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2 strengths, 2 weakness that will get Man Utd a top-four finish in the league

Solskjaer’s rebuild of Manchester United looks promising as Man Utd win their first two games of pre-season.

Manchester United have begun their pre-season tour with two victories. The Reds beat Perth Glory 2-0 and then went on to crush Leeds United 4-0. Though being lower-tier clubs than Man Utd, fans saw glimpses of what Solskjaer is instilling into his squad.

The coaching staff have vigorously trained the boys, even having double sessions on several occasions.

Solskjaer will have a full pre-season under his belt, and it looks as though the Red Devils are on their way to being fully prepared for the 18/19 campaign.

Here are 2 strengths this Manchester United squad have that can place them in the top four…

High Intensity

The high pressing has been notable in the two pre-season games so far. This is something we haven’t seen for years. Previous managers took a defence-first approach which made pressing high up the field almost impossible for the players.

In the Premier League, a high level of intensity and constant pressure is a key ingredient to success.

Back on the saddle

Solskjaer has mentioned a rebuild on several occasions, and also revealed that each player will start with a clean slate. After a full break and a full pre-season, we could see a totally different Manchester United next season.

The disappointment of last season and the seasons before should spur the Reds on as their closest rivals both grabbed silverware at the end of last season.

Manchester United are far from having a world-class team who can be aiming for several trophies each season. The following weaknesses at Man Utd could destroy the dream of the reds having a great season for the first time in six years.

Defensive clown show

This could be entirely fixed by bringing in Harry Maguire. Manchester United need a solid defender who can protect the Reds from conceding as many set pieces as they have in recent years. The purchase of Aaron Wan-Bissaka has already massively improved the defence.

Chris Smalling struggles on the ball, and Phil Jones is extremely unreliable. Eric Bailly is prone to injury and Marcos Rojo is prone to red cards. Axel Tuanzebe may not yet be in contention to start for Man Utd. This leaves Man Utd with one reliable and high-quality defender; Victor Lindelof.

Slow negotiations

An unfortunate weakness with the Manchester United board. The Reds are terrible at securing transfers and a long time to negotiate with other clubs in order to spend as little money as possible.

This could mean that Man Utd don’t get the players they require to rebuild the Man Utd squad. Which would mean they are in for a very difficult season.

‘Are Man Utd fans seriously gloating about beating a Leeds Utd 11’

Manchester is buzzing, and so is Twitter after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Man Utd side beat Leeds United 4-0 in a friendly match in Perth, Australia.

Goals from Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Phil Jones and Anthony Martial have left Manchester United fans ecstatic. The stunning performance compared to the slow and drab football of last season, was night and day.

Solskjaer’s high pressing team of exciting youngsters like Rashford, Martial, Greenwood, Gomes, Chong and James made for quite the spectacle against Leeds United.

Young players are where the fan excitement is coming from so far. They have demonstrated energy, quality and professionalism in both pre-season games.

However, there are always opposing fans who can bring Man Utd down to Earth. Man Utd’s men have faced Australian League side Perth Glory and Championship side Leeds so far in pre-season.

The general feel in the Man Utd camp is that their performance so far has showed signs of significant improvement since last season. However, there are still steps that must be taken to see Man Utd not have a season like their last.

Solskjaer faces a much tougher opponent in Inter Milan on Saturday 20th July in Singapore.

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.

Loan, Buy & Sell: Man Utd’s definitive transfer guide

What can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer do with the remainder of this summer transfer window with Manchester United?

In a recent interview with MUTV, Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stated: “We have been good in the market so far and we’re still working on a case or two.

The Football Manc Cave are aware that Man United are currently chasing the signatures of Bruno Fernandes, Harry Maguire and Sean Longstaff, amongst others who appear low-priority.

However, Manchester United are in need of a huge overhaul in the squad, by preparing youth on loan, selling players who don’t fit the mould and bringing in players who do.

So, aside from the aforementioned three players who appear likely to sign for Solskjaer’s Red Devils. What other business can be done to provide Manchester United with a top 4 finish next season?

Loan

Axel Tuanzebe spent last season on loan to Aston Villa, where he helped clinch them a promotion amongst a stadium of fans singing his name. It is fair to say that this youngster should be given first-team football with the reds next season. However, there are a few players who could follow suit and return ready for first-team action.

