What do we still need? Aka The never ending story

Adnan

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I’ve been saying this for years, I don’t know how we scout but none of our players are technically good enough. We need players with great close control and passing but we keep going for the profile of players who are direct instead of intricate.
The players are there for ten Hag who can operate in the small spaces. Some are unfortunately injured but I'm not sure why he doesn't play Amrabat ahead of Casemiro who for some strange reason is making basic passing errors. Even sideways passes seem to be off which is unforgivable imo. Amrabat won't be here next season but I don't feel he's been utilised well at all and with Mount on the way back and Mainoo already part of the team, I feel we need to see a midfield 3 of Amrabat, Mainoo and Mount with Bruno in a wide playmaker role. If the aim is to implement more control in possession then a midfield 3 of the aforementioned players has to be given a chance.

We of course require better players in confined spaces and I'm sure we'll improve in that regard come the summer because unlike last summer where the GK and striker positions became priority, I feel this the priority has to be prioritise the deeper midfield areas and at CB with players who will allow us to sustain attacks in the opponent's half. We've bought technical players over the years like Pogba and even Lindelof was said to be a ball playing CB with ice running through his veins.:confused:

But what we have actually neglected are players who can operate in large spaces and control transitions against fast breaks. I don't think you can ignore the threat in transition the EPL poses and that threat has to be accounted for. And to account for that threat, I believe we must sign players who are technically good on the ball but without sacrificing the pace and power element which has become so important for teams who want to sacrifice defensive stability for goals and play the game in the opponent's half.

City has Ake, Akanji, Walker and Rodri who are adept at controlling large spaces.

Liverpool have Van Dijk, Konate and Endo who manage to control large spaces. Before that it was Van Dijk, Matip and Henderson, Wijnaldum who formed a 4 man rest defense to nullify the opponent's transitions in a higher defensive line in a 2-2 shape. With the midfielders containing the spaces centrally and the CBs nullifying the threat in the channels on either side.

Arsenal have Gabriel, Saliba and Rice who are strong at containing transitions whilst having the ability on the ball to make a difference. Gabriel isn't the best on the ball but his physicality and athleticism does make a difference.

So I do agree with you that we need players who are good on the ball in small spaces but I'm hoping we compliment those players by also creating a strong foundation behind them with players who have the ability and potential to control the large spaces out of possession. And when we fail to control the game out of possession because our rest defense as a collective doesn't have the pace and power to nullify transitions and we lose control of the game. Then it's assumed we need more players who are technically capable rather than what we actually need is players who have the physical, athletic and technical ability to nullify the opponent's transition and compact space higher up the pitch which makes the defensive, midfield and attacking lines closer to one another.

I want to see us sign players like Neves and even Alan Varela but I hope we compliment those players with players like Lukeba (LCB), Diomande (RCB) and Onana in midfield which will raise the level when it comes to physicality, athleticism and technical ability.
 

georgipep

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The players are there for ten Hag who can operate in the small spaces. Some are unfortunately injured but I'm not sure why he doesn't play Amrabat ahead of Casemiro who for some strange reason is making basic passing errors. Even sideways passes seem to be off which is unforgivable imo. Amrabat won't be here next season but I don't feel he's been utilised well at all and with Mount on the way back and Mainoo already part of the team, I feel we need to see a midfield 3 of Amrabat, Mainoo and Mount with Bruno in a wide playmaker role. If the aim is to implement more control in possession then a midfield 3 of the aforementioned players has to be given a chance.
Because adding one player who is good at possession-based, non-direct football, will just mess up the balance even more. If Mount, Martinez, Shaw, Mainoo were all available, I think Amrabat would've played more.

Who would Amrabat combine with that doesn't immediately go direct after receiving the ball?

You can't evaluate players in isolation. There are 11 of them on the pitch and they need to "click" as a unit.
 

Woziak

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Watching the United vs Everton game yesterday live, it just made me realise how much work is needed. Ok we had 7/8 first team players out with injuries and I keep saying the modern squad is now 26/27 not 23 it’s too small especially with 2 additional European games next season.

If as expected United qualify for Europa league we will play 8 European league format games then potentially another 9 games with two added European games now in January. This format is the same in the CL as well, so you will see teams struggle next year with small squads. look. at our bench on Saturday, woefully short!

If the club are successful in one of the cups we could say we might play 8/9 Fa and League cup games, that’s a potential total of 64-65 Games. The modern game is changing, it’s more intensive, high energy and more injuries.

I’m not convinced by our Goalkeeping options but they will have to suffice for next season with Tom Heaton signed on for one more year, he’s the best third place GK in the PL, the other two I need to see more. The defence needs huge improvements and we don’t want to make the mistakes we made last summer by dismantling it too quickly, I would keep Varane, resign Evans on a 1 year extension, activate Maguire 1 year so we can sell him next summer 2025/26 for 20-25m.

The club should sell V Lindelof, T Mallacia and AWB for a combined fee of £45-50m this summer. Bring back Alvaro Fernandez and make him Luke Shaw Deputy. We need to spread the budget but the team is desperate for goals, so Frimpong for £40m should be our first recruit and the second should be a CB who has played in the PL, young quick and can play out from the back. Jarod Branthwaite passed his audition yesterday, absolute no brainer for £65m just do the deal. He fits in at Left CB, has the physicality and composure to play for United.

Midfield is seriously needing an upgrade, we lack pace, mobility and the ability to control the tempo of the game, expecting an 18 year old to solve all of our problems is unfair to the Kobie, plus I’m not convinced by his pace levels to be a top class number 6, while I do think he’ll be an elite 8.

If a Saudi team offers 40m for Casemiro we must sell, Eriksen, Hannibal, Amrabat and DVB must also go. The club might raise £65-70m for all departures but we need two absolute huge upgrades potentially 3 new midfield players, I would sign N Barella, L Goretzka or J Kimmich as a marquee starting midfielder, one of the Bayern players should be available and then we should go get the best young Midfielder available like Jao Neves, finally I would upgrade Eriksen for a much more mobile Barkley and his wages would be half of Eriksen salary.

The attacking players need a huge overhaul too, assuming Greenwood, Antony, Martial, F Pellistri all leave and the club recoup £60-65m we will still keep Sancho as no one’s paying his wages. The club will go get two strikers a right winger and CF. My picks would be M Olise and J Zirkzee/B Sesco.

Man United Squad 24/25
Goalkeepers - A Onana, A Bayinder, T Heaton(HG)

Defenders - J Frimpong*(HG), D Dalot, W Kambwala(HG), J Evans(HG), H Maguire(HG), L Shaw(HG), A Fernandez(HG), L Martinez, R Varanne, *J Branthwaite (HG),

Midfield - *J Kimmich, * J Neves, * R Barkley(HG), M Mount(HG), K Mainoo(HG), Bruno Fernandez, S Mctominay (HG),

Strikers - M Rashford(HG),
A Garnaucho(HG), J Sancho(HG),
R Hojlund, * M Olise(HG), Amad, *B Sesco

This is not perfect but a huge upgrade on this season and 27 players would allow us to compete on all fronts. Numerous players would still be on trial but I’ve considered the fact that a new coach will also be in charge.
 

