We need 3 new CMs. Who do we sign?

Isotope

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Aye, as well as the defensive structure. Genuinely reforming Manchester United (on and off the field) is a humungous undertaking, not for the faint of heart — and Ratcliffe and co. definitely have their work cut out for them. The entire collective, from front to back, is in need of extensive surgery and reconfiguration, which can only be done over the course of multiple seasons, even if all of the processes (from identification to recruitment to coaching and development) are consistently spot on (which isn't a given, obviously). We should set realistic targets with a 2-3 year timeframe where we progressively turn things around; a hasty and half-hearted window dressing job is unlikely to cut it and will merely perpetuate the boom-bust cycle — and we're certainly not going to optimize the midfield (or the attack or the defense) in just one summer mercato. A bit like Arsenal, who are enjoying the results of wide-spread and meaningful restructuring — if I recall correctly, almost all of the players who made the 2020 FA Cup Final (which was actually not that long ago), including subtitutes, are gone!

P.S. Yep, this is the squad from that final. And doesn't even include the likes of Özil, Mkhitaryan, Gouendouzi, Chambers or Mustafi.

Yeha. It will take incredible planning, consistency, and believe. In another 2-3 years considering current squad age, it seems we'll need to overhaul our entire defence and midfield anyway.

Just my hunch, it seems like we get them wrong this time. Our attackers are young, mostly expensive, overpaid, thus most likely they'll stay around for another 2-3 years. Sadly, even giving them another 2-3 years to mature, I don't think they'll become top players (except probably Garnacho, with Amad as unknown). Hojlund, Sancho, Antony, Pellistri meh.. the less say about Rashford.

I just don't think for us prioritizing CM will get us back to the top. For me, attack then defence are the most important, and midfield in the last.
 
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Andersons Dietician

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I think this midfield has needed a reboot for a very long time. It has never really felt to me like we have added to it with a plan. Just thrown bits together in a hope it some how pulls through. Then we expect them to be able to reinvent themselves to play in a manner they aren’t suited to.

Now part of me thinks we need some athleticism in there as I’m tire of watching us lose every contest or 2nd ball and no one having the ability to breaks lines with a run or even get back at people to stop a counter. But then I think now most successful teams are all about that control and having a base to explode from. Preferably midfielders who are aggressive, can sense danger but have enough about them to be press resistant and dribble away from danger.

So far only really Mainoo fits this, however I’d look at two players to compete with him and those two would be

Neves- Benfica- He’s young, he is raw, Unfortunately will cost an absolute fortune, but he’s aggressive, quick in to the tackle and is showing signs of developing in to that press resistant midfielder with an eye for a pass. He seems more thoughtful in his passing.

Andre-Fluminese- Can dribble out of trouble, can pass, beat a man, put a foot in, senses danger what isn’t too like about him.

I’d let the 3 fight it out over the two positions, my only concern is none really are physical specimens that will have people bouncing off them and so on as they stride through.

Thats why I’d consider Kone or Onana but they aren’t as good on the ball as the other two who I feel would fit the structure of a high pressing team a bit better being that they could also switch to controlling games and take them away from people.

Finallly the Bruno position. I’d sell him and look to bring in someone who can dribble, who can pass and can hopefully help creat quality chances but then I think of people like Simons or Wirtz and feel like that might leave us a bit weak in midfield and maybe the profile of someone like a Bruno Guimarães would be a better fit.

Whatever happens the whole thing needs to be rebuilt and probably will take more than 3 players.
 
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Devil81

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The Portuguese lad at Fulham, he'd be absolutely brilliant for us. He's got a bit of everything to his game.

Aside from him I'd also like the midfielders Martinelli and Andre. Both tidy on the ball.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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I don't think we need three, not do I believe we'll get three midfielders, but two is doable, providing they are sensible transfers.

Now, in my opinion, we need a ball playing number 6 and a all rounded box to box number 8. Pretty much using the same template as how Postecoglu sets up at Spurs.#

Box to box all rounders:

Khéphren Thuram
Youssouf Fofana
Maxence Caqueret

Holding Midfielder

Martin Zubimendi
André Trindade
Kalvin Phillips



Bruno/Mount - Number 8/Mount
Number 6/Mainoo​


The above 5 midfielders to be the main ones, with McTominay or Eriksen making up the 6th one.

