We need 3 new CMs. Who do we sign?

johnnyteutonic

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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 even start knocking on the First Team door by this time next year (like Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo in preceding seasons)).
I know it's just an example but wonder if there would be issues dealing with Leeds, given the rivalry? It's obviously died down quite a bit since their financial woes dating back to the early '00s. We did sell them Dan James but I dunno, when was the last time we bought from them? I suppose if he pushes for the move, there's not much they can do, but they look like they could get promoted next season. I wonder what that could mean if we register interest.
 

gajender

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I know it's just an example but wonder if there would be issues dealing with Leeds, given the rivalry? It's obviously died down quite a bit since their financial woes dating back to the early '00s. We did sell them Dan James but I dunno, when was the last time we bought from them? I suppose if he pushes for the move, there's not much they can do, but they look like they could get promoted next season. I wonder what that could mean if we register interest.
If the player wants to move here there won't be any issues negotiating a fee with Leeds .
 

Woziak

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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.
Love Alex Scott and maybe now is the right time for a cheeky bid, my only concern is his speed and pace levels where Archie Gray looks to have everything, we should be targeting one of these players and then a suitable starting 6/8, plus I’m not against Ross Barkley, his stats for Luton this year are exceptional; he has 9 Goal involvements in 29 games, for perspective that’s better than Rashford and Garnaucho playing most of his games as DM/DLP/CM plus he’s not 31 til December this year, if he’s available on a free, we sign him up for 2 years, just on fitness and physicality alone, he’s currently a huge upgrade on Amrabat and Eriksen. We get £10m for Eriksen to Brentford, loose his and Amrabat wages of £250k combined and give Barkley the £10m for a signing on fee for two years and pay him £80k per week plus playing and goal/assist bonus, club saves £7.5m per year on their books for this year and next!

The third is key, Joao Gomes from wolves looks a much better footballer than onana from Everton and he’s used to the PL now, so for £40m if we have Barclay as back up that’s a decent start, especially if we bought Archie Gray.
 

BenitoSTARR

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What do we need then, as in profile of player, not a specific name?
Well it depends on Mainoo’s long term position.

Id say we need a good physically able DM who can cover large spaces when we get countered that is also able enough on the ball and under pressure.

What else we need depends on the Mainoo plan.


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)).
Yeah I’m aware of the production line coming through it’s just whether we are the best place for those 17/8 year olds to develop into what we want.
 

G-manc

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If the player wants to move here there won't be any issues negotiating a fee with Leeds .
There’s no way he would push the transfer. Leeds are going up and are not short of a few quid.

His family are ingrained in Leeds history; it’s a non-starter.
 

Borninthe80ts

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I really think Mainoo future position will be as the deepest midfielder. As pressing from the front becomes more prevalent the ability to beat that press will be critical. The composure and ability to turn into space make him ideal here for me. Also his ability to control the game will develop.

So for me we need a defensive midfielder who mainly is deployed to protect us on the break and keep the ball moving when we have it in build up phases. This will allow Mainoo to play 8 but move back over time. If Casimero could keep fitness/form he would stay but id like to replace him now.

So for me the afore mentioned defensively minded midfielder in a Rice mold, bonus if he can play centre back.

A all round box to box to replace the likes of Eriksen and Ambarat. Maybe a squad player to develop

For the 3rd spot i would let the youth players fight it out. Gore might need a loan or could do a Mainoo pre season.

The departures will dictate a lot in terms of what’s needed.
 

Woziak

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No bro our Bruno. The man who makes us tick.
Clearly Sir Jim sees him as more a number 10, false 9 type player not an attacking midfielder or DLP as Scholes became later in his career, a player who can score at will and open up the opposition with inventive passing, given time Kobie may just become that player, he’s not a DM or Number 6 but needs must, I heard a load of garbage on talk sport today saying Rice should be the BTB/8 and Kobie the DM/6.

Clearly they don’t get what Mainoo has and can become?
 