Adnan

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Because adding one player who is good at possession-based, non-direct football, will just mess up the balance even more. If Mount, Martinez, Shaw, Mainoo were all available, I think Amrabat would've played more.

Who would Amrabat combine with that doesn't immediately go direct after receiving the ball?

You can't evaluate players in isolation. There are 11 of them on the pitch and they need to "click" as a unit.
Mount will be available soon and having a midfield 3 of Mainoo, Amrabat and Mount is a possibility. And I'm not looking at things in isolation because we also have a GK who isn't being utilised to his strengths in possession and even with Martinez and Shaw being injured, I think the potential combination between Onana, Amrabat, Mainoo and Mount is enough for me to want them playing together because Casemiro has been poor this season and I don't think we lose a lot with him being on the bench but the potential is there for us to improve in possession with the aforementioned midfield. It's not ideal, but if the intention is to play through midfield and control the game, then something has to change.
 

georgipep

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Mount will be available soon and having a midfield 3 of Mainoo, Amrabat and Mount is a possibility. And I'm not looking at things in isolation because we also have a GK who isn't being utilised to his strengths in possession and even with Martinez and Shaw being injured, I think the potential combination between Onana, Amrabat, Mainoo and Mount is enough for me to want them playing together because Casemiro has been poor this season and I don't think we lose a lot with him being on the bench but the potential is there for us to improve in possession with the aforementioned midfield. It's not ideal, but if the intention is to play through midfield and control the game, then something has to change.
What are those players going to do with Rashford and Bruno, who are defaulting to direct play?
 

Adnan

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What are those players going to do with Rashford and Bruno, who are defaulting to direct play?
Rashford and Bruno are only defaulting to direct play because the guys behind them are also defaulting to direct play. I don't really mind if a player in the final third looks for the killer pass after the build up phase from the back has been navigated with patience and efficiency. Because you want your final third players to make the difference further forward. So I'm personally hoping we see some stability in the deeper areas of the pitch as far as controlling the game is concerned. And that can only happen if we first keep the ball better starting at the back.
 

georgipep

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Rashford and Bruno are only defaulting to direct play because the guys behind them are also defaulting to direct play. I don't really mind if a player in the final third looks for the killer pass after the build up phase from the back has been navigated with patience and efficiency. Because you want your final third players to make the difference further forward. So I'm personally hoping we see some stability in the deeper areas of the pitch as far as controlling the game is concerned. And that can only happen if we first keep the ball better starting at the back.
Rashford has proven rather unable to impact games when faced with a settled defensive unit in front of him, in close proximity to the opposition goal. I am sceptical he can be effective in such a system.
 

Suv666

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Just seems to me solidify, defence and midfield to allow the attack to concentrate their efforts more in attacking. In doing so we would be building the base to add more polished players at a later date.
dont think that’ll be good enough. No matter how how high up the pitch our offence is they aren’t good enough. Rashford, Antony, Ganarcho, Hojlund, Bruno these lot can’t give you the attacking output needed to get top four, there aren’t enough goals in them.

Attacking reinforcements are a must, we can’t go on with our current crop, our attack is reminiscent of the LvG days.
 

jesperjaap

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Yet again showing how poor our recruitment has been with this thread as its another summer where we need double figures out and close in.

We have players we will lose for next to nothing Amrabat from his loan, Eriksen, Evans from his short term contract. We should/will probably be selling Antony, considering his age and fall from form Csemeiro also.....these are all Ten Hag signings....nearly half of them in fact.

Varaes contract is ending and probably off too.....yet this isnt even half the players should be off just the very likely ones.

We need an attacking RB, a right sided centre back, a defensive midfielder and a right winger as a minimum for the first eleven. WIthout even going into several other plaeyrs I would sell, as its a lot I think a young left back, another cb, a second cm, another wnger and a back up striker are also needed.

One player I would like us to sign in our own league is Eze, not happening as we wont sell Fernandes and we have Mount but I think he fits in to a consistently successful side in that positio far better than both
 

The Irish Connection

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Yet again showing how poor our recruitment has been with this thread as its another summer where we need double figures out and close in.

We have players we will lose for next to nothing Amrabat from his loan, Eriksen, Evans from his short term contract. We should/will probably be selling Antony, considering his age and fall from form Csemeiro also.....these are all Ten Hag signings....nearly half of them in fact.

Varaes contract is ending and probably off too.....yet this isnt even half the players should be off just the very likely ones.

We need an attacking RB, a right sided centre back, a defensive midfielder and a right winger as a minimum for the first eleven. WIthout even going into several other plaeyrs I would sell, as its a lot I think a young left back, another cb, a second cm, another wnger and a back up striker are also needed.

One player I would like us to sign in our own league is Eze, not happening as we wont sell Fernandes and we have Mount but I think he fits in to a consistently successful side in that positio far better than both
Eze is brilliant but palace will want 100m.

I would add a backup striker to your list.
 

Andersons Dietician

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dont think that’ll be good enough. No matter how how high up the pitch our offence is they aren’t good enough. Rashford, Antony, Ganarcho, Hojlund, Bruno these lot can’t give you the attacking output needed to get top four, there aren’t enough goals in them.

Attacking reinforcements are a must, we can’t go on with our current crop, our attack is reminiscent of the LvG days.
They are certainly good enough to get us top 4 but eventually it needs more investment, personally just seems to me that spending big money on the attack before fixing the major issues will only lead to those players failing once again.

Those guys losing confidence, fans losing patience and then having to invest heavily again. We still probably need a back up striker anyway come summer so surely there will be an addition in the forward line.

Honestly I think I would consider removing Bruno from the starting 11 next season anyway.
 

Woziak

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They are certainly good enough to get us top 4 but eventually it needs more investment, personally just seems to me that spending big money on the attack before fixing the major issues will only lead to those players failing once again.

Those guys losing confidence, fans losing patience and then having to invest heavily again. We still probably need a back up striker anyway come summer so surely there will be an addition in the forward line.

Honestly I think I would consider removing Bruno from the starting 11 next season anyway.
We are so deep with our back 4 that the team constantly gets countered, our midfield does not possess enough high energy and creativity and they are knackered by having to cover so much ground especially at old Trafford, one of the biggest pitches in the PL.

