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5 Surprise Midfield Signings for Manchester United

5 Surprise Midfield Signings for Manchester United

It is imperative that Manchester United have to invest in the midfield in order to challenge for a title next season. Amid links to midfielders such as Toni Kroos, Sergej Milinkovic Savic, and Fred, what are some of the other options Manchester United have? Here’s five midfielders that would surprise Manchester United fans, but aid us in our title quest next season.

5. Julian Draxler

 

Age 24
Club PSG
Contract Ends 2021
Height 6’ 2”

 

 

 

Draxler has featured in an ultimately disappointing PSG side this season, playing alongside the likes of Verratti, Mbappe and Neymar, yet failing to win the big prizes the club set out to win. With Neymar and possibly Verratti likely to force a move, Draxler may also be looking to find a way out of the French club this season. Capable of playing on the wing or in midfield, Draxler would be perfect for Manchester United. He’s a top class player who can score, create and add flair to our attack. Draxler will also be 25 in September, the perfect age for our squad. In addition, PSG will have to pay 180 million euros to AS Monaco in order to keep Kylian Mbappe, and they will certainly look to get any money they can to avoid breaking FFP rules. If Manchester United act fast enough, they could sign him for a reasonable price. While we have been tentatively linked to him in the past, this is a player Manchester United could very well sign this season

4. Lucas Torreira

 

Age 22
Club Sampdoria
Contract Ends 2022
Height 5’ 6”

This young Uruguayan midfielder has done exceptionally well for Sampdoria in Serie A this season. A center-defensive midfielder who is similar to Michael Carrick, Torreira excels at transitioning the ball quickly from back to front, using his incredible passing range and astute reading of the game to transition the ball into the final third. Torreira would be an ideal addition to our midfield, as he could rotate with Matic or play in a midfield three with Pogba, giving him license to go forward while also contributing offensively with playmaking from deep. However, he is only 22, and with Mourinho growing impatient with the likes of Rashford and Martial, there is no evidence he will sign such a young player. He’s also contracted until 2022, which would make him fairly expensive for such a young player. But Torreira will almost certainly be snapped up by a bigger club this season, and there is no reason Manchester United shouldn’t be at the front of that cue.

3.Adrien Rabiot

Age 23
Club PSG
Contract Ends 2019
Height 6’ 3”



A talented but somewhat inconsistent midfielder, Frenchman Adrien Rabiot has had a mixed season for PSG. Standing at 6 foot 3, his physicality combined with his technical ability make him a uniquely talented player. His passing, creativity and physicality are all things that Manchester United could benefit from if he were to sign. His contract is up in a years time, so he could be signed for a cheap price in Manchester United act fast enough. As previously mentioned, PSG will be looking to offload players to balance their massive spending of the last few season. While he has struggled for consistency and would be a risk, Rabiot is a player who under the right guidance, could be a great signing for the Red Devils.

 

2.Max Meyer

Age 22
Club FC Schalke 04
Contract Ends 2018
Height 5’ 8”

FC Schalke have had a terrific season in the Bundesliga, finishing second to Bayern Munich and ahead of Borussia Dortmund. At the heart of this campaign has been Max Meyer. He’s creative, skillful and above all, has played for a team that plays similar to Manchester United in some aspects. Schalke defend deep and do not rely on pressing, and try to counter attack often. With a similar defending style at United, Meyer could quite easily adapt to Mourinho’s system and help the team become better on the break. His contract ends this summer, meaning any club could sign him for free. He has been heavily linked to Liverpool, but Manchester United should not sleep on this hot German prospect. 

1.James Rodriguez

 

Age 26
Club FC Bayern Munich (Loan from Real Madrid)
Contract Ends 2019 (Loan)
Height 5’ 11”

James Rodriguez would be an unbelievable midfield signing for various reasons. He’s a huge brand worldwide, and would be the perfect player to acquire the number 10 shirt. He’s also a player who doesn’t need much development, and could come straight into the team and make an impact. He’s a leader, not the same kind of leader as Roy Keane, but someone who has passion and leads by example. But above all that, his attributes as a player make him one of the best midfielders in the world. He can play in a midfield two, a midfield three or as an attacking midfielder. His passing range, decision making, vision, skill and crossing make him one of the most complete midfielders in Europe. Additionally, Rodriguez’s dead-ball delivery is exceptional, and with the amount of height we have in our team, he could unlock a whole new dimension to Manchester United’s attack. While he is still on loan at Bayern, the club are still unsure whether to keep him or not. And if Manchester United act quickly, we could have a player that could have a tremendous impact on our title challenge next season.

