Tag Archives: Man Utd

Report: Man Utd ‘Willing To Spend Big Money’ To Sign Brazilian Ace

Manchester United are already looking ahead to the summer and would like to make some big money signings it seems. The likes of Antoine Griezmann have been linked, but they are also being linked with a move for a Brazilian defender…

The player in question is Marquinhos. Widely regarded as one of the best young prospects in the game, the PSG man is said to be high on the wish list of Jose Mourinho as he looks for defensive reinforcements in the summer.

The report comes from Goal who state: “Ligue 1 champions PSG are, however, reluctant to sell one of their key players and Goal understands they will not consider a sale in the summer, even for a bid of €100m.

Jose Mourinho’s side would be willing to offer €10m per year in wages to attract one of the top young defensive players in Europe as they look to build a team capable of winning the Premier League title.”

Mourinho has already invested big in his defence with the signing of Eric Bailly, but it seems he would like to add another central defender. Phil Jones continues to struggle with fitness whilst Marcos Rojo and Christ Smalling have failed to perform to the level Jose wants.

Marquinhos would walk into the United XI at the moment, most likely to partner Bailly at the heart of the defence. It would be a fairly inexperienced defence though, which would be something new for Mourinho, who has always favoured having at least one experienced head in his back four.

But it is clear United need some fresh young legs in their team and Marquinhos would be a fine addition. He is a player that can play out from the back with a very impressive 93.5% pass success rate in Ligue 1 and the Champions League this season.

Whilst he has shown promise at PSG, he is far from the finished article, but Mourinho will be confident in helping him become a better player. Mourinho did a great job with Varane at Madrid.

Marquinhos’ defensive statistics are not incredible this season (1.6 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 3.6 clearances per 90) but he has the raw attributes to become a top player.

Another advantage of signing Marquinhos is his versatility. Although United have a top quality right back in Antonio Valencia, they do lack quality depth in that area and Marquinhos has experience of playing in this position.

Do you think Marquinhos will join United in the summer? Compare free bets on football outcomes and make your prediction. United are one of a small selection of clubs that would be able to pay the valuation for Marquinhos.

In my opinion, Mourinho will bring in another defender in the summer and Marquinhos is a very good candidate. He would be a significant investment for United but as we have seen with the signing of Paul Pogba, United are not afraid to do that. Marquinhos would probably cost in excess of £50million, but I don’t think United will be afraid to invest such an amount in a player that is only 22 and has already proven himself at the top level.

Despite his youthful age, Marquinhos has managed to play nearly 100 games for PSG and has already been capped 17 times for his country.

Manchester United look set to spend big this summer with a huge move for Griezmann being talked up.

3 Key Battles That Will Decide The Result Of Manchester United vs. Chelsea

Is this the biggest game of the season for both clubs? If Chelsea win, the title will surely be theirs, if United win, their bid for the top four will look strong. Mourinho cannot afford another embarrassment against his old club, we take a look at 3 key battles that will decide the winner of this game. 

The game is being shown live on Sky Sports on Sunday afternoon (4pm kick-off UK time) and you can get a NowTV day pass and watch the game for just £6.29 with our fantastic 10% off a day pass offer.

1 – Antonio Valencia vs. Eden Hazard

Valencia has arguably been the best right back in the league this season, but on Sunday he will come up against a hugely talented Eden Hazard, and he doesn’t have to defend against this calibre of player very often.

Hazard is in the mood this season and has been a vital part of a Chelsea team that is close to winning the Premier League. Another big performance from Hazard could potentially win Chelsea the title on Sunday. If Conte’s men take three points at Old Trafford, they can surely be considered the Champions – they will have passed nearly every test. For Chelsea to get the three points, Hazard needs to be at his best. At the same time for United to get anything from the game, Valencia needs to show why he is being touted as the best in the league – and stop Hazard from performing.

£200m Invested: 3 Incredible Summer Signings Man Utd Want To Make This Summer According To Reports

Despite the money Jose Mourinho has spent in his first season at Manchester United, his team still look a long way from title challengers. A long unbeaten run in the league has papered over cracks in all honesty, with several home draws in recent weeks frustrating the fans.

Instead of battling for the title, United now find themselves in a struggle to finish in the top four. There’s a very real possibility that they will miss out on Champions League football again. The United attack is ageing and is struggling to make the difference week in week out. Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic could leave the club this summer, and that would free up significant funds for United to go and invest in new attacking midfielders and forwards. We take a look at 3 top quality players United could bring in with an investment of around £200million…

1 – Robert Lewandowski

According to DonBalon, a Spanish source, Mourinho may not choose to extend the contract of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, or at least, he may look to sign a new first-choice striker. According to the same report, Lewandowski of Bayern Munich tops the list. I don’t need to write about what type of player he is, or his statistics in recent years, it goes without saying that adding him to the team would be a significant improvement.

Convincing Munich to sell will not be easy. They have no obvious back up to Lewandowski, and world class strikers are hard to find on the market. A bid in excess of £60million would surely be needed to convince the German’s to part way with the deadly Polish striker.

Brazilian ‘Dreams’ Of Playing For Manchester United Next Season, How He’d Fit In

A Brazilian midfielder is dreaming of playing for Manchester United next season, and everyone is wondering if he could be the next Paul Pogba. 

Pereira has been a youth player at United since 2011. Now aged 21, he is ready to make the step up into the first team and follow in the footsteps of Jese Lingard.

Pereira has impressed on loan at Spanish side Granada this season and if United are not willing to give him regular game time, he is likely to have a number of suitors elsewhere.

Mourinho doesn’t have the best record in bringing young players through to the first team, but in Pereira he will want to make sure the club do not make the same expensive mistake that they did with Pogba.

“I’m playing well,” Pereira told ManUtd.com. “I’m trying to do my job and am getting a lot of minutes. For me, it’s been very good playing here at a high level in Spain, in La Liga, every week.

“I get to train and focus hard for the games and, for me, it’s been very good. Unfortunately for the team, it’s been a bit difficult this season but we’re trying to get out of this situation as quickly as possible.”

Pereira has become a regular in the Granada side, notching up 4 goals and 2 assists in 26 appearances, with 25 of them starts.
Pereira has played predominantly on the left wing but he is comfortable playing in any position in midfield, with plenty of appearances in central midfield this season. United desperately need someone with midfield versatility so adding Pereira to the squad would certainly help. Is he good enough to play regularly though? That will be his concern, as he is desperate for regular game time and will not want to go back to United just to sit on the bench. The loan spell has done wonders for his development and Mourinho will not want to halt that.

Pereira added that he has had heard from United whilst on loan: “It was nice to hear from Jose Mourinho and it’s nice that the people at United trust me and I always feel that they are watching. For me, that’s very important. I’m doing my thing here but I’m still a United player.

“[Assistant manager] Rui Faria sometimes sends me messages and asks how it is going. He contacted me to say I scored a good goal and I am happy when I get recognised for doing good things and to know that they’re watching.

Pereira would probably compete with Anthony Martial for the left wing role if he was in the squad next season, but he would also provide much-needed cover in central areas. He could be an attacking substitute to bring on centrally when United are looking to score. He’s known particularly for his dribbling skills and ability to take a set piece and score from distance.

RVP All Over Again? Fans React As Arsenal Stars Are Linked With Chelsea & Manchester United Transfers

Arsenal may have to face another summer of key players leaving this year as Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez continue to be linked with an exit.

The worst thing possible would be to see another key Arsenal player go to Manchester United – following in the footsteps of Robin van Persie. That was heartbreaking for every Arsenal fan and to see something similar happen again with Ozil would just really make the club seem 2nd rate.

Ozil, whilst not in his best form at the moment, is a world class player and the Gunners cannot afford to let go of him as they lack players of that calibre throughout the squad. Wenger, or whoever the manager is next season, needs to keep Ozil and restructure the team to make them play in a way that gets the best out of Mesut and the club’s other key players.

