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Man United are preparing for next manager with formation change

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It is rather ironic that Manchester United’s recent success has come from playing the very formation Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tried to implement last summer.

Having conceded his side were too reliant on hitting teams on the break, the Norwegian coach looked to switch things from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3 with the focus on United controlling possession and, in turn, their own destiny.

Things started well as United blitzed Everton in pre-season with the new-look formation, and they were on red-hot form for the opening match of the season too, as Leeds were dismantled at Old Trafford.

However, as form began to dip, United reverted back to type with the same predictable approach, which was well beyond its expiry date.

Such a demise would eventually cost Solskjaer his job, with Ralf Rangnick the man chosen to steer the ship until the end of the campaign, even if the experienced German would quite like to keep the job himself.

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His own reign started with somewhat of a system crisis after failing to adapt to a 4-2-2-2 approach and nearly two months after taking the job, United find themselves back where they started last summer looking to make a 4-3-3 work.

The early signs are very promising, with Fred shining in a more advanced role and Scott McTominay looking good in the deeper one, but there remains a clear need for a defensive-minded addition in order to make the formation a permanent switch.

United already accept that midfield is the ‘biggest problem’ in their squad as they continue preparations for the summer transfer window and, no matter who takes charge, they will be given money to address the issue as a matter of priority.

No matter who the club decides to pursue in the coming months, they will all be tasked with the same objective of not only winning, but winning in an authoritative manner that sees the side control possession.

See also  VIDEO: Watch Manchester United supporters singing a song about their new coach Erik Ten Hag

During Solskjaer’s reign, United had a good record against fellow top sides, although there were some memorable hammerings too, but almost all of these big wins came with his side adopting the identity of underdogs and looking to pick opponents off on the break.

It was very rare to see United dominate proceedings against any other top side, something which will need to happen in the future if they are to not only challenge for the Premier League title but actually come out on top.

While there is still plenty to play for this season, the recent change to a 4-3-3 formation, which Rangnick describes as ‘one holding six, two eights and three offensive players’, can only be good news for the next manager who takes charge at Old Trafford.

See also  Man United icon Roy Keane explains why Cristiano Ronaldo was 'angry' in 3-2 Tottenham win

Rather than persist with a rather unique 4-2-2-2 set-up which will only be ditched in the summer, it is vital United lay the groundwork now for their future tactical shape and get to grips with the formation that is adopted by so many other elite clubs.

It is also particularly timely given Erik ten Hag guided Ajax to victory over fierce rivals PSV playing in a 4-3-3 at the weekend, while Mauricio Pochettino adopted the same tactic as PSG strolled to a comfortable win over Reims.

United are hoping to appoint their next permanent manager before the end of the season, and their recent formation change certainly appears to cater to the two favourites for the job.

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Report: Chelsea agree personal terms with Inter Milan superstar

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Chelsea look to be closing in on the signing of 19-year-old midfielder Cesare Casadei.

The Blues are reportedly agreeing personal terms with the Inter Milan youngster ahead of what is expected to be a €15m (plus add-ons) transfer. Inter had been looking for around €20m all told.

As per Fabrizio Romano, and others, the highly promising Italy youth international, though who has yet to make his senior professional debut, has agreed a six-year deal with the Blues, choosing Chelsea over the likes of OGC Nice in France and US Sassuolo in Italy.

Presumably, Casadei will not be joining the Chelsea first-team right away, though post-Brexit work permit rules are fairly esoteric and confusing.

See also  VIDEO: Watch Manchester United supporters singing a song about their new coach Erik Ten Hag

Perhaps he will end up joining one of the aforementioned teams on loan to build up the necessary professional experience? Just speculating…

See also  Man United have given Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a fresh target to avoid sacking ahead of Watford

While the two teams have yet to agree a transfer, this looks to be drawing to a successful conclusion for us, adding yet another teenager talent to the team as we look to build for not only this season but for many seasons in the future.

See also  Ajax put ‘absolutely huge’ price tags on two players wanted by Arsenal and Man United
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Mikel Arteta drops Youri Tielemans hint as Arsenal can sign ‘more complete’ N’Golo Kante

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Today’s Arsenal transfer round-up on Tuesday, August 16.

Tielemans hint

Mikel Arteta’s increased use of Granit Xhaka could mean that Arsenal are close to giving up on transfer target Youri Tielemans.

The Gunners are still chasing a deal for the Leicester City midfielder but have seen their chances dwindle of doing a deal this summer and now, despite Xhaka previously saying he had come close to leaving, the club could have to do without a new addition.

Xhaka is now part of a new leadership group at the Emirates Stadium, a possible indication that he may remain at the club and throw a move for Tielemans into doubt.

See also  Ajax put ‘absolutely huge’ price tags on two players wanted by Arsenal and Man United

Kante replacement

With Tielemans becoming less and less attainable this season, Arsenal have reportedly turned their attention elsewhere.

According to the Express, Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo is attracting interest from some of Europe’s top clubs including the Gunners and Manchester United. Having been previously compared with Kante, Arsenal’s desire to sign Caicedo is understandable.

See also  Man United icon Roy Keane explains why Cristiano Ronaldo was 'angry' in 3-2 Tottenham win

South American football expert Tim Vickery said, “A year ago he was saying that Kante of Chelsea is his role model but he is already more than that. He already offers more in the final third.”

Yeremi Pino flight explained

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has cleared the air regarding Yeremi Pino and denies that a bid has been made for him.

Romano told CaughtOffside, “Many clubs have been following Yeremi Pino for months, he is a top player of the future that at least three Premier League clubs have been monitoring for some time.

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“No proposals have been made yet to Villarreal, who would like more than €50m for their young star; it will not be an easy negotiation.

“As for the rumours about Arsenal – Edu was not travelling to Spain to meet Villarreal, also because Pino’s agents are based in the UK (Stellar Group).”

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Erik Ten Hag believes £64,000 a week player will agree to join Man United – Report

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Despite signing two defenders this summer, Manchester United’s backline has been terrible this season and yet another defender is linked with a move to Old Trafford.

Yesterday, we covered a story (via Sport) claiming that the Red Devils have submitted an offer to sign Sergino Dest, who has received a clear message to leave Barcelona.

Today, the Spanish news source have covered another report and stated that the American international has not been able to impress in the last two years, moreover, he failed to convince Xavi in pre-season. Therefore, his exit is considered essential.

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Erik ten Hag wants to get rid of Aaron Wan-Bissaka this summer so that he can complete the signing of Dest, who is valued at 20 million euros.

The Catalan media outlet claim the Dutch manager believes that the 21-year-old Barca defender will agree (say Yes) to join Man United.

See also  Man United have given Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a fresh target to avoid sacking ahead of Watford

Ten Hag really needs to understand that players from the Netherlands or connections with Ajax are not guaranteed to solve the conundrum at Old Trafford.

Under Van Gaal, Depay and Blind failed to shine for Man United. For Ten Hag, thus far, the likes of Eriksen, Martinez and Malacia have not settled.

See also  Ajax put ‘absolutely huge’ price tags on two players wanted by Arsenal and Man United

Now, he is pushing to sign another ex Ajax player in the form of Dest. The American was a hit in the Eredivisie but has proved to be average in the La Liga.

The youngster’s current contract at the Nou Camp will expire in 2025 and he earns around £64,000 a week (The Sun).

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