What do we still need? Aka The never ending story

Isotope

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Agreed that big purchase is long gone. We have so many positions to fill out, and then there's FPP restriction.
 

daba

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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!
Good post. I agree we should not completely distance ourselves from those signings if there is a player out there that has all the attributes you mention and in an area of need for the 1st XI. Players I think that are semi-realistic and in those brackets for this summer would be - Joao Neves, Tchouameni, Rodrygo (if Rashford is sold).

I do however think we could have a lot of gaps to fill in the squad if we do have a clearout, especially as our biggest issue this year has been depth and the sizeable drop off from our starting XI. So a mix of smart value buys in the £25-50m range (of which there seems to be quite a few great options this summer) paired with a more marquee signing to take us up a level makes sense to me.
 

Insanity

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Good post. I agree we should not completely distance ourselves from those signings if there is a player out there that has all the attributes you mention and in an area of need for the 1st XI. Players I think that are semi-realistic and in those brackets for this summer would be - Joao Neves, Tchouameni, Rodrygo (if Rashford is sold).

I do however think we could have a lot of gaps to fill in the squad if we do have a clearout, especially as our biggest issue this year has been depth and the sizeable drop off from our starting XI. So a mix of smart value buys in the £25-50m range (of which there seems to be quite a few great options this summer) paired with a more marquee signing to take us up a level makes sense to me.
It does make a lot of sense because we need to strengthen multiple positions, not just one or two. Saying player X cost Y amount and was Z% of the total revenue in the past, so it's okay to buy similarly ignores the fact that in the past our buying in those windows was mainly restricted to that marquee player. The overall spend in the window wasn't a lot more than Z% of the total revenue spent. However, in the next couple of windows we'd need to buy at the minimum 4-5 players per window. So, if we spend a huge chunk on a single player, it'll restrict our ability to buy and strengthen with good potential talents (For the ranges you mention) for the other positions. One £100m purchase plus four £30m-£50m purchases may be unfeasible given the financial constraints and restrictions.
 

Invictus

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It does make a lot of sense because we need to strengthen multiple positions, not just one or two. Saying player X cost Y amount and was Z% of the total revenue in the past, so it's okay to buy similarly ignores the fact that in the past our buying in those windows was mainly restricted to that marquee player. The overall spend in the window wasn't a lot more than Z% of the total revenue spent. However, in the next couple of windows we'd need to buy at the minimum 4-5 players per window. So, if we spend a huge chunk on a single player, it'll restrict our ability to buy and strengthen with good potential talents (For the ranges you mention) for the other positions. One £100m purchase plus four £30m-£50m purchases may be unfeasible given the financial constraints and restrictions.
Not really. The year Manchester United signed Bryan Robson (for example), the club also signed the likes of Frank Stapleton, Paul McGrath, Remi Moses. The year Manchester United signed Gary Pallister (another example), the club also signed the likes of Paul Ince, Mike Phelan, Neil Webb. It's far from some sort of zero-sum game where you foolhardily exhaust all resources on a certain individual, and it's perfectly possible for the club to maximize its budget, and procure a Galáctico (or a Galáctico-in-the-making) who is likely to make a genuine difference, on top a few players who won't cost as much — as long as we offload certain players to improve the balance sheets (and overall financial health of the instutition), and employ clever accounting tricks. Orthodox measures like austerity are oftentimes counterproductive in the sporting realm (much like in the “real world”), and might needlessly throttle the possibly rampant evolution of the project.

For example, Florian Wirtz might cost £90 million or thereabouts, but his wages will be much lower than Bruno Fernandes' (which are in the £13 million per year range), and the latter could be sold for a decent amount of money too — all things considered it's unlikely to be a prohibitively expensive acquisition, and the player is only going to turn 21 in a few months (so he would represent a better investment than someone who seems to be visibly declining and unlikely to be a centerpiece of medium-term projections). Press-resistant, a good ball carrier as well as a good passer, seems sharp from a tactical perspective, one of the organizational reference points of his team already, 10 goals (no penalties) and 17 assists for Bayer Leverkusen this term, 3 x Bundesliga Player of the Month over the course of the ongoing campaign, and would go nicely with the exciting trio of Højlund, Mainoo and Garnacho.

 

croadyman

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Agreed that big purchase is long gone. We have so many positions to fill out, and then there's FPP restriction.
Yeah ideally we need to sign six players this summer which are

LB
RCB
CDM
CM
RW
ST (backup)

Personally I think the chances of this happening are zero,even if we manage to actually SELL players not loan them. Could be argued that we also need a backup RB and backup LCB as well which is wild.
 
