What do we still need? Aka The never ending story

Devil may care

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Makes me so sick that no one at the club can see how negligent only having one DM in the whole squad is, wake up Utd and realise that neither Fred or McTominay are capable of playing that position
It's a strange thing mate but an odd issue we've had since Fergie's latter years, where we just couldn't sort midfield out and seened to view it as afterthought or a position purely for workhorses instead of specialists, despite the fact we had some brilliant midfielders in our best period of success.

The 9-0 win skews that statistic drastically, but more importantly:

So what?

Because we're up 3 goals on city we shouldn't improve our attack?

The majority of our goals are made by Bruno, Rashford and Cavani. Our right wing gives us absolutely nothing in terms of output and our only capable striker is 34. Surely you can see adding another striker or RW will improve us?

Greenwood isn't a finished product and Martial, James, Mata aren't good enough.

I agree the need for a DM is higher than for a striker. But let's not downplay the Martial & RW problem.

Of course a change in formation would also change our needs but I don't rate Ole tactically enough to adapt. We'll be playing 4-2-3-1 every game under his watch, and that's fine by me. It's not the most important aspect of managing (SAF and 4-4-2 come to mind), although I wonder if it's become more important in recent years.
I never said the attack couldn't be improved on but at least we have some actual quality options to pick from and some good young prospects, in midfield without Pogba we've got nothing but 2 honest workers who run about a lot and nothing coming through bar Hannibal who might physically be better suited as an AM at senior level. We wont have a single top class CM when Pogba goes and given how this board drags it's feet in getting transfers done it will take us all our time to add a CB and CM nevermind any other positions.
 

croadyman

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It's a strange thing mate but an odd issue we've had since Fergie's latter years, where we just couldn't sort midfield out and seened to view it as afterthought or a position purely for workhorses instead of specialists, despite the fact we had some brilliant midfielders in our best period of success.



I never said the attack couldn't be improved on but at least we have some actual quality options to pick from and some good young prospects, in midfield without Pogba we've got nothing but 2 honest workers who run about a lot and nothing coming through bar Hannibal who might physically be better suited as an AM at senior level. We wont have a single top class CM when Pogba goes and given how this board drags it's feet in getting transfers done it will take us all our time to add a CB and CM nevermind any other positions.
Yeah you are spot on that we neglected the CM position in Fergie's latter years when there was some top players available in that position like Sneijder, Silva & Modric, then after Carrick retired like you say we became obsessed with thinking that workhorses rather than actual quality on the ball was the right answer. The truth is that you need to have a blend of both in your midfield but sadly the club are failing to realise that.
 

Macedonian Red

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Which CB & RW do you see us signing this summer then, won't ask about CM as quite frankly still not convinced anyone will be able to afford Pogba and would rate a backup RB as fourth priority behind all those mentioned
I dont have idea about Ole wishes.
I think Sancho is first option for Rw. Raphina maybe can be second choice?
For Cb realy dont have idea. Kounde is most rumored but i think he is too short(1.78) for CB in PL.

For CM my first choice is Goretzka but there is no chance to leave Bayern at this point.
Tielemans, Neves, Aouar maybe?
 

Bearded One

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Haaland
Sancho*
Kounde

Rashford Haaland Sancho
Bruno
Pogba Fred
Shaw Kounde Maguire Wan-Bissaka
De Gea​

Question is can we do a double on Dortmund?
We need to make Pogba stay but if he leaves we need to go all the way for Ndidi. But we must do everything to keep Pogba.
 

LovelyLittlePanda

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Rice isn't my first choice, but if using Lingard in a swap deal would save us money to invest in both CB and CF in the same transfer window, I'm all for it.

We need someone else as well because cannot rely on him to create everything
Pogba.

We need to make Pogba stay but if he leaves we need to go all the way for Ndidi. But we must do everything to keep Pogba.
Agree about holding on to Pogba, but why Ndidi as his replacement? Ndidi is more of a destroyer you play next to someone like Pogba rather than his direct replacement. We'll only have water carriers in midfield.

