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What Man Utd’s predicted 11 against Leeds Utd could look like

After their 2-0 victory over Perth Glory, Manchester United need to up their game to beat Leeds United on Wednesday.

In the first pre-season game, Solskjaer’s men showed us what they have been working on in the training ground. We saw an incredibly high pressing attack against a Perth defence that often had at least nine or ten players behind the ball.

The link-up play and close control was reminiscent of the incredible winning streak Man United had when Solskjaer first took over. New signings Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka had fantastic debuts, lifting the spirits of the fanbase.

However, Solskjaer opted for two completely different eleven men to feature in each half of the game. This means we still have to see how the Reds fare in a competitive 90 minutes, something Leeds United will certainly offer.

How the lineup against Leeds should look

With the Premier League looming, Solskjaer will be keen on figuring out his strongest eleven. Resulting in a starting eleven that could resemble this…

Manchester United would do well to toy with the idea of having two forward men, both capable of drifting out wide. This would give Jesse Lingard space to move further up the field as he performs best in the number 10 role, adapting to a second striker position when forwards drag defenders out wide.

How the formation can be adapted

This formation is easily transformed into Man Utd’s main formation 4-3-3, and by introducing some exciting substitutions, it would look like this…

A forward three of blistering pace, in front of the creative genius Paul Pogba, who sits alongside high-pressing Lingard, guarded by golden-boy Scott McTominay.

Axel Tuanzebe could replace Victor Lindelof as the ball-playing defender as Man United lack options other than Chris Smalling to provide an aerial threat. At least, until Harry Maguire joins the ranks as reports surface of the transfer being close to completion.

These line ups portray both the quality and versatility of Solskjaer’s set up.

Leeds United placed third in the Championship last season. Narrowly missing out on promotion in the playoffs. Therefore, Leeds can provide a similar type of test that many Premier League level teams will in the upcoming season.

Should Manchester United fail to dominate the match, it could provide a scary insight into what the Red Devils will perform like in Premier League.

Two reasons why Maguire is the answer to Man Utd’s defensive puzzle

Harry Maguire is set to leave the foxes. The Football Manc Cave has two reasons why Leicester City’s loss is Manchester United’s gain.

Harry Maguire is rumoured to be having his medical at Manchester United today, according to Express.

However, ‘Maguire to Man Utd’ is a phrase we have heard for well over a year. The Red Devils’ boardroom failed to secure the deal when Jose Mourinho demanded an improved defence over twelve months ago.

There are obvious reasons why both Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have desperately sought the services of Harry Maguire.

Here are two of them…

Aerial Protection

Last season, the Englishman scored three goals for Leicester City. A figure that matches his financial competitor Virgil Van Dijk. The Dutchman of Liverpool won 75% of his aerial duels, whilst Maguire won 78%. This statistic is music to Man Utd fans’ ears. With their defensive line having been bullied by dominant attackers since the likes of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand was protecting the man between the sticks.

Victor Lindelof proved to be Manchester United’s best ball-playing defender, whilst his partner Chris Smalling proved to be a hindrance. The Swede’s one fault, aerial dominance, could be patched up by sticking him alongside World Cup hero Harry Maguire.

Stop passing it backwards!

The Leicester City defender had a passing range of 86% last season, compared to Virgil Van Dijk’s 90%. However, placing Maguire in a better squad could see this statistic soar.

With two defenders that can successfully play the ball out of their own box, we would see a tremendous improvement in the way the Reds move the ball up the field. This will impact both slow build-ups, as well as the old-school counter-attacking football Man Utd, is famed for.

In the recent pre-season game Man Utd vs Perth Glory, new signing Aaron Wan-Bissaka made a fantastic debut, completing 4/4 tackles in his 45 minutes. Next season we may see him partnered with Luke Shaw at full back, with Maguire and Lindelof in between. This would be the most solid Man Utd defence in the last 10 years.

Man Utd joins Man City, Arsenal and Tottenham in the race for 21y/o

Solskjaer is looking at add yet another young talent to his Man United ranks in an attempt to bolster the attacking force next season.