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AneRu

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It does make a lot of sense because we need to strengthen multiple positions, not just one or two. Saying player X cost Y amount and was Z% of the total revenue in the past, so it's okay to buy similarly ignores the fact that in the past our buying in those windows was mainly restricted to that marquee player. The overall spend in the window wasn't a lot more than Z% of the total revenue spent. However, in the next couple of windows we'd need to buy at the minimum 4-5 players per window. So, if we spend a huge chunk on a single player, it'll restrict our ability to buy and strengthen with good potential talents (For the ranges you mention) for the other positions. One £100m purchase plus four £30m-£50m purchases may be unfeasible given the financial constraints and restrictions.
Agree with this, even though I see where @Invictus is coming from. We should be smarter with our money and where possible try and see if some players can be recovable or can grow organically, in a period of zero expectations we could take a risk on seeing how far a Jack Fletcher could go coming in as rotation for Bruno, we could also see if Sancho is salvageable under a different coach because let's be real unless he goes to the Saudi nobody is paying us anything worthwhile to sell him in Europe.

This summer should be the one where draw the line in the sand and bin off anyone who is not physically, mentally and technically fit for a place in our squad. That means we call time on the likes of Lindelof, McTominay, Casemiro, Maguire and VDB. Then we should, if we find buyers, sell Rashford and Sancho.

The effect of this is that we would need something like 6 signings - a couple of CBs, LB in defense, a DM, back up DM and CM in midfield and a striker and winger in attack. That's like 8 signings so to reduce the burden and the risk of doing too much too soon we might end up having to keep Varane on reduced terms and therefore sign one CB and also promote Kambwala more permanently. We could also sign someone like Zubimendi and promote Dan Gore.

If we are not decisive this summer we will continue to have this boom-bust cycles because we are depending on mentally weak players. For all his achievements Rashford shouldnt he the leader of our attack, he might come back next season unplayable and then revert to type the following one when we are banking on him to drive us higher.
 

friendlytramp

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Onana
RB/CB/Martinez/Shaw
CM
Mainoo/Bruno
RW/Hojlund/Garnacho

GK, Varane, Evans, LB, Dalot, Mount, McTominay, CF, LW/RW

Sell Bayindir, Wan Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Casemiro, Rashford, Martial, Sancho, Diallo, Antony
 

Red_Orchestra

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I think Take Kubo would make the most sense for us because he is highly versatile, can play in many positions. €60m release clause is fine business.
 

RyRy11

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Realistically, for the first team we need:

RCB - Ball playing, strong, good recovery pace
DM - Press resistant, calm, ball recycler

Rotation players that can be relied upon if there are injuries so the drop in quality isn't massive:
LB
LCB
CM
RW
ST

Other signings depend on who is kept. When you look at our squad long term, we need to get better at signing players to replace those that will regress 2-3 years down the line.

Lindelof, Maguire, Varane, Evans, Eriksen, Casemiro, Bruno will all be in their 30s by September this year so we need to proactively look into replacing at least 3 of those 7 in the upcoming windows on top of buying players for the first team.
 

Havak

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It's going to be incredibly difficult for us to do everything we want. If we do sell Greenwood though, that could go a long way in terms of evening out the spend (also the new rules coming in could change what we're able to accomplish).

So many uncertainties...

How much can we get for Sancho (not just the fee but how much of it can be considered profit for financial rules)?
How much can we get for Greenwood?
How much can we get for Donny?
How much wages can we save by not renewing Martial, Varane, Amrabat, Evans?
Do we sell Maguire or Antony as rumoured?
Can we get more more now for some of the youth players that we loaned out, if we sell them? (Feels like we sold stupidly low compared to other teams for our academy products)

I also heard rumours of Eriksen not staying, but he has a year left on on his contract so I'd imagine he does? I don't know if any team would buy him rather than wait and pay a lower sign on fee + less wages overall.

Regardless, I think we need a CB, a midfield player that is probably more of a CDM, a striker and a wide player. That's what we need most urgently and I'd be content if that was all we did. Hoping we can find some gems in the £30-50m range.
 

Njord

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2 GK:
Onana, Bayindir

8 Defenders:
Dalot, AWB, Silva, Martinez, Maguire, Lindelöf, Shaw, Malacia

6 Midfielders:
Mainoo, Varela, Neves, McTominay, Bruno, Mount

6 Attackers:
Amad, Antony, Höjlund, Tel, Garnacho, Rashford

In: Silva, Varela, Neves, Tel

Out: Varane, Casemiro, van de Beek, Mejbri, Pellistri, Sancho, Greenwood, Martial

Should probably get away with less than £200M net spend, and save a lot of wages.
 