I never said the attack couldn't be improved on but at least we have some actual quality options to pick from and some good young prospects, in midfield without Pogba we've got nothing but 2 honest workers who run about a lot and nothing coming through bar Hannibal who might physically be better suited as an AM at senior level. We wont have a single top class CM when Pogba goes and given how this board drags it's feet in getting transfers done it will take us all our time to add a CB and CM nevermind any other positions.
That's stretching it. Just Rashford and Cavani. I'm positive the latter won't be able to play 2 games a week for an extended period of time. That leaves us with only young prospects. Can you imagine us fielding 3 youngsters up front when we have 1-2 injuries. Do we pull players from the U17's if we find ourselves in an injury crisis?
 

lex talionis

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There are two ways to answer this question: dream signings and reality signings.

If we dared to dream, we’d bring in Haaland, full stop. We can develop Greenwood and Diallo at RW, we’d keep Pogba and develop Donny, we’d continue with McFred and Matic and develop Garner, and we’d see Bailly avoid the physioroom, persevere with Lindelof and Tuanzebe as squad options and bring up Mengi.

But back to reality. We’re not signing Haaland, so bring in Sancho and Rice and stick with the CBs we have, assuming our transfer budget does not exceed 120m, and even that number might be wildly optimistic right now.
 

Sea-Cow

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A manager with a system, a definite style of play would make our team a lot better.

A Brendan Rodgers would make this squad a lot more competitive with Man City, and as fans, it would be much more exciting for us to watch.
I hate him and his weird fake teeth, but I would love to see what he could do with our square and our resources.
 

Sea-Cow

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There are two ways to answer this question: dream signings and reality signings.

If we dared to dream, we’d bring in Haaland, full stop. We can develop Greenwood and Diallo at RW, we’d keep Pogba and develop Donny, we’d continue with McFred and Matic and develop Garner, and we’d see Bailly avoid the physioroom, persevere with Lindelof and Tuanzebe as squad options and bring up Mengi.

But back to reality. We’re not signing Haaland, so bring in Sancho and Rice and stick with the CBs we have, assuming our transfer budget does not exceed 120m, and even that number might be wildly optimistic right now.
I am firmly in the camp saying we desperately need a true lead-the-line striker, but a summer window where we brought in Sancho and Rice would be fantastic.
 

Devil may care

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That's stretching it. Just Rashford and Cavani. I'm positive the latter won't be able to play 2 games a week for an extended period of time. That leaves us with only young prospects. Can you imagine us fielding 3 youngsters up front when we have 1-2 injuries. Do we pull players from the U17's if we find ourselves in an injury crisis?
I think a starting front 4 of Rashford, Bruno, Cavani and Mason is pretty strong and while he's had a poor sesson Martial has produced previously, I'd consider that a much stronger talent pool than Matic, Fred and McTominay.
 

croadyman

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Rice isn't my first choice, but if using Lingard in a swap deal would save us money to invest in both CB and CF in the same transfer window, I'm all for it.



Pogba.



Agree about holding on to Pogba, but why Ndidi as his replacement? Ndidi is more of a destroyer you play next to someone like Pogba rather than his direct replacement. We'll only have water carriers in midfield.



That's stretching it. Just Rashford and Cavani. I'm positive the latter won't be able to play 2 games a week for an extended period of time. That leaves us with only young prospects. Can you imagine us fielding 3 youngsters up front when we have 1-2 injuries. Do we pull players from the U17's if we find ourselves in an injury crisis?
Would have to sell Pogba in order to have any kind of budget in the summer window
 

lex talionis

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Would have to sell Pogba in order to have any kind of budget in the summer window
I don’t think we know that yet. Ticket sales of course have evaporated but TV revenues have to be strong. But it is wise to be skeptical of transfer budget projections.
 

