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Two reasons why Man Utd shouldn’t renew injury-prone defender’s contract

Man Utd is looking to renew the contract of an injured defender who contracts runs out next summer…

Although there have been obvious and exciting changes to Manchester United on the pitch, it appears the boardroom has stayed the same. According to reports, Man Utd want to extend Eric Bailly’s contract by triggering a 2-year extension.

The reason behind this is to ensure that the Ivorian defender doesn’t leave on a free transfer at the end of the current season.

This is insanely terrible business and management of the club, here are two reasons why…

Woodward never learns

Man Utd has been plagued with a ridiculous wage structure, Marcus Rashford earning more than Raheem Sterling says it all.

Bailly currently earns £120,000 a week, which will surely increase during negotiations of the contract extension. This means that Man Utd, once again, will not be able to sell the individual because they cannot match the player’s wages. We have seen this with Marcos Rojo failing to join Everton on deadline day.

In the coming years, Woodward will be trying to profit on a £30m transfer for Bailly from Villareal made in June 2016. With his high wages, his ever-increasing age and being very injury-prone, it is highly unlikely that any club would pay north for £30m or be willing to match or increase his wage.

7 is definitely a crowd

Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe are all senior centre-backs. This is far too many to establish defenders without pushing two or three players into the reserves.

Chris Smalling is far from a fan favourite. Phil Jones himself is injury prone but potentially more reliable than Eric Bailly.

It is great to have aggressive defenders who love a crunching tackle. But there are too many arguments as for why Eric Bailly should be let go from the club.

Man Utd need to rid themselves of Wolves jinx by playing this forward line, agree?

Solskjaer’s Man United has been unable to beat Wolves in his two fixtures at Molineux. However, he didn’t have this forward option last season…

Wolves were a stick in the mud for the top 6 last season. A chart on Reddit shows the Wanderer’s results in a mini-league versus the top 6, where
Wolves place 3rd on thirteen points compared to Man Utd who placed 7th with seven points.

Solskjaer heads to Molineux for his second Premier League fixture of his first full season in charge. But this time feels different for fans and players alike.

After Man Utd’s 4-0 victory against Chelsea, the red side of Manchester is starting to buzz once again.

Man Utd will be facing a defensively sturdy and well-drilled Wolves. They tend to play a possession-based style, as “Ole ball” will see the Red’s forwards chased it down relentlessly.

There is a very specific forward line that can undo the Wolves defence, it goes a little something like this…

Jesse Lingard

Lingard’s natural athleticism gives him the ability to press defenders aggressively and force errors. Fairly similar to undisputed Man Utd legend Ji-Sung Park.

He will drift wide right as Rashford drifts wide left with Martial central, giving space in the attacking midfield for Pogba and/or McTominay.

Lingard will be imperative to way Man Utd press and tire out their defence in order to strike late-game.

These 60/70 minute substitutions will be the Reds clutch the game…

Dan James and Juan Mata

Introducing Dan James towards the end of the game against Chelsea finished the Londoners off. His goal came from a Paul Pogba run towards the box as James’ unmatched pace overlapped him, received the ball, and scored.

With Wolves being tired out by a very fit Man Utd, facing a fresh Dan James would be their worst nightmare.

With Mata introduced, there will be slightly less emphasis on pressing and more picking out passed into the final third. Passes that Dan James will be itching to get on the end of.

Throughout Summer, Juan Mata signed a new contract at Man United, leaving fans concerned about his age and ability. Jesse Lingard’s juvenile personality and lack of consistency gain him negative attention. Dan James has been thoroughly doubted due to coming from a Championship level squad. But all three players will play a huge role in a Man Utd victory over Wolves.

2 exciting Man Utd prospects that you simply need to keep tabs on, could be worth big money

With a lack of depth in Man Utd’s squad, youngsters will likely be called up at some point this season. Should it be an injury, lack of form, or fatigue, Solskjaer has promised youngsters game time, and two players, in particular, should be high on his list…

Manchester United have always been praised for their academy. How the club has harnessed and integrated their youth over time has been a large part of the club’s success.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will likely continue Sir Alex Ferguson’s project of turning youth players in the starters. We have seen this already against Chelsea, where Man Utd had five academy graduates on the field and two on the bench.

Two youngsters, in particular, both need and deserve game time this season. If not for the future of themselves, then for the future investment they will bring to the club’s wallet.

Angel Gomes

Gomes, 18, is one of England’s best young prodigies. His goal against Tottenham in pre-season and his legacy in the youth academy shows all the signs of a world-class player in the making. Gomes could easily be the next Jadon Sancho. A young English talent who isn’t the first choice, moving abroad and finding success.