Also linked with a move to a Premier League rival is Alexis Sanchez. The little Chilean has stirred the rumour cauldron by suggesting that he wanted to remain in London, but ‘play for winners’. That seemed to be a dig at Arsenal, by suggesting they were not winners, but also a nod to Chelsea to suggest that he would like to play for them.

The quotes from Alexis come exactly a day after the Guardian reported that he is Antonio Conte and Chelsea’s number one transfer target for the summer. Arsene Wenger would surely be very reluctant to sell to a Premier League rival, but it appears that the player may force a move.

Here’s some reaction to the Alexis rumours…

With the likes of PSG, Bayern Munich and Juventus interested in the duo, Arsenal need to ensure they sell abroad rather than letting their stars join Premier League rivals. Letting either Ozil go to Manchester United or Alexis go to Chelsea would be terrible for Arsene Wenger’s reputation and Arsenal globally as a football club. The Gunners currently look a level below the rest of the playing field and letting their best players join Premier League rival surely just cements that status.

5 Rooney Replacements Manchester United Could Sign This Summer

It looks as if Wayne Rooney will be on his way from Manchester United this summer. After a glittering career at the club, he’s no longer a key player and now that he’s broken the club’s goalscoring record, Jose Mourinho seems extremely open to a sale. Selling Rooney would free up funds for a new stellar signing, so we wanted to take a look at 5 possible replacements for Wayne.

1 – Antoine Griezmann

The bookies favourite. It goes without saying that Griezmann would be a fantastic addition to the Manchester United squad. He’s a player of the highest calibre, but he’s also likely to cost a lot of money, Manchester United may even have to break the world transfer record again to lure him from Madrid. Bookies have him as short as 4/6 to be playing for Manchester United next year.

Chelsea Considering Selling Midfielder, Could Move To Manchester United In Summer

Chelsea are said to be considering the sale of one of their midfielders, with Manchester United previously listed with an interest.

Chelsea have been extremely successful so far this season but that has been the case for all the individuals in the team. With Chelsea’s success has come a stable and consistent team, but that has meant that Antonio Conte has repeatedly left several players out of the starting line up. One of those who is becoming frustrated on the sidelines is Brazilian midfielder Willian.

Perhaps Chelsea’s best player last season, it is understandable that the 28-year-old would be considering a departure, particularly with his age in mind. With 43 caps, a seasoned international and over 100 games for Chelsea, Willian would be an asset for most teams in Europe.

Conte is clearly not his biggest fan, so it could be in everyone’s best interests for him to leave this summer. Manchester United could be a potential destination, with the Daily Star reporting Mourinho is on red alert about potentially bringing the midfielder to Old Trafford.

Willian thrived under Mourinho when he was Chelsea manager so Jose knows only too well of his abilities. Chelsea would surely be reluctant to sell the player to a Premier League rival, but that didn’t stop the Juan Mata or Petr Cech deals from being completed in the recent past. Willian is settled in England and a move to Manchester could be the best thing for him.

With Wayne Rooney probably leaving the club in the summer, there could be a space in the number 10 role, a position Willian is capable of playing. He’s got a fantastic work rate and Mourinho loves that in all his midfielders, whether you’re playing at number 10 or on the wings.

But with the likes of Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan still in the squad, would Willian be assured of the game time he desires. I wonder if Mourinho will sell Mata this summer, as he is a player that he has never been a huge fan of.

There’s the potential that Willian could be tempted by a big-money move to China, especially with him nearing the end of his playing career. He did move to Russian club Anzhi for financial reasons earlier in his career, and I’m sure Chelsea would also rather sell to China due to the money involved and to avoid selling to a direct Premier League rival. Of course, former Chelsea midfielder and Brazilian compatriot Oscar has recently made the move to Asia.

‘Shocking Performance’ Football Fans On Twitter Criticise Manchester United Midfielder

It was a miserable night for Manchester United as they crashed out of the FA Cup in the quarter-final of the competition.

Ander Herrera may have been the man to really let United down by picking up two silly bookings, but it was Paul Pogba who frustrated the fans most as the Frenchman once again failed to deliver in a big match.

Despite pretty much all fans saying Pogba was poor against Chelsea, Mourinho amazingly declared Pogba ‘the best player on the pitch’. There was one player that was certianly better, and that was N’Golo Kante.

The international compatriot of Pogba arrived at Chelsea for just a margin of Pogba’s fee, but Kante has been the more impressive player all season and the difference in form showed in this game. One area Pogba is perhaps regarded as being better than Kante is in attacking areas, but in this FA Cup game, Kante was even more effective than Pogba in the final third. Kante scored the only goal of the game with a long-range effort that crept past De Gea into the bottom corner.

There’s been criticism from United fans themselves, rival fans and pundits. Here’s a sample of the reaction…

Pogba is starting to have one too many poor performances and when you cost £89million, that is something you really cannot afford to do. The likes of Mesut Ozil do not get away with it and Ozil cost less than half of what Pogba did. He’s still young, but Pogba needs to start making the difference in the big games sooner rather than later.

I do have a bit of sympathy for Pogba on this occasion because Herrera let him down early in the game getting those two bookings. It is hard enough having to handle Kante with a fully stocked midfield, but when one gets sent off it makes it pretty much impossible. Pogba’s attacking influence was restricted and he was forced to chase the game and work hard defensively, not his forte’ to say the least.

‘He Was Woeful’ Manchester United Fans Unhappy With Midfielder’s Performance vs. Southampton

Manchester United were victorious in the EFL Cup final on Sunday, but it didn’t stop some fans from feeling annoyed at some of the United players.

In all honesty, Southampton were probably the better team, or at least, their players performed better. A team of United’s calibre would wipe Southampton aside with relative ease if they performed to their potential, but they didn’t. One player who underperformed in particular was world record signing Paul Pogba. Southampton’s Oriol Romeu was the standout midfield performer.

There was no such criticism for Zlatan Ibrahimovic though. The match winner, who cost United nothing, helped them win another important game. He has definitely been a more important and more productive player in comparison to Pogba this season, although the Frenchman is obviously a lot younger and has a lot more time to try and repay his transfer fee.

United didn’t have the hardest run to the League Cup final to say the least, and although they were tested in the final, they were somewhat fortunate to win the game in 90 minutes. Mourinho will have ambitions to finish inside the top four and win the FA Cup and Europa League – to do that the team will need to play better than they did against Southampton and the fans will hope to see Pogba emerge as a more effective player in the big games like these. When you pay that much money for a player, I don’t think it is unreasonable to ask for them to make the difference in the games that matter.

Here’s some of the reaction to Pogba’s performance vs. Southampton

In my opinion, Pogba has played fairly well this season and has been one of the clubs better players. He hasn’t stood out as much as you would like or perhaps expect from a player that cost so much. You may expect Messi or Ronaldo effects on the team, but let’s remember he is a midfielder and he is a young midfielder, who will surely only improve season on season.

He does need to improve in the big games. People criticise the likes of Mesut Ozil for failing to make a difference in the big games, but Pogba cost more than twice as much and should be criticised and held accountable just as much as Ozil, if not more.

Luckily for Pogba, United got away with his poor performance but against a team of greater quality, I doubt they will be as lucky. Time to step up.

‘Our Best Player Is Out’ Manchester United Fans Fearful Ahead Of EFL Cup Final

Manchester United cruised through to the last 8 of the Europa League on Thursday night with a 1-0 away win against St. Etienne ensuring they won 4-0 on aggregate. However it wasn’t all good news for United. 

The gap in quality between the two sides was obvious and Henrikh Mkhitaryan was one player whose performance helped highlight the quality difference between the two sides. His goal was the only goal of the game and he scored it early to settle any nerves United may have had.

