Youssouf Fofana

ThierryHenry14

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He only has a year left in his contract. He will be available this summer.
 

Kingslayer18

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A midfielder of his profile is needed. He could rotate with Mainoo as a B2B or play as a 6 behind him. He would be a good fit for the squad and shouldn't cost more than 30m given he's in his last year of contract. I would prefer Amadou Onana as a starting 6 but given his likely transfer fee and our budget, Fofana might be a more sensible option. If we don't go for Fofana, I think we should look at Lucas Gourna-Douth. We could bring either one of them with Archie Gray as squad option, who can play as a 6 and be a 3rd choice RB. Then we would never be in a position to rely on McT as a deeper midfield option and he can focus on his best role, as an substitute from the bench, coming in as a box crashing 10 when chasing a game and needing a goal. We would probably have enough in the budget to chase someone like Doue, who we've been linked with.

Imagine we move our midfield composition from this:

Casemiro/Amrabat Erikksen/Mainoo/McT
Bruno/Mount

To this:
Fofana/Gray Mainoo/Mount
Bruno/McT
 

aeh1991

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I think it makes sense to get him and Thuram in. Two French NT midfielders who are versatile and can both be partnered with Mainoo or play instead of him. If reports are true, we could get both for a combined 40m.
 

Powderfinger

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A midfielder of his profile is needed. He could rotate with Mainoo as a B2B or play as a 6 behind him.
Arsenal are also linked to this player.

I think the big question for either club is whether he can really play regularly as a lone six at a high enough level. He has a lot of good attributes but his whole career so far has involved playing in a double pivot, usually with a partner that is more defensively inclined than him (Zakaria, Camara).

Players do make that transition successfully (Thomas Partey did something very similar when he moved to Arsenal) but its definitely a roll of the dice.
 

aeh1991

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Arsenal are also linked to this player.

I think the big question for either club is whether he can really play regularly as a lone six at a high enough level. He has a lot of good attributes but his whole career so far has involved playing in a double pivot, usually with a partner that is more defensively inclined than him (Zakaria, Camara).

Players do make that transition successfully (Thomas Partey did something very similar when he moved to Arsenal) but its definitely a roll of the dice.
Isn't Zakaria a box to box? I haven't followed him at Monaco but he was clearly an 8 when he played for Gladbach.
 

didz

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Arsenal are also linked to this player.

I think the big question for either club is whether he can really play regularly as a lone six at a high enough level. He has a lot of good attributes but his whole career so far has involved playing in a double pivot, usually with a partner that is more defensively inclined than him (Zakaria, Camara).

Players do make that transition successfully (Thomas Partey did something very similar when he moved to Arsenal) but its definitely a roll of the dice.
I don't think Fofana can play as a lone 6 at all. He gives the ball away way too much for that role and I don't think he's exactly great defensively. He's better higher up the pitch in my opinion.

For United he'd really only make sense as an upgrade on McTominay if we got favourable fees either way.
 

Powderfinger

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Isn't Zakaria a box to box? I haven't followed him at Monaco but he was clearly an 8 when he played for Gladbach.
They played together a lot in a double pivot this year. I don't watch Monaco but heatmaps suggest Fofana was more aggressively positioned than Zakaria.

I don't think Fofana can play as a lone 6 at all. He gives the ball away way too much for that role and I don't think he's exactly great defensively. He's better higher up the pitch in my opinion.

For United he'd really only make sense as an upgrade on McTominay if we got favourable fees either way.
Thanks. This is my fear as a potential Arsenal signing to replace Partey. He seems more like an all action 8 which would work for Arsenal if the plan was to make Rice the permanent six but I don't think that's what Arteta wants given the profile of other midfielders we've been linked with, all of whom are guys who are either 6s or guys who can play both 6 and 8.
 

DJ_21

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We should be all over this guy. Wouldn’t cost a bomb and would improve our midfield massively.
 

romufc

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We should be all over this guy. Wouldn’t cost a bomb and would improve our midfield massively.
If all goes to plan and we sell Casemiro and Eriksen, we will have Scott, Mainoo, Mount, Bruno as our midfielders.