Hawks2008

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Surely we need someone creative to supply this striker though
That cuts both ways though, we could sign a creative talent like Grealish/Sancho but if they're passing to Martial or Cavani then how much better does that make us? I kind of feel like it's easier to create chances for a better CF than a poorer one and we'd benefit more from that.
 

croadyman

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That cuts both ways though, we could sign a creative talent like Grealish/Sancho but if they're passing to Martial or Cavani then how much better does that make us? I kind of feel like it's easier to create chances for a better CF than a poorer one and we'd benefit more from that.
Yeah we probably do need a predator in front of goal rather than a creator right now
 
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Steve Bruce

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Yeah we probably do need a predator in front of goal rather than a creator right now
In my opinion, creativity is our biggest problem for a CF.

Cavani is averaging 1.3 shots a game. Kane under Mourinho is getting 2.8 shots per game on average.

We score a lot from the left and through Bruno, but our CF whether it's Martial or Cavani are not getting enough chances as we're not creating chances in the box.



On a side note, before we even look in the final 3rd of the pitch, a CB & DM is our priority targets imo. Matic is our only DM at Old Trafford, McTominay & Fred are not DMs although they are played their. Fred is an old fashioned CM & McTominay is a box to box player. They do a job together in DM, but if we had a top class DM we wouldn't need two to sit in front of our defence.

IMO in priority this is what we should do CB>>>>DM>>>>RW>>>>RB>>>>Striker.

Their is also the rumour that we have enough for 1 big signing. I'd get Kounde or something similar to him. Then we'll have to sell players. I'd sell Henderson, apparently worth £40m. (DDG is on too much money for anyone to touch him) Lingard we'll probably get 15-20m. Dalot, 10m, Pogba 40-50m, Pereira 5-10m, 1 of Bailly or Lindelof, probably get around 15. That should raise enough money to get a Bissouma & Sancho possibly.... Obviously this is easier to write down on a forum than actually do in real life. I don't expect it all to happen but it's pretty much an idea of what could be done.
 

dinostar77

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Eurosport article summary:

https://www.eurosport.co.uk/footbal...ds-for-anthony-martial_sto8149148/story.shtml

1. Either De Gea or Henderson leave this summer. Probably the latter as more in demand.

2. CB and cover at RB is a priority. Koude maybe too expensive at £60mil so Utd looking at Pau Torres at £43mil as an alternative.

Interest in Max Aarons but not at Norwichs quoted price of £35mil. Trippier unlikely.

3. Utd will try to use Lingaard in an deal for Delcan Rice. Mejbri to get more first team opportunities next season as will joe hugill. DVB to play more next season especially if Pogba leaves.

4. Utd may look at Sancho again if Dortmund come down to £50mil. Also Martial maybe offloaded if they can find a buyer.

Thats it.
 

Devil may care

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Eurosport article summary:

https://www.eurosport.co.uk/footbal...ds-for-anthony-martial_sto8149148/story.shtml

1. Either De Gea or Henderson leave this summer. Probably the latter as more in demand.

2. CB and cover at RB is a priority. Koude maybe too expensive at £60mil so Utd looking at Pau Torres at £43mil as an alternative.

Interest in Max Aarons but not at Norwichs quoted price of £35mil. Trippier unlikely.

3. Utd will try to use Lingaard in an deal for Delcan Rice. Mejbri to get more first team opportunities next season as will joe hugill. DVB to play more next season especially if Pogba leaves.

4. Utd may look at Sancho again if Dortmund come down to £50mil. Also Martial maybe offloaded if they can find a buyer.

Thats it.
Not very encouraging but sounds realistic, our approach to midfield is baffling.
 

Mark Pawelek

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I'm a realist. I only need what I can get. United's net transfer outlay in the last 2 seasons has been £80m - £100m. With COVID lockdowns annihilating gate receipts, that may be down to as little as £0 to £60m next summer. So, no money! What to do?

United need to (a) identify clubs who're financially challenged, (b) players we want with contracts ending in summer 2022, (c) players on Bosman's, and (d) United players who aren't core, like: Henderson, Telles, Martial, van de Beek. With all that in mind, United should sign the players on Bosmans who'll be an improvement (Çalhanoğlu?, replacement for Mata). Offer non-core players in part exchange for players we need. Need = starts.
 

dinostar77

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Ole quoted by sky sports a few hours ago as saying Utd wont be spending much this summer. Looking more to promote from within.
 

