We need to get some leaders in: names?

Luke1995

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Well in the case of Fred, he is a player we paid £52m for and would hold some value in the transfer market. He has improved massively this season, massively from absolutely abysmal to pretty good.

But I cant really see him playing the Matic role, neither can I see him playing the Fernandes role which kind of leaves him for the Pogba role as a squad player. I would also say pretty much the exact same thing about McTominay.

If as we hope we sign Grealish or somebody similar, they are also able to play the Pogba role though it isnt there main position and we also have Mjebri to step up for games next season, so potentially five players for one position (and that isnt even including Perreira and Lingard who could play it too).

I just dont think we would need more than McTominay as back up with Grealish/Mjebri as emergency or emerging option if we sign him or somebody similar.

But for the role of Matic.......we literally ONLY have Perreira to play there as he has done who I have no confidence in, or Garner who i sprobably going on loan, otherwise we have to alter the shape of our midfield to accomodate Fred or McTominay as replacements for him, which isnt ideal.

There are several very very good young defensive midfielders around at the moment and I think any of them would be under £50m and of far more value to our squad and more importantly, quite possibly our first eleven than Fred is. NOthing against Fred, though I think he has been a poor signing considering the fee, I do quite like him as a player but I dont see big value with him to us considering we despearetly need a quality centre back, desperately need depth in DM and also need far more depth attacking wise which is probably going to be a very big outlay, we need to sell to buy I feel

As for DeGea, doubt many buyers that woul dpay a decent fee, highly doubt we will sell him and not sure Henderson is ready or actually even the answer, because he is young and English his first season has been a bit overhyped I feel though he does of course have a lot of promise and wouldnt really do worse than DeGea anyway at the moment.
McTominay's has good although not great passing and usually is always full of energy. Maybe he can develop into a Matic type of player. Definitely can't play the Fernandes role though
 

golden_blunder

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But to answer the question on who could be bought, would you guys be willing to see the club take a gamble on players who have never played in europe before ?

Real Madrid for example, did manage to settle in guys like Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo nicely. Maybe United could do the same with other good south american players who perhaps would be more cheap to get in the current market
People keep saying this but they neglect the fact that it’s almost impossible for a U.K. club to import from South America directly without those players either having a large amount of appearances for their country, have a European passport or already be playing in Europe.
Hell, theoretically it may get even harder for foreign players to come in after brexit
 

SER19

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I really do think that away from 3 main targets we should be adding 2 experienced players for depth and professionalism but still ones with enough in the tank for impact as squad players.

Off the top of my head I wouldn't say no to the likes of one of (on the basis we made the key signings we need also) willian, perisic, mandzukic
 

golden_blunder

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Our track record with South Americans leaves a lot to be desired. Granted, most were bought from European clubs. It's pretty crazy for a club of our statures best Brazillian player is probably Rafael in our history.
There’s a reason, see my last post.
U.K. clubs have a distinct disadvantage against clubs in France and Spain etc
 

golden_blunder

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Actually, a summer window Rice, Grealish and Sancho could be perfect for us. Rice could cover DM and CB. Grealish could cover Pogba, Bruno and Rashford. Sancho would be first choice RW. Then the added benefits of Rice and Grealish being young leaders in their teams.
I’d love that. Adding quality and players who can dig in too
 

JakeC

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Actually, a summer window Rice, Grealish and Sancho could be perfect for us. Rice could cover DM and CB. Grealish could cover Pogba, Bruno and Rashford. Sancho would be first choice RW. Then the added benefits of Rice and Grealish being young leaders in their teams.
Just because Grealish was handed the captains armband doesn't make him a leader, his actions off the pitch leave a lot to be desired. He's a talented player alright, but with the price being quoted to us we could bring in 2 players of his quality.

Declan Rice is a different kettle of fish, but his actions involving Ireland and his international eligibility are minor red flags.

We have plenty of young leaders in the team. Rashford and McTominay being the obvious 2. It's also hard to remember that Bruno Fernandes is less than a year older than Grealish.
 

DannyDee

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There’s a reason, see my last post.
U.K. clubs have a distinct disadvantage against clubs in France and Spain etc
I get that issue but even compared to other EPL clubs we've had a relatively poor track record with South Americans for whatever reasons. Even two of the successes left in very frustrating ways (Tevez and Heinze). Valencia is probably our biggest success, Rafael could have been if he just could stay healthy. I mean, look at our two biggest rivals, and they've had much more recent success (Aguero, Fernandinho, Coutinho, Suarez, Firminho, Allison, etc). For whatever reasons, some of our more notable flops have been South American (Sanchez, Di Maria, Falcao, and Veron). I do get the registration and importation issues compared to the rest of Europe and especially Portugal.

