Tag Archives: january

It’s obvious Man Utd need 1 of these midfielders in January following Leicester City performance

Man Utd is currently suffering from a squad depth crisis in a season filled with football, as they have the demands of the Premier League. They lost six first-team players in the transfer window and brought in three, leaving a scarce midfield and attack in front of a fairly solid defence.

The 1-0 victory at Old Trafford was certainly a good team performance. But Man Utd holding out for a narrow win from a penalty at home against Leicester is cause for concern.

Man Utd was dominated on the ball despite being solid defensively. They had 41% possession and made only 345 passes compared to Leicester’s 471. This shows that a commanding and dominant midfielder is needed at Man Utd to help them control the game, as a slight slip up could nullify the one goal that the Reds can’t seem to add to.

Pogba was out of the line up due to a minor injury, and his presence could have allowed for Man Utd to see more of the ball. However, Fred came on as a substitute for Matic and partnered alongside Scott McTominay which instantly saw the Reds look more comfortable and confident in possession.

Having Fred and McTominay as deep midfielders is the way to go for Man Utd, should they want to dominate possession. But having a creative midfielder in front of them is crucial to Solskjaer’s side racking up goals on a consistent basis.

With Pogba seeking a move away, Juan Mata reaching the latter stages of his career and Angel Gomes arguably not ready for first-team football, who can Solskjaer add to his side to undertake this role?

Creative Midfielders

Ironically, Man Utd could have solved this issue in summer. Being heavily linked to the likes of James Maddison and Bruno Fernandes, they are precisely the calibre of player that Solskjaer needs in his side. Both are keen on scoring and assisting whilst adding a spark of flare and quality to their sides.

Forget Muriqi: Man Utd need one of these 2 experienced strikers instead

Kosovo striker Vedat Muriqi has Premier League clubs turning heads. Solskjaer sent scouts to watch him play against England where the striker tucked home a penalty. But is this undiscovered talent what Man Utd need in their forward line?

Solskjaer admitted that his side is not complete in terms of tactics and personnel, meaning that a few signings could be made in the next two transfer windows.

Man Utd lack in both the midfield and attack, being limited in players and quality.

The main goalscorer at Old Trafford was Romelu Lukaku until his departure to Inter Milan in summer. Currently, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford lead the Reds’ attack, despite both being unproven strikers. New signing Dan James is giving the forward’s a run for their money, being joint top scorer for Man Utd with Rashford, who has scored three goals, two of which were penalties.

Is Muriqi the right signing for Man Utd?

The 6 foot 3 striker is certainly built for the demands of the Premier League. He made a name for himself last season as he scored 17 goals and got 8 assists for his former club Caykur Rizespor. Before swiftly moving to Fenerbahce for only £3.1million.

However, Man Utd desperately need a prolific striker who can reach the 20 goals per season mark on a consistent basis in the Premier League. Muriqi, on the other hand, has reached 17 goals on two occasions in Turkish football but has fallen well short in other seasons.

Man Utd’s safe bet would be to acquire the services of a proven Premier League striker. Such as Jamie Vardy or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. As opposed to adding another hit-or-miss player to the squad.

Reading’s exciting youngster could have a big Man Utd future

Manchester United have always had magnificent goalkeepers. Peter Schmeichel, Edwin Van Der Sar and David De Gea to name a prolific three. More recently, Man Utd have produced a future star in Dean Henderson, as well as having the second-best second-goalie in the league, Sergio Romero…

So when Man Utd say they are interested in signing a goalkeeper, it usually means they are top quality.

In this case, it is Reading’s academy who have pulled through with producing a future start goalkeeper. Coniah Boyce-Clarke, a 16-year-old English goalkeeper, who met with Man Utd whilst playing against their under-23s at only 15 years old.

Ever since Man Utd have kept a close eye on this athletic young goalkeeper. And their eyes certainly lit up after seeing what he did for England’s under-17s.

Boyce-Clarke recently lifted the Syrenka Cup with England’s under-17s after beating the host, Poland, in a penalty shoot-out. Where the Man Utd target saved two penalties, effectively winning the team the tournament.

The Reading goalkeeper is a prominent fixture in their under-23s squad, demonstrating the confidence and maturity this youngster has.

Man Utd’s next first-team goalkeeper may well be the brilliant talent of Dean Henderson, currently gaining Premier League experience with Sheffield Utd.

The Reds could put Boyce-Clarke through a similar process, readying him for first-team football by the time he reaches 23 or 24. Preparing him for eight to ten years between the sticks at Old Trafford.