Tallis

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Sell Martial + Pogba + Lingard + Dalot + Andreas= €120mm

Internal funds =€90m

total = €210m

Buy Milenkovic (30m), Bentancaur (€50m), Sancho (€80mm), Andre Silva (€50m) =€210m.

Release Mata,Jones, Romero.
Integerate Mejbri (Bruno backup), DVB (partner to Bentancur), Amad (RW backup)

Loan - Pellestri, Garner, Axel, Elanga,
 

Powderfinger

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Ole quoted by sky sports a few hours ago as saying Utd wont be spending much this summer. Looking more to promote from within.
I think this is just the reality for any club without an owner willing to subsidize huge losses out of their own pocket.

United is going to lose somewhere around £100m in fiscal 2021, as are other big clubs that normally generate huge matchday revenue as well as commercial revenue from pre-season tours and other activities. For United this comes after losing about £39m in Q4 2020. These clubs are already in a position of scrambling to deal with those losses - spending down cash reserves, taking out new loans, etc. They also can't be sure that it will be all back to normal next September. What if there is a new variant that beats all the current vaccines and they have to start next season without fans again? In that context, no owner who actually cares about the money is going to tell their club directors to absorb another £150m in losses (even amortized over several years) so that they can have a summer splurge and land that Erling Haaland kid they've been hearing about.

IMO, United will have a positive net spend this summer since doing otherwise would generate too much blowback from supporters. But it will likely be in the £30-70m range, not anything extravagant. The most likely scenario is that you buy one expensive player, probably a CB, for £40-60m and then a couple cheaper players to strengthen the squad elsewhere. This will still be more than any of the other non-oil clubs spend. Clubs like Arsenal and Spurs are going to be limited almost entirely to what they can generate from sales (which may not be much if the market remains relatively frozen).
 

Mark Pawelek

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Sell Martial + Pogba + Lingard + Dalot + Andreas= €120mm

Internal funds =€90m

total = €210m

Buy Milenkovic (30m), Bentancaur (€50m), Sancho (€80mm), Andre Silva (€50m) =€210m.

Release Mata,Jones, Romero.
Integerate Mejbri (Bruno backup), DVB (partner to Bentancur), Amad (RW backup)

Loan - Pellestri, Garner, Axel, Elanga,
Clubs aren't interested in Dalot + Andreas at the prices United quoted. Also: I doubt anyone will buy Martial or Pogba either!, but at least they could be part-exchanged. No one has any money apart from City and Chelsea. Madrid have players we'd take for Pogba. I guess Bentancur could be part exchanged for Pogba or Martial? Dortmund might take Henderson in part-exchange for Sancho. I think that's how things are likely to pan out.
 

dinostar77

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I think this is just the reality for any club without an owner willing to subsidize huge losses out of their own pocket.

United is going to lose somewhere around £100m in fiscal 2021, as are other big clubs that normally generate huge matchday revenue as well as commercial revenue from pre-season tours and other activities. For United this comes after losing about £39m in Q4 2020. These clubs are already in a position of scrambling to deal with those losses - spending down cash reserves, taking out new loans, etc. They also can't be sure that it will be all back to normal next September. What if there is a new variant that beats all the current vaccines and they have to start next season without fans again? In that context, no owner who actually cares about the money is going to tell their club directors to absorb another £150m in losses (even amortized over several years) so that they can have a summer splurge and land that Erling Haaland kid they've been hearing about.

IMO, United will have a positive net spend this summer since doing otherwise would generate too much blowback from supporters. But it will likely be in the £30-70m range, not anything extravagant. The most likely scenario is that you buy one expensive player, probably a CB, for £40-60m and then a couple cheaper players to strengthen the squad elsewhere. This will still be more than any of the other non-oil clubs spend. Clubs like Arsenal and Spurs are going to be limited almost entirely to what they can generate from sales (which may not be much if the market remains relatively frozen).
Totally agree. Hopefully Utd can take advantage of some other clubs cash flow issues. Personally i think talk of signing a Haaland or Sancho is unrealistic and doesn't address the biggest weakness in the XI, ie. a CB partner for Maguire.
 