Not even saying we should stay away for South Americans because of this, as that would be incredibly ignorant. Most happened under previous regimes, and to blindly label all South Americans the same would be incredibly ignorant. I just find it a bit weird/funny how for such a successful club we've rarely had elite South Americans as the game got increasingly global since 1990 with players often coming over to Europe to ply their trade.
 

Luke1995

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People keep saying this but they neglect the fact that it’s almost impossible for a U.K. club to import from South America directly without those players either having a large amount of appearances for their country, have a European passport or already be playing in Europe.
Hell, theoretically it may get even harder for foreign players to come in after brexit
The key part there is: Large amount of appearances for their country. I'm sure there are some who fit that category who have enough talent to attract United's eye.
 

Flanders Devil

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I know we need a right winger but maybe not that right wing.
gold. :lol:

Actually, a summer window Rice, Grealish and Sancho could be perfect for us. Rice could cover DM and CB. Grealish could cover Pogba, Bruno and Rashford. Sancho would be first choice RW. Then the added benefits of Rice and Grealish being young leaders in their teams.
this would be ideal. Almost too ideal so won’t happen.

The other one that is left field, would fill a gap, and I’m sure will be unpopular would be Deeny as the backup striker / Ighalo replacement in the squad.
 

Isotope

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I really do think that away from 3 main targets we should be adding 2 experienced players for depth and professionalism but still ones with enough in the tank for impact as squad players.

Off the top of my head I wouldn't say no to the likes of one of (on the basis we made the key signings we need also) willian, perisic, mandzukic
I wouldn't say no, either. If wages are reasonable.
 

Web of Bissaka

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How to tell if players have good genuine leadership?
Too difficult to say.

Just wearing the captain armband is not enough.

1. There's the obvious natural leaders such as Zlatan (he doesn't need the armband to lead), Thiago Silva, etc. They just have that presence and consistent. Best leaders are the consistent ones. Their influence is huge.

2. Similarly but not obvious natural leaders until they do such as Bruno (he's generally off the radar, seriously, does anyone thinks his leadership is actually this good before? easy to say now and pretentiously claimed "I'm right", H20/20, except those who followed his career to the very core eg. Sporting fans). Similarly consistent in leading but tend to lack the 'imposing' presence. Their influence is huge.

3. Then there's the grey areas basically overrated players with some leadership who're being hyped ridiculously over the top eg. Pogba, Maguire, Henderson, etc, but they really are not. At best, have some leadership but generally pretentious.. they tend to show to people that they are leading either by actions or words or both... Usually they are not consistent in leading - some times they step up, other times they lose the handle. Their influence range from good to meh.

4. Similar to that, but arguably slightly better because they are less pretentious is the situational leaders. Only in certain situations, they stepped up and lead the pack. Same thing, not consistent in leading. Can be huge influence, but not at all when not in the specific situation. Eg. De Gea at United is the best example of this, but nowadays it's getting rare seeing that leadership of his.

5. Very close to #4, but different in total, there's the silent leaders = players who lead silently and due to this, they are generally not regarded as leaders because they don't lead the pack openly by examples, actions to show people nor speeches barking orders Eg. David Silva and Messi. It's difficult to find one because easily mislabel since there are plenty of 'silent' players who do well but are just not leaders. Honestly I just don't think the likes of Scholes, Matic, etc are leaders.

6. Potential leaders are plenty. We sort of have this. Best one is McTominay (remember the talks last year of him becoming one) but who knows if he'll finally become one (seems to drop off the handle this year ever since he's back from injury.. disappointing but let's see in future games).

Just my two cents on this leadership thing.
 

Number32

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Lewis Dunk.. He's 28 though, too old according to some cafs poster.
 

Web of Bissaka

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:DGet Zlatan back next Jan once Ighalo's deal expired?

1. He don't mind playing second fiddle to Lukaku in his last season with us, so fingers crossed he won't mind playing 2nd to Martial. He actually have good self-aware about himself and his capabilities.

2. He haven't yet win CL, we're back and had stronger squad now.

3. No other top teams seem interested in getting him so maybe Ole won't mind.. surely he have seen the importance of getting exps strikers in his career eg. Larsson, Teddy, etc, class is permanent.

4. He also haven't won PL, "unfinished business".

5. His contract with Milan hasn't settled yet and seriously they're not going to win their league nor CL anytime soon.

6. Have good relationship with the players here and may motivate them like an assistant manager at the side. Season 2016/17 and early first half of 17/18 is really good, with more decent football compare to what's next.
 

Rozay

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We should buy Kabak. Looks a natural leader and a brilliant young centre half. If he goes to Liverpool it would be disastrous for the rest of the league.
 

United Pro

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Thiago Silva on a free transfer even purely for his leadership skills and winning mentality will be worth it. He's still got a few years left if managed correctly.
 