However the night ended early for Henrikh and on a sour note with Mkhitaryan going off injured in the 24th minute, the extent to his injury has not been revealed yet, but given his recent form the fans will be hoping it is nothing serious.

He only managed to make 11 touches during his time on the pitch and made 1 shot, which crucially hit the back of the net.

Aside from the goal, he didn’t look great before going off injured and that has led many to question whether he may have been carrying an injury before the game started. So is Mourinho to blame for his injury? Why did Jose potentially risk his fitness when the team had all but certainly advanced to the next round already thanks to their 3-0 first leg win. With the EFL Cup final coming up at the weekend, it makes the decision even more bemusing. Mourinho has also said that Carrick has no chance of playing in the EFL Cup final – so why did he feature vs. Saint-Etienne? It is obvious how important Carrick is to making United tick – so it is ridiculous to risk him just days before a final.

Here’s how some fans reacted to the midfielder’s performance and his injury. 

 

United have been drawn Rostov in the last 16 and Mourinho will surely be confident of advancing to the last 8 of the competition considering that draw.

Despite their terrible start to the Premier League under Mourinho, the team have a serious chance of winning 3 trophies this season under Mourinho – the EFL Cup, Europa League and the FA Cup. If Mourinho manages to land two of those trophies and finish in the top four then it would surely be a successful debut season for him at United.

With both Carrick and Mkhitaryan out of the final at the weekend, Manchester United’s chances of winning have surely fallen significantly. Should United’s midfield put in a lacklustre display in the final then there is only one man to blame…

Manchester United Transfer News: Forward Could Complete Big Money Move This Month

Manchester United have reportedly told Wayne Rooney he can choose if he wants to leave to go to China in the next week. 

The Chinese transfer deadline is on Tuesday and Rooney will have a chance to complete a big money move there before the deadline passes.

The news comes as an ‘exclusive’ from Yahoo, who are believed to be well connected.

With several reports linking United with a big money move for Antoine Griezmann in the summer, shifting Wayne Rooney off the wage bill would certainly help. Rooney is one of the highest earners at the club, believed to be earning around £300,000 per week.

It would be fair to say that his contribution on the field is not of such high value at this moment in time. United would be wise to move him on, but as the clubs highest goalscorer of all time, it is not that easy.

It’s hardly like Rooney is completely past it, he’s only 31, many professional footballers continue at the highest level well into their 30’s, you only have to look at Carrick, 35, who has made himself an important part of the United eleven this season.

That may make Rooney think twice before moving to China. If he waits til the summer to move, not only does he have a chance to win more trophies at the club, but he would be able to move to clubs of a higher caliber in the summer. If he doesn’t want to stay in England, I’m sure he wouldn’t be short of offers from the likes of Milan.

It’s understandable that United are making moving to China an option for Rooney. They will be aware that other European club would be unlikely to offer much money for him and also their wage offers are unlikely to tempt Rooney from his luxury lifestyle in Manchester. Chinese clubs would have no problems in matching his wage demands and United would probably receive a sizeable fee for him.

If the Griezmann stories are true, then United may have to break their own world record again to go and sign him. We are looking at around £100million, so if they can get £30million+ for a 31-year-old Rooney they will certainly be pleased.

Rooney must now decide if he wants to take one last payday and move to China, joining the others that have decided to cash in in Asia. He has a week to decide.

The latest reports from The Independent indicate that Rooney doesn’t want to move to China and is hoping an English club will match his wage demands in the summer. I can’t see that happening, personally.

What do you think he should do?

“Pure Class” Fans Heap Praise On Manchester United Midfielder After Stellar Show Against Leicester

Manchester United capitalised on Arsenal and Liverpool dropping points on Saturday with a solid 3-0 win against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. The result means the gap between the Red Devils and the top four is now down to just two points.

The game got off to a sluggish start, with neither side really testing the opposition in the opening stages. However, two quick-fire goals on the stroke of half-time from Henrik Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic before a clincher from Juan Mata ensured that United ended their run of three consecutive draws in the Premier League.

After 41 minutes of frustration, Mourinho opted for a change of tactics, moving Mkhitaryan away from the left wing, where he was placed to accommodate Rashford and Ibrahimovic, and into a more central role. It worked a treat for the Red Devils, who quickly starting turning up the gears following the change.

Mkhitaryan provided the moment of quality to open up the game for Mourinho’s side, beating Robert Huth to the ball just inside the Leicester half before running through on goal and slotting past Kasper Schmeichel. The Armenian midfielder then turned creator for United’s third, playing a wonderful one-two with Juan Mata before the Spaniard steered in at the near post.

Here’s how twitter reacted to Mkhitaryan’s display. Do you agree?

It’s crazy to think that just two months ago, the midfielder was being cast aside, much like Anthony Martial at present. Following a poor performance in the Manchester derby in September, Mkhitaryan has responded exceptionally from his early-season exile and his performance against Leicester typified just how far he has come.

Since being given another chance by Mourinho,  Mkhitaryan has started 12 games, scoring five goals in the process. Moving into the number 10 spot has caused a significant rise in his performances and against Leicester he looked like United’s greatest threat – a stark contrast from his early season woes.

Scoring just 36 goals, the side are the lowest scorers of any of the big six – 10 goals behind Spurs, but Mourinho may have found a solution with Mkhitaryan providing the side with an extra edge and zip to their play from the middle of the park.

Despite getting off to a rocky start at Manchester United, Mkhitaryan has shown his quality in recent weeks, injecting a much greater attacking impetus into the side. Fans will be hoping to see more of the same from the 28-year-old as Mourinho’s side look to keep up the pressure on the top four and try and secure Champions League football for next season.

Man Utd Fans Say Midfielder ‘Needs To Play More’ After Influential Performance vs. Wigan

Manchester United fans were extremely happy with one midfielder’s performance against Wigan on Sunday afternoon.

Mourinho’s men strolled into the last 16 of the FA Cup with a comfortable 4-0 home win.

The German international was famously sent to the reserves by Jose Mourinho who had concerns about his fitness and overall quality. But the midfielder has come back with a bang, scoring and assisting in the game against Wigan.

He boasted a 93% pass accuracy rate, with 111 passes and 131 touches overall, a lot more than any other player on the pitch. Playing in the holding midfield role, Bastian dictated the play, impressing in his short and long passing with 5 of his 6 attempted long balls finding the target.

Defensively he made a respectable 3 tackles and 3 interceptions. Going forward he didn’t offer much throughout, but crucially provided an assist and scored an acrobatic goal.

This type of display will have reassured fans who previously could see a dependence on Michael Carrick in midfield. But Schweinsteiger is of a similar ilk and if managed correctly, the 30+ duo could effectively share that role and be the platform for United’s more attack-minded midfielders to flourish.

It is this type of midfielder that Manchester United need to ensure they always have in the team. For all the quality that they have within the squad, balance plays a huge part in how a team performs and they need a midfield conductor, like Schweinsteiger to provide that balance. For all the skill and flash Pogba offers, he does not give you that authority and reliability on the ball in deep areas. Schweinsteiger or Carrick appear the perfect foil to enable Pogba to play his best football.

Here’s some of the reaction to his performance from Twitter.

My concern would be that whilst he performed very well in this fixture, is he capable of such quality performances against bigger and better teams? His drawbacks are his slowness and lack of mobility and these were never going to be exposed against a team like Wigan. The Germans performance has done enough to make Mourinho take notice though, and he could now expect a longer run in the first eleven.

He is though, of a different ilk to the other United midfielders and his presence is certainly beneficial in some scenarios, especially when Carrick is missing. My worry would be that with so many months out the team and squad, will he be physically ready to play in the Premier League? Time will tell, if Jose gives him a chance.