Tallis

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Clubs aren't interested in Dalot + Andreas at the prices United quoted. Also: I doubt anyone will buy Martial or Pogba either!, but at least they could be part-exchanged. No one has any money apart from City and Chelsea. Madrid have players we'd take for Pogba. I guess Bentancur could be part exchanged for Pogba or Martial? Dortmund might take Henderson in part-exchange for Sancho. I think that's how things are likely to pan out.
Could not agree more. My post wasn’t meant to mean that this would happen but was me fantasising about what should happen.

Pogba and Bentancur swap makes sense to me although these deals rarely happen. Milenkovic is hopefully cheap. I think we will be able to sell Lingard.
 

Mark Pawelek

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Could not agree more. My post wasn’t meant to mean that this would happen but was me fantasising about what should happen.

Pogba and Bentancur swap makes sense to me although these deals rarely happen. Milenkovic is hopefully cheap. I think we will be able to sell Lingard.
To get 1st team quality players in the 4 positions needed: CB, DCM, RW and FW, I'd be prepared to swap any United squad player, and/or also: Martial, Pogba or De Gea. I think one of Henderson or De Gea has to leave to bring in more ungently required players. If Pogba leaves, I think we also need a new box-to-box.
 

beingshe7don

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Hypothetical
Ins:
Sancho
Grealish
Yves Bissouma
Kounde/ Varane
Max Aarons/ Hakimi

Outs:
Martial
Jones
Bailly
Pogba

Let Rashford & Greenwood focus on developing their finishing and decision-making. The path CR7 took to becoming a lethal finisher.

Grealish - Rashford - Sancho
----------------- Bruno ------------------
Fred ------------------------ Bissouma
Shaw - Maguire - Kounde - Hakimi
 

golden_blunder

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Hypothetical
Ins:
Sancho
Grealish
Yves Bissouma
Kounde/ Varane
Max Aarons/ Hakimi

Outs:
Martial
Jones
Bailly
Pogba

Let Rashford & Greenwood focus on developing their finishing and decision-making. The path CR7 took to becoming a lethal finisher.

Grealish - Rashford - Sancho
----------------- Bruno ------------------
Fred ------------------------ Bissouma
Shaw - Maguire - Kounde - Hakimi
It’s going to cost at least 140m for the first 2 on your list
 

beingshe7don

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It’s going to cost at least 140m for the first 2 on your list
That's true but I feel like Sancho and Grealish could be game-changers. Both of them would remain at United for a long time and are able to offer creativity instead of relying on Bruno. I would even consider throwing in VDB in the deal for Sancho to reduce the cost. Lingard could also be sold for 15m based on his recent form.
 

golden_blunder

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That's true but I feel like Sancho and Grealish could be game-changers. Both of them would remain at United for a long time and are able to offer creativity instead of relying on Bruno. I would even consider throwing in VDB in the deal for Sancho to reduce the cost. Lingard could also be sold for 15m based on his recent form.
Sorry to say but I can’t see us buying more than 1 marquee player this summer. If we are lucky
 

Baxter

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Criminal lack of any forward passing from the base of midfield. Starting there might help.
 

Swedish_Plumber

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There needs to be a link between the base of midfield and Bruno. So a midfielder who can consistently take the ball on the half turn and play forwards would be a start. Not quite sure why we like to drop one midfielder into CB either but that’s probably for another thread.
 
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redrobed

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Think we need to stop getting so set on getting the best ready made prospect in every position now (thinking Sancho for RW last summer, Haaland for up top now).

Look at signings we’ve made in the past - the likes of Yorke, Cole, Sheringham - they worked out incredibly well for us but they probably couldn’t believe their luck when the deal went through.

We need a striker - (I have no problem with Cavani, I had no problem with Zlatan - but I am getting tired of short term fixes just to save on transfer fees). If the likes of Jimenez, Bamford, Aubamayang can do what they’ve done for the likes of Wolves, Leeds and Arsenal - imagine what they could do for us! Any of them can be got for 30-40m (same as VDB who has, of yet, offered nothing) and could sort us for years.
 