 

By: Vishnu Anandraj

 

How Manchester United Could Lineup Next Season

Manchester United have undoubtedly had a perplexing season. Jose Mourinho has factually made progression, but has failed to play attractive football and pose a title challenge to Manchester City. These problems come from a lack of identity in the way Manchester United play. Heading into next season, it is vital Manchester United develop a set formation and a set way of playing.

Throughout the season, Jose Mourinho has mainly employed two different formations: the 4-3-3 and the 4-2-3-1, although he has experimented with variants of a 3-4-1-2. Here we see the 4-2-3-1 and the 4-3-3.

 

Consistency in performance level and the quality of football have been lacking with these two formations. This stems from a multitude of different issues.

For one, this both these systems use very little width. Mata, Sanchez and Lingard are all wingers who like to cut inside, playing in central areas regardless of where they start.

Martial and Rashford have started periodically throughout the season, but neither provide natural sources of width on the left and their strengths do not necessarily lie in their ability to cross the ball.

Moreover, our full backs are aged ex-wingers who are on the decline and need to be replaced.

Another problem with both systems is how our two best outfield players, Pogba and Sanchez, constantly get in each other’s way on the left side of the pitch. With Sanchez showing a lack of discipline on the left hand side, Pogba is forced to go deep or go wide in order to make an impact.

Therefore, it’s crucial that we implement a system that can get the best out of Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez while also providing us width.

If we analyze the history of Jose Mourinho, he has predominantly used two formations in is career. He used a 4-2-3-1, which we have already seen at Manchester United, and a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield.

This is the formation that Mourinho used to conquer Europe with Porto, dominate England with Chelsea in his first tenure and with the treble with Inter. While he is an incredibly adaptable manager and used formations such as the 4-3-3 and the 4-2-3-1 at times, his staple was this 4-4-2 diamond.

In this picture, three changes have been made to the starting eleven: Andreas Pereira in midfield, Alex Sandro at left back and Timothy Fosu-Mensah at right back.

This formation, while not currently used in the Premier League, could give Manchester United several advantages.

One, it enables Pogba to play on the left side of a midfield three, giving him licence to make runs forward.

It also enables Sanchez to play centrally, the position most United fans think he should play.

Moreover, Martial and Rashford can play in their preferred position: as a central forward.

However, the one glaring problem with this formation is that is uses minimal width.

And with so many players who are good in the air; Lukaku, Rashford and Pogba to name a few, width and natural crosses are crucial and could unlock a whole new dimension to Manchester United’s attack.

 

 

 

But upon further analysis, we can see how this system can provide Manchester United with the width it needs.

In this picture, we can see how United can attack in possession using the 4-4-2 diamond.

With Lukaku leading the line and occupying the center backs, Martial can drift into the wide and half spaces on the left.

Sanchez can play more centrally and Pogba plays more advanced, and most importantly, Sandro can bomb forward and give us natural width on the left.

However, this causes an imbalance, as the attack is mainly focused on the left.

Therefore, Andreas Pereira will have to perform an unorthodox role in this system, occupying the wide spaces on the right when starting in midfield.

While this could be a midfield signing who can cross, such as Toni Kroos, the important thing is having some source of natural width on the right.

Fosu Mensah or an aged Antonio Valencia playing at right back is not a good source of width, and therefore, a midfielder needs to provide with in this system.

 

 

In addition, Nemanja Matic and Fosu Mensah will perform a crucial role in this system. With Sandro bursting forwards, teams can break fast through the expose left side. This would cause Matic to play more towards the left.

This leaves no players in the center circle area, leaving United somewhat exposed.

This poses a possible problem for this system, but, Fosu Mensah and Antonio Valencia are capable of playing as a defensive midfielder and could easily step into the midfield.

While the addition of Sandro and a midfielder to the lineup would aid in United’s success, the investment in a right back who can go forward could be the solution to United’s problems.

In this scenario, Herrera would play the same role as Matic, covering his full back while still remaining somewhat central.

With two sources of natural width in Sandro and Meunier, this system can be the answer for Manchester United’s identity crisis.

We can get the best out of our top class players while making use of the height of our team with two players who can cross the ball.

