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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.

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.

2 exciting Man Utd youngsters who might be called to action this season

Man Utd youth have to be ready to step up this season as Solskjaer lacks depth in his squad.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a mountain to climb this season with Manchester United. The Reds face this season with a weakened squad, demands of European football and a target of top four.

This Man Utd team have a strong enough first team to finish top four. However, and injury to Paul Pogba, or Aaron Wan-Bissaka or Harry Maguire puts the Reds miles off any success this season.

Unfortunately for the manager, he has found himself with a squad which is a mixture of visions between the previous coaches. What he does have are a very committed squad and extremely talented youth, and it looks like he might need to utilize that this season.

Man Utd’s under 18s have already produced Tahith Chong, Mason Greenwood, James Garner and Angel Gomes for Solskjaer this season. All look as if they will get variations of game-time this season.

Its looks as though up and coming talent may feature for a busy Man Utd this season.

Solskjaer, Carrick and other coaching staff members were congregated on the side of Man Utd Under 18s recent 3-0 victory over Sunderland.

Here are two players that stood out to us, and most definitely to the coaching staff too, and may feature for Man Utd this season should any injuries or upsets occur…

Anthony Elanga

17-year-old Swedish forward Anthony Elanga scored 3 and assisted 5 goals in 21 appearances last season. In his first game back, he has scored 1 and assisted 1 already.

He is capable of playing across the forward three positions, something that Ole will certainly be looking for in his new system where the front line is versatile. He also demonstrates speed, strength, and intelligence in attacking situations.

The Man Utd academy is known for producing top talent, Elanga is definitely one to watch.

Charlie McCann

The summer of transfer speculation ended in disappointment for all Red Devils. They expected at least one world-class midfielder to take place of Ander Herrera. Should an injury occur to Pogba or McTominay, Solskjaer would need a midfielder capable of playing in a high pressing side.

Luckily, there is James Garner, but 17-year-old Charlie McCann might have a shot too.

McCann played as a number six, controlling the midfield and focussing on defensive duties. He made a goalline clearance, tucked away a penalty and contributed to both the attacking and defensive success the team had in the game. An all-round game for an all-round player.

Man Utd favour characters who are moldable and can stick closely to a manager’s method and system. Scott McTominay and Michael Carrick are perfect examples.

The youth of Old Trafford is a fountain of talent, fortunately for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. He is keen on integrating youth into his squad and homegrown talent can be expected to blossom under his reign.

Man Utd can score goals but are one injury away from the inadequacy of last season – Agree?

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…

Clinical United

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.

Did Manchester United Do Enough Business in the Transfer Window?

Cast your mind back to April this year. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has just issued a public apology to the Manchester United fanbase following their 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Everton. More than that, the manager also states that there is plenty of work to do during the summer transfer window, hinting at a complete re-build from the ground up.

That interview left many Man United fans thinking that there would be more than a few transfers to look forward to, both in and out of the club. Yet just three notable deals have been struck to bring in Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Daniel James and, most recently, Harry Maguire. As for the outgoings, Ander Herrera (one of United’s best players last season), Antonio Valencia and Romelu Lukaku were all moved on.

That said, it’s clear that a large part of Solskjaer’s focus now lies in the youth prospects that are gradually coming through the ranks. Could this investment in young talent pay off next season? Let’s take a look at the key areas of the United squad as they currently stand.

Defence

It’s fair to say the Man United defence was in a sorry state last year, with a whopping 54 goals conceded over the course of the season. The club has made significant strides in strengthening their backline, with Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka coming in to replace Phil Jones or Chris Smalling and Ashley Young respectively.

Most fans will be fairly happy with these deals, not to mention the fact that goalkeeper David de Gea looks set to sign a new contract at the club over the coming weeks. Add in Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw and Axel Tuanzebe to the mix and you’d have to say that a solid defensive unit could be formed out of those players.

Midfield

On paper, the middle of the park is perhaps the biggest area of concern for Manchester United next season. The departure of Ander Herrera to PSG is certainly a blow, and the board didn’t finance a move for a suitable replacement. Some fans still have confidence in the young talent of Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira to step up alongside Paul Pogba, yet the lack of depth in the squad remains a worry.

There were plenty of rumours flying around regarding potential moves for a centre-mid – particularly Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen – yet they were unable to get a deal done for either, which is probably of little surprise to Man United fans considering the number of top players they have been linked to over the past few seasons. However, their business has done enough to convince the bookies as they are fourth favourites at 11/10 in the football betting to finish in the top four outright markets.