‘Absolutely Terrible’ Manchester United Fans React To Forward’s Performance vs. Stoke

Manchester United continued their unbeaten run on Saturday afternoon, but only thanks to a very late Wayne Rooney goal. Still, 1 point will not have been want Jose Mourinho was looking for from this fixture. 

A lot of Manchester United players were not at their best in this fixture, but one player who caused serious frustration was summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Zlatan seriously struggled all afternoon. Stoke more than matched his physicality and then there wasn’t much more the Swede could give. He was slow on and off the ball and was wasteful in his finishing.

Let’s take a look at some statistics. Shocking in possession, the big Swede completed just 61.9% of his attempted passes. He only made 50 touches in the game, which will be far less than Mourinho would want and expect from his focal point in attack.

He was frustrating in attack, having just 1 shot which did not week the target and getting caught offside 3 times! He completed 0 dribbles successfully and had 3 unsuccessful touches, which was more than any other Manchester United player.

Here’s some of the reaction to Zlatan’s performance on Twitter. It’s safe to say the United fans were far from satisfied with what they saw.

Personally, I think that although Zlatan has been scoring a lot of goals lately, Manchester United perform better as a team when he is not in the lineup.

He obviously is a goal threat at all times due to his height, strength and experience. When United inevitably resort to a more long ball tactic, he is ideal. But it hasn’t worked too much this season. With young and talented forward like Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford on the bench, I can’t help but think that Jose should freshen things up in attack. It’s almost like United are attempting to build their team around a 35-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which is not wise. Rashford and Martial are the future of the clubs attack and they are nothing like Zlatan, completely different players that would form a completely different attack.

‘Superb Performance’ Liverpool Fans Heap Praise On Defender After His Performance vs. Manchester United

The news that Nathaniel Clyne was ruled out against Manchester United due to a rib injury sustained against Southampton in midweek definitely shook several Liverpool fans. Clyne has been one of the most consistent figures for Klopp’s side so far this season, and his absence was thought to be a real blow for the Reds in such an important fixture.

As a result, Trent Alexander Arnold was handed his first Premier League appearance for Liverpool, thrown in at the deep end by his manager. Many thought he’d sink and struggle against the pace and trickery of United’s Anthony Martial, but the 18-year-old stood firm throughout the match to do himself, and his manager proud.

Alexander Arnold made three key tackles in the match, and showed a calm and collected presence despite the magnitude of the fixture. It was never going to be an easy task for the youngster but apart from a few wayward passes, he handled the occasion superbly and showed just what a bright future he has at Liverpool.

A look at his defensive statistics help highlight how well he did. Up against Anthony Martial, many thought the youngster would struggle and be easily beaten but he managed 8 clearances, 3 tackles and 2 interceptions – he also committed 0 fouls. That’s very impressive considering who he was up against and the occasion itself would have gotten to many other young players.

Liverpool fans have been quick to praise the defender, who could see more chances at first team action in the coming games if Clyne is sidelined for an extended period of time. He certainly didn’t harm his case today.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to Alexander-Arnold’s performance. Do you agree with these thoughts?

When you consider it was his first Premier League appearance for the club, and the fact that he is only 18 years of age, Arnold’s performance was exemplary. He took a while to settle into the match, initially struggling with the pace of Martial, but he produced what was needed of him.

He wasn’t shying away from tackles, and he didn’t show the fear or nerves of a player making his Premier League bow – that in itself says a lot about his quality.

Few players can come into a side on such a big occasion and do a job, especially an 18 year old. Hats off to Trent Alexander Arnold for putting in a stellar performance for Liverpool. The future looks bright.

Manchester United Fans Criticise ‘Woeful’ Midfielder For Poor Display vs. Liverpool

Manchester United snatched a late draw against Liverpool in a game which truly lacked quality throughout. 

Despite the millions of pounds of talent on display, both teams failed to conjure up much inspiration in the final third and it was a scrappy game. Manchester United had a £90million midfielder in their team, but he failed to make any sort of difference and in fact was perhaps one of the worst players on the field on the day.

The hugely poor moment for him was when he handballed inside the area to gift Liverpool a 1st half advantage. After that he did very little to redeem himself with passes going astray frequently.

Pogba completed just 72% of his passes and was dispossessed 3 times. He received a 5.6 match rating on WhoScored, less than any other player on the pitch. Offensively he offered nothing, completing just 1 dribble, 0 key passes and making 0 shots. Defensively he failed to make an interception and completed just 1 tackle. The Frenchman normally prides himself on being effective at both ends of the pitch, but he was shockingly bad defensively and offensively today – certainly an afternoon to forget for the world record transfer signing.

Here’s some reaction to the players performance against Liverpool.

In my opinion, Pogba once again proved that he is in no way worth the £90million Manchester United paid for him. He’s a very good midfielder, don’t get me wrong, but his valuation was ludicrous and considering the amount of bad press the likes of Mesut Ozil have received for bad performances, Pogba deserves every bit of criticism he will get for this lacklustre showing.

Many have suggested Pogba should focus on his football rather than his off the field promotion, and I certainly agree there. The Frenchman spends a lot of time with Adidas and on social media to create more revenue for him and his brand, fair play to him, but the fans just want him to be the best he can on the football pitch, and with all that other activity it cannot be helping him perform his best on the pitch.

To be honest I think Pogba is a good player, maybe even a great player. But after moving for such a large amount of money, he will always be compared to that £90million price tag, and for that amount of money you need to be making the difference in nearly every game, especially big games like today against Liverpool.

Manchester United Linked With £50m Striker: Is He A Better Option Than Griezmann?

Whilst strikers such as, Suarez, Griezmann or Ibrahimovic steal all the headlines, one European goal scorer is sneaking under the radar.

Paulo Dybala is quickly becoming a fan favourite in Juventus. The 23-year-old has scored 23 goals in his 45 games in the Serie A, also making five assists. The Argentinian managed to score 20 Serie A goals faster than THE Juventus legend himself, Del Piero.

But with such a great goal scoring record already, it wouldn’t be long before he attracted attention from other giants in Europe, with Manchester City, Real Madrid and Manchester United all fighting for his signature, according to The Sun.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, despite what he says himself, won’t be able to play forever and will soon have to hang up his boots, which will leave the Red Devils once again needing a proven goal scorer, and it could potentially be Dybala, who will not be sold for under 50 million.

But with Manchester United heavily linked to Antoine Griezmann, would it be wise to ditch the Frenchman and steal Dybala out of Madrid and City’s hands?

I think not, Griezmann has proved himself in the tournaments such as Euro 2016 and has also scored 12 goals in 28 Champions League appearances, and also scoring 51 goals in 91 La Liga appearances, compared to Dybala’s 60 goals in 171 showing that he just has the edge on the Argentinian.

Griezmann may only be two years older than Dybala but he is much more experienced, after playing in huge games such as the Champions League final and the Euro 2016 final. Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have proved that playing in the biggest games is important for a player, both scoring goals this season when it matters most.

Another advantage of signing Griezmann is that he can fill in at striker, right wing and in the number ten role. It would be a smart decision to sign a player that has played world class in three different positions.

For the cost that you would have to sign either of them, I think the money would be better off going towards bringing Griezmann to Old Trafford, rather than Dybala. Both will be expensive transfers but any teams planning to pay so much for Dybala may be a gamble, but there is no doubt him and Griezmann will be battling against one another for the crown of best striker one day, whoever they play for.

It’s very unlikely that a deal for either of these players would happen in the January window, but when the summer rolls around, it would be worth keeping an eye on both players situations and the cash-rich Manchester United are likely to re-invest more millions into their team.

Defender Left Out Of Squad, Fuels Speculation Of A Transfer To Manchester United or West Ham

It looks as if a former Manchester United fans favourite is on the move, and he might well be going back to his old stomping ground. 

Evra is now 35 and his contract at Juventus is due to expire at the end of the current season, thus allowing foreign clubs to begin negotiations over his signing.