Additionally, signings such as Milinkovic Savic and Fabinho could easily be implemented in this system.

Other players in the squad like Lingard, Mata and Mctominay could also be used in this system quite easily.

This formation would take time to implement, as it is quite technical and the players are probably not used to it.

We would also need to invest in another central forward, which we are currently not linked with.

It’s also entirely possible that Mourinho will not believe this can work in the modern Premier League and will stick with a 4-3-3, which could work very well.

But judging from Mourinho’s past and the players we have at United, don’t be surprised if this is the system Mourinho uses to lead Manchester United to a Premier League title.

 

By: Vishnu Anandraj

 

Toni Kroos is Manchester United’s Number 1 Summer Target

Toni Kroos is Manchester United’s number one summer transfer target according to Miguel Delaney in the Independent.

There had been rumours circulating last week that Paul Pogba could leave Manchester United for Real Madrid in the summer, but contrary to those reports Mourinho apparently wants to bring Kroos to Old Trafford to play in a midfield three with Pogba and Matic, not to replace Pogba.

Mourinho has made it clear in the last few weeks that his priority this summer is a midfielder and has even gone as far as to say there will be no attacking additions, as he focuses solely on midfield and defence.

Kroos would be a stunning signing for Manchester United, considering he’s arguably one of the world’s top midfielders, at the peak of his powers playing for the world’s best side. However, United fans will also be weary of any transfer business involving Real Madrid due to their long held interest in David De Gea. Could United really expect to sign Kroos and retain De Gea?

What is undeniable is that a sea of change is coming to Real Madrid this summer. Whilst they may retain the Champions League and become the first club to win it three years in a row, there’s no escaping the embarrassment of effectively losing the La Liga title to Barcelona with half the season still to go. Madrid will busy in the transfer market this summer as they look to bounce back from that humiliation and Manchester United may see that as a chance to swoop in and sign Kross?

Whether they can or not remains to be seen. Don’t miss our three midfielders Manchester United must sign this summer video here

Mourinho’s BIG Obsession Continues To Fail

Jose Mourinho has an obsession with height. In Matic, Fellaini and McTominay he boasts the three tallest midfielders in the Premier League at 6 foot 4. And it doesn’t end there. Paul Pogba is 6 foot three, Michael Carrick 6 foot 2, and Ander Herrera is no shrinking violet at 6 foot. So why is Mourinho so obsessed with height and is it one of his biggest – pardon the pun – weaknesses?

The short answer – done it again – is yes. Such a strange height obsession is a weakness when the tactics implemented are for a club with the traditions of Manchester United. Manchester United are a club intrinsically linked with fast attacking football and whilst it may be stereotypical, tall players tend to be slow and not as good on the ball as their smaller counterparts.

In fairness, Paul Pogba is an exception to that rule. At 6 foot 3 he’s fast, athletic and displays brilliant close ball control that allows him to dribble and move the ball very quickly. In Paul Pogba, Mourinho has the perfect example of height and the required ability to implement whatever system he’s trying to inflict on Manchester United at the moment. A system that is still up for debate and confusion.

However, in Fellaini, Matic and McTominay, the three tallest midfielders in the league, Mourinho doesn’t have players who are fast or good on the ball. Good players in their own right, they don’t obviously fit the mantra of fast flowing football United fans want to see. Time and time again this season they are bypassed by smaller quicker players who can move the ball, and themselves, quickly between the midfield lines. Time and time again the ball from midfield to attack has been so pedestrian that by the time flair players like Martial and Sanchez get the ball they’re facing an opposition that isn’t stretched and has themselves well organised.

So why does Mourinho stick with this approach? What is the advantage of playing giant midfielders who slow down the play?

Physicality for one. Mourinho likes his team to be physical and there can be no doubting that Fellaini and Matic especially are more than capable of facing up to a physical contest. But what else do they bring? Aerial dominance? You’d think being the tallest midfielders in the league this would be their biggest asset and the sole reason Mourinho loves height so much. Weirdly it’s a false dawn.

Aerial dominance is what Mourinho appears to be going for with his midfielders but the areas this is utilised isn’t where Manchester United fans would even consider warming to this long ball approach – the oppositions penalty box. Manchester United rarely score from corners for one. So this height advantage Fellaini and Matic bring is redundant. Not to mention Pogba, Lukaku at 6 foot 3 and Chris Smalling at 6 foot 4. It’s bordering on inept that Manchester United have such a massive – done it again – height advantage yet they’re so poor at scoring headers.

