According to the Telegraph, midfielder Nemanja Matic is edging closer to a Man Utd exit in the January transfer window. A move that may be welcomed.
Apparently, Matic could be leaving Man Utd in January after he has received interest from other clubs. He has also fallen behind in the pecking order at Old Trafford.
Scott McTominay and Fred are favoured more in the midfield of late. AC Milan and Inter Milan have supposedly shown Matic some interest and he looks like he is willing to go.
Some Man Utd fans would probably be happy to see him go. However, he wouldn’t be the only one.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be reluctant to sell some of his players as the future of others, like Paul Pogba, is still unknown. Alongside the lack of midfield options he has on his hands at the moment, OGS can not afford to lose another player in this area of his squad.
Here are two players who should follow Matic should he leave in January…
Man Utd defender Phil Jones
Most Man United fans would probably agree that Phil Jones needs to go. The 27-year-old has fallen way out of favour at Man United.
It is safe to say that Old Trafford wouldn’t exactly miss him. Man United are going through a time of developing young talent and moving forward.
It doesn’t look like Phil Jones is part of that plan, so why not let him go?
Even though the 34-year-old still gets game time, some fans think his time at Old Trafford is up.
When January comes around, some fans may want to see a replacement for Young drafted in.
To get some new talent brought in when the transfer window opens, Man United will need to make some money and open up some spaces.
Last season, Lindelof found form and became a fantastic addition to the Man Utd squad. In a season where Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Ashley Young featured heavily to the frustration of fans, it was Lindelof who got all the praise.
Unfortunately for the Swede, he has had a rocky start to the season with his brand new teammates Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka beside him. His weakness of winning aerial duels has proven to be the bane of an otherwise solid-looking Man Utd defence.
Does Lindelof deserve a new contract?
But is this enough not to renew his contract? This defender was recently approached by Barcelona, who tend to steer away from signing players they do not 100% believe will bring quality.
Other than that, his overall gameplay is actually very good. His distribution and passing abilities helped Man Utd tremendously last season. Now, Man Utd have two centre-backs who can do this with ease. Playing from the back in the modern game is pivotal, and Man Utd have done this superbly on several occasions.
Last season, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones struggled with this, often panicking and losing possession in dangerous areas.
Solskjaer wants this back-four to grow together over the coming years. Should Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw reach their maximum potential, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire continue being fit and of the highest quality, Man Utd’s back four could be the new Gary Neville – Rio Ferdinand- Nemanja Vidic – Patrice Evra.
Next stop, fixing the midfield!
After a total rebuild of the back four and introducing Axel Tuanzebe to the bench is a magnificent start to Solskjaer’s reign. But their major downfall is the midfield. When Pogba’s future is decided, and new midfielders are introduced, Solskjaer will finally have a model of what he will be working with for the foreseeable future.
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…
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.
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 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?
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.
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
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.
The dark cloud over Old Trafford appears to be fading. What does Man Utd’s 4-0 thrashing over Lampard mean for the Red Devils as they march on?
No honest Man Utd or Chelsea fan can admit they saw that coming. Despite Chelsea having moments of showing how they can find themselves in dangerous areas, the attacks were always snuffed.
Man Utd and Chelsea are in similar situations, both have a much weaker squad than they have done in the years gone by, both feel they are underachieving and both are managed by a club legend.
This occasion was truly boys versus men. Man Utd allowed Chelsea the arrogance to try and bring the game to the Reds on their home turf, backfiring 4 goals from 5 shots on target. Which leads on to the first key thing we learned from Solskjaer’s 4-0 win…
Romelu Lukaku’s departure from the club left many fans scratching their heads. Where on Earth was Manchester United going to get their goals from?
If Man Utd had just beaten Norwich, Sheffield Utd or Newcastle 4-0, with respect to those clubs, there would still be concern about how Man Utd will cope this season.
However, in a campaign where Man Utd are fighting for 4th place with Chelsea and Arsenal, the Reds have already sent one of them to the bins. With a fairly given penalty buried by Rashford, he continued to show how much bottle he has.
A real number nine goal for Man Utd’s number nine. It saw Man Utd play it out to the wing, whipped in across goal from Pereira and met in front of the net by Anthony Martial to make it 2-0.
