Tag Archives: david de gea

Did Manchester United Do Enough Business in the Transfer Window?

Cast your mind back to April this year. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has just issued a public apology to the Manchester United fanbase following their 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Everton. More than that, the manager also states that there is plenty of work to do during the summer transfer window, hinting at a complete re-build from the ground up.

That interview left many Man United fans thinking that there would be more than a few transfers to look forward to, both in and out of the club. Yet just three notable deals have been struck to bring in Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James and, most recently, Harry Maguire. As for the outgoings, Ander Herrera (one of United’s best players last season), Antonio Valencia and Romelu Lukaku were all moved on.

That said, it’s clear that a large part of Solskjaer’s focus now lies in the youth prospects that are gradually coming through the ranks. Could this investment in young talent pay off next season? Let’s take a look at the key areas of the United squad as they currently stand.

Defence

It’s fair to say the Man United defence was in a sorry state last year, with a whopping 54 goals conceded over the course of the season. The club has made significant strides in strengthening their backline, with Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka coming in to replace Phil Jones or Chris Smalling and Ashley Young respectively.

Most fans will be fairly happy with these deals, not to mention the fact that goalkeeper David de Gea looks set to sign a new contract at the club over the coming weeks. Add in Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw and Axel Tuanzebe to the mix and you’d have to say that a solid defensive unit could be formed out of those players.

Midfield

On paper, the middle of the park is perhaps the biggest area of concern for Manchester United next season. The departure of Ander Herrera to PSG is certainly a blow, and the board didn’t finance a move for a suitable replacement. Some fans still have confidence in the young talent of Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira to step up alongside Paul Pogba, yet the lack of depth in the squad remains a worry.

There were plenty of rumours flying around regarding potential moves for a centre-mid – particularly Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen – yet they were unable to get a deal done for either, which is probably of little surprise to Man United fans considering the number of top players they have been linked to over the past few seasons. However, their business has done enough to convince the bookies as they are fourth favourites at 11/10 in the football betting to finish in the top four outright markets.

Attack

The departure of Romelu Lukaku and the lack of a replacement means there should be plenty of opportunities for the group of young, talented attackers currently at the club. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial will play important roles, that’s for sure, whereas up and comers such as Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong and Daniel James will each get their chance to shine in the first team. They have also have older stars to complement these youngsters: Alexis Sanchez, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard.

Even so, despite the improvements that have been made over the summer, you’d have to say that the squad still has a fair few holes to fill before they can put a top-four finish beyond doubt. There are still question marks over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who will be keen to validate his new tactical approach and focus on youth as soon as possible. The first few months will be critical, let’s see how it all turns out!

Two qualities Maguire will finally bring to Man Utd’s backline

Harry Maguire has completed his long-awaited move to Old Trafford. Here is how one man from Sheffield can fix Manchester United.

Harry Maguire has become the world’s most expensive defender after joining Man Utd from Leicester for a reported fee of £80million.

Fans of the great Red Devils have been keen on bringing in a new defender for many years, particularly after the frequent injuries of Eric Bailly.

Maguire was in the spotlight during England’s 2018 World Cup in Russia. The centre-half pitched in with goals and assists in a competition which brought the nation together over the love of football, making a name for himself on the biggest stage.

Regardless of the huge price tag, public interviews and interactions with Harry Maguire show him to be a very humble and hard-working professional. Solskjaer has added a great character to his dressing-room. But what has he added to what we see on the pitch?

Ball playing centre-half

Manchester United struggle immensely with bringing the ball out from the back. The only top-quality defender in the side, Victor Lindelof, has begun to do this more often since the arrival of Solskjaer, to great effect.

However, pre-season taught us that Rojo, Smalling and Jones are incapable of playing from the back. Often running into trouble and losing the ball.

By having Harry Maguire in the squad, there will be two defenders able to carry the ball forward, preventing the fear of leaving a weakness alone at the back. Maguire completed 17 ‘take-ons’ last season. This is more than any other centre back in the Premier League.

So, not only is Maguire capable of bringing the ball into the midfield, he is one of the best at it.

Aerial wins

Solskjaer’s defence falls apart from set-pieces. They are completely lost when it comes to handling aerial threats in their own box.

This is where the ex-Leicester City man steps in. According to the following statistic from a football statistician who is frequently seen on MUTV, “Harry Maguire won 73% of his duels in the Premier League last season, Virgil van Dijk (76%) was the only CB with a better success rate (minimum 2000 minutes played).”