Devil may care

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Criminal lack of any forward passing from the base of midfield. Starting there might help.
There needs to be a link between the base of midfield and Bruno. So a midfielder who can consistently take the ball on the half turn and play forwards would be a start. Not quite sure why we like to drop one midfielder into CB either but that’s probably for another thread.
Exactly, I've been on this for ages, all the wingers and Haaland's in the world won't help if we don’t fix the quality on the ball from the double pivot. We need 2 CM's and a CB before we worry about any forward additions.
 

croadyman

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Yeah will need to find some smart swap deals in this COVID market but whether we have the right people to make that actually happen I highly doubt but happy to be proved totally wrong on this
 

MadDogg

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The last couple of games have been screaming out for Grealish IMO. Our play is just so poor in exactly the aspect that he excels in. The ability to get on the ball and force something to happen, with the way he draws opposition players and either beats them with his dribbling or makes the right pass to another player.

I've always wanted him, but between him playing on the left and Villa staying up and being able to ask a huge transfer fee I had pretty much resigned myself to just admiring him from afar. But after these last few matches I'm tempted to say we should just throw everything at him. I'm not sure if any other one player would make as big a difference as he could. Sancho has similar technical ability and is more proven on the right, but I think the drive and leadership of Grealish might be a bigger benefit.

Exactly, I've been on this for ages, all the wingers and Haaland's in the world won't help if we don’t fix the quality on the ball from the double pivot. We need 2 CM's and a CB before we worry about any forward additions.
While I do think we need a new midfielder, I think today's game was 100% the opposite. It was the complete lack of anything from Rashford, Greenwood and AWB (Cavani to a lesser extent) that was the problem. It wouldn't have mattered who we had in the deeper midfield positions, the attacking players provided nothing. They didn't move to get into good positions, and when they received the ball in 1v1 positions they either gave it away (Rashford) or turned back and passed it backwards or sideways (Greenwood). We could have had Keane and Scholes in there and not much would have changed, except that Keane probably would have physically assaulted our attackers for that display.
 
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Rozay

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I’m officially back in the position I find myself in every year at this time where I stop giving a shit about signings. I think I can say with extreme confidence that whoever we sign will not see us win the league. Signing better individuals than we have will give us marginal increase. The real difference that we need in on the training ground/touchline. Until we find a clue, new signings won’t do anything for us. We’ll be beaten by better teams with slightly inferior players to us that know what they are doing.
 

croadyman

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The last couple of games have been screaming out for Grealish IMO. Our play is just so poor in exactly the aspect that he excels in. The ability to get on the ball and force something to happen, with the way he draws opposition players and either beats them with his dribbling or makes the right pass to another player.

I've always wanted him, but between him playing on the left and Villa staying up and being able to ask a huge transfer fee I had pretty much resigned myself to just admiring him from afar. But after these last few matches I'm tempted to say we should just throw everything at him. I'm not sure if any other one player would make as big a difference as he could.


While I do think we need a new midfielder, I think today's game was 100% the opposite. It was the complete lack of anything from Rashford, Greenwood and AWB (Cavani to a lesser extent) that was the problem. It wouldn't have mattered who we had in the deeper midfield positions, the attacking players provided nothing. They didn't move to get into good positions, and when they received the ball in 1v1 positions they either gave it away (Rashford) or turned back and passed it backwards or sideways (Greenwood). We could have had Keane and Scholes in there and not much would have changed, except that Keane probably would have physically assaulted our attackers for that display.
Honestly would absolutely love to sign him/Jadon but with the way things are in this market we would have to sell Pogba in order to make that happen, unless of course we could get around £40m for DDG & £30m for Tony plus maybe £15-20m for Jesse which would raise the cash to sign one of them whilst keeping Paul too. Unfortunately that still doesn't answer where we are raising the funds from for a CB & maybe ST too if Eddy doesn't sign on for another year.