Merely seconds later, a beautiful pass behind the Chelsea defence came from a quiet Paul Pogba, controlled and slotted home by Marcus Rashford. Challenging Martial for his striker spot.
Finally, a dream debut for substitute Daniel James. As Pogba drove forward, the Welsh speedster caught up to him on his right-hand side, was played in and buried it home.
Basically, Man Utd can score goals this season.
Ole agrees! Team selection
Man Utd fans worldwide disagree on many things, to the abuse of players, to the ownership to how nice the new strip is. But one thing they all agree on is that Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, and Nemanja Matic are crucial to why Man Utd will fail this season.
Be it silly mistakes, lack of quality or inability to keep up with the new style of play; Solskjaer gave none of them game time today.
It is positive for fans to see their club moving forward, after falling behind for so many years. It appears the concerns of the fans are also the concerns of Solskjaer and all are on the same page with how this Man Utd team should look, behave and perform. Unfortunately, the Reds are merely and injury or two away from having an inadequate squad.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United are doomed before the season has even started. Here is why.
Since landing the job on a permanent basis, Solskjaer has pledged to ‘rebuild’ this Man Utd squad. He also assured the fans that he ‘will be successful’ and will be ‘ruthless’ with his squad.
Despite these promises, very little has changed. Two players have exited, Ander Herrera (the club’s second-best midfielder) and Romelu Lukaku (the club’s most prolific goalscorer). Could these two really have been who Solskjaer meant when he said we ‘wouldn’t see’ some of these players again? Surely not.
There are both positives and negatives to come out of this transfer window. Naturally, we’ll start with the negatives…
So, with the Reds losing a striker and a midfielder. Who have they brought in to replace them? Two defenders from lower clubs and a winger from Swansea. Fantastic business, no?
Given the benefit of the doubt, Solskjaer will likely not have purposely lied to the fans. More so, the board have once again let a manager down.
During the uproar of fan concern and protest against the ‘higher-ups’ in the clubs, we saw leaks about promising players such as Paulo Dybala, Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen, all of which did not materialise.
As it stands, with ins and outs, Man Utd have a transfer window net spend of £70million. Man Utd needed to invest upwards of £200million to have a fighting chance at winning anything this season.
This is the biggest and richest club in English football with the weakest squad, fans have seen in well over 20 years. The same club that has promised a rebuild and success to the fans. Once again, let down.
Solskjaer has said that he would only want players who are keen to play for Man Utd, hence why deals with big players fell through. As Man Utd is ultimately a step-down from Juventus and even Tottenham, as of current circumstances.
However, last season Solskjaer also stated that big names are eager to join his team. Whilst their only acquisitions were players from Leicester City, Crystal Palace and Swansea City. Despite this, the signings made do look promising…
The introduction of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire have turned a laughing stock of defence, into one of the most elite defences in the Premier League. To this, hats off.
Wan-Bissaka has proven in pre-season to be practically unbeatable and will be a huge upgrade from Ashley Young. Who despite his best efforts, is not cut out for challenging for titles.
With Harry Maguire, fans know what they’re getting. A solid, English, Premier League proven defender whose mistakes are few and far between. A huge upgrade on Eric Bailly, who is always injured. Phil Jones, who tends to forget which side he plays for. And Chris Smalling, who’s decent performances are one in ten.
Daniel James gives some insight into the future projections of Man Utd. The fact they have any at all will be good news for fans.
Drastic. Football games are won and lost in the midfield. Manchester United have a Paul Pogba who doesn’t want to be there. Andreas Pereira who is set to be Man Utd’s next 27-year-old ‘youth prospect’ and Scott McTominay who is a fantastic footballer, but totally unproven in the red jersey. There is also Fred and Matic who practically do nothing but give the ball away.
It will be a tough season for Man Utd. But remember, it most likely isn’t the fault of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It is evident that he loves the club. The best-case scenario would be for the amazing youth talents to come through and show the rest how it’s done.
Fans will have to do their bit and support through thick and thin. As most of the Man Utd squad can’t be trusted to perform, the fans should remain consistently supportive throughout the season. If not for the club, then for every moment of glory that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has given them in the years gone by.
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.
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?