Attack

The departure of Romelu Lukaku and the lack of a replacement means there should be plenty of opportunities for the group of young, talented attackers currently at the club. Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial will play important roles, that’s for sure, whereas up and comers such as Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong and Daniel James will each get their chance to shine in the first team. They have also have older stars to complement these youngsters: Alexis Sanchez, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard.

Even so, despite the improvements that have been made over the summer, you’d have to say that the squad still has a fair few holes to fill before they can put a top-four finish beyond doubt. There are still question marks over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who will be keen to validate his new tactical approach and focus on youth as soon as possible. The first few months will be critical, let’s see how it all turns out!

‘Salford City lost a game. It’s hardly time for panic stations’

Crawley Town handed Salford City their first-ever EFL defeat, as they won 2-0 at The People’s Pension Stadium.

This will have come as a shock to some, but is it really? It’s the start of the season, nobody is fully up to speed and it’s League Two football, after all, everyone beats each other.

Salford were the pre-season bookie’s favourites to win the league, despite it being their first ever seen in the EFL. That’s not Salford’s fault. They don’t make up the odds.

Having the Class of 92 involved brings an enormous amount of outside pressure and expectation from the media and neutral fans. However, let’s remember they have League Two players who’ve probably not dealt with that weight of expectation ever in their careers.

I saw suggestions this will be a wake up call and culture shock, nonsense. Graham Alexander knows League Two as well as any other manager. He’ll know they’re in for a long, tough scrappy season. They lost a game. Hardly time for panic stations.

People talk as if Salford have just luckily found themselves in League Two, and are trying to win it with players with no experience, who have suddenly been shocked by the toughness of the league. Way off the mark. Salford has the squad to fight and scrap for points while having that balance of quality too.

They’re a good side that has earned the right to be in League Two, along with the other 23 teams. At the moment, everyone is watching and talking about their results. Wait until 10 games in, the hype train will die down and Salford can get to work.

‘Man United played so well. Big question is the sustainability of it’ Man Utd fans not getting to carried away with a 4-0 win over Chelsea

Solskjaer’s dream Premier League start comes in the form of his Man United side thrashing over Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.

Before the league started, Man Utd lost Ander Herrera and Romelu Lukaku. Surely you would expect fewer goals and fewer chances? Not yesterday. Solskjaer’s hard-working and high pressing Red Devils proved to be a nightmare for Lampard and Chelsea.

A fair penalty won and buried by Marcus Rashford saw the Red’s shaky start begin to stabilize. Despite Chelsea coming close to scoring on several occasions, the hard as stone Man Utd defence proved almost impenetrable. With one of the world’s best between the sticks just behind, Chelsea finished on zero.

Clinical, exciting and well-deserved goals also came from the new number 9 Anthony Martial, a second goal for Marcus Rashford, and a Premier League debut goal for the Welshman Daniel James.

Some fans on Twitter may believe the result was just a fluke. But can three well-worked goals, a successful game plan, and a rock-solid defence really have been by chance?

Although Man Utd looked fantastic in most areas in their 4-0 victory over Chelsea, fans are aware that Man Utd must keep it up. The squad is merely an injury away in a crucial position to have severe exploits in the team.

Some fans make the case that enough any other team thrashed Chelsea 4-0 there would be more credit being given.

Regardless, the feeling inside the Man Utd camp will be extremely positive after this great result. It proves that the business made has benefitted the squad and that Solskjaer’s philosophies and strategies are proving successful. But most importantly, that Man Utd are improving from last season.

If Man Utd play this 11, they will ease past Chelsea

Now that the transfer window has closed, The Football Manc Cave has predicted Manchester United’s starting line up for the season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team start the season on Sunday the 11th of August and they’ll face Chelsea at 4.30pm.

The transfer window is now closed and one of the biggest talking points of the summer has been Harry Maguire. He’s joined Man United for a record-breaking fee. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has also joined the club and should have an impact on the squad going forward.

With that in mind, here’s the squad I’ve predicted…

Clearly, De Gea will open the line-up. Harry Maguire should then get his first start for the club to see how he’s blended in with the reds. Wan-Bissaka should also be started ahead of other options and be joined by Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling.

Despite Pogba’s future being questioned all summer, he’s ended up staying with the reds and should start this weekend with Scott McTominay accompanying him.

These two should then have the support of Rashford, Lingard and Daniel James. Martial should then be solo upfront. The formation could be changed, however, I do think this line up will be pretty similar to what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will pick.

Having new signing start is a risk, however, it’s the first game of the season and a chance to see how these players have gelled together and how they’ll cope.

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