16 Apr 2021 07:49:07
I am glad the poll from the other day has created so much buzz about a new striker on here, I didn't actually say but it would be Kane all day for me, prem proven, peak age, he would be the one signing that could directly catapult us to the title imo, pay what it takes, I see him as more of a fit for us than City and I don't see him going abroad. I've no doubt we as a club will fudge the transfer, it'll be hard enough dealing with Levy, and end up paying 100m for adama traore instead, our way isn't it.

1.) 16 Apr 2021
16 Apr 2021 10:13:22
Welsh, I think the key thing to remember is that none of us will see all the positions we would like to see strengthened addressed in the summer, and we certainly won't see the player we would ideally like to see sign be brought in.

I think most people feel we need to bring in a top CB, CDM, RW and ST. With maybe a rotation option at RB and a back up keeper as well depending on departures. The order of preference or opinion on the severity of the need for each position varies from person to person though.

For me personally for example I would say that the order of need is CDM, RW then CB. I then think we will be forced to enter the market for a back up keeper as I don't see BOTH DDG and Henderson staying next season.

For me I feel the issue we have in many games is a lack of control in midfield, while we concede far too many goals to midfield runners not being tracked. I think the right CDM would improve our balance of play, providing better cover for our defence and giving us a better platform to build attacks through the midfield.

I have RW as second as currently all our creativity comes from Bruno, bringing in a creator to play wide who create an extra 3-4 top quality chances per game themselves would massively improve our side. Not to mention a player who adds that kind of creative threat would create more space for players like Bruno and Rashford just by being on the pitch, which would probably seem them create and score more goals as well.

I have CB at third as clearly Maguire and Lindelof don't quite have the right balance. However, I feel with a better CDM in front of them and with a more vocal keeper behind them who isn't afraid to come off his line in Henderson then I feel their weaknesses have been better mitigated against with those two changes. While Maguire is also our captain and Lindelof remains a particular favourite of the manager. So I do have slight concern that any new CB might be coming in as third choice, at least initially anyway, which wouldn't be in immediate improvement on the starting 11.

I feel ST and RB are of less importance as I have a lot of faith in Greenwood and Williams to provide competition in those roles, and I certainly wouldn't feel at a big disadvantage if we lined up for a game with Greenwood starting at our ST and Williams at RB.

They are young players and they need game time if they are to improve and develop as players. We have seen several young players leave as they felt they had no pathway into the first team and that it was blocked in some way. While I don't agree with them having a clear path into the first team with no competition, I do feel like we don't gain anything from having multiple "squad" players in their way.

You should either have a player who is good enough to play every week, or you have a youngster fighting for that. Having a squad full of second class players just doesn't give the first choice players any competition for their spot, while they block the way forward for the young players.

So I would only sign a player if they were good enough to start every week as first choice. If not then don't sign them, its a waste of money. To that end only sign a RB as good or better than AWB, anything else is a waste of money. If we sign a striker then they have to be a world class, top drawer striker, the issue with that is they cost 100m+. So I would be tempted to give Greenwood more game time next season, hopefully with a better balanced team that creates more chances then Martial might return to scoring 15-20 league goals a season.

Then in the summer of 2022 look at signing a world class ST if Greenwood doesn't look ready.

However, that's what I want, and what I would do. The reality is that we will probably sign Milenkovic at CB and he'll be third choice and have little to no impact. Not sign a CDM at all. Then sign Ismaila Sarr for RW and Mandzukic for ST.

2.) 16 Apr 2021
16 Apr 2021 11:14:24
If Cavani leaves, a striker is a must.

Also, Shapps if we get a good CB, we can abandon playing 2 Defensive Midfielders and have another creator alongside Bruno centrally.

Pep used David Silva and De Bruyne so effectively to destroy opposition defences.

We have to be creative dealing with transfers. Lingard will have many takers for example, so try getting Rice the other side.
Similarly, Pogba can be used in a swap for Varane as he is looking for a new challenge.