NLunited

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Clearly Sir Jim sees him as more a number 10, false 9 type player not an attacking midfielder or DLP as Scholes became later in his career, a player who can score at will and open up the opposition with inventive passing, given time Kobie may just become that player, he’s not a DM or Number 6 but needs must, I heard a load of garbage on talk sport today saying Rice should be the BTB/8 and Kobie the DM/6.

Clearly they don’t get what Mainoo has and can become?
Mainoo is especially good at progressing the ball through the midfield and apparently also at getting into the box for playmaking. So I agree with you.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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No bro our Bruno. The man who makes us tick.
I think Ratcliffe is talking about someone who controls the game from deep, though.

Bruno (10) - New CM (8)
Mainoo (6)​


Clearly Sir Jim sees him as more a number 10, false 9 type player not an attacking midfielder or DLP as Scholes became later in his career, a player who can score at will and open up the opposition with inventive passing, given time Kobie may just become that player, he’s not a DM or Number 6 but needs must, I heard a load of garbage on talk sport today saying Rice should be the BTB/8 and Kobie the DM/6.

Clearly they don’t get what Mainoo has and can become?
I don't think it's garbage in suggesting Mainoo should be a 6 and Rice an 8.

Despite such a young age, Mainoo excels in assisting in building play from the back. He's extremely press resistant and his short passing game allows us to beat the press, as we saw against Liverpool. Rice also has these qualities, but Rice has more of an engine, thus allowing him to play that box to box role.

We've seen how Arteta has recently integrated Jorginho back into the team, allowing Rice to play that 8 role and it's the most balanced they've looked all season. Actually, going forward, I believe Rice will be more of a box to box player.

Next season, I think Mainoo will play both as a 6 and 8, with ten Hag just replacing Casemiro, which I don't think many people will be happy with.

Bruno/Mount - Mount/Mainoo/McTominay
Mainoo/New DM
The DM to come in against the so called tougher teams, with Mainoo pushing into the 8 position.
 

Onerealunited

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The number of midfield players we should aim at, given our injury record and the amount of games we'll play, is 7. That should be 2 of DM, CM and AM, and a player like McTominay that would/could act as a joker for all positions and be used only in specific games where hes strengths could be useful like we have seen in a couple games this year. In addition to McTominay, Mainoo and Bruno are the only two certain players. Mount, given the fact that he has not had proper time to show his qualities, is most likely gonna stay. In addition, believe that Casemiro would be very difficult to offload and hence, would stay. I am all fine with that as I believe we'd get the better out of him is he has to compete with another defensive midfielder and sometimes also be used together with another high quality defensive midfielder. With this in mind I think we would be in a very good posiition if we acquired 1 CM and 1 DM but both quality players (the younger the better) that can compete for the starting position from day 1. Hence, we would have 7 players for the midfield and all offering different strengts giving us many options
 

daba

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The number of midfield players we should aim at, given our injury record and the amount of games we'll play, is 7. That should be 2 of DM, CM and AM, and a player like McTominay that would/could act as a joker for all positions and be used only in specific games where hes strengths could be useful like we have seen in a couple games this year. In addition to McTominay, Mainoo and Bruno are the only two certain players. Mount, given the fact that he has not had proper time to show his qualities, is most likely gonna stay. In addition, believe that Casemiro would be very difficult to offload and hence, would stay. I am all fine with that as I believe we'd get the better out of him is he has to compete with another defensive midfielder and sometimes also be used together with another high quality defensive midfielder. With this in mind I think we would be in a very good posiition if we acquired 1 CM and 1 DM but both quality players (the younger the better) that can compete for the starting position from day 1. Hence, we would have 7 players for the midfield and all offering different strengts giving us many options
I disagree on Casemiro, I think the noise of interest from Saudi is legit and can see him going for a decent fee of £30-40m in the summer, which would be excellent damage limitation given the mess of a deal it was (nothing against him as a player, just the fee, salary and length of deal was poor poor business).

If we could do something like the below, we’d be in a very good place.