Should Mason Greenwood not be part of next season’s plans, for whatever mind-boggling reason. He should be loaned to a Championship side to gain first-team experience in a highly competitive competition. Regarding the immense quality of Greenwood, compared to the lack of quality of Manchester United, he should not be loaned to a Premier League side as he could potentially carry them to a position higher than his parent club. The same could be said for the likes of James Garner and Angel Gomes who may not see much action in the upcoming campaign.

Sell

This would be music to Manchester United fan’s ears, a long list of players to get rid of as soon as possible. There is no animosity towards the individuals, other than the fact that they are simply not good enough to play for the most successful team in English football.

Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Nemanja Matic and Ashley Young have provided recent performances that show the world that they are not fit to be a part of a title-challenging team.

The likes of Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, and Jesse Lingard have been in the spotlight for their off-field antics whilst providing barely a spark on the pitch last season.

These players should be left out of the Manchester United squad in order to preserve the quality and integrity of the club. With Jesse Lingard being a youth-product and an ambassador of the club, he may well deserve another chance to prove himself in the red shirt.

Buy

It isn’t a secret that Manchester United are fighting for Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes, who would undoubtedly strengthen the creativity and solidarity of the team. However, an established right-winger and a more technically gifted striker could complete the rebuild of Solskjaer’s squad.

On the right-wing, Jadon Sancho would fit perfectly with his ability to cope with modern football as well as the culture of Manchester United. Where the right-winger has always been the type of character to get fans off their seats.

In terms of a striker, Manchester United need an intelligent, tactically aware, prolific finisher to stand up top and cause nightmares for the defence. Solskjaer should be looking at the likes of Arsenal’s Aubameyang or even ex-Chelsea man Diego Costa.

Should these goals be unattainable, Solskjaer could always stick on his boots and show the Man United forwards how it should be done.

Two in-house options for Man Utd to West Ham’s Issa Diop

How can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer improve the Man Utd defence without spending big this summer?

If the links between Manchester United and defenders such as De Ligt, Maguire, Koulibaly and Diop hold any weight, it proves that the Manchester United board are desperate to add a world class defender to the mix. However, with Man Utd, they seem to be displeased about the drastic inflation of the price of defenders, as players like Wan-Bissaka and Issa Diop are being bid for and rejected.

It is rumoured that West Ham are looking for a similar price to what Liverpool paid Southampton for Van Dijk; £75million. However, much like with the case of trying to haggle for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, United entertained a swap deal where West Ham enquired about Anthony Martial for Issa Diop, to which Ed Woodward reportedly responded with a £45million bid plus Phil Jones.

It is evident that Manchester United need to massively improve their defence but are not willing to part with the cash.

With this in mind, here are two cheaper alternatives to signing Issa Diop or any other £60million+ defenders…

Axel Tuanzebe

Tuanzebe, 21, has just finished a fantastic loan spell at Aston Villa where he was a huge factor in the club’s promotion to the Premier League, so much so that Villa are desperate to keep hold of him. With Axel Tuanzebe’s future under scrutiny, many Manchester United fans are questioning the ambition of the club by not giving the 21-year-old future star a contract but are happy to give a three-year contract to Juan Mata, a 31-year-old. Many would argue that Tuanzebe is ready for first team football at Man Utd, including the kid himself.

Eric Bailly

When fit, Bailly is a joy to watch. His aggression, energy and ferocity bring nostalgia to United fans who remember United greats from Steve Bruce to Nemanja Vidic.

However, injury setbacks resulted in Bailly never getting a fair run of games to find stability and form, hence the odd mistake here and there. If Bailly and Lindelof can strike up a partnership and remain injury free for most of the season, it could save Man Utd the pain of risky record signing fees whilst still achieving a solid defence to protect the goalkeeper throughout the new season.

2 Serie A players Man Utd should be looking at this summer

Manchester United seem to be linked with everyone, but what two Serie A players are promising and realistic targets for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer?

It has been a very interesting summer so far. Manchester United have been linked to well over ten different players, and currently only signing one of them; Daniel James.

However, it may look like some players are heading off in the other direction. With reports of the Juventus director Fabio Paratici travelling to London to meet with Manchester United’s chiefs about the future of Paul Pogba.