3.) 16 Apr 2021
16 Apr 2021 12:10:01
There are two trains of thought suggesting that an upgraded CB will nullify the need to find a better CDM, and that upgrading our current CDM mid options will nullify the need to buy a better CB. I'm not sure which way I lean as I can't see both being addressed. Although we seem to have a few CB options within, there would seem to be more CB options available than CDM ie Torres/ Varane/ Milenkovic/ Kounde. Then again, Matic is no spring chicken, and Fred despite having a great engine is not a great player by any stretch of the imagination.
We have a few RW options, so personally doubt whether a top-end one like Sancho will be revisited. I do wonder if a cheaper option like Rafinha might be wise, or better still, a player who can play on either flank.
Creativity is a problem. We only really have Pogba and Fernandes who can truly pull off something completely unexpected. VDB is supposedly in this class but hasn't shown that he can step up. yet.
Up front however is still where I think the biggest impact can be made. A proven player who can grab the ugly goals consistently, makes good runs and is always in the right place at the right time. Not Martial, who ventures to the wings even when he's the target man. Watching Cavani has been enough to show the difference a player with these skills has. Kane is certainly the most appealing in this bracket but he's in his prime and will cost accordingly. Spurs have a shiny new stadium to pay for, and without CL football they may be forced to sell. Love Haaland and the energy and buzz he'd bring but I suspect it's going to become a shoot-out between who offers most as Dortmund don't need to sell, it's just whether what anyone is prepared to pay above his release clause that comes into effect next season is enough to tempt them. If the clause is £65-75m then I guess it has to be over £100m to make it worth their while to lose him a season early. Or they may well find another journeyman for a season should Haaland stay and be willing to be one of the numerous clubs happy to pay the release fee next season.
On release fees, I never really understood what happened with Suarez and Arsenal that season. Didn't they offer the required amount, but Liverpool rejected it? How was that possible?

4.) 16 Apr 2021
16 Apr 2021 12:44:18
Would Cavani leaving really be that big of an impact?

He has 9 goals and 2 assists in 30 games, he has played 1097 minutes of the available 2790 (not including injury time) EPL minutes so far this season.

Effectively he is playing 1 in 3 games for us in the league minutes wise.

Last season Martial scored 17 league goals and got 6 assists playing 2640 minutes, this season he has 4 goals and 3 assists playing 1488 minutes so far. The reduction in his minutes have had an impact on the number of goals he scores.

Having Cavani in the side oddly hasn't resulted in us scoring more goals. We score an average on 0.94 goals with Cavani on the pitch, with average of 1.31 goals with him not on the pitch. Bare in mind that that stat has been skewed somewhat by the goals scored in the 9-0 against Southampton. So statistically we score more goals without Cavani than with him.

We tend to play with only one striker, we have Martial, Rashford and Greenwood who can all play as a striker as well as Cavani.

While I agree Martial probably needs replacing, if he stays along with a bigger role for Greenwood I don't see a desperate need for a striker.

5.) 16 Apr 2021
16 Apr 2021 12:47:54
Spenno, I kind of agree with CB/ CDM sentiment. However, for me a better CDM would not only improve us defensively, but give us more control in midfield and a better platform to launch attacks from. So could be more impactful than a CB.

Like I said I also have concerns about whether the new CB would start immediately.

As for the Suarez thing, I think Liverpool got around it by giving him a big pay rise and agreeing to sell him the following summer. Technically they broke the agreement of the contract, but it is down to Suarez to push for retribution, instead he got a nice big payday.

6.) 16 Apr 2021
16 Apr 2021 15:24:32
I went with Haaland in the poll just because of Kane’s poor injury record, but I do share concerns that were we to sign the former (which seems incredibly unlikely anyway), he’d be on the move again in four years time. I do wonder whether that’s just where modern football is at these days though and would rather have a striker who is fit and banging in goals for four years and then sold on for a profile than one who could potentially spend half of his time injured and then leave for nothing when his contract expires.