Todd

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Onana
RB/CB/Martinez/Shaw
CM
Mainoo/Bruno
RW/Hojlund/Garnacho

GK, Varane, Evans, LB, Dalot, Mount, McTominay, CF, LW/RW

Sell Bayindir, Wan Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Casemiro, Rashford, Martial, Sancho, Diallo, Antony
Wanting to keep Evans ahead of Lindelof or Maguire is difficult to understand. Evans is too old and too slow to be an EPL defender anymore.
 

aeh1991

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2 GK:
Onana, Bayindir

8 Defenders:
Dalot, AWB, Silva, Martinez, Maguire, Lindelöf, Shaw, Malacia

6 Midfielders:
Mainoo, Varela, Neves, McTominay, Bruno, Mount

6 Attackers:
Amad, Antony, Höjlund, Tel, Garnacho, Rashford

In: Silva, Varela, Neves, Tel

Out: Varane, Casemiro, van de Beek, Mejbri, Pellistri, Sancho, Greenwood, Martial

Should probably get away with less than £200M net spend, and save a lot of wages.
Tel won't leave Bayern. He just recently extended.
 

Njord

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Tel won't leave Bayern. He just recently extended.
OK, I saw some links, but didn't know he extended.

Regardless think that is the type of forward we should target, someone who can play both centrally and on the wing.

If we sign a pure striker, such as Toney, and both him and Höjlund are in great form, it will be annoying that we can't play them together.
 

daba

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2 GK:
Onana, Bayindir

8 Defenders:
Dalot, AWB, Silva, Martinez, Maguire, Lindelöf, Shaw, Malacia

6 Midfielders:
Mainoo, Varela, Neves, McTominay, Bruno, Mount

6 Attackers:
Amad, Antony, Höjlund, Tel, Garnacho, Rashford

In: Silva, Varela, Neves, Tel

Out: Varane, Casemiro, van de Beek, Mejbri, Pellistri, Sancho, Greenwood, Martial

Should probably get away with less than £200M net spend, and save a lot of wages.
I think one of the main reasons we are struggling to play the dominating football that Arsenal, Liverpool etc play is due to our defence.

Personally as good a player as Antonio Silva is, I think the +£80m that he would cost should be spent on two CBs (or a CB and a LB with Shaw doing more at LCB) that can cover ground effectively. Varane was an expert at this but has lost some pace, and not even Martinez can do this effectively - Maguire, Lindelof and Evans as we know cannot either.

Players like Todibo, Lucumi, Simakan, Bremer (although nothing special on the ball), Diomande (might cost similar to Silva) should be prioritised.

Personally I’d go get Todibo and Lucumi for the same price as Silva and extend Varane and Evans for one more season. Loan out Kambwala who can then come in for Varane next season with more experience under his belt.

Varela and Neves are nice shouts in midfield. I’d swap out Tel (who has extended) and bring in Zirkzee who can be a nice alternative to Højlund.
 

jesperjaap

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In

Anderson £45m
Patrick DOrgu £25m
Diomonde £68m
Alan Varela £60m
Neves £100m
Eze £55m
Antonio Nusa £35m
Wissam Ben Yedder Free

£388m

Out
Lindelof £20m
Maguire £15m
Dalot £30m
Fernandes £70m
Casemeiro £30m
Eriksen Free
VDB £5m
Pellestri £10m
Hannibal £10m
Martial Free
Rashford £80m
Sancho £40m
Greenwood £40m

£350m - Net spend £38m

1st Eleven
Onana
Anderson
Diomonde
Martinez (captain)
Dorgu
Neves
Mainoo
Eze
Nusa
Garnacho
Hoijlund

2nd Eleven
Bayindir
Bissaka
Varane
Shaw
Malacia
Alan Varela
McTominay
Mount
Amad
Antony
Ben Yedder

Heaton, Kambwala and three youngsters to make up the squad

Of course Rashford and Fernandes arent going anywhere, but can still do most of the above taking away Eze as a purchase and selling Antony for something more like a £100m net spend, also dont think Dalot is going anywhere either though I still dont rate him at all personally despite some good performances recently, so maybe the other six signings, less sales for a more realistic net spend of around £120m, but personally though I would be starting Shaw at left back I love the look of the first eleven.