We have a Goalkeeper who’s improving but he’s never going to be a great shot stopper he’s there purely to push the team and defence higher up the pitch. Varane is getting a raw deal this season and personally I’d renew his contract for one year and then get rid of Maguire and Lindelof. I’d keep Evans as his experience is invaluable and then we should go and get two Centre Backs, but this is where I would do things differently. If we sell Maguire for £25m and Lindelof for £15m we should sign Jarod Branthwaite at £55m maximum, his wages will be £75k per week and he can come in and develop. The club should then go and get Todibo on a 1 year loan with an obligation to buy for £7m loan fee and £38m additional next summer. We still need a left back and this is where the club must be ruthless and sell Malacia and , B Williams and Alvaro Fernandes for combined £20m and buy Miguel Gutierrez for £25/30m. If we started next season with ; Varane, Martinez, Todibo, J Branthwaite, J Evans, W Kambwala, AWB, D Dalot, L Shaw, M Gutierrez as defensive options this would be a huge upgrade. If we could do that for a net transfer of £30-35m that’s exactly how a smart club would operate in the transfer window, we might even have funds to swap AWB for Frimpong for £20m on top or keep both, I’m not adverse to AWB being given an extension of 3 years to his contract. Defending has changed dramatically in the last decade and elite clubs don’t buy a sweeper Keeper to have the back four only 10 yards in front of him!
 

CasaStreets

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If we ‘break even’ on Amad and Pellistri but they’ve run down a lot of FFP it will be pretty good FFP profit for this window, 75-80% of whatever we receive.

Sancho will prob offset his remaining FFP balance (assuming it was a 5 year amort), maybe a bit extra.

Greenwood pure profit.

This wing departures may add 70-80m FFP. If Casemiro, Harry OR Lindelof, AWB, and a couple young players depart it’s going to be +120m FFP.

From my understanding, that’s a big sum when you consider new signings’ transfer fees are amortized over contract length. On top of that, with Martial, Eriksen, and Varane leaving (or Varane taking pay cut) it’s 5-6 of our 10 biggest earners coming off the books, though we may have to subsidize Sancho’s wages elsewhere.

FFP gurus, please help. Is this the right way to think about it? And either way, what’s your best guess on what our topline transfer fee expenses will be this summer?
 

Woziak

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If we ‘break even’ on Amad and Pellistri but they’ve run down a lot of FFP it will be pretty good FFP profit for this window, 75-80% of whatever we receive.

Sancho will prob offset his remaining FFP balance (assuming it was a 5 year amort), maybe a bit extra.

Greenwood pure profit.

This wing departures may add 70-80m FFP. If Casemiro, Harry OR Lindelof, AWB, and a couple young players depart it’s going to be +120m FFP.

From my understanding, that’s a big sum when you consider new signings’ transfer fees are amortized over contract length. On top of that, with Martial, Eriksen, and Varane leaving (or Varane taking pay cut) it’s 5-6 of our 10 biggest earners coming off the books, though we may have to subsidize Sancho’s wages elsewhere.

FFP gurus, please help. Is this the right way to think about it? And either way, what’s your best guess on what our topline transfer fee expenses will be this summer?
Currently United are in a very good position to buy players based on two key factors;

1. Sir Jim’s investment of $300m or £257m will offset FFP loses allowed of £115m over a 3 year period

2. Look at the Deloitte’s list supplied our wage bill is now 4th on PL at a very favourable 51% of revenue.

https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pag.../articles/deloitte-football-money-league.html

Scroll down and click on man united.

With reference to Amad first, Club paid €25m as add ons have not been activated this was amortised over 5 years so £4.25m per year plus wages of £1.5m per year. So Amad currently costs the club £5.75m per year. Facundo pellistri was signed for £9m on wages of £1m per year so his cost is currently £2.8m per year combined amortised transfer fee and Wages. Sancho was £73m over 5 years so £14.25m per year and rumours wages of £15m per year or £300k per week. He costs £29-30m every year on wages and amortised transfer fees. Greenwood is pure profit and his wages of £75k per week or £4m per year would be saved.

Summary of the club sold Sancho for £30m and got the new club to agree new wages with 2 years left on his contract this deal breaks even. The benefit would be £15m wages are saved.

If United sell Amad for £20m, this would be offset from the 4 years we would have already paid of £17m so this would represent a profit of £15.75m profit as the club still has one year of amortised transfer fee to pay. The squad wages would be reduced by £1.5m per year after he left.

If United sold Pellistri for £15m, this is similar as the club has one instalment left to pay of £1.8m for his transfer so a profit of £13.2m would be made and £1m wages would be saved a year.

Finally Mason Greenwood is 100% pure profit so if we sold him for £30m that would represent FFP profit of £30m plus £29m profit from Pellistri and Amad.

If our budget was only £120m, selling these 4 players would genuinely increase the budget to nearer £250-300m with wages and agent fees.

The club can spend big this summer, because they’ve circumnavigated FSP/FFP by being off loading youth players last summer and Sir Jim cash injection, plus they have grown revenue whilst at the same time reducing players wages.

The real issue is the club does not have cash unless Sir Jim allows some of his £257m to be allocated for transfers. Remember if we agree £350m in transfers this summer and receive £110m that’s a net position of £240m or £48m this summer and then 4 more years of £48m.

The new Team put in place to handle transfers will be tasked with signing new players, getting rid of high earners so the wage structure is kept to a similar level as this year and generate as much cash as they can in the next 2 years.

Remember United owe at least £380m in amortised transfer fees and sir Jim will want this under control.
 

CasaStreets

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Currently United are in a very good position to buy players based on two key factors;

1. Sir Jim’s investment of $300m or £257m will offset FFP loses allowed of £115m over a 3 year period

2. Look at the Deloitte’s list supplied our wage bill is now 4th on PL at a very favourable 51% of revenue.

https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pag.../articles/deloitte-football-money-league.html

Scroll down and click on man united.

With reference to Amad first, Club paid €25m as add ons have not been activated this was amortised over 5 years so £4.25m per year plus wages of £1.5m per year. So Amad currently costs the club £5.75m per year. Facundo pellistri was signed for £9m on wages of £1m per year so his cost is currently £2.8m per year combined amortised transfer fee and Wages. Sancho was £73m over 5 years so £14.25m per year and rumours wages of £15m per year or £300k per week. He costs £29-30m every year on wages and amortised transfer fees. Greenwood is pure profit and his wages of £75k per week or £4m per year would be saved.

Summary of the club sold Sancho for £30m and got the new club to agree new wages with 2 years left on his contract this deal breaks even. The benefit would be £15m wages are saved.

If United sell Amad for £20m, this would be offset from the 4 years we would have already paid of £17m so this would represent a profit of £15.75m profit as the club still has one year of amortised transfer fee to pay. The squad wages would be reduced by £1.5m per year after he left.

If United sold Pellistri for £15m, this is similar as the club has one instalment left to pay of £1.8m for his transfer so a profit of £13.2m would be made and £1m wages would be saved a year.

Finally Mason Greenwood is 100% pure profit so if we sold him for £30m that would represent FFP profit of £30m plus £29m profit from Pellistri and Amad.