So if Mourinho is picking all this height and it’s not for scoring goals what’s it for? You got it! Defence.

Mourinho loves the defensive side of football. And with tall midfielders stood in front of his tall centre backs he knows that any team that wants to throw longs balls in to his box is going to struggle to make an impact. Which in theory totally nullifies a way the opposition can attack his team. Of course it totally blunts Manchester United’s midfield as a fast dynamic midfield but when your focus is on not conceding goals fast attacking footballing isn’t the priority.

So there you have it! Mourinho’s height obsession explained. Is it one you agree with? Is it actually that effective? Join the discussion on our YouTube channel where we discuss more about United’s current style of play and whether Mourinho will ever change

Mourinho Pressure Increases After Champions League Nightmare

The pressure on Jose Mourinho to bring a more entertaining brand of football to Manchester United has increased dramatically over the last few days, despite Mourinho’s Man United not even playing.

Impressive results from Tottenham against Turin, Man City against Basel and Liverpool vs Porto, wouldn’t normally be anything more than a minor annoyance to Manchester United fans. However, the method in which those three sides obtained those results has left many Man United fans frustrated. Seeing your rivals win is one thing, seeing them win and playing infinitely better than your side is another.

The reality is, like last season, Manchester United have hit the business end of the season and the football has suddenly become lethargic, slow and results orientated. There has been glimpses of fast flowing football under Mourinho this season but all that seems a distant memory as Mourinho bunkers down to grind out the results in the way only Mourinho can.

As stated above, this should not come as a surprise to those who have monitored Jose Mourinho’s career. More progressive football up until Christmas traditionally makes way for a defensive focused second half of the season where Mourinho looks to conserve energy and grind out those one nil wins. Exactly the same thing happened in the second half of the season Mourinho’s Chelsea won the league and it’s happened numerous times throughout his illustrious career.

The question is can Manchester United fans stomach that sort of playing style when their big rivals Liverpool and Man City are playing such an entertaining and fast brand of football? The answer is an emphatic no!

It’s one thing to be grinding out boring results when you’re challenging for the Premier League title but when you’re 16 points adrift of the scintillating football Man City are playing Mourinho’s dogged football becomes even more irritating. Can he change it? Yes. Will he change it? Probably not. One of Mourinho’s great strengths and weaknesses is his stubbornness in the face of popular opinion. And in the past it was the success he had by going against the grain that afforded him the well earned title of “The Special One”. But in recent times those controversial decisions have gone a little wayward but the stubbornness remains.

Manchester United fans may well demand more entertaining football, the press may continue to undermine Mourinho and say his brand of football belongs in the past, the pressure may increase on Mourinho. But he won’t change. Because Mourinho is the man who motivates himself by proving people wrong.

Can he do it? If the results improve and he wins more trophies he can.

Whatever happens it’s going to be an interesting few months between now and May finding out.

Mourinho Too Harsh on Pogba and Martial

Manchester United fans felt Jose Mourinho was too harsh on Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial after the win over Huddersfield.

Mourinho decided to drop Pogba and Martial amongst others for the Huddersfield game after the disappointing Wembley loss to Tottenham on Wednesday night. And whilst many Manchester United fans felt the dropping of Phil Jones and Ashley Young was justified, leaving out Pogba and Martial was seen as a step too far and led to some unhappy opinions outside the ground after the game.

See what the fans outside Old Trafford had to say here

Mourinho Reveals Summer Transfer Targets

Jose Mourinho has indicated he will sign two midfielders this summer, as he looks to strengthen an area that currently looks bereft of ideas and cohesion.

With Michael Carrick retiring Mourinho already knew he’d need to bring in at least one midfield replacement this summer. However, with Marouane Fellaini yet to sign a new contract and free to leave in the summer that would force Mourinho in to making two midfielder signings.

With Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera and Scott McTominay Mourinho’s only midfield options if Carrick and Fellaini leave, it’s not hard to see why United will need strengthen. Even with Fellaini and Carrick Manchester United currently look decidedly lightweight in the midfield, and many United fans feel that Mourinho should already have been prioritising the midfield area regardless of departures.

With the January transfer window shut Mourinho will have to wait until the summer to remedy the issue and that at least gives him a few months to assess his options and scout the possibilities.

