

lysglimt

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I have watched KD-H a few times this season, and he has been sensational for Leicester. I never really thought about him signing for us, but when the rumours started surfacing ... well, it might not be a bad idea.
 

gajender

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I have watched KD-H a few times this season, and he has been sensational for Leicester. I never really thought about him signing for us, but when the rumours started surfacing ... well, it might not be a bad idea.
What kind of CM is he and how would he fit at United if we do end up buying him .
 

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I think, if we're going to focus on a midfielder, it really should be someone who can play as a deeplying playmaker.

Although he's 29, I think Kimmich would be the perfect replacement for Casemiro, and a player who would suit the type of football ten Hag wants to play. Statically, he's one of the best around when it comes to possession based football, ranking in the 98th percentile for both passes attempted and progressive passes. Along with progressive carries, the aforementioned attributes are what we really lack in our midfield. We struggle to control games, simply because we haven't a consistent passer of the ball in the first phase.

Mainoo, despite being so young, is the closest player to that, and in my opinion, we see a difference when he plays as a 6, in comparison to Casemiro, but I think next season, ten Hag will want to continue using him as an 8 and 6, similar to how Arteta uses Declan Rice. Having watched him play in those higher positions over the last few weeks, it would be a shame to put a restriction on his skillset playing him further back, as he is so neat and tidy in the final third, as we saw against Wolves and Liverpool, for example.

Therefore, I think if we have an option like Kimmich, who will be someone we can build the play around, the two number eights, whether it be Bruno, Mainoo, Mount or McTominay, can push into those half spaces and be more of a goal threat. You only have to look at the amount of goals McTominay has scored this season pushing on into the box. Mount shares similar attributes, as does Bruno, as we saw when he first arrived at the club.

Now, some may say he's too old, but he'd provide experience, know-how, ability and leadership. Think back to when Arteta purchased Jorginho. 32 now, but still playing a pivotal role in Arsenal's title charge for the reasons I mentioned above. In my opinion, Kimmich would come in an do the same!


Bruno/Mount - Mainoo/McTominay
Kimmich/Mainoo​
 

aeh1991

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I think, if we're going to focus on a midfielder, it really should be someone who can play as a deeplying playmaker.

Although he's 29, I think Kimmich would be the perfect replacement for Casemiro, and a player who would suit the type of football ten Hag wants to play. Statically, he's one of the best around when it comes to possession based football, ranking in the 98th percentile for both passes attempted and progressive passes. Along with progressive carries, the aforementioned attributes are what we really lack in our midfield. We struggle to control games, simply because we haven't a consistent passer of the ball in the first phase.

Mainoo, despite being so young, is the closest player to that, and in my opinion, we see a difference when he plays as a 6, in comparison to Casemiro, but I think next season, ten Hag will want to continue using him as an 8 and 6, similar to how Arteta uses Declan Rice. Having watched him play in those higher positions over the last few weeks, it would be a shame to put a restriction on his skillset playing him further back, as he is so neat and tidy in the final third, as we saw against Wolves and Liverpool, for example.

Therefore, I think if we have an option like Kimmich, who will be someone we can build the play around, the two number eights, whether it be Bruno, Mainoo, Mount or McTominay, can push into those half spaces and be more of a goal threat. You only have to look at the amount of goals McTominay has scored this season pushing on into the box. Mount shares similar attributes, as does Bruno, as we saw when he first arrived at the club.

Now, some may say he's too old, but he'd provide experience, know-how, ability and leadership. Think back to when Arteta purchased Jorginho. 32 now, but still playing a pivotal role in Arsenal's title charge for the reasons I mentioned above. In my opinion, Kimmich would come in an do the same!


Bruno/Mount - Mainoo/McTominay
Kimmich/Mainoo​
If you watched Bayern in the recent years, you'd stay away from Kimmich.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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If you watched Bayern in the recent years, you'd stay away from Kimmich.
Admittedly, I haven't watched much of him this season. Has he been that bad?

He has; however, been linked to some top clubs, and I believe he may just be in need of a fresh start.

People pretty much said the same thing with Jorginho at Chelsea and he's been brilliant at Arsenal.

Who knows? Either way, I think it's imperative we acquire a deep-lying playmaker in the summer.
 

BenitoSTARR

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We really should have bought Rice and Bellingham.

I don’t think Kimmich is the answer for what we need.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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Bellingham was never gonna come here, sadly.
That's not true. We were heavily linked with Bellingham when he was at Blues. He ended up at Dortmund because I guess they could offer him more minutes. If we offered him the same, there's no way he'd have chosen Dortmund over United.
 

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We really should have bought Rice and Bellingham.
For what it's worth, there's no shortage of talented midfielders in the English youth setup, so it's never too late (we'll just have to patiently develop them, like we've done with countless others in the past, no biggie given our institutional heritage.) Pound for pound, it might just be the best production line in world football (rivaled or exceeded by only France), and the club should make a concerted effort to tap into this pool. Someone like Ethan Nwaneri is incredibly unlikely to be available as he's currently at Arsenal, but others, like Archie Gray (who inexplicably bears a resemblance to both Frenkie de Jong and Declan Rice in terms of skill set, versatility and potential), should definitely be targeted by Manchester United. There might even be a couple of in-house solutions, like Shea Lacey (who possesses the technique to emerge as an archetypal “needle player”, and might start knocking on the First Team door by this time next year (like Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo in preceding seasons)).
 

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That's not true. We were heavily linked with Bellingham when he was at Blues. He ended up at Dortmund because I guess they could offer him more minutes. If we offered him the same, there's no way he'd have chosen Dortmund over United.
Ole gave an interview recently where he mentioned it was very unlikely he would have come because of that very issue - I mean to say, yes, in an ideal world if we had matched those minutes then maybe he would have chosen us but that was very unlikely to happen, I imagine because it's very difficult to pledge to a 17 year old that you can guarantee them a set amount of minutes when you're playing for United, no matter how talented they are, and no matter how poor our midfield was at the time.
The impression I got off the interview was that it was almost like a foregone conclusion that Jude and his family had everything planned out, once they realised the ample opportunities afforded by Dortmund to talented youngsters, where Sancho's rise had ironically contributed to that decision as well!

The one that fecks with me more is Haaland - what a brain-dead decision from the club hierarchy.
 

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A physical dm to replace Casemiro should be our first priority. Not necessarily a playmaker, although any player we get from now on has to be excellent on the ball.
 

bond19821982

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For what it's worth, there's no shortage of talented midfielders in the English youth setup, so it's never too late (we'll just have to patiently develop them, like we've done with countless others in the past, no biggie given our institutional heritage.) Pound for pound, it might just be the best production line in world football (rivaled or exceeded by only France), and the club should make a concerted effort to tap into this pool. Someone like Ethan Nwaneri is incredibly unlikely to be available as he's currently at Arsenal, but others, like Archie Gray (who inexplicably bears a resemblance to both Frenkie de Jong and Declan Rice in terms of skill set, versatility and potential), should definitely be targeted by Manchester United. There might even be a couple of in-house solutions, like Shea Lacey (who possesses the technique to emerge as an archetypal “needle player”, and might start knocking on the First Team door by this time next year (like Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo in preceding seasons)).
With Ashworth coming , I definitely expect this to happen. Some solid options from PL/championship clubs.