The dream signing of course would be Viniscus Junior
 

OwlvsFox

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This is what I am sure we will aim for:

1) 1 Defender (Fast, Athletic, Young but someone who will start and allows us to push defense forward)
2) 2 Midfielders (1 Defensive young fast and athletic Midfielder who can protect the back 4 alone when needed, and one Ball playing attacking MF together with Mainoo ). Eriksen will leave, Casemiro isn't the solution long term and I think its time to cash on Bruno while we still can.
3) A striker especially if we will not get MG back. We can't rely on one striker only.
4) LB is a position we need to fill as well.

Thats total 5 players at minimum we need to be competitive not champions. And I feel even this will be a challenge given FFP constraints unless we sell MG for a decent sum together with other potential outgoings that help FFP.

I don't think we can afford a complete turnover...It will take 2-3 seasons to sort things out.
 

daba

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2 strong summers and I think we can be back to there or there abouts with Arsenal, City, Liverpool. To do that I think this summer needs a shake up - big contracts off the books, cash in on contracts expiring in a year, get rid of the bad apples, sell off the not-guna-make-its:

Out: Casemiro, Martial, Sancho, Greenwood, AWB, Lindelof, Pellistri, Hannibal, Eriksen, Maguire

In: Todibo, Scalvini, Doughty (free), Frimpong, Varela, Guido Rodriguez (free), Bardghji, Zirkzee

With the freebies, probably looking at a net spend of only £75m. Todibo and Scalvini can inject some pace and technical ability at the back to play a high line for ETH’s system. Doughty and Frimpong can give us proper strength and depth on the wingback positions. Varela can be the DLP 6 we’ve been craving for years and Guido who has been a stalwart in a consistently strong Betis side can replace Casemiro as the old school ball winner for 2-3 years. Bardghji looks a real prospect (Hazard type forward) who I don’t want to miss out on and Zirkzee can provide an alternative to Hojlund and probably back-up the wings too in the right system.

With this we have a very solid squad with pretty much all the glaring gaps filled this summer.

In 2025, with the squad in a better place we can go all out for Joao Neves (tap him up this summer in prep), sign a top top CB prospect to replace Varane leaving on a free (Jorrel Hato from Ajax is my pick), and snap up Arda Guler from Madrid on a Odegaard-esque loan/cut price deal when he inevitably gets frustrated at his playing time. He can be the Bruno long-term successor. Sell McTominay, Antony and Bruno to fund a large portion of this.

Bosh.
 

Chaky_Best

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With the FFP we will not be able to invest in mass this summer. And to be honest, when fit, we may have a relatively good squad so I would do 3/4 adjustements without touching massively the squad for now.

I am explaining now, that I won't sell the likes of Shaw, Casemiro and Rashford, because we will not have much to spend (150M-200M) and we need to upgrade in quality our bench. Also, for Casemiro, if he's injured again and again, we know that Mainoo can fill the position, so I'd rather focus on another midfielder than replacing him. Same for Shaw, as we won't find a 30M player that will be as good as Shaw when fit.

To be honest, after the Euros, I'd as Erik to be more careful with some players and rotate much more (especially if we go to EL)

-----------------------------------------------------------Onana-------------------------------------------------------------
Dalot---------------------------------Branthwaite------------Martinez-----------------------------------Shaw
-----------------------------------------Casemiro----------------Mainoo---------------------------------------------
Garnacho----------------------------------------------Bruno----------------------------------------------Rashford
------------------------------------------------------------Hojlund-----------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------Morris------------------------------------------------------------
Amad---------------------------------------------------Mount------------------------------------------Greenwood
----------------------------------------------Rabiot----------------Mc Tominay---------------------------------------
Doughty------------------------------Evans---------------------Lindelof------------------------Wan Bissaka
-------------------------------------------------------------Grbic--------------------------------------------------------------

In : 115M€

Branthwaite : 65M
Morris : 20M
Doughty : 20M
Rabiot : free
Grbic : 10M

Out : 100M €

Bayindir ==> 5M
Maguire ==> 30M
Malacia ==> Loan
Varane ==> Release
Brandon Williams ==> Loan
Alvaro Fernandez ==> Loan
Amrabat ==> Release
Eriksen ==> 10M
Pellistri ==> 10M
Van De Beek ==> 5M
Hannibal ==> 5M
Martial ==> Release
Sancho ==> 35M
Shoretire ==> 3M
 

Redivy

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We really need better athletes in the squad. Obviously, their ability on the ball is first priority but we need a commanding centre back and a midfielder with a third lung.
 