Therefore, David De Gea will have two fantastic defenders in front of him. Capable of dealing with a multitude of threats.

With Harry Maguire’s aerial abilities and desire to transition the ball into midfield, you can expect this Man Utd side to concede fewer and score more. A great signing for Manchester United.

Look forward to it Man Utd fans. How many stoppage-time headers will Maguire score this season?

What will become of Man Utd this season if no more transfers walk through the door?

Amid speculation of transfers, there is one probable outcome that tends to be glossed over. Could this Man Utd squad cope without anymore transfers this season?

It is no large secret that Man Utd’s board are frugal with their spending. Tending to only spend big money on ‘shirt-sellers’ who will recoup the money spend by shirt sales and brand offers. As opposed to bringing success on the pitch. Examples such as Di Maria, Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez.

Should Arsenal land Pepe, and with Aston Villa spending tonnes, both will have out-spent Man Utd in this summer transfer window. Both clubs are significantly less wealthy and arguably in less need of a rebuild than Man Utd.

Man Utd’s current squad is composed of two world-class players; David De Gea and Paul Pogba. The rest are either previously fantastic players who have lost their legs such as Ashley Young, Nemanja Matic and Alexis Sanchez. Or, promising but unproven youth players such as Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Scott McTominay, Dan James etc.

Solskjaer’s ultimate goal is trophies, admitted by himself and his squad. However, the Man Utd squad in comparison to the squads of Man City and Liverpool is lacking in quality, immensely.

Man Utd’s current squad is on par with the likes of Everton, Wolves and Leicester. The professionalism, demands and fantastic coaching may be all that separates the clubs by around 10 points in the league table.

What could Man Utd be this season?

If the most common reports hold truth and are followed through, Man Utd’s squad quality could go from a 6th or 7th place position to a 2nd or 3rd.

With Harry Maguire bolstering the defence, Man Utd would have no big weaknesses at the back. With Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Paulo Dybala in and around the midfield and attack, the squad would be transformed.

Man Utd’s current squad have fantastic quality, but there is not enough depth in it. By allowing the current ‘fantastic’ players to be rotated with potential signings who are ‘world-class’ players, the structure of the squad would be able to match Man City and possibly even surpass Liverpool.

What if there are no more signings?

Despite Daniel James showing great potential and unbelievable athleticism, he is nowhere near a finished product. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, however, is one of the best right-backs in European football, a very good signing.

But with no more signings, there are not enough holes being patched. And Man Utd will find themselves outside of the top 4 once again, battling for 5th and 6th place with Arsenal, Leicester, Everton and Wolves.

Positives & negatives to one of these 3 potential Man Utd Captains

Solskjaer is seeking a leader of men to walk his Man United team out onto the pitch against Chelsea, but who should it be?

Manchester United’s pre-season tour of Australia and Asia has given fans a lot to be excited by, and this burst of energy is being seen on the pitch. The transfer market, however, is looking to a letdown. It appears Ed Woodward isn’t pulling his weight whilst Solskjaer appears to be moving mountains.

The Norwegian manager will have to assume that he will be playing with the hand he was dealt. Man Utd has added two first-team players to the ranks since their abysmal last season.

Out of the divided Man Utd team, concocted of several different minds, Solskjaer must pick one Captain going into the new season.

Who can lead this mid-table squad to success next season?

David De Gea

Positives

According to reports, Man Utd are close to announcing the extended contract for goalkeeper David De Gea. An old trick to make fans forget that transfers should be happening. However, keeping the best goalkeeper in the world is exciting news. De Gea joined in 2011, and the 28-year-old goalkeeper is certainly looking to get some silverware in his career. If he didn’t believe he could get that with the Reds, he would most definitely have left for Real Madrid or PSG.

Negatives

Although not unheard of, Man Utd might not benefit from a Captain being back there in the sticks. Despite having the worst defence Manchester United have ever had in front of him, it doesn’t take an armband for a goalkeeper to arrange them correctly. Man Utd would get more use out of a Captain who is in the thick of it on the field.

Paul Pogba

Positives

Many agree that Paul Pogba is Man Utd’s only world-class outfield player. Meaning that he can lead by example, particularly with the youth. Other players would feel more obliged to up-their-game whilst being lead by the talent of Paul Pogba. Man Utd players would feel less to work for when being lead by Ashley Young, who despite his hard work, has done very little right in a Red shirt for many years.