This obviously means getting rid of Amrabat, Casemiro. Van de Beek and McTominay/Eriksen.
 

bosskeano

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why wouldn't we make a move for Khéphren Thuram considering he places for Nice which is owned by Sir Jim???

jaoa neves is the other kid we should be looking to sign despite the really high price tag from benfica....kid has the potential to be brilliant

if you're really going to take a punters chance on a young kid then it should be the kid from antwerp...arthur vermeeren

we've had a good working relationship with them in the past so can we bring him forward??? let's find some young, skilled and talented kids that want to fight and show some spirit on the pitch
 

daba

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I don't think we need three, not do I believe we'll get three midfielders, but two is doable, providing they are sensible transfers.

Now, in my opinion, we need a ball playing number 6 and a all rounded box to box number 8. Pretty much using the same template as how Postecoglu sets up at Spurs.#

Box to box all rounders:

Khéphren Thuram
Youssouf Fofana
Maxence Caqueret

Holding Midfielder

Martin Zubimendi
André Trindade
Kalvin Phillips



Bruno/Mount - Number 8/Mount
Number 6/Mainoo​


The above 5 midfielders to be the main ones, with McTominay or Eriksen making up the 6th one.

This obviously means getting rid of Amrabat, Casemiro. Van de Beek and McTominay/Eriksen.
Andre + Thuram would be my choices.

- Andre would be perfect foil for Mainoo and someone Mainoo could also play alongside as an 8.

- Thuram would give us much needed physicality, defensive ground cover, someone who is great in transition and has superb feet.

Also wouldn’t mind us taking a punt on Jobe Bellingham and loaning him out for a season.
 

philippexyz

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Sir Jim should send us Khephren Thuram on a "discount" from Nice. He's the archetype of a player that we desperately need(I've been talking about this for ages). Physical and press resistant - excellent with the ball at his feet.

And Bruno should be obviously replaced for an attacking oriented midfielder who can dribble, retain possession but also has creativity and goals in him. That will be probably trickier to find. Maybe Mount can play that role.
 

eire-red

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I think, the worst thing we can do is trying to make this task harder than it should be by expecting to find ONE player that has all those characteristics. The actual task is finding a working midfield - and to build that, we have to look at the available players and how much they fit into a midfield that we want. As hard as that sounds, if Casemiro doesn't have the legs anymore, he shouldn't be planned with. Same, to a different degree, applies to Bruno too. His passing is good and he certainly knows how to look busy but most players in his position on the pitch have significantly better close-control and potentially more tactical awareness.
To come up with a plan isn't an easy trait... So many of our players have at least one significant flaw... Honestly, the only one I consider to have the skillset to be a longterm option is Mainoo and he is 18 and shouldn't be under such pressure.


Do you mean, start with one of Casemiro or Mainoo? Do you consider them comparable players?
Yeah I totally agree with what you're saying here. The best midfields in recent times have been Madrid's trio and Juve's trio of Pirlo, Vidal and Pogba. A common thread is that none of the players were complete, but masters of their craft and complementary.

I think if we can get another couple of fit seasons from Casemiro a couple of real interesting signings would be Zaire-Emery and Florian Wirtz.

Those would cost an arm and a leg and probably unattainable, but hypothetically this would be a real balanced midfield (or midfielders with those profiles).

To be honest, I don't watch enough fringe European football to come up with more names given the criteria the OP suggested, but I really hope we don't chase a FDJ type signing again this summer.

Zaire-Emery has that ball-carrying ability from deep, and Wirtz reminds me of Odegaard with his ability to dictate games from that advanced 8 / 10 position.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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Sir Jim should send us Khephren Thuram on a "discount" from Nice. He's the archetype of a player that we desperately need(I've been talking about this for ages). Physical and press resistant - excellent with the ball at his feet.

And Bruno should be obviously replaced for an attacking oriented midfielder who can dribble, retain possession but also has creativity and goals in him. That will be probably trickier to find. Maybe Mount can play that role.
Won't happen but Eze is the player who would fit that profile.
 

Mylock

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Anyone expecting any midfield signings in the January window is deluded. I can see van de Beek and Hannibal going out on loan,but we will have Casamiro back. I can also see Gore getting plenty of chances to replace de Beek in the match day squad.
What I would love to see if we could buy Vermeeren and loan him back for the rest of the season, he looks like a great talent and could be a wise signing at that price
 
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aeh1991

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Anyone expecting any midfield signings in the January window is deluded. I can see van de Beek and Hannibal going out on loan,but we will have Casamiro back. I can also see Gore getting plenty of chances to replace de Beek in the match day squad.
What I would love to see if we could buy Vermeeren and loan him back for the rest of the season, he looks like a great talent and could be a wise signing at that price
Vermeeren would be good business.
 

stevoc

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If we need 3 new central midfielders withiin a year of signing 3 and bringing Mainoo and Mejbri in then someone has really fecked up recruitment.