Pughnichi

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Our signings have been particularly good under OGS. We’ve seemingly put much more emphasis on their mentality and attitude which is of huge significance

Maguire - Leicester captain
Bruno - Sporting captain
AWB - reportedly a quiet, sensible guy
James - living the dream and unlikely to rock boat with a bad attitude
Ighalo - experienced player also living the dream and one that the whole team has taken quickly to.

Perhaps Grealish - Villa captain

This is a significant improvement having also shipped out Lukaku, Sanchez.

agree though, we could do with more.
 

Rasendori

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I'd like to believe this is so, but I'm not sure who you're looking at that instills that belief?
I can't speak for the person you quoted, but personally I believe Martial falls in the category of someone that 'remains steadfast in their own game when the pressure is truly on.'
It's something he's predominantly done in his United career thus far. Take the game against Arsenal in 2015 as an example.

0:18 - A hopeful pass to Martial, his desire allow United to recycle possession.
0:42-52 - Mertesacler thinks he's in his element being tight to Martial, excellent ball control from the Frenchman.
2:07 - Textbook centre forward play to a physical specimen.
4:26 Gabriel thinks Martial is in a non threatening situation.
A game which United lost 3-0 and a large reason for that being Arsenal's press and high intensity in the opening stage of the game. Darmian and Schweinsteiger struggled especially. Against Wolfsburg in UCL, the nerve of United was put to the test as a win was necessary to set the tone.

1:18 - Martial "pinned" by Ricardo Rodriguez
1:58 - is top of the range stuff,
2:12 - Scans to see one person in box, takes him time and by the time he releases it three are in box, 4:30 Quality,
5:52 - Brilliant,
6:30 - Excellent ball control.

The pressure was truly on when Monaco played Valencia in a UCL qualifier match. Martial was just 18 years old and took on that responsibility.

0:16 Strength from Martial
0:40 Hold up play,
1:10
1:57
2:56 catalyst for goal
4:10 selfless
4:30
4:47 Should've got a penalty. Nicks the ball, drives forward, the brief pause on the ball and then dragging it away

There's also the game against West Ham in the final game of the season. Much was as stake as United needed UCL football. Martial and Rashford demonstrated mental fortitude whilst the others capitulated, especially Blind who had arguably his worst performance in a United shirt. A reoccurring pattern is Martial receiving the ball while marked and managing to be an asset to the side. His presence is almost like a get out of jail free card. There will be several instances where none of the perceived danger men (i.e Rashford/Martial/Greenwood/Pogba/Bruno) are unmarked in dangerous territory. Do you respond by playing a safe back or horizontal pass, and allow someone else to make the decision instead. Or is there a player amongst those that have the confidence, personality, and technical ability to be aware that they have a player breathing on their necks and want the ball anyway, because they back their technical ability to aid the team. Martial is such a player imo. We've seen this when he arrived on the scene as a teenager, and we saw similar things in the 19/20 season.

Just wearing the captain armband is not enough.
I don't believe the OP thinks that either. A player which encapsulates the qualities which @Fortitude is looking for ... is Verratti. Now I'm not advocating we should sign him, but rather providing an example of the profile, personality, and characteristics he believes will be beneficial to the side. Take the second leg game of PSG vs Chelsea in 2015 as an example. At the time, Chelsea were spoken about as being possible winners of the competition due to their exploits in the EPL. Zlatan, the focal point in attack received a red card in the opening 30 minutes. Verratti relished the responsibility. It was one of the best 10 men performances I've seen, and Verratti was very much at the heart of it. He seemed to get better as the game went on, showing for the ball, driving with it, taking the game to the opposition, and dominating the midfield battle albeit with the help of Thiago Motta who had a great game himself.
 

Rasendori

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One player which fits the profile is Bennacer.

Milan had the worst possible start in the Coppa Italia game against Juventus as they conceded a penalty. Whilst the penalty wasn't converted, the panic in Milan's play continued, as almost immediately afterwards Rebic received a straight red card (to clarify this is a different incident to the penalty). With this adversity, nervousness continued to creep in as Bonaventura recklessly fouls Juve player and compromises possession.

Bennacer had the confidence to show for the ball at the goal kick, quickly passes it, moves to the right and when he received it he calmly distributed the ball to the left. This was the first instance since the red card where Milan managed to alleviate pressure from Juve's onslaught, and with it, panic in Milan's play. Once that passage of play broke down, it was Calhanoglu who was the next Milan to get the ball. He hoofs it without even looking. It's evident at this point that confidence is low, and almost a resignation from some of the players that they were going to be on the receiving of a slaughtering.