So who might be on Mourinho’s scouting list? Milinković-Savić of Lazio, Jorginho of Napoli, Seri of Nice, and Fabinho of Monaco are four names that instantly spring to mind and with the current state of Manchester United’s midfield any two from that four would certainly improve Mourinho’s options. Although it shouldn’t be forgotten that Mourinho likes players who are established in the premier league and there are some suggestions that he’ll go back for Eric Dier from Tottenham if as many expect, Tottenham fail to qualify for the Champions League and a mass exodus ensues.

Anthony Martial’s Future in Doubt Again!

Anthony Martial’s future at Manchester United has been thrown in to doubt again by Jose Mourinho’s recent actions.

Arguably Manchester United’s player of the season, Martial has excelled on the left hand side of United’s attack providing numerous goals and assists that like Burnley a couple of weeks ago, have turned out to be match winning contributions. However, with the signing of Alexis Sanchez, Martial immediately found himself shoved out to the right hand side against Tottenham, to allow Sanchez to take up his position on the left hand side of the attack.

What message that sends to Martial’s confidence only time will tell, especially when he’s worked tirelessly this season to impress a publicly sceptical Mourinho and delivered the goods.
Martial was back on the left hand side for the second half against Spurs, with Alexis Sanchez moving in the number ten position. But it again it raises the question of how much does Jose Mourinho truly trust and rate Anthony Martial?

It’s been a bumpy ride for Martial over the last eighteen months under Jose with Mourinho constantly criticising Martial whilst championing the more limited talents of Fellaini, Lingard and Rashford. Anthony Martial is without question one of the most exciting young forwards in world football and a firm fan favourite with the majority of Manchester United fans. But Mourinho doesn’t appear to share that excitement for Martial and ultimately it’s Mourinho who will dictate Martial’s Manchester United future.

Signing Alexis Sanchez was a huge statement by the club. But even signing a player of Sanchez’s calibre would be viewed as a waste of time by most fans if that signing was made to replace Martial, who was already established as United’s player of the season elect. Sanchez is required in one of United’s weaker attacking positions as either a right sided attacker or a number ten. But maybe Mourinho has other plans? And those plans may not involve Anthony Martial? Much to the frustration of many Manchester United fans.

Get Manchester United vs Tottenham Fan Reaction on our YouTube Channel here

Alexis Sanchez in Straight Swap For Mkhitaryan

Alexis Sanchez will join Manchester United in a straight swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

There had been talk earlier in the week that Manchester United would pay up to 25 million pounds plus Mkhitaryan to take Sanchez away from Arsenal but it appears Ed Woodward has played hardball with Arsenal and pulled off a deal that places even more scrutiny on Manchester City’s withdrawal over money concerns. It appears more and more likely that Alexis Sanchez simply chose the bigger club in Manchester United.

But whilst Manchester City can turn their open chequebook towards another big signing, the cold hard reality for Arsenal is they were never in a position of strength with Sanchez being out of contract in May and Manchester United clearly used this to their advantage in the negotiations. With both players expected to complete medicals tomorrow and be publicly unveiled by their new clubs, Arsenal fans will no doubt try and see the positive in the recruitment of Mkhitaryan. However, the harsh truth is, like with Robin Van Persie, United are stealing Arsenal’s most precious asset for next to nothing and in return are providing them with a player they no longer want.

Get the latest Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United update on our YouTube channel

Alexis Sanchez To Make Manchester United Debut Against Burnley

Alexis Sanchez will make his Manchester United debut against Burnley on Saturday according to reports. The premier league deadline for players to be registered with clubs for the weekend fixtures is midday on Friday, and with two full days to complete the deal Manchester United are confident they can hand Alexis Sanchez his debut in the tough away fixture at Burnley.

Debate still rages on as to how the Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United deal will be structured. The ideal choice for Manchester United and Arsenal is that Henrikh Mkhitaryan features in the deal. This allows Arsenal to bring in a much needed player to replace Sanchez and it allows Manchester United to offload Mkhitaryan, who clearly no longer has a future at the club. However, Mkhitaryan’s resistance to the deal and Mino Raiola’s unrealistic wage demands could scupper this preferred option. That would not ultimately prevent the Sanchez to Manchester United deal going ahead though. Manchester United are willing to pay a straight 35 million for Sanchez, so if Mkhitaryan doesn’t feature in the deal there should be no problem in getting the deal over the line by Friday.

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