Having said that I don't think we need 3. What we currently have is fine until the end of the season at least.

Casemiro/Mainoo/Amrabat--------Mount/Eriksen/Mejbri


























Stands- McTominay
 

daba

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Anyone expecting any midfield signings in the January window is deluded. I can see van de Beek and Hannibal going out on loan,but we will have Casamiro back. I can also see Gore getting plenty of chances to replace de Beek in the match day squad.
What I would love to see if we could buy Vermeeren and loan him back for the rest of the season, he looks like a great talent and could be a wise signing at that price
Ideally we should sell McT if there is any interest and go buy someone this window. Specifically Andre Trindade. If not, your idea sounds smart.
 

AneRu

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Yeha. It will take incredible planning, consistency, and believe. In another 2-3 years considering current squad age, it seems we'll need to overhaul our entire defence and midfield anyway.

Just my hunch, it seems like we get them wrong this time. Our attackers are young, mostly expensive, overpaid, thus most likely they'll stay around for another 2-3 years. Sadly, even giving them another 2-3 years to mature, I don't think they'll become top players (except probably Garnacho, with Amad as unknown). Hojlund, Sancho, Antony, Pellistri meh.. the less say about Rashford.

I just don't think for us prioritizing CM will get us back to the top. For me, attack then defence are the most important, and midfield in the last.
I agree with the thrust of this but in CM we do need that top DM that can win the ball and initiate attacks, in defense we need a top RCB that is also good on the ball whilst in attack we can't simply afford to wait for Rasmus to come good so we need a no. 9. We have to be watchful with the striker, though, because we don't need a poacher no matter how good he is, we need someone who can link up with Rashford and bring into play. On the right of attack we can give Garnacho and Amad a free hit to claim the spot before spending big money there.

A top DM, push Mainoo into LCM to rotate and compete with Eriksen then keep Bruno where he is. A CB to partner Martinez and/or Shaw depending on who is fit, bring Fernandes back as back up LCB then look to buy a RB in summer of 25.
 

Isotope

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I agree with the thrust of this but in CM we do need that top DM that can win the ball and initiate attacks, in defense we need a top RCB that is also good on the ball whilst in attack we can't simply afford to wait for Rasmus to come good so we need a no. 9. We have to be watchful with the striker, though, because we don't need a poacher no matter how good he is, we need someone who can link up with Rashford and bring into play. On the right of attack we can give Garnacho and Amad a free hit to claim the spot before spending big money there.

A top DM, push Mainoo into LCM to rotate and compete with Eriksen then keep Bruno where he is. A CB to partner Martinez and/or Shaw depending on who is fit, bring Fernandes back as back up LCB then look to buy a RB in summer of 25.
Yeah. I wasn't saying that midfield isn't important. But if we start the re-building and are willing to take the loss, I'd start from attack then defence.

Now if we're just talking about adding to the current squad, yeah, a top DM, striker and RCB are what we need.
 

DJ_21

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I think we need another creative midfielder to replace Eriksen. A solid DM to replace Casemiro. And a B2B midfielder. We haven’t helped our selves by signing over 30 year olds. It means we have to replace them quicker where as we could have focused on other signings.
 

DJ_21

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Yeah. I wasn't saying that midfield isn't important. But if we start the re-building and are willing to take the loss, I'd start from attack then defence.

Now if we're just talking about adding to the current squad, yeah, a top DM, striker and RCB are what we need.
Ye it’s clear our attack is in the most need for reinforcements. We’re actually not to bad defensively, if we can cut out all the silly mistakes then we don’t concede many. We need goals. We have to be strong defensively because we don’t score enough goals to out score opponents.
 

DJ_21

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Ideally we should sell McT if there is any interest and go buy someone this window. Specifically Andre Trindade. If not, your idea sounds smart.
I seen that West Ham, Fulham and Wolves are interested but I’ve a feeling we’ll out price them of a move. We want 40/50m. Don’t know any team that would pay that
 

Isotope

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Ye it’s clear our attack is in the most need for reinforcements. We’re actually not to bad defensively, if we can cut out all the silly mistakes then we don’t concede many. We need goals. We have to be strong defensively because we don’t score enough goals to out score opponents.
I'm assuming Casemiro and Varane will leave this Summer, then we need top replacement. But agreed that if we're being greedy, a (left/right) winger and Kane Mk II would be nice.
 

AneRu

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Yeah. I wasn't saying that midfield isn't important. But if we start the re-building and are willing to take the loss, I'd start from attack then defence.