When Europe’s top clubs such as Arsenal, Man City, Tottenham, Bayern Munich, Monaco and Sevilla are all seeking your signature, you know you’re doing something right.

CSKA Moscow’s 21-year-old Russian striker Fedor Chalov seems to be doing everything right, with Manchester United, also interested in his services.

With 15 goals, Chalov was the top scorer in the Russian Premier League last season. Furthermore, he also had 7 assists to his name. The young talent shows a keen eye for goal partnered with a high level of football IQ.

Why does Solskjaer need him?

Romelu Lukaku openly admitted to seeking a move to Italy’s Inter Milan. This would result in the Red Devils losing between ten and twenty goals in the Premier League next season.

Chalov has scored 27 goals in 65 League games for CSKA Moscow. By putting him in a squad with more quality in the ranks, Chalov could translate and improve his conversion rate in a more advanced competition.

In a Manchester United squad, Chalov would provide competition for current forwards Rashford and Martial. However, the two are pressured to be versatile as they are expected to perform in each of the forward four positions.

Chalov, on the other hand, has 108 career games to his name. 105 of which he featured as a striker, and in 3 he played as a second striker, according to Transfermarkt.

Rashford, Martial and Greenwood are all able to play across the front line of the attack. Manchester United, however, may require someone whose trade is solely to get in the box and score goals, similarly to Lukaku.

Is another young talent the right option for United?

Solskjaer is targeting keen, young, hardworking talent to join his squad. Two of which, Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, have already been integrated with the squad, exciting fans with their debut.

However, Manchester United will be lacking an experienced and proven striker, should Lukaku exit. Therefore, recruiting a prolific striker who would happily sit on the bench may be a necessity for Solskjaer.

Twitter reacts: ‘Man United signing Harry Maguire is a move that will greatly benefit the club’

Leicester City’s Harry Maguire to Manchester United deal is looking more realistic by the day, and here is what the fans think about it

Social Media and modern football don’t always mix well, as millions upon millions of fans throw their opinions at the wall. Today, The Football Manc Cave will delve into Twitter and pull out some of those fan opinions, which give a general feeling about how people feel about Harry Maguire to Manchester United.

According to reports, Maguire will be fetching £80million for the move from Leicester City, a world-record transfer fee for a defender. Interestingly a similar figure Real Madrid paid for the one and only Cristiano Ronaldo.

A select few are displeased with the huge sum of money for Maguire’s services.

In recent seasons, Manchester United’s defence has been a source of negativity for the red devils. As a result, fans have pointed the finger at the likes of Chris Smalling, Ashley Young and Nemanja Matic as they believe these players are incapable of keeping up with the force of Premier League attackers.

Some fans believe the figure of £80million is far too high for the English centre-back. However, other fans feel that the fee doesn’t matter as Maguire will improve the ever-failing Man Utd defence.

Solskjaer to ask Pogba to do a Ronaldo for Man Utd?

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will plead with Paul Pogba to remain at the club for another season according to the Daily Mail this week.

As the quality of Manchester United slowly fades away, the pride and integrity follow suit. In a move reminiscent of Sir Alex Ferguson with Cristiano Ronaldo, Solskjaer is following suit. However, this time around it’s a completely different situation.

Paul Pogba has publicly humiliated his employers after telling a Japanese news source that he is looking to seek a “new challenge” whilst on his Asian tour. His agent Mino Raiola also made several comments about a matter that should have been dealt with in-house.

The World Cup winner is undoubtedly one of the greatest talents of modern football. But following his second spell at the club since 2016, there have merely been glimpses of excellence. Whilst the likes of Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne provides glimpses of excellence every other minute on the pitch.

However, as Ed Woodward reaps the rewards of Pogba being an Adidas ambassador and a major shirt seller. He is set and ready to throw the pride of the club down the gutter to keep an unhappy and under-performing Paul Pogba, in order to maintain relationships with their sponsors.

Round in circles?

A similar case happened many moons ago, back when Manchester United was at the top of world football with Cristiano Ronaldo. He was linked with a move to Real Madrid, but held off for a season whilst Manchester United put plans in place for his replacement; Gabriel Obertan, remember him? Probably not. Obertan currently plays for Erzurumspor in Turkey, the man he was meant to replace is now considered the world’s best footballer at 34 years of age for one of Europe’s most elite clubs; Juventus.

