That winter break was a nightmare for fans and I’m sure you all missed my garbage predictions. But luckily, our boys were able to get some warm weather training, rest those tired legs, only to come back and whoop Chelsea! Speaking of warm weather, let’s kick off those summer transfer and predictions!
I mean, for the love of all that is holy, we were linked with 113 players over the course of January! Can you imagine what the summer will bring? Per OGS, he wants three signings and I’m sure the “experts” are chomping at the bit to get some click-bait. We’re going to keep it real here and set realistic expectations. If you want garbage rumors, go here.
In part three of this five-part series, we’re covering very early predictions of what midfielders are coming in and who will hit the road come July.
According to their main position held throughout the season, we have seven middies and what an interesting bunch they are! Whether it be some AARP members collecting Social Security, an unnamed Brazilian who thinks he can smash it from outside the box, or a grade-A-walking-commercial-pompous-d**he-bag, this bunch of characters has led to us being linked with every midfielder known to man. But we’ll get there.
So what questions do we have? Oh, I don’t know….maybe, “where in the world is Paul Pogba?” Like we have to ask, just check out his Insta. I guess the better question is, “where in the world is Pogba today?”
To quote the Nard-Dog from The Office, “addition by subtraction”, right? So let’s trim the fat!
You can’t perform only when the club desperately needs you to and expect to keep your job. As I previously wrote, Matic has been inconsistent these past two seasons and father time is catching up with him. How many more back passes can we stand to see when we know the offensive capabilities this squad has? McSauce should easily be able to patrol the midfield next season and shore up the CDM role with Matic leaving. Hell, he can take one of the multiple offers he mentioned earlier this month and leave on a free.
How is it possible that Ryan Giggs decided to keep his affairs “in the family,” Rooney did his best George Best impression throughout the 2010’s, and Cantona kicked a fan; yet we continue to adore them while we despise PP? It’s simple, they cared about the club.
You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Considering that Pogba’s brothers and his scumbag agent are always talking for him, what does that make PP? Pogba doesn’t give a damn about United. The only thing he cares about is himself. Fred’s comments earlier in the month say it all, there’s too much vanity in the locker room and a lack of leadership.
How do you fix this? You eliminate the root cause and, in this situation, the root cause is Pogba. We are building a foundation and Pogba’s persona will cause the base of that foundation to be made of silly putty.
Sit Down, You’re Going Nowhere
We are witnessing some “what-the-what!?” moments this year with our midfield. The emergence of Fred has been shocking to the point that we are now understanding his transfer price tag. Pubs across the globe had to mop up drinks spit out by patrons the moment PES announced that McSauce would grace the cover of their second-tier video game, but he’s been masterclass. The nicest man in football, Mata, should wrap up the last year of his contract next year as a mentor and teacher for our younger middies. Who knows, maybe we’ll bring him on as an assistant post-’21.
I almost forgot, we actually swooped in on Bruno!
Those four alone may provide leadership and grit in the midfield, but we need more than that.
You’re Going to Like the Way You Look in Red, I Guarantee It!
Remember when I mentioned there were 113 players across the global that were linked to United in January? How many do you think were midfielders? Forty-five. Wonder why, maybe because any of us could have had a tryout for the squad while McSauce was injured, Andreas was taking his 500th shot from outside the box, and Pogba was globetrotting and ballin’ with the Heat while he’s injured.
We were linked with three MLS middies? No offense to the MLS, but WTF? MLS middies aren’t the only WTF rumors that were out there. Eric Dier? Mourinho finally get his name when he went to Spurs. Coutinho and James will be linked with us as long as they have a beating heart. We have quite the pool of options, so let’s dive in!
We have Brazilian middies, so why do we need another? Because one of those middies is Andreas Pereira. Paquetá is a true attacking midfielder at AC Milan, where he may be learning a thing or two from a guy who used to smash the back of the net for us, Zlatan. With AC Milan in 10th place on the Serie A table, they’ll want to pull a Cardi B and “make some money moves” by selling a valuable asset. At 22-years-old, he hasn’t had as much playing time as one would hope, but he still has time to impress. Transfermarkt values Paquetá at $36.3m. Personally, I’m turned off at that price tag and would invest it in our last two predictions.
Here me out. Pereira would come in as a permanent bench/role middie/right winger. I firmly believe there are better options out there, but we’re getting to those two. Pereria will be 24 by the opening of the summer window and is a better Brazilian Pereira than the one we have currently. He’s currently on loan at West Brom from Sporting CP (sound familiar?) and has collected 6 goals and 16 assists in 29 matches this season, thus far. He’s a steal for a role player as Transfermarkt values him at $7.7m. My dream: bring on Matheus and ditch Andreas.
I really like Cantwell as an option as he’s another young Brit (turning 22 this month) and has lit it up at Norwich this year. In the 26 matches he’s been featured in, we’re looking at 6 goals and 2 assists. Those 6 goals are more than any of our middies, who have a combined for 8 in all competitions. Signing Cantwell may benefit us with another signing this summer, the signing of Jadon Sancho. Why? Well, they’re both represented by Elite Project Group and not Mino. As it stands, Cantwell is valued at $16.5m, but I’m sure we will have to fork out at least double that to beat out City and Spurs. Didn’t you hear? City has a bit of money and they may remember this day.
We have not had a crop of lettuce like Grealish’s since Sideshow Bob Fellaini left, and I miss it. “Jack Attack’s” impact speaks for itself and everyone wants the 24-year-old. Can you blame them? He’s the only bright spot in Villa’s attack as he’s tallied 7 goals and 6 assists in 24 matches this year. He deserves to be in the Premier League next season, but who will grab him? Forget Maddison, Grealish is the answer to our attacking midfield problems. OGS wants to give us a Full English squad? Start with Cantwell as the appetizer and fill our bellies with some Grealish. Grealish is currently valued at $38.5m, but I would expect us to pay north of $50m for him.
Some might wonder, “where the hell is Jude Bellingham?” Wait until next year’s predictions.
Our biggest and most lingering question this summer is so obvious that even the “experts” at ESPNFC know it: What do we do with Paul Pogba? I hope and pray that he’s gone, for our own sanity. I don’t need Dybala or Ramsey from Juve. Nor do I need Bale or Isco from Madrid. Just extract the cancer from our club.
Agree or disagree with my stance or predictions? Let me know here or on Twitter at @Conor_Marrsta! I need more feedback beyond my wife praising me for using the Oxford comma.