With current first-team goalie David De Gea stalling a contract renewal, we could see Dean Henderson feature for Man Utd sooner than expected. Should he be Man Utd’s first team goalkeeper until he reaches the age of 30, Boyce-Clarke would only be 24, and hopefully ready to take over Henderson.

Man Utd keeping a close eye on exciting midfielder ahead of January

Manchester United are looking to hijack another talent from Leicester City. Just like Harry Maguire, signing this player would completely change this Man Utd squad.

Solskjaer needs midfielders as soon as possible. There appears to be a giant hole in the centre of Old Trafford that Paul Pogba is failing to fill on his own.

But this problem could be solved as early as January. According to reports, Man Utd are keeping a close eye on Leicester City’s James Maddison, a very talented midfielder who has worked his way up the leagues throughout his short career so far.

The 22-year-old got seven goals and seven assists in the Premier League last season and created more chances than any other player in the competition.

Having chances created from the midfield is where Man Utd’s weakness is. Which is why they have failed to break down the compact defences of Wolves, Crystal Palace and Southampton in their recent three games, where the Reds only picked up two points.

Is Maddison the key to unlocking Man Utd

Having a creative genius like Maddison in the squad will also act as a catalyst in improving the form of Daniel James, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. This forward three are very capable strikers when supplied correctly.

However, Man Utd have a very similar player in their ranks already. A player which fans are begging to see on the pitch more often. Angel Gomes is a natural number ten, his entire game is built around supplying forwards with passing in-behind the defence.

Introducing Gomes against compact defences is the only way Man Utd can survive this season, without making a big transfer for a big midfielder in January. And hoping that they can rectify in the second half of the season.

Furthermore, having the regular option of both Maddison and Gomes could transform Man Utd’s midfield from mid-table quality to top-four quality.

Man Utd must get one of these 3 midfielders in January following released funds

Man Utd fixed their defence in summer, with two fantastic transfers. But after the departure of Ander Herrera with no replacement, their midfield is looking like the bane of their bid for top four. If Man Utd want any chance of Champions League football next season, they must sign one of these three midfielders in January…

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s promise to rebuild the squad looked like a smokescreen due to the state of the squad after the summer transfer window. But after offloading many “non-fan favourites” to Italian clubs, things looked on the up once again. Now, reports are suggesting that Solskjaer and Woodward have met to discuss the reinvestment of the £75million sale of Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan.

Perhaps the Man Utd board are beginning to take the club’s legacy seriously.

With funds available in January, and Man Utd in dire need of a new midfield, Solskjaer should target one of the following midfielders, if not all of them…

James Maddison

Man Utd might have to look over at their sixth place competitors Leicester City once again. Having already signed Harry Maguire from the club in summer.

Their attacking midfielder James Maddison created more chances than any other player in the Premier League last season. Which is exactly what Man Utd are lacking quality in.

Furthermore, the 22-year-old fits in with Solskjaer’s requirements of being young, hungry and clued up on English football.

Luka Modric

Man Utd has no commanding midfielders. The 34-year old’s contract is up come to the end of the season and can replace Nemanja Matic as the experienced talent to run the midfield.

Despite being a senior player, and not exactly fit the mould of a typical Solskjaer target. Having one of the world’s best midfielders to help out for 18 months whilst the manager perfects the squad can cause little to no harm.

Florentino Luis

Man Utd scouts have been enjoying the watch of Benfica’s defensive midfield maestro Florentino Luis. Having a competent defensive midfielder is crucial to this Man Utd side as Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay does not excel under the pressure of this role.

Having a natural, young talent guarding the back four, will allow Pogba and McTominay to flourish in their preferred positions of an advanced box-to-box midfielder.

Man Utd should seriously consider selling these 2 players in January

Speaking of selling players is a touchy subject at Old Trafford, as the squad depth and squad quality are at an all-time low. But there are two players in particular who should be moved on as soon as possible…

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done a fantastic job at moving players away from the club. Some have made way for youth, such as Chris Smalling moving away and Axel Tuanzebe sitting on the bench. Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez leaving have allowed Mason Greenwood and Tahith Chong to see glimpses of action already.

Some have been moved on or demoted from the first team simply due to their lack of quality. Such as Ashley Young, Nemanja Matic and Phil Jones. Including Matteo Darmian who has returned to Italy.