Gomes has a very continental style of play and could fix any league ranging from German, English, French and Spanish. His close control, dribbling ability and low centre of gravity make him akin to Lionel Messi. Could we see this youngster move to Barcelona for £100million in the coming years? The concept is not unlikely.

Ethan Laird

Laird is an 18-year-old full-back who has been extremely impressive over recent months in the academy. At under-16s level, the right-footed defender played left-back and bagged himself 22 goals in that season.

Having an attacking full-back who can work on both sides is becoming more and more important in modern football. Despite the demand not being high just yet, the future demand could result in a huge fee from a top club for this versatile and well-drilled defender.

2 positives and 2 negatives for Man Utd should Pogba leave

European football clubs still have until September to sign players. Could we see Man Utd lose Paul Pogba in the coming weeks? And how on Earth would Solskjaer cope with even less midfield quality?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has appraised Paul Pogba even before joining as a manager. He said he would aim to build a squad around the midfielder, but have these plans changed after Pogba’s plans changed?

There is no doubt that, should Pogba stay this season, Solskjaer will be building and aiming high with his team in order to gain the approval of the Frenchman.

Should Man Utd come away with silverware, a top-four finish and the feeling of a positive future, Paul Pogba may well decide to commit to the club.

But preparing for the worst is always the best option. Man Utd needs to learn how to survive without Pogba or a replacement.

Here are the pros and cons of Paul Pogba leaving (this month).

‘Ruthlessness’

Man Utd and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have stressed the fact that they have no interest in players who are not ready to commit to the club. By dismissing Paul Pogba, it would be a huge statement about what type of character they want in the squad.

Youth development

Losing a senior player without a replacement inline offers little progression for the club except for the involvement of youth. By losing Paul Pogba, there would be space for players ranging from Fred and Pereira to James Garner to step up to the plate.

Goodbye top four

Man Utd would have nowhere near enough quality to finish top four without Paul Pogba. Against Chelsea, the Blues could have easily scored one or two goals on a different day. Paul Pogba was heavily involved with two goals with fantastic assists, meaning that the Reds may well have come away without three points had Pogba been absent.

Angry fans

The fan base would be furious. As at least £150million will go into the owner’s wallet until the next disappointing transfer window. Having failed to secure a midfielder in summer, fans would feel as though they had been robbed blind should Pogba leave in the current transfer window.

3 more players Man Utd need to shift before the Euro window closes

Man Utd should get rid of these three players before the season starts…

One saving grace to Man Utd’s summer transfer window could be the players they lose. In the European market, they can still purchase players from the Premier League until 2nd September. This has caused great confusion and speculation about the whereabouts of Paul Pogba.

Solskjaer has favoured the academy graduates of recent weeks, which proves that there is ‘dead wood’ within the squad.

There are some players in the Man Utd team who either deserve to be moved on or don’t deserve to stay. Here are the top three players that Man Utd should move on before the Premier League season really gets underway…

Phil Jones and/or Marcos Rojo

Chris Smalling is just about useful enough to be a rotation defender for Manchester United. The same cannot be said for Phil Jones or Marcos Rojo. As Axel Tuanzebe climbs the ranks and inches ahead of Smalling, Jones and Rojo in Solskjaer’s books, it’s time to move some defenders on.

Rojo was denied a move to Everton on deadline day. Could it be another defender who leaves, if any?

Nemanja Matic

Matic has been a fantastic Premier League player for both Chelsea and Man Utd. However, the Serbian’s stature and style is the polar opposite of what Solskjaer is trying to do.

Matic would be much better in a slower and more pragmatic league, such as Italy or the USA.

Tahith Chong or Angel Gomes

Hold your fire! I’m talking about a loan. These two fantastic young talents are good enough for first-team football, as seen in pre-season. Should Solskjaer’s squad have too much depth to see Chong or Gomes make a mark on the team this season, allowing them to gain some experience abroad could allow them to walk into first-team football next season.

The form of Man Utd’s two attackers will prove the difference against Wolves, agree?

Solskjaer’s Man Utd will be looking to avoid a repeat of last season where the Reds failed to beat Wolves and lost twice at Molineux.

After winning every single game of pre-season, the Red Devils marched on into the Premier League season with a 4-0 victory at Old Trafford over top four competitors Chelsea.

Solskaer’s team selection spoke volumes by dropping Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Nemanja Matic from the starting eleven. Having five academy graduates in the starting eleven and two on the bench tells you what direction Ole is steering the club in. The risk was worth the reward as the Reds thumped a very naive Chelsea.

Will Solskjaer go back to relying on experienced players or allow this winning formula to develop?

Man Utd

Most fans will want to see a very similar eleven walkout on Monday at Molineux. Scott McTominay is quickly becoming a fan favourite, covering more ground on the pitch than any other player against Chelsea and playing a large role in the slick passing from the back, he could be the answer to Man Utd’s midfield mayhem.