Negatives

Despite being their best player, he is also the least consistent. For every one game he bosses, he spends five to ten more lost on the pitch. Luckily for his statistics, he really does show up when he plays. However, Pogba has recently admitted that he wants to leave the club. Unless he fully buys into Solskjaer’s rebuild, he shouldn’t even feature heavily this season, let alone wear the armband.

Juan Mata

Positives

Juan Mata is one of football’s kindest and most generous souls, as well as being up-there with the talent. With five and a half years under his belt at Old Trafford, his contract could allow for up to three more. Mata is clearly devoted to the club, and many of the younger players will look up to him as an international who has dominated world football in his career.

Negatives

In pre-season so far, Solskjaer has implemented a high-pressing, high-intensity and high-work rate ethic into his squad. This is something Juan Mata cannot keep up with, losing a yard of pace in recent years. This could result in poor performances and mistakes from the Spaniard, making his leading by example a difficulty for both club and player.

3 players that need to step up and impress during pre-season for Man Utd

Man United start their pre-season today against Perth Glory. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to keep a close eye on these players as they could see a very different season to their last.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stressed the importance of having a full pre-season under his belt after being appointed as the permanent manager.

The ‘smiling assassin’ took over his old club in January 2019, dropped in at the deep end as the club were struggling in sixth position. The squad were also majorly unfit due to the pragmatic and dull approach of the previous manager Jose Mourinho.

After settling in, securing the job and studying his squad, Solskjaer can look towards the new season. A fresh start.

Solskjaer’s disappointing results with Man United had fans and pundits pointing the finger at players, due to the ex-player had little time to fix the squad.

After the millionaires have enjoyed their luxurious holidays, there should be no excuses for poor performances going into the new season. Provided that the coaching staff nail the tactics and fitness in pre-season.

Although Solskjaer is regarded as a legend, he cannot fix Manchester United alone. Therefore, he needs to demand support, effort and quality football from his squad.

There is no doubt that Manchester United harbour immense quality in their squad. The Football Manc Cave has three players in mind who could see fantastic seasons should they quickly turn their form around…

Fred

Manchester United saw Fred tear their neighbours apart whilst he was playing for Shakhtar Donetsk. He drew the eyes of Europe’s top squads towards him. Unable to settle in during his opening season with the Red Devils, Fred saw little game time and was unable to secure a regular first team selection.

The Brazilian midfielder possesses great tactical awareness and can provide a killer ball behind defensive lines. This attribute practically sold him to Manchester United. With a more positive attacking system, we could see Fred blossom. As the forwards in red might finally be ready to make some positive runs behind the back lines.

Anthony Martial

Martial is a fan favourite at Old Trafford. The striker, who is constantly selected for the left-wing position, scored 10 goals for Man Utd last season. If the Frenchman is to be played in his natural position up-top, he would easily see that figure double. The 23-year signed a contract extension in January 2019, keeping him in Manchester until 2024.

David De Gea

When the best goalkeeper in the world is on-form, it makes up for Manchester United’s abysmal defence. With the potential signing of Harry Maguire and the defensive superstar Aaron Wan-Bissaka already in the ranks, we could see the world’s best goalkeeper behind a solid defence.

David De Gea needs to forget the storm of last season and get back to his high self-set standards. This way Manchester United could half the number of goals they conceded last season.

Man Utd linked to Bournemouth’s David Brooks, can he bring what’s missing with him

As a Lukaku-shaped door closes, a David Brooks shaped door opens!

According to reports the £75million striker Romelu Lukaku is looking to exit Manchester United after falling out of Solskjaer’s favour, as he prefers to use the homegrown Marcus Rashford in the number 9 role.

Lukaku is heavily pushing for a move as he tells Manchester United that he wants to leave the club by July 7th 2019.

As a result, Solskjaer has his eyes on the Welsh 21-year-old attacking-midfielder from Bournemouth, David Brooks, who is rumoured to be worth around £50million. This could suggest multiple things, however, it is likely that Brooks will be used in the number 10 role or right-wing position, as this is where he has been playing if his name has ended up on the score sheet.

With 7 goals and 5 assists in his first ever Premier League season, it is clear that his talent and potential has not gone unnoticed. With Manchester United struggling to create goals last season, Brooks could be the answer to this everlasting dilemma.