Paul778

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Could do a lot worse than this to be fair.
Didn't Rabiots mum want silly money last time?

Need to move away from working on single targets per position. We should be puchase funnelling the crap out of this. We let it be known we're only tracking one target we get taken to the cleaners by their agent and the selling club.

Whittle it down to five targets per position and actively approach each of them. Deal from a position of strength not weakness.
 

Don_Johan14

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LB - Sergi Cardona (24) - Free
CM - Ndidi (free) - G.Rodriguez (free) - N.Gonzalez 30M
RW - Kubo 60M - D.Rodriguez (free) Barcelona B
 

daba

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Rabiot also wouldn't come to be backup to Mainoo and would want one of the highest salaries.
He’s earning the same as Eriksen is right now (£150k) so I don’t think he’s going to suddenly demand £300k, maybe £175-200k which I think is okay.

Rabiot would be a great option who can play in the Mainoo 8 role but also a bit deeper alongside him if needed. I think we should also be very careful with Mainoo’s minutes so if we can pitch it to Rabiot that he will get a good amount of minutes then he could be persuaded I think.

He’s not my first choice but I think he’s an option worth considering.
 

BenitoSTARR

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Didn't Rabiots mum want silly money last time?

Need to move away from working on single targets per position. We should be puchase funnelling the crap out of this. We let it be known we're only tracking one target we get taken to the cleaners by their agent and the selling club.

Whittle it down to five targets per position and actively approach each of them. Deal from a position of strength not weakness.
Not sure. But on a free with no fee beyond wages etc it would be a sensible player. Good mix of physical and technical skills we are lacking.

I don’t think the suggestion of someone like Rabiot is mutually exclusive with having multiple options for positions.

I liked the above posters list because of the profile:

ST: Pressing and flexible forward (1 year left on contract)
CM/DM: Excellent physical defensive midfielder capable of covering large spaces with good technical level
CM: Excellent technical and physical level with experience across midfield (low fee)
RW: Playmaker, excellent technical level
LB: …

Although glaring hole here is physically capable, large space covering and technically sound CB.

Id rather one of those than a RW or 2nd CM.
 

Roboc7

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Left back has become a big problem, Maatsen will be for sale but maybe a cheaper option like Brown or someone similar is maybe more realistic.

We need at least one centre back, may well have to make do with just one like Branthwaite this summer though. Need at least two midfielders and a centre forward like Zirkzee as well.

5/6 players needed to start the rebuild, maybe a couple of young players who go out on loan as well as I think INEOS will want a pool of talent developing for further down the line. Doesn’t fill all the gaps but it’s a start and desperately needed, will be tough going to accomplish that much in one window without a proper structure in place though.
 

NoPace

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Bare minimum I think is 5 signings.

I'm seeing this coming year as the 2nd rebuilding year, with this year really being the first as Mainoo, Hojlund, Onana and Dalot have joined Garnacho and Lisandro as building blocks going forward. It's not enough signings, as everyone needs to stay healthy which never happens, but can't sign 8 guys in one summer:

------------------------------------Hojlund(Striker)----------------------------------------------
Rashford(Garnacho)--------------------------Garnacho(Amad, Antony)
----------------Bruno(Mount)--------Mainoo(#8/6)----------------------------------
-----------------------------------DM(Mainoo)-------------------------------------------
Shaw(LCB/LB)-----Licha(LCB/LB)-----RCB(Maguire)-----Dalot(AWB)
-----------------------------------Onana(Bayindir)------------------------------------------

That's 22 guys, then McTominay probably sticks around as a 7th midfielder who gets a bunch of bench appearances, another attacker (Forson or Pellistri presumably) and Jonny Evans as a 5th CB and a 5th FB which is I guess Malacia unless Amass is ready to be promoted this early.

Then in the summer of 2025 we move on from McTominay and AWB and replace them with guys who can pass, probably sign a starting RW as our big purchase.