West Ham and Manchester United have been linked with the experienced full-back and with the player now left out of Juventus’ squad, it seems more likely that a move back to England may be on the horizon.

Evra has only made 6 Serie A appearances this season, with the younger Alex Sandro now seemingly the clubs favoured left back option. It is not clear whether Juventus intend to extend Evra’s contract beyond the conclusion of this season and that would allow either West Ham or Manchester United to sign him for free, or pay a small fee in January and get him now.

However, his agent Federico Pastorello played down the chances of the France international departing the Italian champions midseason.

“It’s not certain he will leave Juventus,” Pastorello told Juvenews. “We’ll see what happens over the next few days.”

It’s probably silly to bother looking at Evra’s statistics from this season considering how little he has played, so let’s go back to last season, where he was still a fairly regular presence in the starting eleven.

Making 26 appearances in Serie A, Evra proved that despite his age, he is still a very reliable defender, averaging 1.49 interceptions and 1.53 aerial duels won per 90 last season. He was also influential going forward, as always, completing on average 23.92 forward passes and on 1.01 key passes per 90, a good amount for a full back.

His attacking influence may fade as he continues to age, but the experience and defensive know-how that Evra has is mental and will only get stronger with age. As West Ham’s ship continues to shake, you can see why they would like a player of his ilk and experience in their defence.

For Manchester United, they do not have an established left back at the moment, with Luke Shaw struggling to return to form since his long term injury and Darmian seriously struggling to impress. Marcos Rojo is another option in that position but he is playing a lot better in central defence and I’m sure that Mourinho will be keen to try and keep him in that favoured central role.

If Evra has an offer from both clubs it’ll be interesting to see what decision he makes. At West Ham, he is more likely to play regular football, but his history at Manchester United will surely have a huge impact on his decision. I think if United’s interest is genuine, then Mourinho will be keen to add Evra for his off the pitch contribution as much as anything else.

Manchester United Fans Say Midfielder ‘Needs To Play Every Game’ After Great Performance vs. Reading

It was a comfortable afternoon for Manchester United as they made light work of Championship high-flyers Reading by winning 4-0 at Old Trafford in Saturday’s early kick-off.

There were several standout performers for Manchester United on the day, but one player who received lots of praise from the fans post-match was Anthony Martial, a player who has been used sparingly under Jose Mourinho.

A fans favourite since he signed, many have been bemused as to why he has not played more often, but this performance will have surely done his chances no harm. Originally a striker, Martial has been pushed out to the left wing at United and it looks as if that will be his long term position. He will be competing with Marcus Rashford, a player with similar attributes, strengths and weaknesses and also a player who can play in both his positions.

The only personal issue perhaps for Martial is that even though he scored and played very well, his teammate and competitor for his position, Rashford, scored a brace and continued to impress his manager. Mourinho publicly praised Rashford’s contributions post-match.

Martial took 4 shots, 3 of which hit the target. He was also creative, making 3 key passes. The other aspect to Martial’s game is his physicality, he managed to win 3 aerial duels.

He got on the scoresheet, but that was not Martial’s only contribution. The Frenchman was a menace for the Reading defence all afternoon and certainly will have made Jose Mourinho consider playing him more frequently.

Here’s some of the fans reaction to Martial’s performance. 

Manchester United spent an awful lot of money on Martial, and they cannot forget that. Mourinho needs to ensure he maximises the potential of a player with a huge amount of it. A run out in the FA Cup is nice, but Martial deserves more than that. He has surely earned a regular place in the team, perhaps not from what he’s done under Mourinho (has he had a chance?) but what he did in his first season at the club. What worries me is whether he is going to be given that game time that he deserves at a club that continues to look for external improvements. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was signed in the summer and Antoine Griezmann is reportedly being lined up. If they’ve got the money, you can’t criticise the club for spending it, however when they have young talent like Martial and Rashford, surely developing that duo would be a better idea that continuing to invest?

That’s the view of me, not a United fan. I’d love to hear what United fans think about this, should both Rashford and Martial be featuring more regularly?

Report: Manchester United Have Made An Offer For Serie A Ace, Would He Be A Good Addition?

Manchester United appear to be moving fast in the January transfer window and have already lodged a bid for AC Milan forward M’Baye Niang, according to reports in Italy.

Reports breaking from Italian daily Il Giornale, suggest the Red Devils have made an offer for the 21-year-old as they look to bolster their squad ahead of a crucial second part of the season.

M’Baye Niang is under contract until 2019 so the Italians will be in no desperate need to sell their man, Milan are said to want to keep their prized asset and were hoping he would sign a new contract but reports from Italy said talks over an extension has buffered, despite the Frenchman reportedly willing to renew.

Reports suggest Milan’s takeover by Chinese investors has complicated the renewal, which has left Jose Mourinho with fresh hope for his signature.

Since his arrival to Serie A, he has gone on to play 64 league games for the Italians scoring eight goals, although he has represented France at youth level, he is yet to make his first-team appearance.

Although he can play the 9 role, he has been deployed on the left-hand side of a 4-3-3 more often which is where his long-term future seems to lay. The Milan attacker often uses his pace to stretch defences and get in behind backlines, an attribute that will attract Jose Mourinho due to his positive style of play.

United are now using a similar formation in the Premier League, and may have an eye on M’Baye Niang for the left-hand side of the front free for rotation purposes. Memphis Depay looks like he could be on the way out, so perhaps Niang is earmarked as a replacement? It’s hard to say which player would be better for United, both are still far from the finished article and I find it hard to beleive that if Mourinho is not willing to give Memphis time, that he would want a player like Niang. Jose does still have options on the left with Mkhitaryan, Lingard, Mata, Rashford and Martial all able to play there.

Although Niang has been playing at the top level for several years, he is still very raw in many aspects, he is yet to master his issues in front of goal and lacks that clinical edge and this shows with the fact he has scored just 0.26 goals per 90 minutes thus far this season. But, he is still young and has shown glimpses of his goal-scoring pedigree in him, which will be another bonus for on-looking potential suitors.

The forward was a target for Everton and Arsenal when he was still playing for Caen, despite turning down England for Italy four years ago, he firmly believes his long-term future is in England as it suits his style of play.

The Red Devils would have a battle on their hands from clubs around Europe if he was made available, with earlier reports suggesting Arsenal, Monaco and Borussia Dortmund are also monitoring his availability closely.

Robbie Savage Names These 2 Manchester United Players In His Team Of The Season So Far

Writing for The Mirror, former footballer Robbie Savage had his say on the team of the season so far. Despite their mediocre performances to date, Jose Mourinho’s men were fairly well represented. 

He seemed to be rather generous to Manchester United, naming two of their players in his eleven. Controversially, he decided that no Liverpool player had made the grade, and that infuriated their fanbase.

Michael Carrick was given the nod in midfield, ahead of the likes of N’Golo Kante and Adam Lallana. The English midfielder has really helped change United’s fortunes in recent weeks, but he has only played around half of his teams games this season – leading many to believe that he hasn’t warranted a space in the team.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was also selected in the team, which was given a 433 formation, the Swede was placed alongside Alexis Sanchez and Diego Costa in the line up. Liverpool fans felt that Sadio Mane may have been a better fit in the side, especially as Savage had previously suggested that Mane may be the signing of the summer (ahead of Zlatan).

Carrick has no doubt been influential, as has Zlatan, but whilst they have been good, it is understandable that many disagree with them being placed in the team of the season so far. The bemusement of many fans is that Savage only included 1 Arsenal, 0 Liverpool, 0 Tottenham and 2 Manchester City players – all clubs which sit ahead of United in the league currently.

If Carrick and Zlatan continue their good form and help United get closer to the summit of the Premier League then their inclusions will be a bit more understandable, but for now it does seem a little biased to include both.