If our budget was only £120m, selling these 4 players would genuinely increase the budget to nearer £250-300m with wages and agent fees.

The club can spend big this summer, because they’ve circumnavigated FSP/FFP by being off loading youth players last summer and Sir Jim cash injection, plus they have grown revenue whilst at the same time reducing players wages.

The real issue is the club does not have cash unless Sir Jim allows some of his £257m to be allocated for transfers. Remember if we agree £350m in transfers this summer and receive £110m that’s a net position of £240m or £48m this summer and then 4 more years of £48m.

The new Team put in place to handle transfers will be tasked with signing new players, getting rid of high earners so the wage structure is kept to a similar level as this year and generate as much cash as they can in the next 2 years.

Remember United owe at least £380m in amortised transfer fees and sir Jim will want this under control.
Incredibly helpful, thank you. Super interesting point about the juxtaposition between the our potential FFP status the summer (good) versus cash balance (bad).

Still I disagree with your take on wages. I suspect they will want to structurally reduce wages despite your point that the current wage structure isn’t as bad as a few other clubs.
 
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Woziak

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Incredibly helpful, thank you. Super interesting point about the juxtaposition between the our potential FFP status the summer (good) versus cash balance (bad).

Still I disagree with your take on wages. I suspect they will want to structurally reduce wages despite your point that the current wage structure isn’t as bad as a few other clubs.
Structurally reducing the wage bill is what they’ve been doing, they are happy to run at 48-53% of Gross revenue, you still need to pay big wages for truly elite players, the real issue is players not performing to the salary being paid.

Correcting this will be Dan Ashworth and Omar Berreda task of stopping players like Martial, Sancho, Being paid £250-350k per week for very little impact to the squads ability to win football matches. They will also concerned about Aging players like Casemiro, Maguire and Varane being paid £200-350k per week, if a truly elite player was needed like Victor Osimhen and the budget allowed the transfer, the club would have no problem paying him £250k per week basic salary with £100k a week goal and assist bonus if he guaranteed goals, the new wage directive is to pay payers good basic salary but structure 25/30% of their salary in goal, appearance, clean sheet and assist bonus.
 

CasaStreets

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Structurally reducing the wage bill is what they’ve been doing, they are happy to run at 48-53% of Gross revenue, you still need to pay big wages for truly elite players, the real issue is players not performing to the salary being paid.

Correcting this will be Dan Ashworth and Omar Berreda task of stopping players like Martial, Sancho, Being paid £250-350k per week for very little impact to the squads ability to win football matches. They will also concerned about Aging players like Casemiro, Maguire and Varane being paid £200-350k per week, if a truly elite player was needed like Victor Osimhen and the budget allowed the transfer, the club would have no problem paying him £250k per week basic salary with £100k a week goal and assist bonus if he guaranteed goals, the new wage directive is to pay payers good basic salary but structure 25/30% of their salary in goal, appearance, clean sheet and assist bonus.
Thanks. I don't know enough about our current 'pay for performance' %s to know how different that is from the status quo.

Philosophically it sounds like the right approach so long as the incentives are structured in a way that doesn't lead to behaviors on the pitch that are in the player's interest but not the team's.
 

Andersons Dietician

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We are so deep with our back 4 that the team constantly gets countered, our midfield does not possess enough high energy and creativity and they are knackered by having to cover so much ground especially at old Trafford, one of the biggest pitches in the PL.

We have a Goalkeeper who’s improving but he’s never going to be a great shot stopper he’s there purely to push the team and defence higher up the pitch. Varane is getting a raw deal this season and personally I’d renew his contract for one year and then get rid of Maguire and Lindelof. I’d keep Evans as his experience is invaluable and then we should go and get two Centre Backs, but this is where I would do things differently. If we sell Maguire for £25m and Lindelof for £15m we should sign Jarod Branthwaite at £55m maximum, his wages will be £75k per week and he can come in and develop. The club should then go and get Todibo on a 1 year loan with an obligation to buy for £7m loan fee and £38m additional next summer. We still need a left back and this is where the club must be ruthless and sell Malacia and , B Williams and Alvaro Fernandes for combined £20m and buy Miguel Gutierrez for £25/30m. If we started next season with ; Varane, Martinez, Todibo, J Branthwaite, J Evans, W Kambwala, AWB, D Dalot, L Shaw, M Gutierrez as defensive options this would be a huge upgrade. If we could do that for a net transfer of £30-35m that’s exactly how a smart club would operate in the transfer window, we might even have funds to swap AWB for Frimpong for £20m on top or keep both, I’m not adverse to AWB being given an extension of 3 years to his contract. Defending has changed dramatically in the last decade and elite clubs don’t buy a sweeper Keeper to have the back four only 10 yards in front of him!
I pretty much agree because when I think of replacements those are the names I was thinking of myself.

I like Varane, I was just moving him on because of wages and it seems like he is going but I do think at times this season he has shown his quality and that he is far better than the others. Having his experience around players like the ones you mentioned to help them, guide them and so on could be invaluable. The man has won everything and if he wanted a pay cut and to stay on then I’d be all for that.

Its midfield where I find myself moving towards a more industrious approach, I agree that our issue seems to be the spaces between each area. Defence sits deep, but then we don’t have the legs in midfield to cover that and be on the front foot.

Does feel with the defenders you mentioned we could play a higher line more comfortably, Squeeze space and get turnovers allowing the front 3 to get at people before these teams have a chance to organise and effectively nullify anything.



I just think getting more turnovers higher up the pitch would allow our forwards more quality opportunities preventing teams from having the time to set up Eventually once we have structure then start adding more expansive players in to the mix.

Should add all of those players probably cost way north of 50 mil each. Don’t agree paying 100 mil for someone who is basically Fred. But finding people of those profiles would be what I would like to see.
 

Woziak

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I pretty much agree because when I think of replacements those are the names I was thinking of myself.

I like Varane, I was just moving him on because of wages and it seems like he is going but I do think at times this season he has shown his quality and that he is far better than the others. Having his experience around players like the ones you mentioned to help them, guide them and so on could be invaluable. The man has won everything and if he wanted a pay cut and to stay on then I’d be all for that.

Its midfield where I find myself moving towards a more industrious approach, I agree that our issue seems to be the spaces between each area. Defence sits deep, but then we don’t have the legs in midfield to cover that and be on the front foot.

Does feel with the defenders you mentioned we could play a higher line more comfortably, Squeeze space and get turnovers allowing the front 3 to get at people before these teams have a chance to organise and effectively nullify anything.



I just think getting more turnovers higher up the pitch would allow our forwards more quality opportunities preventing teams from having the time to set up Eventually once we have structure then start adding more expansive players in to the mix.

Should add all of those players probably cost way north of 50 mil each. Don’t agree paying 100 mil for someone who is basically Fred. But finding people of those profiles would be what I would like to see.

