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Sir

Squad Status: 2020/21 Season

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Whats particularly frustrating is that we've gone from having de bruyne, mata, hazard, schurrle, willian and oscar at one point to once again being thread bare in the attacking area. And Mourinho is largely responsible for that IMO.

Too early to rule out replacements yet.

But De Bruyne remains a player with one decent season at a reasonable level (and the Bundelsiga has at least 10 teams that are not at a decent level). His big money move to the prem/Bayern/PSG looks less and less likely now, though that may reflect just how much he is getting paid now after 2 big moves, and how easily Wolfsburg can afford to keep him.

Schurlle went off our bench to the Wolfsburg first team and then back onto their bench again by the last part of the season.

Mata has been a consistent starter for Man U (in the prem last season only Rooney, De Gea and err Valencia started more often), but then that is more of a comment on the Man U squad than mata's performances.

But I agree it is numbers we need, and I am a lot less worried about the ability of Cuadrado and Traore to contribute than about the three extra CM or AM players we need.

Edited by Droy was my hero

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Clearly lacking in the AM area.

Cuadrado and Traore are non-contributors at the moment, and Oscar is the most frustrating player in the squad in terms of inconsistency.

Even by adding someone like Pedro, I reckon we'll still be one player short in that AM area. We'll be relying on Cuadrado coming good a whole lot this season.

Whats particularly frustrating is that we've gone from having de bruyne, mata, hazard, schurrle, willian and oscar at one point to once again being thread bare in the attacking area. And Mourinho is largely responsible for that IMO.

Their sales funded the purchases of Matic, Fabregas, Diego Costa, Flilipe Luis and Cuadrado (the first three players were largely responsible for us winning the league)

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Their sales funded the purchases of Matic, Fabregas, Diego Costa, Flilipe Luis and Cuadrado (the first three players were largely responsible for us winning the league)

Funny isn't it, Chelsea make FFP work for them and all of a sudden its a bad idea.

Turan signs for Barca and we're supposed to believe it's only FIFA who are corrupt?

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Personally I think we're short everywhere but GK:)

As for Mourinho being responsible... Not sure I agree entirely with that. Of course he's not without blame. But none of Mata, Schurrle or KDB performed. Non-performers doesn't come far when Mourinho is the manager. You're not up to it you're out the door.

Not sure I think we need anyone in defence, and I believe we need an upgrade in quality at CM rather than more options.

Its really at AM that we're short IMO. 3 positions - Id ideally like 6 decent options to choose from there.

I get what youre saying re Mou and those players like Schurrle Mata etc but honestly the manager's job is to keep players happy. We've lost a whole lot of players under Mourinho.

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So, that's GK sorted with Begovic signed.

Defense:

Still think we need to add another defender. Zouma and Azpi provides cover for Ivanovic at RB - Zouma while being a rotation option at CB and Azpi starter at LB. It's a tricky situation of course because if JT has another season like last, 4 CBs will mean at least one barely plays. I'm a little surprised we didn't go for Alderweild as he'd have provided cover across the back four so could pick up games that way. Would have been a decent addition for the short to medium term before we really need to start thinking about JTs successor.

I'm not sure what options there are out there, but if we so sign a top quality CB (young or old) that means Cahill drops to fourth and Zouma will be cover across three defensive positions (DM, RB, CB). A utility man would have been the least disruptive will still being valuable.

The other question is what we do with Luis/Ake. If Luis stays, the Ake needs a loan. If Luis leaves, then I'd retain Ake as back-up LB. Maybe that's why we heard mumblings of an Ake loan which has gone awfully quiet lately?

Terry, Cahill, Zouma, Ivanovic, Azpilicueta, Luis/Ake, new utility defender

Midfield:

This is a tough one. On the one hand I think we need to strengthen - mainly in depth but at higher quality. I'd get rid of either Mikel or Ramires. I feel Mikel is the more talented player, but he's just not a great fit for what we need in this system. But what midfielders are available? I'd have loved Cabaye. Schneiderlin would have been a good CM3. But those are off the market now... Maybe JM will try and change Mikels game somewhat and try to get him to be more adventurous? I would have liked an upgrade on our CM3 with either Mikel or Ramires out and the other kept on as CM4 with RLC as CM5. Maybe even Chalobah could be given a squad role as CB4, CM6 and RB3. But that's likely to mean way too little playing-time for him at this stage.

Matic, Fabregas, CM3, Mikel/Ramires, Loftus-Cheek

Attacking midfield:

A potential Pedro signing has really got my blood flowing. I like his style and it should be well suited to the English game. He's a tad on the slight side, but he's got some technique and pace. Hard worker, does his job and is a decent attacking threat. He'll fill the AM4 role well.

It would be interesting to see Traore retained as AM5/6 and share that role with Cuadrado. I wouldn't mind retaining Moses either. But that's unlikely.

Hazard, Willian, Oscar, Pedro, Cuadrado, Traore

Attack:

Only question mark now it what happens with Remy and what we do if he goes. Bamford as S3 or do we loan him out and go our for a new S3?

Costa, Falcao, Remy/new S3, Solanke

25 man squad. I don't believe Jose will have a bigger squad than this.

I'd be reasonably happy with this squad. Roughly what we started off with last season (one more AM, one more senior defender and a better CM3). I don't think we can expect much more that that to be honest and it's a better squad than last season for sure.

Edited by Sleeping Dave

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6 defenders is enough - especially given the small size of our squad. The days of having Ivanovic, Belletti, Bosingwa and Ferreira* on the books for 2 consecutive years are gone. Fortunately.

Ramires or Willian could play RB quite adequately. From the 6 we have 4 good choices for CB, 2 at RB and 2 at LB.

Certainly the issue is at AM where 5 or 6 are used in most games.

* and Ashley Cole and Zhirkov but we still ended up playing a CL knockout game against JM's Inter with Malouda at left back!!!!

Edited by Droy was my hero

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jones   

Interesting point, Dave, that Ake may very well replace Luis if sold. But, despite what Droy says, is 4 defenders + 2 promising 19 yo (Zouma, Ake) enough? Seems risky. A risk I dont think Jose will take. But if Luis stays, Ake needs game time on loan. Which leaves us in the same position: we are one "utility" defender short. Omeruo could be an option, but was dropped at Boro last season (had a couple og bloopers + a fall out with Karanka).

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Interesting point, Dave, that Ake may very well replace Luis if sold. But, despite what Droy says, is 4 defenders + 2 promising 19 yo (Zouma, Ake) enough? Seems risky. A risk I dont think Jose will take. But if Luis stays, Ake needs game time on loan. Which leaves us in the same position: we are one "utility" defender short. Omeruo could be an option, but was dropped at Boro last season (had a couple og bloopers + a fall out with Karanka).

Agreed. Seems a stupid risk to take, makes no sense at all.

A cheap utility defender is enough for me. It's overkill to go out and splash £20-£30m on a defender now - that can wait until absolutely necessary.

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jones   

Yep. But who? Ideally someone experienced, with on the ball skills. Pointless buying someone who does not improve the team. Is there any alternative under 20mp?

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Hughes has said we are planning to keep moses in the squad this season.

If moses is happy to I think this is good...adds usable numbers and is hg.

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