Kante, Lallana and Mane have all been incredible this season and influential in helping their teams to the top of the Premier League. For me, all three of those players deserve to be in the team ahead of Carrick at this moment in time. Kante has continued his form from his Leicester City days and continues to be an integral part of his team, whilst Lallana has improved tremendously under Jurgen Klopp – he already has 6 Premier League goals and 6 Premier League assists this season, proving that he can be an incredibly productive midfielder.

The team represented with the most players was Chelsea, with Costa, Azpilicueta, Luiz and Hazard all in Savage’s 11 – so even without Kante, Conte’s men have 4 players in the team.

This Manchester United Defender Excelled vs. Everton – But Time To Go For Fellaini?

Manchester United were held to a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on Sunday as Marouane Fellaini gave away a late penalty. Two players caught the eye for United on the day, but both for very different reasons. 

Marcus Rojo supplied the first big talking point of the game after lunging into a 50/50 challenge with Idrissa Gueye, but was only shown a yellow card by referee Michael Oliver, much to the anger of the Everton players. The first half was dominated by controversial decisions as United players would argue Gareth Barry should have been sent off for two bookings.

After 42 minutes of sloppy play from both sides, the deadlock was finally broken. Anthony Martial supplied a perfect ball for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to chase and lob the ball over the stranded, Stekelenburg. The goal was given by goal line technology after the attempt hit the bar, post and then creeped over the line.

The first piece of action of the second half took place on the 53rd minute when Kevin Mirallas skipped past Rojo with ease and forced a good save from David De Gea, who would have been trying to forget his mid-week slip up against West Ham.

Ander Herrera hit the post with a great effort after some good work from Mkhitaryan on only his second league start for the club.

On the 85th minute, Marouane Fellaini was substituted on, and on the 87th minute, the same man gave away a penalty. The Belgian once again proving why he isn’t up to standards for a side like Manchester United. Leighton Baines kept his nerve and placed the penalty in the bottom corner, which proved to be the final goal in the game.

Phil Jones, hopefully back for good

When Phil Jones joined the club, Sir Alex Ferguson labelled the young man as a future captain of club and country, but the Englishman has been plagued with injury and hasn’t been able to live up to his potential. Back from injury, the centre-back has been extremely impressive and there was no change today. Jones kept Romelu Lukaku quiet for the whole game and made sure he didn’t win anything in the air, which is a tough task against such a physical player. The ex-Blackburn Rovers player was a brick wall and made sure David De Gea was protected. Jones had the confidence to play it out from the back to Michael Carrick instead of hitting it up the field and giving it away.

When managing Chelsea, Mourinho mentored John Terry into the player that he is today and if he can stay fit, I don’t think there is any doubt that he can reach the former England captain’s level.

How long can Fellaini hold onto his Utd Career?

Manchester United fans will not be wanting to see any more of Marouane Fellaini for a good few weeks, that’s if he can survive the January transfer window. The Belgian has never been in the good books of the fans ever since he joined the club and he simply isn’t helping himself. He doesn’t have the quality of the players around him and it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Mourinho put his belief in the midfielder to keep the ball for the final few minutes and add an extra man to the defensive duties, but another stupid mistake led to another draw. Surely it’s time up for Fellaini?

‘Pocketted Pogba’ Twitter Reacts To Everton Midfielder’s Masterclass In Manchester United Draw

Manchester United failed to close a three point gap on the top four this afternoon after drawing 1-1 with Everton at Goodison Park. With Liverpool and Manchester City both dropping points before their clash with the Toffees the Red Devils knew they could close a gap on their rivals but failed to do so again in another draw for Jose Mourinho’s men.

The result leaves Manchester United way away from the top four as any hope for Champions League football keeps slipping away with United continuously dropping points, but the point for Everton, which was certainly deserved will be a relief for Ronald Koeman after losing last week at the St Mary’s Stadium and keeps them within touching distance of United in sixth place.

One man in particular shone for the home side in their well battled draw, that man being summer signing Idrissa Gueye, who was absolutely immense in central midfield helping his side keep the likes of Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba very quiet during the game.

The arrival of the former Aston Villa man went under the radar in the summer but he has been exceptional thus far this season, he has found his feet extremely well in Koeman’s system whilst delivering supreme performances on a consistent basis in recent weeks.

In yet again another excellent performance, he helped his side extremely well defensively winning five tackles during the 90 minutes, more than any other player on the pitch and provided the midfield engine in the middle of the park.

When the impressive Gueye was not helping his side defensively he was pushing forward trying to help his team get something from the game, which evidently paid off with the Senegalese man winning the penalty in the closing stages, after receiving the ball and brushing past Marouane Fellaini after the Belgian brought him down for a stone wall penalty.

The midfielder was at the heart of everything for the Toffees and was oozing confidence, he had a total of 69 touches in the match making 37 completed passes which is impressive in itself.

Gueye was majestic yet again and was involved in a total of 16 duels this afternoon, managing to win an extremely impressive 75% which shows the dominance he possessed, making two interceptions too.

For someone to keep up such high tempo in their play and keep up high stamina levels as Gueye did was impeccable, he was bursting forward showing initiative whilst proving to be a nuisance for United, a player that just would not give them a sniff of the ball.

As expected, there has been humongous praise for Gueye on twitter, with some totally overjoyed with their Man of the Match, so we take a look at how people responded to Everton’s summer signing today.

As you can see, the Everton faithful are over the moon with his performance today and some already want him to be awarded the player of the season. Gueye has been influential for Koeman this season and he is repaying the faith he showed to bring him to Merseyside in the summer, if Everton’s dream of European football is to become a reality, they will be relying on this man to stay fit and firing in that midfield.

Ratings: How Manchester United’s Players Rated In 1-1 Draw vs. Everton

Manchester United once again failed to pick up three points this weekend and it will be a cause of frustration for many United fans. We take a look at how their players performed in the 1-1 draw with Everton. 

David De Gea – 7.5

Made a few crucial saves to ensure the three points went back to Old Trafford in a good performance.

Antonio Valencia – 6

As always, was an outlet going forward and was excellent defensively too against a dangerous Kevin Mirallas.

Phil Jones – 6

Since his return, he has been solid in the United defence and was once again impressive today against Lukaku, was solid in tackles and in the air and is giving Mourinho a headache for when Bailly is deemed fit to play.

Marcos Rojo – 6

Firstly, he should not have lasted the whole game and should have been sent off for an appalling challenge on Gueye, but apart from his horror challenge was very strong at the back for United and has surprisingly improved in recent weeks.

Matteo Darmian – 3

Darmian, for me, is woeful and proved to be woeful again today. He struggled tremendously defensively and doesn’t offer anything going forward, it must be a matter of time before Blind and Shaw take his spot.

Michael Carrick – 6.5

Finally, Mourinho has integrated Carrick into the starting XI and he is yet to disappoint, his intelligence and passing in the middle of the park is superb. Perhaps in January, with Carrick’s age in mind, Mourinho may be looking for a player of his ilk to take over at some stage, or at least share the burden. Jon Obi Mikel has been linked

Ander Herrera – 6

Herrera, who slotted alongside Carrick, was impressive again today, apart from his short pass to Rojo (which could have cost his team to lose a man) he was very good in the midfield and as always was bursting forward.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 8

Well, who thought this Armenian was so special, well, everyone did bar Mourinho. But, finally he has seen sense, when Henrikh is on the ball anything can happen, he was at the heart of everything good for United again today and was a headache for Everton all afternoon after another immense showing.

Paul Pogba – 4

The Frenchman struggled to make an impact throughout the 90 minutes and was wasteful in possession, Mourinho has yet to get the best out of Pogba but will need their most expensive signing ever to pick up in these types of games, he was not quick enough on the ball and struggled to make an impact, a poor showing.