Totally agree on principle but Martinez will be fit and starting I can see the usual summer BS where we are linked with everyone but actually only sign 5/6 players not 8/9

I like Frimpong but we will keep Dalot and extend AWB as the left back is far more pressing, hopefully we’ll get the Girona Left back, Gutierrez before he gets bought and recycled by Madrid for £45-55m. Everything you say about turnovers higher up the field are 100% correct however we need a squad of 27/28 just to manage the 60+ games next year if we qualify Europa Leagie and I think we desperately need Luke shaw being challenged and the whole squad starting in the summer not knowing who starts in any positon. I definitely keep Varane if he signs a new 2 year contract on 200k per week and I think we won’t have enough money to buy Onana and Jao Neves that’s £150-160m, never going to happen!
Eriksen will go and Barkley will come in we probably get £10m for Eriksen. I don’t see the J Neves having legs, can’t see the club paying £100m when we could probably do the Following; A Rabiot - Free (250k), J Kimmich 60m(350k), J Paulinho -55m (200k) I think we will want a more experienced player in that position in late 20’s to solidify the spine of the time. We might have a left field South American young signing who is an 8/10 Thiago Almada or Alan varela or maybe someone like the new Croatian wonderkid Martin Barturina or Federico Redondo. Who can play 6, 8 or 10.

I hope next season we can build confidence and really have two players fighting for their place.

First 11
GK- A Onana
RB - D Dalot
RCB - J C Todibo *
LCB - L Martinez
LB - L Shaw

DM - J Pailinho *
CM - K Mainoo
AM - Bruno

RWS - M Olise *
CF - V Osimhen *
LWS - A Garnaucho

Alternative 11
GK- A Bayinder
RB- AWB
RCB- R Varane
LCB - J Branthwaite *
LB - M Gutierrez *

DM - R Barkley *
CM - S Mctominay
AM - M Mount

RWS - S Lacey
CF - R Hojlund
LWS - A Garnaucho

squad -T Heaton H Maguire, W Kambwala, T almada, Antony (just can’t see us getting rid of him)

I think we get £100-120m for player sales and we do a loan for Tobido with a obligation to buy and Ross Barkley in a free so spend ; J Paulinho(55m), J Branthwaite (60m), R Barkley (Free), Todibo (7m loan), M Olise(55m), M Gutierrez (25m), T Almada(23m), V Osimhen(95m)
Total £320m - £120m = £200m

if we did this, then everybody can get on the INEOS bandwagon, Osimhen is available he’s reduced to £95m, he’s rumoured to be a United fan and finally with him and Rasmus we have goals plus we can play 4-1-2-1-2 or 3412 in some games, we need goals and more mobility in midfield plus quicker defenders.
 

AneRu

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I pretty much agree because when I think of replacements those are the names I was thinking of myself.

I like Varane, I was just moving him on because of wages and it seems like he is going but I do think at times this season he has shown his quality and that he is far better than the others. Having his experience around players like the ones you mentioned to help them, guide them and so on could be invaluable. The man has won everything and if he wanted a pay cut and to stay on then I’d be all for that.

Its midfield where I find myself moving towards a more industrious approach, I agree that our issue seems to be the spaces between each area. Defence sits deep, but then we don’t have the legs in midfield to cover that and be on the front foot.

Does feel with the defenders you mentioned we could play a higher line more comfortably, Squeeze space and get turnovers allowing the front 3 to get at people before these teams have a chance to organise and effectively nullify anything.



I just think getting more turnovers higher up the pitch would allow our forwards more quality opportunities preventing teams from having the time to set up Eventually once we have structure then start adding more expansive players in to the mix.

Should add all of those players probably cost way north of 50 mil each. Don’t agree paying 100 mil for someone who is basically Fred. But finding people of those profiles would be what I would like to see.
I like the formation you posted but it looks lopsided and that left side will always be an issue. Remove Neves and replace him with Martinez at LCB, buy another left back albeit with more attacking impetus than the ones we have. A proper 3-4-3 could work and having Olise as a playmaking wide attacker will balance out the creativity issues.

In attack you would have 3 forwards in and around the opponent's goal, Martinez in the libero role stepping into midfield, Mainoo controlling things behind the attackers and the wingbacks providing width from the flanks.

On signings I agree with Braithwaite, Todibo and Onana. We could do with Alvaro Fernandez as a wingback option or cover for Shaw. It's inevitable that Shaw is going to be needed to cover Martinez. Other necessary signings would be a back up DM who can play 6 and 8 so that he'd able to slot in for Onana or Mainoo. If Garnacho comes in as a starter then who is his back up? Diallo can do for Olise, maybe rehabilitate Sancho? Then obviously a back up striker.
 

Wrecking ralf

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Buying Bremer, Branthwaite, Frimpong, Olise, Neves, Martinez over 2 summers massively improves the squad, with the obvious departures. Left back now seems to be a position that needs sorting too. Shaw is getting injury prone and Malacia is a big question mark currently. If Theo Hernandez was attainable then I’m jump all over him. A Neves/Mainoo partnership with Licha/Bremer behind them negate the need for an out and out DM, though we should have one within the squad for certain games and for injury cover. Varela would be ideal given how he’s performing but he’s also not too big a name to need to start every game. Latauro for me is perfect for us to bring in alongside Hojlund. They offer different options but are both decent strikers, 40 goals shouldn’t be a problem between them over a whole season.They could even start games together and compliment each other well I think. Rotis an issue with ETH as we all know but maybe adding more balance to our entire squad, he’d be more inclined to switch certain players around without disturbing his tactics.

So in summary

Bremer
Branthwaite
Frimpong
T Hernandez
Neves
Varela
Olise
L Martinez

I’m not gonna bother guessing transfer fees cause it’s a beat case scenario and all depends on outgoings and how we negotiate with our new transfer committee.
Also I know it’s very FM but I’m not arsed. They’re who I think we need and who I want.
 

M4nu4Life

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Backup left and right full back (Young, with the left back more important as Shaw has 1-2 injuries a year).
2 midfielders that play well with Mainoo, ideally one attacking player maker (at least one young)
Either Greenwood back, or another player who can play as the striker, but also capable of playing other positions. (If he can only play as a striker, then he won't get many games)
Maybe, a young centre back if Maquire and\or Varane leaves
 

Andersons Dietician

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I like the formation you posted but it looks lopsided and that left side will always be an issue. Remove Neves and replace him with Martinez at LCB, buy another left back albeit with more attacking impetus than the ones we have. A proper 3-4-3 could work and having Olise as a playmaking wide attacker will balance out the creativity issues.

In attack you would have 3 forwards in and around the opponent's goal, Martinez in the libero role stepping into midfield, Mainoo controlling things behind the attackers and the wingbacks providing width from the flanks.