So:

Big money, first choice starters now and for the next 5+ years:
DM
RCB

Medium money, should be 2nd choice, nice if we can get guys with release clauses here too, or even a free in one of the spots :
LCB/LB
Striker
#8/6
 

Paul778

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Got to assume McT goes if a fee above 30m is offered. Academy player so the FFP value of him is huge.
 

amolbhatia50k

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I’d focus first and foremost on:
- A quick CB who can keep the ball and allow us to play a high line. Doesn’t need to be Martinez level on the ball but compliment him.
- Central midfielder who can keep the ball but also provide serious physicality and engine to compliment Mainoo. Crucial signing.
- CF to compete with Hojlund - I wouldn’t over spend here

Beyond that I also think we need the following but it depends on our funds and sales:
- A left back to eventually replace Shaw / Malacia but we have to assess their fitness for next season. If we have confidence in them then we can do without it.
- A second CM signing who can offer us the things Mainoo does - press resistance, playmaking, ball carries etc Ideally this player would replace Bruno in the long run and have the close control to help us dominate. Again, this really depends on what we make of Mount and Bruno over the next few years. Would prefer someone in the Odegaard mould.
- Onana replacement - he’s improved but I’m not convinced he’s good enough. Wait and watch on this one.
- Right winger - Amad and Garnacho are fine but kids really. Depending on how they do till the summer we should consider bringing in a high quality RW who we can rely on. Despite the potential of some of our attackers we score too few goals.
 

amolbhatia50k

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Could do a lot worse than this to be fair.
Has Olise really kicked on this season to become a real match winner ? Based on what I’ve seen he’s another who likes to slow things down and pop passes about and relies on a lot of movement. With Garnacho doing well there but him and Amad being kids, if we’re signing a right winger I think it needs to someone more explosive (as these two aren’t). Obviously we aren’t signing the brilliant Yamal but we need someone with that sort of electricity on the right imo. Is Bilbao’s Williams a RW or LW?
 

daba

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Bare minimum I think is 5 signings.

I'm seeing this coming year as the 2nd rebuilding year, with this year really being the first as Mainoo, Hojlund, Onana and Dalot have joined Garnacho and Lisandro as building blocks going forward. It's not enough signings, as everyone needs to stay healthy which never happens, but can't sign 8 guys in one summer:

------------------------------------Hojlund(Striker)----------------------------------------------
Rashford(Garnacho)--------------------------Garnacho(Amad, Antony)
----------------Bruno(Mount)--------Mainoo(#8/6)----------------------------------
-----------------------------------DM(Mainoo)-------------------------------------------
Shaw(LCB/LB)-----Licha(LCB/LB)-----RCB(Maguire)-----Dalot(AWB)
-----------------------------------Onana(Bayindir)------------------------------------------

That's 22 guys, then McTominay probably sticks around as a 7th midfielder who gets a bunch of bench appearances, another attacker (Forson or Pellistri presumably) and Jonny Evans as a 5th CB and a 5th FB which is I guess Malacia unless Amass is ready to be promoted this early.

Then in the summer of 2025 we move on from McTominay and AWB and replace them with guys who can pass, probably sign a starting RW as our big purchase.

So:

Big money, first choice starters now and for the next 5+ years:
DM
RCB

Medium money, should be 2nd choice, nice if we can get guys with release clauses here too, or even a free in one of the spots :
LCB/LB
Striker
#8/6
Don’t think you are far off here at all in terms of the key priorities where we need to spend big and then the areas we can afford to look for value.

DM - Varela (50m)
RCB - Todibo (45m)
ST - Zirkzee (35m)
8/6 - Rabiot (free)
LB - Doughty (free)

If possible I’d also look at bolstering RB and CB too with Frimpong (35m) and Adarabioyo (free) given it’s very possible AWB leaves and at least 2 of Varane, Maguire, Evans and Lindelof leave too.

Big summer ahead.
 

BenitoSTARR

One Minute Man
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Joined
Sep 1, 2015
Messages
13,960
Has Olise really kicked on this season to become a real match winner ? Based on what I’ve seen he’s another who likes to slow things down and pop passes about and relies on a lot of movement. With Garnacho doing well there but him and Amad being kids, if we’re signing a right winger I think it needs to someone more explosive (as these two aren’t). Obviously we aren’t signing the brilliant Yamal but we need someone with that sort of electricity on the right imo. Is Bilbao’s Williams a RW or LW?
I’m not the biggest fan of Olise because of his injuries but I like the profile there in terms of playmaking ability. We don’t really have a wide playmaker.

As for Williams I very much like him and he’d be on my list of top young players to sign. He’s both a LW/RW due to his two footedness and he’s got the technical skill and athleticism to beat players.
 

ManRed

Full Member
Joined
May 20, 2011
Messages
2,088
Location
London
Even though our wingers are not firing I would rather work on improving them and look at other areas of the pitch as priority. CDM, CB, LB and backup ST are more important than spending another 50-70M on a winger.