Regarding this, here are two players who should be moved on in January…

Nemanja Matic

Matic, 31, has been a fantastic servant in the Premier League for both Chelsea and Man Utd. However, in recent months, his lack of energy has been detrimental to Man Utd’s transition from defence to attack. They look much better without him in the squad.

Moving on Matic would bring in some funds, as well as leaving a place on the bench for Fred or the young prospect James Garner.

Phil Jones/Marcos Rojo

Man Utd still has six senior centre backs despite Chris Smalling’s loan move to Roma. Upon Eric Bailly’s return from injury, he will most likely make the bench alongside Axel Tuanzebe, who should not be dropped under any circumstances this season.

This leaves Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo as the fringe players. Should they be unhappy with the occasional League Cup or Europa League appearance, they would be best off exiting the club as soon as possible, in order to introduce youth players into that fringe player role.

Man City should best consider selling these 2 in January

Guardiola is fortunate enough to have one of the best squads in European football. To such an extent, that it could be time to let some of their brilliant players walk out of the door…

Manchester City has to make way for some of the young talents they have coming through. Losing the likes of Leroy Sane, Phil Foden and promising academy prospects to big European clubs can only slow down their progression.

With this in mind, here are two players that Guardiola could lose without harming the squad. As there are replacements who would benefit from their game time…

Ilkay Gundogan

Gundogan, 28, recently signed a contract which will take him to 2023 at the Etihad. However, should Guardiola opt against loaning out Phil Foden, the only respectable alternative is to give the youngster first-team football?

Despite Gundogan being a fantastic option as a rotational midfielder, he could be stealing game time away from the Man City youth talent.

Although David Silva is in his final season with Man City, it is probable that the Citizens will replace the Spaniard superstar with a like-for-like talent from a top European club.

Riyad Mahrez

Mahrez, 28, will turn 29 upon the return of the injured Leroy Sane. Who is considering a move to Germany due to a lack of a starting eleven football.

After coming from Leicester, Mahrez himself hasn’t seen an awful lot of game time. And at his age, he could be looking at a move away to ensure a lot of football in the final five years of his career at full fitness.

This would benefit Sane with more game time, ultimately benefiting Man City by having a happy and content world-class winger.

Man Utd stand strong as they set Pogba January sale price

Paul Pogba’s dream of moving from Man Utd to Real Madrid could finally materialise as soon as January. This will make the upcoming season one of ups and downs for a few reasons…

If you asked me for a price to set on Paul Pogba, you’d have to tip an eight on its side. There is no price that Pogba can depart for which will benefit the future of Manchester United unless every penny of the quoted £179million for his services is reinvested into a brand new midfield.

But bear in mind, when Cristiano Ronaldo departed Man Utd, he was replaced with Gabriel Obertan and Michael Owen… A club with ambition right?!

What will happen to Man Utd if Pogba leaves in January?

Many Man Utd fans fear that the board will fail to invest in the club correctly upon the sale of Paul Pogba. Selling him in January will only allow for three or four weeks to find a suitable replacement, whilst also attempting to sign a further midfielder which the side desperately need already.

With Paul Pogba, Man Utd have the 8th best midfield in the Premier League. Without him, you’d need to look at the Championship to find any comparisons. That is why Paul Pogba cannot be sold unless plans for his replacement are already in place.

But again, bear in mind that the transfers of Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka took more than four weeks to complete, resulting in Man Utd giving in to the initial asking price anyway.

Love or hate Paul Pogba, he is the only outfield player in the squad who could walk into any other European giant’s dressing room.

It is unlikely that Man Utd will replace Pogba with a player of his calibre. If they do, it will be a player who is merely seeking an astronomical wage.

Is Man Utd going round in circles despite the promise of a rebuild? Should it continue, there is no cap to how far down this once great club could plummet to.

2 reasons why Man Utd have to get this Premier League proven midfielder in January

Man Utd has had a terrible start to the season, with all of their issues revolving around a lack of quality in the middle of the park. A problem that should have been fixed in summer may now be fixed in January as Man Utd are lining up a second attempt to sign Christian Eriksen from Tottenham Hotspur.

After Solskjaer’s emphatic 4-0 victory at Old Trafford, results have gone downhill. The Reds have failed to win a single game in the three games since.

Man Utd’s win over Chelsea came from the naivety of the London side, as they piled on pressure which gave Solskjaer’s side several opportunities to utilise their one and only asset; counter-attacks.