On signings I agree with Braithwaite, Todibo and Onana. We could do with Alvaro Fernandez as a wingback option or cover for Shaw. It's inevitable that Shaw is going to be needed to cover Martinez. Other necessary signings would be a back up DM who can play 6 and 8 so that he'd able to slot in for Onana or Mainoo. If Garnacho comes in as a starter then who is his back up? Diallo can do for Olise, maybe rehabilitate Sancho? Then obviously a back up striker.
Technically I imagine it being a 433 just in play Rcb-LCB-LB just shift over to make it more like a 3 at the back and Frimpong just being given freedom to just bomb down the wing.
 

golden_blunder

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Totally agree on principle but Martinez will be fit and starting I can see the usual summer BS where we are linked with everyone but actually only sign 5/6 players not 8/9

I like Frimpong but we will keep Dalot and extend AWB as the left back is far more pressing, hopefully we’ll get the Girona Left back, Gutierrez before he gets bought and recycled by Madrid for £45-55m. Everything you say about turnovers higher up the field are 100% correct however we need a squad of 27/28 just to manage the 60+ games next year if we qualify Europa Leagie and I think we desperately need Luke shaw being challenged and the whole squad starting in the summer not knowing who starts in any positon. I definitely keep Varane if he signs a new 2 year contract on 200k per week and I think we won’t have enough money to buy Onana and Jao Neves that’s £150-160m, never going to happen!
Eriksen will go and Barkley will come in we probably get £10m for Eriksen. I don’t see the J Neves having legs, can’t see the club paying £100m when we could probably do the Following; A Rabiot - Free (250k), J Kimmich 60m(350k), J Paulinho -55m (200k) I think we will want a more experienced player in that position in late 20’s to solidify the spine of the time. We might have a left field South American young signing who is an 8/10 Thiago Almada or Alan varela or maybe someone like the new Croatian wonderkid Martin Barturina or Federico Redondo. Who can play 6, 8 or 10.

I hope next season we can build confidence and really have two players fighting for their place.

First 11
GK- A Onana
RB - D Dalot
RCB - J C Todibo *
LCB - L Martinez
LB - L Shaw

DM - J Pailinho *
CM - K Mainoo
AM - Bruno

RWS - M Olise *
CF - V Osimhen *
LWS - A Garnaucho

Alternative 11
GK- A Bayinder
RB- AWB
RCB- R Varane
LCB - J Branthwaite *
LB - M Gutierrez *

DM - R Barkley *
CM - S Mctominay
AM - M Mount

RWS - S Lacey
CF - R Hojlund
LWS - A Garnaucho

squad -T Heaton H Maguire, W Kambwala, T almada, Antony (just can’t see us getting rid of him)

I think we get £100-120m for player sales and we do a loan for Tobido with a obligation to buy and Ross Barkley in a free so spend ; J Paulinho(55m), J Branthwaite (60m), R Barkley (Free), Todibo (7m loan), M Olise(55m), M Gutierrez (25m), T Almada(23m), V Osimhen(95m)
Total £320m - £120m = £200m

if we did this, then everybody can get on the INEOS bandwagon, Osimhen is available he’s reduced to £95m, he’s rumoured to be a United fan and finally with him and Rasmus we have goals plus we can play 4-1-2-1-2 or 3412 in some games, we need goals and more mobility in midfield plus quicker defenders.
No to osimhen if it means putting Højlund on the bench. This guy is our future
 

Redivy

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1. Rayan Ait-Nouri
2. Ousmane Diomande
3. Oumar Solet
4. Martin Zubimendi
5. Micheal Olise
6. Eric Choupo-Moting


I believe Ait-Nouri is a very good left back who has a lot of untapped potential. He has PL experience, and still young at 22. He has speed, is good on the ball and is good at progressing the ball,

Diomande has a very high ceiling, he is a beast who would help the physical profile of the side. But he has shows signs of being very capable on the ball. He is 20 and currently at Sporting.

Oumar Solet is also a big centre back, and his main strengths are his ball progressions. It is normal to see him carrying the ball forward and looking for a pass. He currently plays for Salzburg and is ready for a bigger club, he is 24 years old and would be a very very good third choice centre back for us.

Zubimendi could be the most important signing the clubs makes in a long time. He would excel sitting next to Mainoo and helping dictate the game. He is very good technically (as are most spanish mids) but also is combative and would be able to help in solidifying our central midfield. He has a 52 million release clause, so we should really try to get this one done.

Michael Olise would be an exciting addition, whilst I have big worries regarding his injury history, I think we could do with a wide playmaker and I think we could get the best out of Olise. He is fun to watch, but still inconsistent, which is to be expected of a young attacker. But being in direct competition with Garnacho could push both players to get better.

Choupo-Moting is just a reliable backup striker who can come in for cups, and at the end of games to relieve Holjund who looks like he will be a big player for us. He would be cheap and those funds can be allocated elsewhere.
 

Invictus

Poster of the Year 2015 & 2018
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Piracy on the High Seas.
It's that time of the year, already?

Using a 3—4—3 template, even though 4—3—3 is the personal favorite, as a lot of prospective Head Coaching candidates (Xabi Alonso (unrealistic, but you never know), Rúben Amorim, Julian Nagelsmann, Simone Inzaghi) seem to have a preference for that base, and we are unaware of Ratcliffe's preferences for United at this moment in time — maybe they will be in alignment, or they will arrive at a satisfactory agreement? There's nothing inherently wrong with the 3—4—3 either, you can play proactive, high-possession and high-press football with positional play underpinnings, and even fluidly transition to 3—2—5 on-the-ball or 4—4—2 off-the-ball. The upcoming summer should be about trimming some of the excess (while complying with the homegrown quota stipulations), taking care of business in surgical fashion, and constructing a Starting XI and, to a lesser degree, squad that is somewhat stable, and suited to executing the principles and tactics that are going to be installed by the Head Coach (so there are some fundamentals to systematically improve upon in subsequent windows); as opposed to deluded objectives like immediately challenging the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal, or arriving at the finished article right off the bat. Build a structure, show a clear commitment to principles and develop automatisms, first and foremost; individual compotents can be progressively replaced.

Outgoings, where do we even begin...
  • Mason Greenwood: £30 million, maybe?
  • Bruno Fernandes: £35 million, maybe?
  • Casemiro: £25 million to a Saudi Pro League club?
  • Marcus Rashford: £50 million, maybe?
  • Facundo Pellistri: £5 million?
  • Hannibal Mejbri: £5 million?
  • Amad Diallo: £5 million?
  • Victor Lindelöf: £5 million?
  • Harry Maguire: £10 million? Any club that is willing to shoulder his wage burden, please and thanks.
  • Antony: £10 million? Any club that is willing to shoulder his wage burden, please and thanks.
  • Tyrell Malacia: £5 million?
  • Donny van de Beek: £5 million? Any club that is willing to shoulder his wage burden, please and thanks.
  • Jadon Sancho: £10 million? Any club that is willing to shoulder his wage burden, please and thanks.
  • Christian Eriksen: £5 million? Any club that is willing to shoulder his wage burden, please and thanks.
Wrong'uns, players who mentalities are a bit suspect, players who might be in terminal decline (so there's a timer on cashing in), players who don't always apply themselves, players who are evidently hard to coach, players who are unlikely to be good fits for the system that is likely to be installed, players who simply aren't good enough with regard to quality — you can't wave a magic wand and get rid of all of your problems at once, but a lot of them need to go (unless we have to temporarily retain cheaper ones to comply with homegrown quotas).