Alongside, Lukaku’s not-so-subtle interview in which he said “I’ve always wanted to play in two championships: the Premier League and Serie A. As for my future, I have already made a decision that I still cannot communicate publicly out of respect for Manchester United with whom I have a contract”, making his move look more real than ever.

For Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United rebuild, here are two players in the Serie A which could prove to be important and realistic signings…

Mauro Icardi

With Romelu Lukaku’s comments about Serie A, as well as him admitting that “(it is) Good that Conte went to Inter, for me, he is the best coach in the world”.

Inter Milan have a current beloved striker of their own at a similar age and market value, 26 and £75million respectively. Mauro Icardi gathered himself 17 goals and 5 assists in 37 games last season. However, Maurizio Sarri who currently finds himself heading to Juventus considers him a ‘40 goal striker‘.

Will it be a straight swap between Lukaku and Icardi, and can each of them have a better season than their last?

Kostas Manolas

This speedy 27-year-old defender would fit in well with the blistering pace and physical demands of the Premier League. Manchester United seem nowhere near signing a top defender as rumours of De Ligt and Koulibaly fizzle out.

With a €35million release clause, Manolas could be a suitable rotation defender if, Ed Woodward decides to splash the cash on another top defender this summer.

2 Man Utd players that are holding Solskjaer back that need to leave this summer

What two Red Devils are holding back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in his fight for a top-four spot next season?

Manchester United are supposedly undergoing a rebuild, according to their beloved manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. However, their only acquisition so far has been a confirmed young Welshman from Swansea; Daniel James.

In the 2018/19 campaign, Manchester United finished at an unimpressive sixth position in the Premier League standings. Scoring the second lowest amount of goals in the top six, with 65, above Chelsea who had 63. However, United did concede the most amount goals in the top six, at a massive 54 goals. For context, Man City conceded 23 and Liverpool conceded 22.

It’s clear that both creating and stopping goals has been an ongoing issue for Manchester United, so who’s to blame?

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku has had two seasons at Old Trafford, costing them upwards of £80million to Everton. With regards to immaturity and room for development for younger forwards such as Rashford and Greenwood. It is clear that a striker who can provide more than Lukaku can is needed, whilst the youngsters have time to grow and compete for the number 9 spot.

Phil Jones

In the eyes of most Manchester United fans, Phil Jones as the last choice centre-back. Unfortunately for them, Manchester United seem to disagree. By bringing in a solid, world-class centre-back to partner up with the fan favourite Victor Lindelof, it allows the likes of Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly to feature as rotation defenders. Manchester United have far too many centre-backs to hold on to each one if pursuits for a newcomer go to plan.

SOLSKJAER DEADLINE: Man Utd Need To Ship These 10 Out By Next Year

It’s well documented that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a massive rebuilding job on his hands at Old Trafford, with reports breaking that he has set a deadline of next year to complete the process of deadwood exiting the door.

It’s been six years since Man United last lifted the Premier League trophy, and in all reality, it could be another two to three years before they are competing again.

It’s been nothing more than papering over the cracks in recent transfer windows, as Ed Woodward has thrown sh*t at the wall, in the hope that something sticks.

However, Solskjaer seems to have a clear idea, and be up for the construction work to turn this great club around.

By next year, just under half the current first team could have been moved on for players that want to play for the club and show the same heart and desire the United fans are used to.

We take a look at eleven players that should be shown the door…

Lee Grant

The former Stoke City ‘keeper arrived on a free, and in all honesty, I have no idea why. Entering the late thirties and a GK of no real quality, he has to be a shoo-in to leave as soon as possible.

Phil Jones

The England defender has never really got the fans in his favour. He seems a liability and injury prone over his time at Old Trafford. A move on could reignite his career, much like Jonny Evans a few seasons ago.

Chris Smalling

Another defender who always creates a nervousness when he’s near the ball. Sometimes he can brilliant, but this is a very rare occurrence. Smalling is a squad player, and a backup, back up at best.

Matteo Darmian

How the Italian full-back is still at Man United is beyond most fans. Having seemingly been on the cusp of leaving each transfer window, he seems to have hung around the place and lurked in the shadows – nearly being a forgotten man.