Pereira’s position of the interchanging attacking midfielder/right-winger appears to be up for grabs. The Brazilian failed to impact the game on the ball but impressed with high-pressing and an assist for Anthony Martial.

The defence of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw is looking like one of the best defences in English football. Chelsea managed to find themselves in some good positions. However, this may well be a result of the defence being brand new.

Anthony Martial is becoming much more instinctive as a number 9. He is more aggressive, vocal and attentive than ever before as he leads from the front. Having Marcus Rashford in and around him, challenging for that number 9 spot, Man Utd fans could see a lot of goals this season.

Wolves

Wolverhampton Wanderers recently won a two-legged Europa League qualifier 8-0 on aggregate against Pyunik. But when the final 4-0 win takes place four days before a big game against Man Utd, it might not bode too well.

Top players such as Diego Jota and Leander Dendoncker amongst others featured in the victory and could get exposed by a very fit Man Utd come the Monday fixture.

On the flip side, Wolves are a team full of confidence. Alongside Everton and Leicester, Wolves are a team looking to put pressure on the top six. Beating Man Utd at home would be a good way for Wolves to show the league that they mean business.

Prediction

Solskjaer is likely to go in a similar direction as he did against Chelsea. It appears he has given his side an identity and a philosophy to follow. His apparent trust in youth has allowed for the starting eleven to be stronger and more exciting, with two forwards who are eager to score.

Wolves could pick up a point against a less than clinical Man Utd. But the retrains of the Europa League will likely impact the squad and Solskjaer as ensured that his squad are one of the fittest in the league.

A 1-1 or a 2-1 victory for Man Utd would be safe judgement. Wolves will hold out for a draw, or a win if they find themselves 1-0 up. But the form of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial will definitely prove to be a challenge for Wolves.

2 positives and 2 negatives to Paul Pogba staying for Man Utd

Solskjaer has been confident throughout the transfer window that Paul Pogba will remain with Man Utd this season. However, reports suggest that the Frenchman is still eager to move to Real Madrid.

Paul Pogba still wants to leave Man Utd despite their drastic change in style which resulted in the emphatic 4-0 win over Chelsea, according to La Liga outlet Marca.

Man Utd is undefeated so far since the beginning of pre-season. They also got off to a great start by thumping Chelsea. Unfortunately for Man Utd, it seems this may not be enough to keep Pogba in the side, long term.

Other European leagues have until September to sign players, meaning that Pogba could still go to Real Madrid in the coming weeks. However, it appears likely that the World Cup winner will remain at the club for another season. Here are the pros and cons of keeping him…

World Class

Man Utd’s world-class talents include David De Gea, Paul Pogba and the painfully out of form Alexis Sanchez. Pogba’s class proves permanent in games like Chelsea at Old Trafford where he looks sloppy and out of form but pulls off two incredible assists against a top-four rival.

Personality

Paul Pogba offers much more than just class on the field. The midfielder is closely knitted with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood. Having a group of friends playing football together will perpetuate the positive mindset instilled by Solskjaer over recent weeks.

However…

Wanting to leave

We have seen a lacklustre Paul Pogba when he was dissatisfied with the previous manager Jose Mourinho. There is a potential for Paul Pogba to kick up a fuss and play at 50% due to not getting the move he wants. This toxicity and lack of effort could totally unravel this Man Utd side.

Hypocrisy

The Man Utd board and coaching staff have claimed that they have no time for players who don’t want to be part of the club. Which explains why so many signings fell through this summer. However, Paul Pogba himself doesn’t want to play for Manchester United. So were the board untruthful or does Paul Pogba get special treatment?

Man Utd pass up on 75.1% pass completion rated midfielder, a good move?

Manchester United decided not to sign Bruno Fernandes this summer, and the Daily Mail have reported that club scouts warned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that the midfielder gives away the ball too much.

Man United have been linked with the 24-year-old throughout the summer however, club scouts who were watching him decided that his style of play would not suit the team.

Even though Fernandes works with an element of risk in the attacking third, his pass completion was 75.1% last season. This has not been deemed high enough by the scouts. If you compare this stat to Paul Pogba, his pass rate is 82.8% and if we move away from Man United, Kevin De Bruyne has a consistent pass rate of 82% and over.

Personally, I think we now analyse players too much by stats and not through actually watching them play. Man United will be looking for new options now in midfield, however, here’s two things Fernandes could have brought to the Manchester team.

Positions

He is known as an attacking midfielder and is comfortable in that position. Fernandes also has the role of a striker in his profile. This means that Manchester United have missed out on a possible goalscorer too. Since 2017, the 24-year-old has appeared 66 times for Sporting Lisbon and scored 31 times. He’s also been a part of Portugal’s youth teams and senior squad since 2012.