This lacklustre and last-minute approach to planning the future of the club is why Manchester United are now a club fighting for a top 5 position.

Manchester City has recently signed Rodri for £62million, a class midfielder from Atletico Madrid. The planning behind this signing is to replace Fernandinho with him after the next season or two where Fernandinho will still be one of the best midfielders in the league.

Manchester United are still yet to replace Ander Herrara and Fellaini.

Nay, Manchester United are still yet to replace Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic!

What’s the best outcome of this dilemma?

The general consensus is that fans would let Paul Pogba leave. Then use the funds to strengthen the entirety of the squad. Unfortunately for them, fans and chief officers have different goals, success on the pitch and brand names on the shirt, respectively.

In a recent press conference in Australia, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said that Pogba is a ‘professional’ with ‘a heart of gold’, which is a believable statement.

However, Solskjaer also claimed that there is a social media ‘agenda’ against Paul Pogba, which divides opinion as Pogba has been questionable in his methods of seeking a ‘new challenge’. On the other hand, some outlets have falsely reported a fight between the Frenchman and teammate Jesse Lingard, despite the full video showing the two were plainly joking.

Pogba is well within his rights to seek playing time with a more advanced football team. It is best for both parties to split ways, as the number 6 won’t receive a warm welcome from the local fans back in Manchester.

Man City need to look at these 2 Sane replacements should he move

Leroy Sane is a quality, young talent who feels as though he deserves more play time at the Etihad, and is, therefore, seeking a move away. But who can Man City replace him within this transfer window?

Sane finished his 18/19 season with 16 goals and 18 assists in 47 appearances across all competitions. He made the majority of marks on games by coming off the bench.

However, Sane doesn’t want to be associated with the ‘super-sub’ status. Despite having a great effect when bringing on his blistering pace against a tired defence towards the end of games.

Bayern Munich is in the race for Leroy Sane, Man City have set their price 100m. Should they obtain his services, they would end their pursuit for young Chelsea man Callum Hudson-Odoi, according to Mirror.

With 100m in the bank. The Citizens could be looking at at least one of the two players below…

Jadon Sancho

Close your ears, Man United fans. Should Sane bring in a £100million budget increase, Manchester City wouldn’t tip-toe around a big money signing the way Manchester United do. As proven by how the blues simply paid the £62million release clause for Rodri from Atletico Madrid.

Sancho is undoubtedly one of the greatest prospects in world football. With Manchester City’s phenomenal business structure, there is no doubt that Sancho is on their radar. This would generate further competition for Sterling and Bernardo Silva, driving Manchester City to have the best wingers in English football, or potentially world football.

Douglas Costa

Costa, the 28-year-old Brazilian winger for Juventus, is a fantastically pacey and dangerous winger. He has been shunned since the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo and has suffered a massive decrease in playing time. Should he replace Leroy Sane as an ‘off-the-bench’ winger at a potentially increased wage, it would make sense for the Brazilian to have little qualms about the deal.

Barcelona eyes up Man Utd centre back, 2 reasons why he has to stay

Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof finds himself on Barcelona’s radar this summer according to the Mundo Deportivo.

Nightmares are becoming reality for Manchester United fans. Hasan Cetinkaya, Victor Lindelof’s agent, said that “Lindelof is in the orbit of a great European club, but leaving United depends on the English club.”

Barcelona has recently signed Frenkie De Jong, who happens to be under the same agent as Lindelof. According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona has made several enquiries about Lindelof, being shown the ‘not for sale’ sign on each occasion.

The Man Utd centre-back partnership had been chopped and changed throughout the season, as both managers looked to find their best defensive set-up, both concluding that a better defender needs to be signed for the club.

In recent weeks, Manchester United have been linked with Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti, as the reds fight for a new, solid centre-half who they hoped would partner up with Lindelof.

However, it is highly suggested that the most likely outcome will be Harry Maguire to Manchester United, and Umtiti may see himself at PSG involving a swap deal for Neymar, Barca Blaugranes reports.