Anthony Martial – 6

Firstly, lets touch on his exquisite assist for Ibra, it was a superb pass with sublime technique. He had a brilliant battle against Coleman, a 50:50 duel which was very pleasing on the eye for viewers.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 6.5

Apart from his wonderful goal to open the scoring, Ibra found himself dropping far too deep (again) to collect the ball, he did not offer too much after he opened the scoring. It’s not the first time that has been the case and Mourinho may have to pluck up the courage to remove Zlatan from the attack to improve the overall performance of his team. 

Subs

Marcus Rashford – N/A

Had little impact in the closing stages of the game.

Marouane Fellaini – 0

Woeful, embarrassing, disgrace. A few words to describe his laughable cameo, gave away a penalty after being on for 3 minutes in his 100th appearance for the club, turning out to be a disastrous one.

Report: Manchester United Lining Up January Deal For Chelsea Midfielder – Is It A Good Idea?

We are coming up to the festive period and that means one thing… silly season is back! And so are the rumours. Throughout this period we will be monitoring the rumours and adding our unique analysis to the stories that catch our eye. 

Jon Obi Mikel to Manchester United? That’s the claim from The Sun who earlier this week claimed an ‘Exclusive’ and said that Mourinho is aiming to raid his former club with an ‘incredible cut-price deal’ January. 

Mikel is the forgotten man at Chelsea as with Matic and Kante excelling in the central roles, there’s no real space for the Nigerian in the team. It’s very believable that the player would be open to a move away from a club where his opportunities have been so restricted this season.

But would Jose Mourinho want him? The former Blues boss used Mikel sparingly during his time at the club, but certainly more regularly than Conte and I would imagine that Mikel would be open to a reunion with his old manager.

It is no secret that United have been most impressive this season when playing with Michael Carrick at the base of the midfield. But aged 35, the Englishman struggles to play regularly and the club cannot afford to be reliant on him. Mikel is of a similar ilk, perhaps less perfect in possession and more proactive defensively. He might be somewhere between Carrick and Fellaini, both of whom Mourinho is a fan. The Portuguese manager also said that he’d love to have Carrick ? years younger. Aged 29, Mikel is 6 years younger than Carrick and that may mean he has the extra durability to be relied upon. 

Of course United nearly signed Mikel ahead of Chelsea when he first came to England, so, despite all the change at the club since then, there is a long standing admiration of the player, even though he has failed to reach the heights many expected.

Despite that Mikel is a seasoned international with 78 caps and having played regularly in the Premier League for some years now (more than 200 games for Chelsea in his 10 year spell), he would certainly bring something to the United squad.

Considering he would be competing with the likes of Carrick and Fellaini, I thought I’d take a look at the stats and compare the trio. 

What do you want from a defensive midfielder / deep lying playmaker? The 5 areas we chose to analyse were pass completion, interceptions, tackles won, aerial duels won and total forward passes. We opted to use the statistics from last season to use a larger data set. Mikel leads the way in two of these areas with an impressive pass completion rate of 90%, Carrick is 2nd with 86% and Fellaini last with 83%. Mikel also wins the most tackles on average with 1.86 per 90, Fellaini is not far behind on 1.52 and Carrick last on 1.23. In the 3 areas Mikel is not 1st, he is 2nd! With 1.61 interceptions per 90, 0.85 aerial duels and 40.91 forward passes per 90.

Mourinho has spent millions on the likes of Paul Pogba already so maybe it is a low key signing like this that United need to compliment their squad. I’m not saying that Mikel would get into the starting eleven, but in a January market where options are not aplenty, Mourinho may have to look for shrewd additions like these to add to the quality and depth in his squad. 

Fans Call For This Defender To ‘Never Play For Manchester United Again’ After West Ham Draw

Manchester United hosted West Ham on Sunday afternoon in a game they had to really win to keep pace with their title rivals after Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City all ground out wins at the weekend. 

It wasn’t the case though and it started so terribly for the home side when Sakho headed in from a Payet cross just 90 seconds into the game. United did equalise from a Ibrahimovic header but there were no more goals in what proved to be United’s fourth consecutive draw at home in the league. One player who stood out for Man Utd on the day was defender Matteo Darmian – but not for playing well.

Darmian was widely praised in his debut season for Manchester United but since then he has really struggled in the Premier League. The fans were not happy at all with his performance on Sunday and it seems the defender has lost his way, with some fans even calling for him not to play for the club again.

West Ham winger Antonio had the beating of Darmian all night. The English midfielder excelled over the Italian both defensively and offensively and the United mans crossing was a cause for particular frustration from the United faithful. Here’s some statistics to back up these thoughts: Darmian was pretty ineffective defensively, making 0 interceptions, 0 blocks and just 3 tackles. Going forward he wasn’t much better, completing 0 dribbles, making 0 key passes, 0 through balls and 0 accurate crosses. Those statistics make for pretty grim reading for the defender and this was certainly not a case of where statistics didn’t tell the whole story because they told the exact story – Darmian was completely useless on the day.

Why is he starting ahead of Luke Shaw after a series of poor performances? This is just one of an artillery of questions that the United fans are now asking. Here’s how the fans reacted on Twitter to his performance.

Manchester United now sit a massive 11 points behind league leaders Chelsea, and with the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and even Arsenal also hitting form lately, it may not be unreasonable to already write Mourinho’s men off in the title race. Just 13 games in that is a pretty horrific performance from Mourinho and United. Something needs to change quickly and whilst I don’t for one second place all the blame on Darmian, he certainly appears to be one of a number of problems currently at the club.

‘He’s Better Than Ozil’ Fans On Twitter Praise Manchester United Midfielder After Arsenal Match

Manchester United were perhaps a shade unfortunate not to take the 3 points against Arsenal in yesterday’s early kick off. Juan Mata opened the scoring and his overall performance earned him many plaudits. 

Mata was influential in helping United control the game for most of the 90 minutes. His cool finish helped United turn that pressure into a goal just after half time, although United conceded a 90th minute equaliser after the Spaniard was subbed off.

Here’s a closer look at the statistics behind Mata’s performance, these help highlight how influential he was, not just during the scoring of the goal. Mata made 36 passes during the game which isn’t a huge amount, but he was successful with 86.1% of his attempted passes. He also attempted 5 crosses and 2 long balls, this shows he was not just attempting short and easy passes. The low amount of passes he made was probably because he was played on the right wing – a position where you are not involved as much in possession.

His defensive game has certainly improved under Mourinho and in big games like this it is important that you defend from the front – this is exactly what Mata did, making 2 interceptions and 3 tackles. Going forward he completed 3 dribbles and attempted 3 shots with 2 of them on target and 1 crucially a goal.

Here’s a sample of how Twitter has reacted to Mata’s performance on Saturday afternoon. 

So is he better than Ozil? As an Arsenal fan I think it would be a bit biased for me to say one way or the other. What I can say is that aside from his goals, Ozil has not been at his best this season whereas Mata has excelled under Mourinho where many thought he may not play at all. The Spaniard has improved the defensive side of his game and he is capable of notching up goals and assists. This is promising for him, but can he really be considered better than Ozil?

Ultimately although Mata had a decent game yesterday, he needs to improve his goal and assist tally to be considered better than Ozil – as that is a good measurement of an attacking midfielder’s quality. The Spaniard only has 4 goals and 1 assist in 16 games this season and people are saying he has had a great season. In comparison people are suggesting Ozil has been poor this season but he has made 3 assists and scored 7 goals in 15 games for Arsenal. What does that tell you about the two players?

Good News? 2 Key Manchester United Strikers Could Miss Arsenal Match

Manchester United already knew they would be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic when they face Arsenal on Saturday, but there is possibly more bad news on the horizon and it may mean that Jose Mourinho has to completely change his attacking approach. 