Incomings...
  • Goalkeepers (outlay of £10 million, or thereabouts?): Bring Matěj Kovář back to the club, have him play in cup competitions (which he is currently doing for Bayer Leverkusen), and compete with Onana if the latter suffers another dip in performance. Should not have been sold in the first place. Extend Heaton for a year as he counts as a homegrown player and barely impacts the financials.
  • Central defensive trio (outlay of £90 million, or thereabouts?): Leny Yoro and Jarrad Branthwaite are fairly obvious signings for Manchester United — young, athletically capable and imposing, playing at a decent level already, and potential mainstays in due time (like Saliba and Gabriel for Arsenal). Ousmane Diomande fits that profile too, so could be an alternative. With the addition of the aforementioned duo, we will have a core of Lisandro Martínez, Raphaël Varane, Luke Shaw, Leny Yoro, Jarrad Branthwaite and Jonny Evans, which is good enough for next season.
  • Wingbacks (outlay of £70 million, or thereabouts?): Rayan Aït-Nouri is 22 years old, good at progressing the ball and experienced in the Premier League (more of a dribbler, relatively, as that flank need it). Yan Couto is 21 years old, and also good at progressing the ball (more of a passer, relatively, as that flank need it), but this signing will hinge on Manchester City's willingness to selling him.
  • Midfield double pivot (outlay of £90 million, or thereabouts?): pay Leeds what they want for Archie Gray, he seems to have the lot as a midfield prospect. But, he shouldn't be expected to start straightaway. We need to be careful with the development of young players, which includes Mainoo (who could rotate with Gray, his long term pivot partner (hopefully!)) and Garnacho. Exequiel Palacios (experienced in 3—4—3) also comes across as an obvious target given his high volume passing ability, perhaps even Alan Varela — one of those two would do nicely. Maybe scoop up Ayyoub Bouaddi as well — and loan back to Lille (or Nice, in the same league?) Potentially a really good pivot player. Signing Jorginho on a free transfer could be an astute short-term move as well — he can still pay a role, is experienced in big matches, and played some of his best football in a 3—4—3. With the addition of those players, we will have a core of Kobbie Mainoo, Archie Gray, Exequiel Palacios or Alan Varela, and Jorginho, which should be good enough for next season.
  • Non-striker attackers (outlay of £90 million, or thereabouts?): like Jorginho, Mason Mount played his best football in a 3—4—3. Did not want him at United to begin with, but when life gives you lemons, make lemonade? Alejandro Garnacho is a shoe-in. Anther year, another Florian Wirtz transfer. Which has always been a good idea, doubly so to bolster an attack that will be losing Fernandes and Rashford; and he's another player with experience in 3—4—3 schemes. Not the fastest but a technically superb, press resistant, ball carriying playmaker who will constantly link midfield with the forwards. This department is a little light on numbers, but again, there's only so much you can do in one window.
  • Striker: Rasmus Højlund must be the starter, he has shown enough in terms of present-day performance as well as ceiling. Mehdi Taremi as a short-term free transfer backup. Dunno, couldn't think of any other Bosman options. Stick McTominay up front, as a last resort.
  • On a broader note, we should slowly seek to integrate the likes of Shea Lacey, Harry Amass, Jack Fletcher, Ethan Williams and others who show promise. 18 is the age where a lot of talents start making positive contributions at First Team level (like Garnacho and Mainoo for us, Saka for Arsenal, and so on). Williams is already 18, the other lads are 17 — so not that far away, might even get sporadic opportunities by the closing stages of next season.
Substantially lower wage bill, and a net transfer outlay of something like £150 million (which would be amortized, of course). Should be doable, yes?



* Homegrown players.
** Will satisfy the quota when they turn 21 years old, so another year for Garnacho, 2 years for Mainoo, 3 years for Gray, and so forth.

Priorities for the 2025 window: offensive upgradation and baseline improvement might be the biggest, as and where applicale (especially the striker position, as Taremi will only be a stop-gap solution). Central defensive (particularly wrt. moving on from Varane, Evans, maybe even Saw) and central midfield cover (Jorginho) would be considerations, too. Maybe goalkeeper, depending on how things shake out with Onana and Kovář. The 2024 summer window will only be the first step of what is likely to be a long and drawn out process.
 

Woziak

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Because 442 with 2 proper center forwards doesn't work in modern day football...
So why are Leverkusen and inter dominating their domestic leagues
One plays 3412 and the 352 but yep twin strikers don’t work. It’s fair to say that Real Madrid are playing 4312 as well with J Bellingham as a false 9/10 and Vincinius and Rodrygo more narrow than previous seasons.

Part of being a great coach is to be flexible we don’t have to play 433 every game especially when it’s more like a 4-1-4-1 and the most negative brand of football available?
 

bosnian_red

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So why are Leverkusen and inter dominating their domestic leagues
One plays 3412 and the 352 but yep twin strikers don’t work. It’s fair to say that Real Madrid are playing 4312 as well with J Bellingham as a false 9/10 and Vincinius and Rodrygo more narrow than previous seasons.

Part of being a great coach is to be flexible we don’t have to play 433 every game especially when it’s more like a 4-1-4-1 and the most negative brand of football available?
Leverkusen don't play with two strikers. They have just 1 central forward, Wirtz and someone else floating off them, and then wing backs bombing forward. Inter does it differently yes. They're an exception, we also have to aim much higher than Inter's level.

Real Madrid have a false 9 with inverted wingers basically, just players roaming... Hojlund and Osimhen are both classic #9's. You can't have 2 players for the same role like that.

Yes coaches need to be flexible. But you need to hit the balance and have all the basic roles ticked, one way or another. You also need to ask, what are our building blocks? The building blocks for our team are Hojlund, Garnacho and Mainoo. Every signing we make should be to build around them, to compliment them, and get a balanced team. It's really not that hard to build well. It's just a need to not get distracted by shiny toys and to stick with a plan that makes sense and making sure every signing has a clear purpose within that plan. You don't sign a player who is unsuited to your system and the players you have, or ask them to play a role they've never done. It's just dumb to do
 

The-Mezzala

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Ins

Todibo
Branthwaite
Olise or Neto
New Striker
Redondo or Thuram

Outs

Antony
Beek
Martial
Lindelof
Maguire
Sancho
Eriksen
 
Last edited:

Woziak

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Leverkusen don't play with two strikers. They have just 1 central forward, Wirtz and someone else floating off them, and then wing backs bombing forward. Inter does it differently yes. They're an exception, we also have to aim much higher than Inter's level.