Now if we're just talking about adding to the current squad, yeah, a top DM, striker and RCB are what we need.
Generally I am in agreement with you, midfield helps you control games and get a measure of consistent performances but it's the attack and defense that can really move the dial. If Case was to return to form I'd keep him and pair him with Mainoo then bring in a 30 goal striker. My point about a link up striker is based on how Rashford performs alongside Martial, we need to build on that rather than completely rebuild the attack.
I think we need another creative midfielder to replace Eriksen. A solid DM to replace Casemiro. And a B2B midfielder. We haven’t helped our selves by signing over 30 year olds. It means we have to replace them quicker where as we could have focused on other signings.
This can be Mainoo and as insurance we then need to keep Eriksen around to avoid burn out and loss of form. What needs to happen is for ETH to give Gore, Hannibal and Amad regular incremental cameos to build them up and then next season, say we have replaced Casemiro with a top DM we push Mainoo to LCM to alternate with Eriksen alongside Bruno. We see where we are after a season because what we absolutely need is a reliable goalscorer, we can't wait for Hoijlund.
 

DJ_21

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Generally I am in agreement with you, midfield helps you control games and get a measure of consistent performances but it's the attack and defense that can really move the dial. If Case was to return to form I'd keep him and pair him with Mainoo then bring in a 30 goal striker. My point about a link up striker is based on how Rashford performs alongside Martial, we need to build on that rather than completely rebuild the attack.

This can be Mainoo and as insurance we then need to keep Eriksen around to avoid burn out and loss of form. What needs to happen is for ETH to give Gore, Hannibal and Amad regular incremental cameos to build them up and then next season, say we have replaced Casemiro with a top DM we push Mainoo to LCM to alternate with Eriksen alongside Bruno. We see where we are after a season because what we absolutely need is a reliable goalscorer, we can't wait for Hoijlund.
What type of player is Mainoo? We’ve only seen him play in a deep role so we’re not sure if he can fill in the creative role. Although he created a couple of decent chances against Liverpool but I’m talking about a creative machine someone with the vision that Eriksen has. If we can get a creative number 8 with good work rate then that should improve us a lot.
 

croadyman

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I don't think we need three, not do I believe we'll get three midfielders, but two is doable, providing they are sensible transfers.

Now, in my opinion, we need a ball playing number 6 and a all rounded box to box number 8. Pretty much using the same template as how Postecoglu sets up at Spurs.#

Box to box all rounders:

Khéphren Thuram
Youssouf Fofana
Maxence Caqueret

Holding Midfielder

Martin Zubimendi
André Trindade
Kalvin Phillips



Bruno/Mount - Number 8/Mount
Number 6/Mainoo​


The above 5 midfielders to be the main ones, with McTominay or Eriksen making up the 6th one.

This obviously means getting rid of Amrabat, Casemiro. Van de Beek and McTominay/Eriksen.
Phillips rejected us for City already
 

SRB87

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Obviously we need a winger as well.

Leroy Sane i think would be the best possible transfer. When in form, one of the best wingers in Europe and i think hes open to leaving Bayern. Knows the league as well.
 

marktan

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I'd rather one top ball playing midfielder (e.gm Barella mould) for £70m and one too RW for £70m. The rest of our options in midfield can fill the other midfield slot.

3 midfield signings and still relying on Antony as our RW won't cut it. Garnacho is promising but against most teams that sit back he won't have much of a impact.
 

Rojofiam

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I know we have Mainoo for the #8 role already...but I want us to hoard elite talent and Joao Neves is the player I really really want to see sign for us.

Not sure who the ideal DM would be for us. Need someone who can play single pivot but feels like we've missed out on anyone bar Palhinha, but he would cost way too much considering he's 29 at the start of next season.
 

aeh1991

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I know we have Mainoo for the #8 role already...but I want us to hoard elite talent and Joao Neves is the player I really really want to see sign for us.
This isn't even the worst idea since we could change to a 4-3-3 long term and one of Neves/Mainoo could replace Bruno one day. I still think a tall CDM is more needed atm. Not sure if Everton's Onana is the solution but he is definitely one candidate. Another one would be Kephrem Thuram who is a 6/8 hybrid, but he brings the height. Arthur Vermeeren is my favorite candidate since he'd be the cheapest to get I guess. He's "only" 1.80 though.
 

cpresc

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I bought Connor Gallagher to sit alongside Bruno and Scalvini as CDM in my FM season, works a charm!!

— Gallagher — Bruno —
——— Casemiro


— McTomminay — Mount —
——— Scalvini

With Maino and Jobe Bellingham warming up in reserve