According to The Telegraph, United could be without another striker on Saturday after Wayne Rooney withdrew from the England squad with what is described as a ‘minor’ injury, although they note that the player will need to be assessed by his club before a decision is made on whether he will face Arsenal in Saturday’s early kick off.

United haven’t been scoring many this season but against Swansea they appeared to finally hit their rhythm with Zlatan up top, scoring two goals and Rooney on the left, assisting all 3 goals.

The absences of Zlatan and potentially Rooney is of course not good news for Manchester United, but what it does do it represent is a chance for some young blood to play.

Marcus Rashford – a player who burst onto the scene with an excellent brace against Arsenal at Old Trafford last season, he is a young player whose opportunities have been very limited so far this season under Jose Mourinho. When he has featured, it has tended to be on the wings as Zlatan’s presence has restricted his game time through the middle.

There’s also Anthony Martial. A player who can play on the left or through the middle, both positions that Rooney and Zlatan played against Swansea and after the club spent so much money on Martial, it is important they find a way to get the best out of him.

A front three including Rashford and Martial is likely to strike fear into Arsenal’s defenders, probably just as much as the presence of Rooney and Zlatan would. Yes the more experienced duo have been there and done it, but the sheer pace and bravery of players like Rashford make them very hard to play against.

Arsenal are likely to line up with Mustafi and Koscielny at the back, a defensive duo that will be hard to break down no matter who United select as their striker. An area where the home side should be looking to target is down the left hand side. With Hector Bellerin set to miss the game through injury, Arsenal will have a weakened right hand side, and a direct, quick player on the left is likely to be the best approach to take. The Gunners are likely to select Carl Jenkinson, a player who when fully fit is not the best and he’s only played a handful of first team minutes since a long term injury early in the year.

So, could Rooney’s absence actually be a good thing? Allowing United to fully exploit the Gunners weak right hand side with the direct options of Martial and / or Rashford.

3 Things Mourinho Needs To Do To Get Manchester United Back In The Title Race

When Jose Mourinho was announced the manager of Manchester United football club, the United faithful straight away started to talk about the big silverware and started to feel their club would rise back to the top again, that is the kind of affect the Portuguese manager can have on your team, with the CV he carries, it was hard not to disagree.

Then come the big summer arrivals, Eric Bailly, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and forgotten man Henrikh Mkhitaryan. That is when the United faithful really started believing, and when other clubs fans stated to worry.

With a man that has won everything at the helm, and the Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 players of the year arriving to the Theatre of Dreams in one summer you would have put your house on United at least competing to win the Premier League this season.

But, as can happen in football, things have not gone to plan for United, nor for their manager who is certainly starting to come under some strong criticism from pundits and fans alike. After spending more than £150 million in the summer the bar was raised, for Mourinho to take United out of the shadows which Louis Van Gaal left them in. No Champions League football for the club which once conquered Europe and no self belief within the players you could argue Mourinho had a job on his hands to put the club where they belong, but after spending masses of money there should be no excuses set.

Sitting sixth in the Premier League table, one win in their last five league games and just 16 goals scored in 11 matches thus far this season, we take a look at 3 things Mourinho must address to ensure his club start climbing the table, before it is too late.

1) Find a place for Mkhitaryan the starting XI

When Manchester United were linked with all the players they finally singed in the summer, there was one man that I thought, if they get him they will be unstoppable, and that man was Henrik Mkhitaryan. The Bundesliga player of the year, he is a great attacking midfielder who can play on either flank.

How he is not managing to make the 18 match day squad for the Red Devils is, well, quite baffling. A free-scoring midfielder who bagged himself 19 league goals last term, whilst assisting for fun is not breaking into a United squad that is lacking that touch in the final third.

All in all last season, the Armenian international scored 23 goals and assisted a further 26, which meant he contributed to a goal on 49 separate occasions for BVB, which is simply breathtaking.

With the likes of Ibrahimovic, Martial and Rashford all struggling for consistency in there play and goals drying up on that front, they have a man sitting in the stands that created a total of 136 chances last season, which again shows how majestic he was last season.

Although he did not shine out when he was given a chance, this is not an excuse for him not to make the squad and in fact, he should be the first name on the team sheet each week.

If Mourinho is to get his side scoring goals and becoming a feared team again, the man in charge must accommodate a place in his team for their fantastic summer arrival Mkhitaryan.

Report: Liverpool Could Try To Sign Manchester United Defender

Jose Mourinho has had a tough start to his Manchester United career and comments last week made it all that bit tougher when he blasted both Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling for not playing through pain as the Red Devils beat Swansea 3-1 at the Liberty Stadium in an impressive display.

His recent comments have taken their toll on both players and it seems long term admirers of Luke Shaw, Liverpool are now circling the player after being alerted to the current situation and are ready to pounce if given the go ahead (news via The Mirror).

Former Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp is believed to be searching for a new left-back after having to make do with versatile midfielder James Milner slotting in at the back for now after abysmal performances from Alberto Moreno.

If United, which is a big if, decided to sell Shaw then Liverpool would reignite their long standing interest in the £29 million rated England International, according to the Daily Mirror.

Ex Southampton team-mate of Shaw, Adam Lallana has publicly stated Jose Mourinho is wrong of his latest blast at Shaw, especially after coming back from the horrific injury he encountered last season.

He said: “He’s a very strong boy. He’s had a horrific leg injury. You don’t come back from that without being mentally and physically strong.”

Shaw has struggled to nail down a starting spot in United’s squad this season after slowly recovering from a injury that could have easily ended the 21-year-old’s career, and after his recent treatment he may find himself down in the pecking order in the United squad.

If things got bad to worse for the England star, and Liverpool did come in for the defender, how would he fit in at Anfield? We take a look.

Jurgen Klopp has already transformed the style of play in which the reds play, in fact, they are playing some of the most beautiful football in the country, scoring goals and creating chances at ease whilst nearly mastering the pressing system in which the German manger is trying to adapt his side too.

Klopp certainly likes his full-backs to join in the attack and that’s why Milner has slotted in so well, he is a player with an engine and has the ability to help out both defensively and offensively whilst remaining above 90% throughout the 90 minutes.

This is why Klopp is no doubt a huge admirer of Shaw, he is a player who loves to attack down the left hand side and is always an outlet for offensive players when on the attack, and being at a young age, he would be able to adapt to the attacking flair that Klopp demands of all his players.

Although Klopp is a pressing, attacking styled manager, he also expects his players to dig deep when the going gets tough and expects his players to be strong and physical, whilst winning their battles which is something Moreno wasn’t able to do consistently. Shaw again is an athlete who would be able to adapt to these demands and fit perfectly into Klopp’s new system at Anfield.

Something that would certainly impress Klopp’s is Shaw’s ability to take on his opponents on the left hand side, he has managed 66.67% take on completion thus far this season which is very impressive, almost as good a stat as some out and out wingers in the league, Liverpool’s James Milner has managed 50%.

Milner though does come out on top with the amount of tackles he has won 1.71 per 90 minutes and forward passes (35.50) compared to Shaw winning 0.68 tackles and (27.50) forward passes.

Another stat which will impress the Merseyside boss is the amount of aerial duels Shaw has won, standing at 6ft 1′ he has managed to win an immense 66.67% aerial duels compared to Milner’s 50%.

For me, Shaw would be an excellent signing for Liverpool, as he would if he was to go to any other Premier League team, but it is very much doubtful that United will give up on their youngster even-though him and the manager have thrown their toys out the pram. Although he is not yet the finished article, and is not starting regular for England it is only a matter of time before he starts challenging more and more for that spot. Yes, if Shaw was transfer listed Klopp would probably personally drive to Manchester himself in bid to tie the deal down, but the rivalry which both clubs possess and the hatred for one another, this deal looks very unlikely to materialise, however much Shaw and Liverpool would make a perfect match.