David Brooks also fits the culture that Solskjaer is bringing into his new Manchester United, he is British, young, promising and desperate to prove himself at a high level. A similar case for the likes of Daniel James, Mason Greenwood, Dean Henderson, Angel Gomes, Axel Tuanzebe etc.

Many Manchester United fans may be displeased that big names such as Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba and David De Gea are at the brink of leaving the club, and lesser-known talents such as James and Brooks looking to be brought in. However, many must remember that the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, David De Gea, Nani, Ryan Giggs, Rafael Da Silva and many more were unknown talents before making a name for themselves at Old Trafford.

Since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, it seems as though the identity of Manchester United has been lost, and with Solskjaer’s recent inquiries, it is clear that he has an image in mind of what this Man United team should look like. Therefore, fans should be excited about this rebuild, as it can’t be much worse than the lifeless, disappointing and dull team which they have been subjected to for the past 6 years.

Two Gk’s Man Utd Shouldn’t Look Past as Oblak Rumours Persist

As concern about David De Gea’s future at Manchester United grows, speculation of his replacement follows suit in the form of Atlético Madrid’s Jan Oblak.

David De Gea has been considered one of the world’s best goalkeepers for the past few years and, is renowned as a saviour in the red side of Manchester. In the 2017/18 Premier League season, De Gea accumulated an impressive 18 clean sheets, with only 28 goals conceded; a stark contrast to his 2018/19 Premier League season, as he only managed to keep 7 clean sheets and conceded a whopping 52 goals.

With Manchester United failing to join the elites of Europe in the Champions League next season. De Gea is rumoured to be seeking pastures new with the French giants Paris Saint-Germain, as their own goalkeeping master Gianluigi Buffon exits the side this summer. As a result, Manchester United’s reported interest in the Slovenian Jan Oblak has increased but is he the best option for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s summer rebuild?

Here are two alternatives which may solve Manchester United’s goalkeeping drama…

Dean Henderson

In the delight of Ed Woodward’s wallet, the young Sheffield United superstar goalkeeper would not have an effect, as he already plays for Manchester United.

Dean Henderson’s loan at the Championship side Sheffield United saw him gain 21 clean sheets and see his temporary team be promoted to the Premier League for the first time since 2006. However, despite an impressive season, Solskjaer saysHe’s obviously won promotion with Sheffield United and that’s been fantastic for him. If he plays a year in the Premier League for them, it might be the best thing“, meaning we may see more of him after proving himself at a Premier League level.

Mike Maignan

Manchester United have reportedly shown an interest in the French side Lille’s 23-year-old goalkeeper, who kept a respectable 17 clean sheets in 42 appearances for the side who managed to finish second in the league behind PSG and above Lyon.

According to reports, Lille have quoted a transfer fee of €35million. Manchester United fans may be uncertain about entrusting a young and fairly unknown goalkeeper with the huge responsibility of being between the sticks at Old Trafford. However, this was a very similar case when a young David De Gea began to start for Manchester United at age 19.

David De Gea’s United History and Why He Doesn’t Deserve the Name ‘Dodgy Dave’

Much as been made recently over Manchester United’s number one shot stopper David De Gea, in light of his recent mistakes in some high profile matches.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has rightly named De Gea as a starter tomorrow against Huddersfield Town. The Spanish ‘keeper for eight years has been between the sticks at Old Trafford, and although he didn’t have the best of starts while he adjusted to life in the Premier League – His talent shown through.

In his early years at Old Trafford, he struggled with the physicality of the English game, and he seemed to be a target for players from set pieces. He quickly learnt and the year after in 2012-13 he was in the Premier League team of the year.

He has gone on to feature in the team of the year a further four times (2015,’16,’17,’18). Individually he has won the Sir Matt Busby Player of the year award four times in a row from 2014-2018 in United barren spell during the post-Fergie era. As well as Man United’s player’s player of the year three times, this isn’t your normal goalkeeper we’re talking about.

Even last year he was in the FIFA FIFPro World XI and, the Premier League golden glove winner. So to suggest this ‘keeper is dodgy is very wide of the mark, every player during his career, much like teams throughout the season have a little rocky patch.

Furthermore, with De Gea being so good in the past eight years at Man United, pundits and particularly fans will be very quick to revel in the Spanish man demise.