We definitely should be looking at these sort of signings that can be done for 20/30m for our squad. We will need to sign multiple players per position this summer.
 

ThierryHenry14

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Thanks. This is my fear as a potential Arsenal signing to replace Partey. He seems more like an all action 8 which would work for Arsenal if the plan was to make Rice the permanent six but I don't think that's what Arteta wants given the profile of other midfielders we've been linked with, all of whom are guys who are either 6s or guys who can play both 6 and 8.
My guess he will go to a club he can be a starter at his age, unless it is Real Madrid comes calling. I don't think Arsenal can give him that.
 

Teja

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What's he like? My ideal signing to partner Mainoo at #6 is a guy like Matic. Is he more of a Matic or a Fabinho?

EDIT: From the highlights he actually looks like a proper box to box mid, very strong ball carrier but not guy that sits deep, dictates tempo and mops things up.

Surprisingly low aerials won for a big guy. Seems to do most of his defensive work in the middle 3rd of the pitch and not in the defensive 3rd.

He looks more like someone who'd rotate with Mainoo than partner him in midfield but let's see, maybe we can get two box to box guys work. Or maybe we think Mainoo is a deep playmaker longer term.
 
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Sea-Cow

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I reckon Baleba at Brighton will be better than Everton's Onana. Neither will be cheap though.
After that last game of the season against them, I would tend to agree with you. He looked excellent. But I have no idea on how he looked when up against a team with an actual center midfield, and not a gaping hole.
 

Ekeke

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Not the right profile of player to play next to Mainoo. Not enough defending, not good enough passing. Still one of a hundred players who would be an upgrade on McTominay or Amrabat, just not the right one to make best use of the ones we already have.

 

Teja

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Not the right profile of player to play next to Mainoo. Not enough defending, not good enough passing. Still one of a hundred players who would be an upgrade on McTominay or Amrabat, just not the right one to make best use of the ones we already have.
One of the recent leaks from our season review was that we were relying too heavily on young players (Garnacho was mentioned specifically, but Mainoo should be in that conversation too). I think we'll get decent rotation going for both of them next season and Fofana seems like someone that will rotate well with Mainoo.
 

SparcMac

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Not good enough to be a CL club starting player, but decent squad option. We have loads of these midfielders already, we need players who come in and be better than anyone else we have.
 

Ekeke

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One of the recent leaks from our season review was that we were relying too heavily on young players (Garnacho was mentioned specifically, but Mainoo should be in that conversation too). I think we'll get decent rotation going for both of them next season and Fofana seems like someone that will rotate well with Mainoo.
I disagree. We rely too heavily on them because the seniors arent playing well enough, not because they're on the pitch. Replace the senior players with players who compliment the young players and help them get to the next level, not to play instead of them
 

Teja

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I disagree. We rely too heavily on them because the seniors arent playing well enough, not because they're on the pitch. Replace the senior players with players who compliment the young players and help them get to the next level, not to play instead of them
It depends what your views are on youth development. Is the current thinking that more minutes is always good for a young player's development? Or are you supposed to manage minutes even if there's no fitness / form concern?

I know guys like Ronaldo, Pedri, Gavi, Yamal, Rashford, Greenwood etc. were thrown to the wolves. But I think the more normal thing is to manage minutes.
 

Ekeke

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It depends what your views are on youth development. Is the current thinking that more minutes is always good for a young player's development? Or are you supposed to manage minutes even if there's no fitness / form concern?

I know guys like Ronaldo, Pedri, Gavi, Yamal, Rashford, Greenwood etc. were thrown to the wolves. But I think the more normal thing is to manage minutes.
Its a luxury we cant afford to buy players so we can rest our best young players. We dont have enough players worth resting and we dont have infinite money.

When we get back in the top 4 by improving our starting lineup we can spend on squad players. Until then use youth if players need a rest. It was only giving those young players a chance with others not doing well enough that we found players like Rashford and Garnacho. Let them come in to cover Mainoo and Garnacho for a season
 

Blood Mage

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Would be a much smarter signing than Palhinha or Onana, just as good as them but cheaper.