Most Manchester United would much rather see Lindelof remain at the club for many years. Here is why…

The only top quality centre back

Lindelof was by far the fan favourite defender last season. After scrutiny over the quality of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, and the injury-prone Eric Bailly. The ‘Ice-Man’ Victor Lindelof showed great improvement throughout the campaign and shone under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jose Mourinho.

Lonely Lindelof needs a long-term partner

Manchester United fans were delighted to hear that Victor Lindelof would finally have a defensive partner who can competently guard David De Gea between the sticks. Unfortunately for them, Barcelona would be a huge upgrade on Manchester United. Should Lindelof push for a move away, and have Maguire step in to replace him, there would still be only one competent defender surrounded other defenders who are not fit to be challenging for titles in the top tier of English football.

Manchester United’s rebuild should be entirely based on an improved defence, something Jose Mourinho fought for since 2017.

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.

Is Rochdale’s 23y/o ready to make his mark this season

There is a gem within the Rochdale ranks waiting for a big League One season, could it happen in the upcoming campaign?

Born in Stockport, Northern Ireland international Callum Camps has been a part of the Rochdale set up since 2012, beginning in the youth academy. The 23-year-old proudly wears the number 10 shirt in the centre of midfield.

Rochdale is looking to improve from last season, where Brian Barry-Murphy’s squad finished at an unsatisfactory 16th place.

Camps has made over 170 appearances for Rochdale and has already captained the squad on several occasions. With his contract coming to an end after the upcoming campaign, the midfielder will be keen on impressing his employers in order to extend his services for the club he loves. The length of his service with Dale so far demonstrates the trust and support the team have in the youngster to shine. Although there have been moments of excellence, it is a certainty that he has much more to offer the League One side.

Competition for places

Other midfield talents, such as the highly regarded ex-Manchester United man Oliver Rathbone, will drive Camps to compete for first-team football throughout next season and make his mark on the club. Allowing him to glow on manager Barry-Murphy’s radar.

Camps will be keen on remaining with Rochdale, or potentially catching the eyes of clubs of higher quality. As opposed to being released to a lower tier club come to the end of his contract in 2020.

Despite not being the most prolific player in Rochdale’s ranks, next season will be crucial for both himself and his squad. This hidden gem could step up his game and assert his dominance on the team.

Fellow Greater Manchester clubs Bolton Wanderers and Bury FC are suffering incredibly crippling financial woes, resulting in points being docked from both teams come the beginning of the EFL League One season. As a result, Rochdale could emerge as the most successful Greater Manchester side of the three at the end of the 19/20 campaign.

Man Utd look to Southampton man to bring balance & shape to the side – Agree?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to Southampton’s Mario Lemina to bolster the Man United midfield

Manchester United are having a midfield crisis. Having Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera exiting the club last season and Paul Pogba seeking a move away to a Champions League level side.

According to reports, Mario Lemina has not joined Southampton on their pre-season tour in Austria, amid doubts about his future with The Saints.

The Gabonese midfielder Lemina, 25, joined Southampton from Juventus for around £15million in the summer of 2017. The Football Manc Cave understands that Southampton is ready to listen to offers that will merely recoup the money they spent on him, meaning a bid in the region of around £20million would be a realistic amount.

Last season, Lemina made 23 appearances for Southampton, making 2.7 tackles per 90 minutes, compared to Nemanja Matic’s 1.7 tackles per 90 in the Premier League. This statistic demonstrates his value in the defensive role in midfield and could provide the Manchester United back four with a more solid character ahead of them.

Bruno Fernandes

By also bringing in Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United would have a fairly solid midfield.

Fernandes can play the creative role, attacking the back four and providing intricate passes behind the defence for the likes of Martial and Rashford.

Lemina would sit in front of the defence. Standing at six foot tall, he can win the ball in the deeper sections of the midfield and move it forward to the creative midfielders.

Scott McTominay impressed many Manchester United fans last season, and will likely see the green on many occasions during the upcoming season. He can play as a ball-winning, box-to-box midfielder, capable of influencing both the attack and defence.

Should business go to plan, we could see a much more balanced Manchester United midfield next season, which could transform the entire shape, attitude and work rate of the team.

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