Cheaper

Harry Maguire

Obviously, Man United went all out for Harry Maguire this summer and need to try and cut down on spending, so Fernandes would have been a cheaper midfield option than some. According to Transfermarkt, he went to Sporting for £8.72 million and is now worth £49 million. Yes, you can find cheaper out there although Man United’s scouts clearly have a high standard and that would have to be met.

Man Utd outcast can fit Solskjaer’s ‘Oleball’ and turn round his career, agree?

Reports have come out that Solskjaer wants to be rid of Alexis Sanchez, but is that the best move for Man Utd?

Alexis Sanchez has had a difficult time at Man Utd since arriving in the January 2018 transfer window. According to The Sun, Solskjaer has banished Sanchez from the first team, and will be playing with the reserves should he refuse a loan move, likely to be to Roma.

Last season, during a tough spell for Solskjaer at Man Utd, the Norwegian manager claimed that he will be ‘ruthless’ with his squad. This could be the result of rumoured and confirmed departures such as Romelu Lukaku, Marcos Rojo and Alexis Sanchez. Chris Smalling and Phil Jones being completely dropped from the squad against Chelsea was also a big statement from the manager.

However, players such as Smalling, Jones, Matic and Lukaku were wanted out of the squad due to either a lack of quality or being a misfit to Solskjaer’s plan.

With Alexis Sanchez, he doesn’t fall under any of those concerns…

Why should Man Utd keep Sanchez?

Alexis Sanchez looking on

The Chilean is, on paper, one of the best players in world football. He came into a struggling and declining squad who were out of favour with their manager. Playing a very defensive and pragmatic style, Sanchez’s strengths of passing in behind the defence and being involved in close-controlled intricate play were made void.

With Solskjaer’s new system of high-pressing and counter-attacking football, it would allow Sanchez to shine. Sanchez is a hunter for the ball, even last season, he pressed high and chased possession endlessly.

At times we saw glimpses of the type of pass the Chilean can pull off, but lack of quality and movement also made this trait void.

Having such a highly regarded player in the squad who fits the new system should be given the same opportunity to prove himself as other players did during pre-season.

It appears Solskjaer favours the youth. Removing Romelu Lukaku has made space for Mason Greenwood on the bench. Would involving Sanchez remove his spot?

In a season where Man Utd have a large number of games (having Europa League football) and a lack of squad depth, perhaps keeping Sanchez for another year wouldn’t be so bad after all.

Deserved: Two reasons why Man Utd are right to extend centre-backs stay

Swedish outlet Sportbladet reports new contract for Victor Lindelof, taking him to 2025 with Man Utd.

The partnership between Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire in Man Utd’s 4-0 victory over Chelsea was something Red Devils haven’t seen in years. Their defensive solidarity allows for the Reds to play the ball out from the back. The team can now attack with confidence as they trust the defensive barracks behind them.

Maguire signed a contract with Man Utd until 2025, with the option of extending a further year. Victor Lindelof, according to reports, is also being offered a contract until 2025. Coincidence? I think not.

The Football Manc Cave bring you 2 reasons why Victor Lindelof signing a new contract is essential to Man Utd’s future…

The perfect match

Maguire and Lindelof against Chelsea

Since Lindelof’s arrival at Man Utd, he has been playing alongside Chris Smalling and Phil Jones on the majority of occasions. Two defenders who were completely dropped from the squad on the opening day this season.

Partnered with Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof’s deficiency (aerial dominance) is covered.

Maguire acts as the rock of the defence, whilst Lindelof is slightly more nimble and can pull off last-ditch tackles and keep up with pacey attackers.

The way the newly wedded partners Maguire and Lindelof behaved, conducted and commanded the game against Chelsea was nothing short of outstanding. Solskjaer has landed himself one of the best defences in the league, especially with Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the mix.

Do one, Barca!

Reports over summer suggested Barcelona were interested in Victor Lindelof. Upon his arrival, the Swede struggled with the physicality of the Premier League. At this time, he would have been a perfect fit for Barcelona.

Lindelof’s quality suggests that he still is. However, the ‘Iceman’ has worked on his physicality, as well as aerial dominance and other areas he lacked in. This made him the first choice centre back for both Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Although the defender is not seen in the limelight, shouting and raving about his love for the club, his determination to improve himself and his weakness demonstrates that he is the perfect fit for Man Utd.

Making him all the more likely to see a renewed contract as a reward, and not as a hurdle in stepping up to a bigger European club.

Solskjaer has instilled a fighting team spirit. Soon, the squad will be drilled in winning everything, every time, just like the old days.

His management kept Paul Pogba committed to the club, so keeping Lindelof should be a breeze.

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