Bruno
Mount
Mainoo
Mctominay
Casemiro >> Varela £50m
Amrabat >> Archie Gray £35m
Eriksen >> Rabiot/Barkeley (free)

I’d then be looking to get Joao Neves the following summer with Mount/Bruno and McTominay making way, and one of the youth players coming in as the new 7th option.
 

izak

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Sure we need three CM's, I think we should be careful of the quality we bring in, I think technically we are quite short in this department, we should be looking at press resistant technical players, they really don't have to be superstars.
 

andersj

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Sure we need three CM's, I think we should be careful of the quality we bring in, I think technically we are quite short in this department, we should be looking at press resistant technical players, they really don't have to be superstars.
If we get rid of Donny and Amrabat, and bring in a DM, say Onana, our midfield would look something like this:

Onana/Casemiro, Mainoo/Mount/McTominay, Bruno/Eriksen

I think that is more than enough. Ideally, we sell Casemiro and Eriksen and replace them. But not sure it would have to be with more than one new DM. Our players are flexible and we have several young talents coming up.

I also hope we replace Sancho with a type of player like Eze or Paqueta. Someone who can come in and play both LW and CM/AM.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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Just not even remotely close to Scholes in either style or quality
You say that, but last season when Eriksen picked up an injury, ten Hag dropped Bruno into the deeper role next to Casemiro/McTominay.

I remember saying after the Everton game that he put in a Scholes-esque performance.

I actually thought when we purchased Mount that ten Hag's idea was to play Bruno as the deeper 8, with Mount as the most advanced midfielder, but that obviously hasn't been the case.

Here's the performance.

 

Sleigh

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Dewsbury-Hall is an interesting one.

He’s box to box and he’s been great for us this season. However the standard is a massive drop off. Before we wobbled, we were on course to smash all records for the Championship. He’s been one of our most consistent players with Ricardo, Vestergaardand Winks.

If you take a sample of his Premier League appearances (albeit under an underperforming Rodgers side), then you’d be underwhelmed. However he’s clearly got something about him but I’m unsure if that’s with yourselves, or he’d thrive somewhere more like a Newcastle etc.

He’s not as young as people think, as he’s mid 20s now. His right leg is also purely for standing on, as he’s purely a lefty.

He’s not a defensive player, his stats will tell you that.

https://footystats.org/players/england/kiernan-dewsbury-hall
 

NoPace

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Dewsbury-Hall is an interesting one.
I kinda buy the KDH rumours solely because buying a medium-priced decent #8 with Prem experience in his mid 20s makes some sense with Mainoo's emergence. Like this sort of thing:

Bruno - Mount
Mainoo - KDH
DM1 - DM2

and Casemiro (Saudi?), McTominay (mid-table Prem side) and Eriksen (nominal fee) all leave and we sign a first choice DM and a youngster, or one more horrid year of McTominay if no youngster and he moves on the year after.

From what I saw in the Prem before Leicester went down, he''s not a bad player and being left-footed could be handy enough in some setups, but not really the ideal fit considering our midfield problems. He might be the sort of English player who would do better abroad in like Serie A, like I could see him replacing Mkhitaryan at Inter and doing quite well there.

If we bought a #8 with more physicality and defensive qualities he could backup the Casemiro replacement and Mainoo and 3 guys for 2 spots isn't crazy with the odd Mount game at #8 and a 4th option being a young player we buy for relatively cheap direct from a smaller team/league without waiting for him to star at Atalanta, Porto or wherever and the price to go up 4x or 10-fold.
 

The-Mezzala

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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

Koopmeiners is more of a CAM these days. He was a DM when he was at AZ i think. But Gasperini uses him forward . Great player and would love him here .Guido on a free would be excellent business. I personally think we should sell Mctominey. Helps with FFP and just promote Gore or Hannibal to use his squad role.
 

davidmichael

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If we’re being careful due to FFP/PSR then Guido from Betis and Rabiot from Juve in frees and Varela from Porto is about as perfect as it could be for us then move Casemiro, Eriksen and VDB on.

I see it similarly in defence too as Lloyd Kelly and Adarabioyo are both on frees too although we can’t rely solely on intelligent free transfers to see us through, just shows though that there is value out there.
 

LDUred

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ETH is so poor at identifying players I don't know what we can realistically expect.