Afterwards, they faced Wolves, Crystal Palace and Southampton. All teams that defend in a compact manner, giving very little space behind them. This has been a bane to the Reds, as they only picked up 2 points in 3 games when facing this style of the place.

This is where the Danish 27-year-old midfielder comes into the equation. By signing him in January (despite it being obvious that the club needed a midfielder in the summer transfer window) Christian Eriksen will bring these two qualities to Man Utd which could entirely change their fortunes…

Premier League proven

Since joining Spurs from Ajax in 2013, Eriksen has featured in 210 Premier League games, contributing 50 goals and 64 assists. This gives Eriksen a consistent average creating a goal in at least every other game.

Man Utd needs this kind of consistency in their side. Their current strongest midfield consists of the hit-or-miss Paul Pogba, the unproven Scott McTominay and Fred, who has failed to make an impact since joining although moments of brilliance are noticed.

Final third creativity

As mentioned, Man Utd are hopeless in creating chances for their number nine Anthony Martial. Eriksen is technically gifted enough to provide countless opportunities for the very clinical Frenchman, who will surely score goals when given the right service.

There have been numerous occasions this season where the likes of Marcus Rashford, Daniel James and Anthony Martial have made dangerous runs, but the current midfield don’t have what it takes to supply.

Eriksen, or any creative midfielder, would make a huge impact on this side. Man Utd has aspirations to reach top four. So attaining a Premier League star seems to be the sensible option.

The most worrying aspect for Man Utd is that they may slip so far down by January that no one wants to join them.

Forget Sancho: Man Utd need to go for 1 of these 3 in January

Reports now suggest that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have to wait until next summer to sign Borussia Dortmund’s English superstar Jadon Sancho. Despite the calibre of signing he is, it works out well for Man Utd that they will have to pursue other targets in the January transfer window…

Such as, to little surprise, a creative midfielder.

Solskjaer’s positive mindset and style of play have certainly turned many frowns upside-down. But with only four points out of a possible nine, the start of the campaign hasn’t gone to plan for the Norwegian.

Without signing a midfielder, every single Man Utd fan predicted the future. Supplying the forwards with goal-scoring opportunities is near impossible with the only midfielder with an eye for a pass is Paul Pogba. However, even Pogba has critical flaws which diminish the opportunities for goal scoring, as he tends to hold onto the ball for too long.

This could be a result of Solskjaer opting to play the Frenchman in a deeper role, but being worth £150million and renowned as one of the world’s best, more needs to be expected of him this season.

Waiting until next summer to sign Jadon Sancho is a good thing for Man Utd. They can now put their funds and focus during the January transfer window into fixing Man Utd’s midfield.

Solskjaer’s favoured front three so far, Rashford, Martial and James, each have two goals from three games. With better supply, there is little room for argument that this forward three can’t bring success to Man Utd.

The midfield is the issue, Man Utd’s squad currently resembles a Polo mint. So, who should Solskjaer target in January to fill the hole in his under-performing team?

Here are three options…

Kai Havertz

Last season, 20-year-old German Kai Havertz scored 17 goals, with 4 assists in 34 Bundesliga appearances. This 6 foot 2 midfielder can play in and around the midfield, a very versatile player. Similarly, Jesse Lingard is often played in central midfield, attacking midfield, and wide midfield/wing, just like Havertz.

The difference is that Havertz is seven years younger and can actually impact the team on a very consistent basis. Lingard has zero goals or assists in the Premier League during the 2019 calendar year.

Bruno Fernandes

One of Man Utd’s biggest transfer errors was not bringing in Bruno Fernandes. Fernandes has played three league games for Sporting Lisbon so far this season, scoring 1 and assisting 4 already.

Should Man Utd have signed the Portuguese midfielder in summer, there is little doubt that Solskjaer’s side could have gained better results from the defensive set-ups of Wolves and Crystal Palace.

Wilfred Ndidi

A 22-year-old defensive midfielder. Post-match interviews with the Nigerian show him to be a very humble and graceful professional, the perfect character for what Solskjaer is looking for.

By having this ball-winner in the central defensive midfield position, Paul Pogba will have much more freedom in attacking areas where he is most dangerous.

Ndidi currently has more tackles and interceptions in the Premier League than any other player so far this season. With him guarding Man Utd’s brand new defence, it’s hard to imagine the Reds conceding many goals.

With Pogba higher up the pitch, his tendency to lose possession wouldn’t harm the team nearly as much as when he loses it in his own half. The prime example being Crystal Palace’s winning goal at Old Trafford.

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