The next player to have an opportunity to show his personality was Calabria, but shaken by Danilo racing towards him, he loses possession in less than 5 seconds. So, at this point, the time which Bennacer showed for the ball at Gk and pinged it was the only time which they bought themselves time. The next two occasions would have Bennacer at the heartbeat. Once again, Bennacer shows for the ball from a GK, back to goal with Matuidi pressurizing him, the Algerian is successful in evading the press from Matuidi which leads to a 10+ pass sequence. The sequence came to an end where Bennacer himself lost the ball which led to a counter attack with CR7 shooting from a tight angle.

Shortly after he attracts Matuidi whose noticeably marking him, draws him and releases the ball first time which led to another pass sequence and this time leading to a shot from Milan themselves. Now he picks up a loose ball in possession and drives the ball from the 2nd phase into the third phase. Bear in mind, Juve had numbers forward at this point. In doing so, he was trying to change the dynamic of the game with the Rossoneri pegged back. In another instance he has the ball deep in his own territory, pressured on the ball, he does a deft body feint, swerves his hip to see if there's an outlet to his right, quickly swerves to the left, takes an extra touch and plays it to the right back. Finds himself space for the return pass. Juve player tries to close him down, first time pass, 1-2 initiation player completely taken out of the game. Wins a throw in and buys time for his teammates which earns an applause from his manager.

Calabria was consistently struggling. Once again Juve were able to regain possession by harassing the full back. Paquetá to his credit tried to alleviate the pressure with a few decent dribbles. Unfortunately after doing the hard part successfully, he ceded possession carelessly allowing Juve to resume the attack. Bennacer gets the ball pings with his left foot, gets it back and wins a foul. The free kick he won was wasted as it went straight to Buffon, much to the visible exasperation of teammates.

As Juve look to resume possession, Benacer wins possession allowing Milan to fight back. Milan got opportunities which were few and far in between like when Kjaer got the better in a physical challenge led to a counter attacking opportunity and Bonaventura took too long on the ball when he had options either side. In the end his indecisiveness led to him being dispossessed. Shows for the ball at a goal kick and calmly distributes it to the flank. You can see Bentancur disheartened as Bennacer successfully beat the press with his pass. Leading to the first time in the match since the red card where Juve have multiple players in their own half during open play. As shown in my screenshot

A nice contrast to


Apart from beating the press with Pjanic pouncing towards him, just take a look at his teammates. They have utmost confidence that he won't lose the ball, and they were right. He played with a confidence and maturity beyond his years, unaffected by the magnitude of the game, nor the circumstances of his side being one man down.
.

I was impressed with his performances at AFCON (2019) for Algeria as he helped them to win the competition for the first time since 1990. As a reward for his exploits, he was named motm in final, and won both young player of the tournament, and player of the tournament. One thing that stood out to me was not just his ability to weave away from markers, it was his tenacity and grit to his game to not only dispossess players that like to assert their physical presence, but also continuing to advance the ball after being pulled, and kicked by various opponents. At the time his club side was Empoli. He backed himself to play for a team which would be more demanding of his services. So, he joined Milan shortly after the tournament. This might seem like an obvious decision, with Milan being an upgrade on Empoli. But with a player of his hard upbringing, he could've decided to play for a side which would give him exorbitant amounts. It's something that Christian Bassogog did who was awarded AFCON player of the the tournament in 2017 and capatilising on his enhanced reputation went to China. He was 21 years old too.

Moreover, its noteworthy that Bennacer had a routine performance vs Sampdoria, the very next game after Milan got thrashed by Atlanta 5-0.

Furthermore, he was part of a Milan side which overcame a 2 goal deficit to win 4-2. Going into the game against Juventus they were two points behind Napoli and Roma, and just four points above Hellas Verona with 8 games remaining. A loss would have put their chances in making the Europa League in jeopardy
 

Fortitude

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@Rasendori thanks for taking the time out for those posts.

I've been harsher on Martial in the past but have no real complaints about the player he is growing into and what he represents. I guess as a striker of his ball-carrying nature, he is reliant on others actually getting the ball up to him before he himself can come alive and alleviate pressure in his own way.

Of our front line, he is the most dependable in terms of still being a threat when he's having an off game or a poor period. Greenwood's influence is understandably sporadic whilst Rashford has had his own issues to deal with since the return. Martial has quietly got on with it and might not be handing that #9 role over to Greenwood as swiftly as some think over the next season or two.

A great dependable in terms of forwards was Sheringham and someone like him who could come off the bench or rotate in whilst being such a calming and steadying influence would be invaluable for us. Obviously that type of player is easier spoken about than found, but guys like that dotted around the squad - players irrespective of position who just know what to do and can get on with it in the face of adversity would, to me, give us what we sorely lack at the moment.

I'm not saying fill us up with oldies, just any player, young or old who has the prerequisite talent and composure that will enable all our young bucks to grow their cajones to the size of grapefruits.