If he wants to press high up the pitch, why has he bought so many midfielders who are too slow? Eriksen, Casemiro, Amrabat, neither of whom can cover ground.

He also got rid of Fred, who despite his limitations, actually fits into his system better because he is quick and energetic. It's nonsensical that he got rid of him without finding a proper replacement.

His vision just doesn't match up with his actions in recuiting players, but here's hoping we sign players in midfield who can press higher up the pitch and track back. We lack so much energy and control when we are out of possession in games.
 

The-Mezzala

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ETH is so poor at identifying players I don't know what we can realistically expect.

If he wants to press high up the pitch, why has he bought so many midfielders who are too slow? Eriksen, Casemiro, Amrabat, neither of whom can cover ground.

He also got rid of Fred, who despite his limitations, actually fits into his system better because he is quick and energetic. It's nonsensical that he got rid of him without finding a proper replacement.

His vision just doesn't match up with his actions in recuiting players, but here's hoping we sign players in midfield who can press higher up the pitch and track back. We lack so much energy and control when we are out of possession in games.
That’s hopefully where Ashworth comes in and helps. He identifies the players and Ten Hag or whoever is manager next season just focuses on coaching. I totally agree with your points on Eriksen and Amrabat. We made a big mistake not taking the 60 take it or leave it for Mctominey and Maguire from West Ham. Could of used that money to buy Todibo, Kim , or whoever. Fact we are finishing games with Maguire and Lindelof who were deemed not good enough 5 years agos says it all whats wrong with the Murtough/ Woodward reign of terror.
 

aeh1991

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Call me crazy but Angel Gomes has one year left on his contract and could be the ideal replacement for Eriksen and backup for Mainoo/Bruno.
 

vva

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Mats Wieffer, DM, who's dominant on both ground and aerial duels. In my opnion, he's the best one but might be also expensive if we don't have good negotiator. The other one could be Ross Barkley on Free as Eriken and VDB replacement.
 

Woziak

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ETH is so poor at identifying players I don't know what we can realistically expect.

If he wants to press high up the pitch, why has he bought so many midfielders who are too slow? Eriksen, Casemiro, Amrabat, neither of whom can cover ground.

He also got rid of Fred, who despite his limitations, actually fits into his system better because he is quick and energetic. It's nonsensical that he got rid of him without finding a proper replacement.

His vision just doesn't match up with his actions in recuiting players, but here's hoping we sign players in midfield who can press higher up the pitch and track back. We lack so much energy and control when we are out of possession in games.
And losing Fred, Sabitzer and Weghorst all ran for the team, you need these players who are mobile and get around the pitch, United currently don’t have any.

We really need to be looking at players like Alex Scott, Archie Gray as a young British mobile BTB player as well as potential good young deals like Jao Gomes or A onana from Everton, even C Gallagher nastiness could be useful, the club is so woefully short in this area of the teams?
 

Woziak

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Call me crazy but Angel Gomes has one year left on his contract and could be the ideal replacement for Eriksen and backup for Mainoo/Bruno.
That’s not the craziest idea I’ve heard as a squad player. We do need a dominant DM and a decent young back up, Angel played DM for the England U21 winners last year however he’s also 24 in August and really needs to kick on now.
 

ThierryHenry14

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Ross Barkley seems like a no brainer as perfect replacement for Eriksen or Elney in Arsenal. He is available for free.
 

Borninthe80ts

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Call me crazy but Angel Gomes has one year left on his contract and could be the ideal replacement for Eriksen and backup for Mainoo/Bruno.
Not crazy at all mate, I’ve been advocating this move for the longest. He loves the club, homegrown and talented. As was mentioned does probably need a physical midfield partner somewhere next to him and Mainoo.
 

soapythecat

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Hopefully we can sell Casemiro and release Erickson so he can sign elsewhere. Don’t see the point in keeping either and would free up a stack of wages.
Selling McT is a no brainier too - far too limited to play for United.
I’d be happy with Barkley and a good quality DM but not sure who. Rabiot would be a good freebie too but his wages would be high and we are back to questioning whether he is coming for a pay day.