At the age of 28, De Gea still has another 10 years in him easy, and if the last ten years is a measuring stick to go by, then this little blip will serve nothing apart from gaining experience in his career.

Solskjaer is right to back his man, he knows, like all United fans that De Gea has pulled the Red Devils out of the cow muck more times than he’s had hot dinners. Give him till the end of the season, let him have a much-needed rest in the close season and watch De Gea come back stronger and, more determined than ever.

Man United fans, what are your thoughts on De Gea

Two GK Alternatives Man United Could Look at Should PSG Attract De Gea This Summer

Paris St Germain have been linked with Man United’s David De Gea this summer, following a very un-De Gea season between the sticks.

The Spaniard has been the only player to come out with credit in the post-Fergie years. Without him United would be in even more of a sorry state than they currently are, with him single-handedly pulling them out of trouble on several occasions.

Every player has a rocky period within his career, unfortunately for a goalkeeper when this happens, it usually results in a goal. There’s no hiding for a GK, and it seems its De Gea’s time to be in the unwanted spotlight.

A ‘Keeper of his class and level would be very hard to replace. United found it hard to replace Peter Schmeichel for years until Edwin Van Der Sar turned up at Old Trafford. They got lucky going from Van Der Sar to De Gea, albeit taking the Spanish international time to adjust to the physicality of the Premier League.

However, De Gea turned into one of the world’s best, and no player goes from that level to a bad ‘keeper overnight.

PSG are sniffing around, much like Real Madrid have been doing for years. The difference is PSG have money and are willing to offer De Gea 450,000 a week, and with United in a transitional period once again – he may think it’s a good time to jump ship. Many of United’s fans will be hoping not of course.

Nevertheless, should he move on, Solskjaer should look to these goalkeepers as replacements…

Alessio Cragno

At 24-years-old the Italian shot-stopper is still young in the goalkeeper world, however being Cagliari’s number one in Serie A has given Cragno a lot of experience.

Cragno has great close-range reactions, brilliant passer of the ball be it short or long, his concentration levels are up there also. There’s rumored interested from Roma for the 13.50m man, but a little thinking outside the box for the Red Devils may yield another David De Gea.

Jan Oblak

Atletico Madrid’s number one has been touted as a direct replacement for De Gea, should he leave. Oblak possesses similar qualities to De Gea, and has been a mainstay in the Madrid side since his move in 2014.

He would be a sound investment, with the 72m rated star having a wealth of experience behind him under Diego Simeone.

It depends on which way United want to go with this, Red Devils – Which one do you prefer?

Mourinho’s Men May Be Through But The Need Sort The Problem Out Is Obvious

A last-gasp Fellaini winner earnt United a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League with a game to spare. Most seasons this would have been welcomed and applauded, however, following United’s recent run and performances – it’s been a little subdued.

Jose Mourino was quick to point out his personal achievements of qualifying in every one of his 14 seasons in the Champions League, but there is a feeling amongst many reds, that even though they are through…come up against a half decent team and they’ll be out at the first hurdle.

The game last night became frustrating to watch, as with most of the matches in recent times. It’s been well documented that this team lack identity and a format of playing, and with the squad of players that Mourinho has at his disposal it seems tough to call what exactly is missing.

It certainly feels like they need something, much as been made of the defence with Smalling seemingly a regular starter nowadays but Lindelof and Bailly can’t get a consistent sniff in.  Summer signing Dalot looked promising but injury and a return of Valencia look to have halted his progress early on. Luke Shaw is the only highlight, and his game looks to be matching everybody’s expectations.

The next six positions is a pick the ball out of the bag mess. Speaking to some Reds and barely anyone chose the same six players, quite similar to Jose himself.

Who do you pick – slow and controlled Matic, passionate and adding some bite Herrera or powerful and ball mover Fred?

Where does Pogba play?

How can we fit Mata in there?

What about Fellaini – Super Sub or starter?

Lingard?

Upfront… is it Martial, Lukaku and Rashford or Martial, Lukaku and Sanchez or another one of the numbers of combinations we could pick.

The only certainty in the team is David De Gea.

If you look back at the mid-’90s, ’90s-2000 and 2008 teams you could roll the first eleven of the top of your head still.

If Mourinho wants this team to be successful, a settled and regular 11 is what’s needed – Easier said than done.

Man Utd fans, what would your first 11 be?