Ashley Young

The converted winger is playing in a role that clearly doesn’t suit him. having been made to make the transition further back following a clear lack of transfer recruitment over previous seasons, Young has had to put up with a lot of stick of the fans. Having been a loyal servant, his time to leave is fast approaching.

Marcos Rojo

The Argentine defender is all action, however, he is also a massive liability. Always a certain yellow card when he’s on the pitch, Rojo may be renowned for his tough tackling style but he is not what United needs going forward.

Nemanja Matic

The ex-Chelsea player had been brought in by the former regime. Having impressed early doors, he has seemed to have slowed down even more over the seasons. With United looking for a fast-paced counter-attacking style, Matic doesn’t fit that bill at all.

Alexis Sanchez

An absolute flop, a move that never should have happened and has clearly damaged Sanchez’ high profile. The Chilean will be moved on, even it means United paying out to edge him out the door.

Romelu Lukaku

The striker has been hit and miss for most of his time at Old Trafford. When he’s on it, he’s brilliant, however, the other side is he can hit a barn door and looks like he doesn’t know what to do with a ball.

It seems a move to Italy is on for the Belgian, and it would be the right time.

James Wilson

The forgotten man, once an exciting prospect but following many a loan move it seems Wilson’s time at Man United is up. A move away will be the best all around.

Does Marcus Rojo Have a Future at Man Utd or Should Solskjaer Get Rid

When Louis Van Gaal signed Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon in 2016, after only hearing good things about the player. Many thought he would become a first-team centre half regular. However, unfortunately for the Red Devils, Marcos Rojo’s career has been nothing short of disappointing.

After being injury prone ever since joining the club, his career at Man United has been under speculation for the past couple of seasons now. However, to the surprise of most fans, Rojo stated during a conversation with Soljasker to El Dia “He said that I was in his plans, that I’m an important player and that he wanted me to return to full fitness, to be able to count on me in the first team.”

For United fans, this comes very unexpectedly. In a window where the deadwood looks surely ready to be cleared out, one would assume Rojo would be a part of this clear-out, having barely featured under Solskjaer last term.

With Man United linked to Ajax’s young and promising centre-back Matthijs de Ligt, you’d think that that would be the standard Solskjaer is looking for to finally replace Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand these many years later (A problem that should have been sorted a long time ago).

Not someone to the equivalent of the Phil Jones and Chris Smalling level. At 29 and unable to finish the 90 minutes in his mere six appearances last season, perhaps it’s time to get rid.

Solskjaer has some tough decisions to make, and the Argentine has to be one of them surely. In a new era for the Red Devils, players like Rojo have to be bumped off the wage bill along with others who are happy to sit around and collect at the end of the week.

Granted Rojo does leave everything on the pitch, but in most cases is a liability – Solskjaer can not afford that going into next season.

Man Utd fans, let us know your thoughts below…

THE LOWDOWN: Man United Linked with Another Championship Youngster, Stoke’s Nathan Collins – Could He Cut It at Old Trafford

Ahead of what will hopefully be a busy summer window for Manchester United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks eager to bolster his side with young talent.

Recommended by Darren Fletcher, United look set to make a move for 18-year-old Irishman and Stoke City centre half Nathan Collins. With the terrible performances of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling of late, it seems apparent another centre back is necessary.

Still failing to replace Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand so many seasons on, United have been left with a void at the back. With Victor Lindelof showing signs of promise, Solskjaer is desperate for a fixed term partnership at the back. Therefore, what the manager can learn from his predecessors’ mistakes, is that to not sign short term players for long term problems.

At just 18-years-old, the Irish defender Collins has shown great potential during his time at the Potters. Although perhaps he may not be just ready to play week in week out at United at the moment, signing young talent will certainly be a step in the right direction for the Red Devils, as they look to build a solid foundation for the future.

Perhaps Collins could be the first signing of what will be the rebuild of an ageing and lacklustre Man United team. With Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes and others making their moves into the first-team, Solskjaer looks apparent to favour youth. With an unmotivated team that should be ripped apart this transfer window, hungry youngsters like Collins will have the opportunity to prove themselves on the big stage and hopefully re-ignite the United Way.

Man United fans are you excited at the news of Nathan Collins possibly arriving?

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