Real Madrid have a false 9 with inverted wingers basically, just players roaming... Hojlund and Osimhen are both classic #9's. You can't have 2 players for the same role like that.

Yes coaches need to be flexible. But you need to hit the balance and have all the basic roles ticked, one way or another. You also need to ask, what are our building blocks? The building blocks for our team are Hojlund, Garnacho and Mainoo. Every signing we make should be to build around them, to compliment them, and get a balanced team. It's really not that hard to build well. It's just a need to not get distracted by shiny toys and to stick with a plan that makes sense and making sure every signing has a clear purpose within that plan. You don't sign a player who is unsuited to your system and the players you have, or ask them to play a role they've never done. It's just dumb to do
Do you really think if United can sign Victor Osimhen and he wants to come that most fans won’t be excited by that signing because it may upset Rasmus Hojlund ?

Rasmus is still a kid learning his trade, his body can’t cope with 45 games a season yet let alone 65 and he’s quite happy paying inverted right in a narrow three if we really want to bully teams, UNITED need GOALS not 1.3 goals per game but an average of 2 goals per game that means we need to find another 20-30 PL goals every season just to be in the current top 5, look at spurs without Kaine and Villa this season, they’ve scored 20 PL goals more than us.
 

bosnian_red

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Do you really think if United can sign Victor Osimhen and he wants to come that most fans won’t be excited by that signing because it may upset Rasmus Hojlund ?

Rasmus is still a kid learning his trade, his body can’t cope with 45 games a season yet let alone 65 and he’s quite happy paying inverted right in a narrow three if we really want to bully teams, UNITED need GOALS not 1.3 goals per game but an average of 2 goals per game that means we need to find another 20-30 PL goals every season just to be in the current top 5, look at spurs without Kaine and Villa this season, they’ve scored 20 PL goals more than us.
Don't give a feck about what fans get excited by, most fans are quite dumb when it comes to that stuff :lol: If our new owners are going to plan transfer windows based on appeasing fans then we'd be in big trouble.

United can't sign Osimhen so it's a pointless conversation anyway.
 

golden_blunder

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We won’t be signing targets like Osimhen. SJR said that we’re not going to spend money frivolously. I think the days of us spending 100m on one player are gone
 

Invictus

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We won’t be signing targets like Osimhen. SJR said that we’re not going to spend money frivolously. I think the days of us spending 100m on one player are gone
To be fair, there's a difference between spending big (presumably, on special players who will add an extra dimension to the team with their individual quality) and spending frivolously. The underperformance of Pogba, Maguire, Antony, Sancho calls for self-reflection, no doubt about that — but summarily giving up on all £70-100 million rated players, instead of addressing underlying issues, would be a short-sighted approach. What we really need need to do is implement a framework that rigorously assesses the players in this price bracket (to minimize the chance of costly underperformance, or worse yet, abject failure): are they good enough with regard to technical qualities, press-resistance, work rate and athleticism (data analysis goes a long way here), do they have the right age profile, mentality and appropriate drive/self-confidence, are they in line with the club's principles, are they what we really need or would the money be better spent elsewhere (Osimhen clearly doesn't qualify when we have a massively talented No. 9 in Højlund), are they appropriate fits for high-possession and high-press systems (which we should seek to implement), and things of that nature...

For reference, Gary Pallister's transfer fee was 16% of Manchester United's revenues in 1989, Roy Keane's transfer fee was 15% of Manchester United's revenues in 1993, Rio Ferdinand's transfer fee was 20% of Manchester United's revenues in 2002, and so forth. A £100 million signing would be between 12-15% of Manchester United's recent revenues, so it's not a massive departure from historical norms — this club has always spent big, Bryan Robson alone would be the equivalent of a £200 million transfer if you consider the club's revenues now!
 

golden_blunder

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To be fair, there's a difference between spending big (presumably, on special players who will add an extra dimension to the team with their individual quality) and spending frivolously. The underperformance of Pogba, Maguire, Antony, Sancho calls for self-reflection, no doubt about that — but summarily giving up on all £70-100 million rated players, instead of addressing underlying issues, would be a short-sighted approach. What we really need need to do is implement a framework that rigorously assesses the players in this price bracket (to minimize the chance of costly underperformance, or worse yet, abject failure): are they good enough with regard to technical qualities, press-resistance, work rate and athleticism (data analysis goes a long way here), do they have the right age profile, mentality and appropriate drive/self-confidence, are they in line with the club's principles, are they what we really need or would the money be better spent elsewhere (Osimhen clearly doesn't qualify when we have a massively talented No. 9 in Højlund), are they appropriate fits for high-possession and high-press systems (which we should seek to implement), and things of that nature...

For reference, Gary Pallister's transfer fee was 16% of Manchester United's revenues in 1989, Roy Keane's transfer fee was 15% of Manchester United's revenues in 1993, Rio Ferdinand's transfer fee was 20% of Manchester United's revenues in 2002, and so forth. A £100 million signing would be between 12-15% of Manchester United's recent revenues, so it's not a massive departure from historical norms — this club has always spent big, Bryan Robson alone would be the equivalent of a £200 million transfer if you consider the club's revenues now!
In the longer term you’re probably correct but I think we will see one or 2 seasons of buying solid building blocks but ones that are cheaper with high potential before supplementing that in year 3. That’s how I see it anyway
 

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In the longer term you’re probably correct but I think we will see one or 2 seasons of buying solid building blocks but ones that are cheaper with high potential before supplementing that in year 3. That’s how I see it anyway
For what it's worth, that sounds completely reasonable and prudent, can see where you are coming from. Get the fundamentals right, first and foremost, improve the baseline quality of the team with sensible, value-for-money signings, and subsequently, once you have a sturdy and sustainable platform, add a sprinkling of “Galácticos” to, hopefully, push the envelope and challenge on all fronts. Sounds like a plan!

That being said, there's more than one way to skin a cat; within 18 months of ownership, Silvio Berlusconi had already sanctioned the transfers of expensive players like Marco van Basten, Roberto Donadoni, Ruud Gullit, Stefano Borgonovo (on top of Daniele Massaro, Carlo Ancelotti, Angelo Colombo and so forth) — he didn't wait around, and the rest is history, as that Milan team cemented itself as one of the All-Time greats.

If there's a chance for United to procure genuine difference-makers (for example, a playmaker who could approximate the impact of De Bruyne at Manchester City or a centerback who could hypothetically be as transformative as van Dijk at Liverpool), we should absolutely pounce, instead of following some arbitrary timeline, as opportunities like that don't come around too often, and given our recent record, they might even end up playing for our biggest rivals (which would be doubly infuriating)! :lol: