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Ralf Rangnick must find the Bruno Fernandes solution to be successful at Man United

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Manchester United somehow escaped Carrow Road with three points after a fortunate 1-0 win over Norwich City.

A game that honestly should’ve ended as a draw; both teams were as good as each other, which is quite a depressing sentence thinking Norwich currently sit bottom in the Premier League.

The penalty that Cristiano Ronaldo scored was a very soft claim to put it nicely. However, United were able to hold on after making relatively few chances to leave with three points and push them higher up the league table.

The brunt of criticism for United in the game lay on the shoulders of Bruno Fernandes. The Portuguese midfielder has easily been United’s best player since his arrival in January 2020. However, his form under Ralf Rangnick has left a lot to be desired.

Fernandes had a game to forget. Per sofascore, he only completed 67% of his passes, gave away possession a staggering 27 times, didn’t complete a single cross out of the five attempted, with only two of his seven long balls also being completed.

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Now Fernandes isn’t known for his high-efficient passing and ball retention anyway, but this game took the cake for Bruno effectively striking out with a lot of his attempts.

The 4-2-2-2 formation of Ralf Rangnick’s hasn’t seemed to work currently for Fernandes, who appears to be acclimating very slow to the new system. However, one of United’s biggest problems is that when Fernandes isn’t firing, as he was against Norwich, United don’t have a plan B.

With the injury of Paul Pogba, not to mention the Frenchman arguably on the verge of leaving the club, United don’t have many options. The full-backs of United that have become a focal point of creativity in modern football is waning at the club, with the right-flank being utterly devoid of form.

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Unlike the teams Rangnick has managed prior, which United desperately needs, the team does not have a forward who can do the so-called “dirty work”.

In the same way Rangnick did well with the likes of Yussef Poulsen at RB Leipzig and famously with Roberto Firmino at Hoffenheim, he had forwards who would sacrifice themselves for the better of the team, creating chances for their partnering forwards.

United’s best passer or playmaker would’ve arguably been Fred against Norwich if Bruno Fernandes came off the pitch. If you hadn’t noticed, I’m a big fan of Fred, but the Brazilian should not be tasked as a primary playmaker for a team with title aspirations.

United sorely need a forward who can take that load off Fernandes. A striker who can drop deeper and link play with them. All the best teams in the world have them, such as Firmino mentioned above at Liverpool, Karim Benzema at Real Madrid, Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich, and the conglomerate of false nine’s Manchester City use.

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Yes, Fernandes is struggling in this system. Still, when the following options for creativity are either Fred or Jadon Sancho weaving through multiple players, it makes much more sense that Bruno is still being played through this slump.

United has shown more grit in these games since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and the defensive record under Rangnick is already much better. However, the new system may not be suitable for the current attacking impetus of Manchester United.

Hopefully, this can hopefully either be rectified by the return of Edinson Cavani or in the upcoming January transfer window. If not, this season might be a very long struggle for Rangnick and Manchester United.

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Report: Arsenal now really Keen to sign ‘Astonishing’ attacker who scored more goals than Gabriel Jesus last season

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According to But Football Club, Arsenal want to sign Bayer Leverkusen and France winger Moussa Diaby before the transfer window shuts.

The Gunners are looking for a new wide player. Raphinha was high on their wish list and Mikel Arteta tried really hard to bring him in. The Brazilian, however, joined Barcelona for £55 million (Sky Sports) instead, and Arsenal have now apparently turned their attention to Diaby.

Arsenal really keen to sign Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen

Diaby is one of the finest players in the Bundesliga.

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The 23-year-old France international scored 17 goals and provided 14 assists in all competitions, which is a truly sensational return for a wide player.

His performances have caught the eye of a number of clubs, including Arteta’s Arsenal. The report claims that Diaby ‘strongly appeals’ to the Gunners boss, who is really keen to bring in a new winger before the window shuts.

The ‘astonishing‘ winger has come out and claimed that he wants to stay at Leverkusen this season, while the German outfit are keen to retain his services too.

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However, the report claims that if an offer in the region of £59.2 million arrives, they will let him go.

Arsenal don’t intend to pay that figure, but the report claims they will try to negotiate a deal for a lower fee.

Diaby still has three years left on his contract at Leverkusen.

Diaby really is a sensational player.

31 goal involvements in a single campaign for a 23-year-old wide player is a truly sensational return.

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Even Gabriel Jesus, who is viewed as the answer to Arsenal’s goalscoring woes, didn’t score as many goals as Frenchman last season.

Arsenal’s backup winger at the moment is Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian, on his day, is unplayable, but sadly for Arsenal supporters, those days have rarely ever occurred over the last three years.

Diaby would be a massive upgrade over Pepe, but whether Arsenal can lure him in remains to be seen.

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Report: Star ready to join Man United now wants £33.7million contract

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The latest reports in the media are anything to go by and Adrien Rabiot’s mother-agent, Veronique, is proving to be a difficult negotiator.

Last night, we covered a story (via La Gazzetta Dello Sport) claiming that the French international has demanded a three-year deal worth £25.4million to move to Old Trafford.

This morning, as per Corriere dello Sport (news image provided below), the Red Devils have agreed a fee worth 17-18 million euros with Juventus but the dilemma is that the agreement with the player is still missing.

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Ten Hag contacted Rabiot to convince him to join Man Utd which is why the midfielder became willing to negotiate personal terms.

However, Veronique now wants a four-year contract worth 40 million euros (£33.7million) for his son and the negotiations have slowed down.

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Manchester United’s midfield department is in desperate need of reinforcements and Ten Hag may end up losing out on signing Frenkie de Jong to Chelsea.

The last big signing for the central midfield was done back in 2018 when Mourinho splashed the cash to lure Fred from Shakhtar. The Red Devils must act fast to strengthen things in the center of the park.

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Rabiot is neither as creative as Pogba nor as versatile as De Jong. However, he has experience of winning big titles with PSG and Juventus and even with France. So, in all fairness, he would be an upgrade to McFred.

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Man United pushing for Pogba replacement in more ways than one

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Manchester United may be about to take on another troublesome Frenchman, having just gotten rid of one.

The departures of Paul Pogba and others this summer have left new manager Erik ten Hag with a bare cupboard in terms of midfield options.

United have turned to Juventus outcast Adrien Rabiot, who is available for £15 million, after failing to secure Frenkie de Jong, the Ten Hag’s top transfer target, from Barcelona.

Rabiot, 27, isn’t particularly popular at Juventus and hasn’t replicated the form that established his reputation during the seven years he spent at PSG before that.

But it isn’t just on-field sluggishness that has harmed the reputation of a player who was once regarded as France’s golden boy.

Off-field squabbles and indiscretions, not only by Rabiot but also by his formidable mother and agent Veronique, have earned him a reputation as a difficult customer in the game.

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However, Ten Hag and United are becoming increasingly desperate. Despite the club’s insistence that their interest in Rabiot was firm prior to Sunday’s season-opening loss to Brighton, the timing appears to be a reactionary move.

And Rabiot’s rap sheet contains numerous items that could cause United to live to regret their decision.

Rabiot was on the verge of breaking into the PSG senior squad after graduating from their academy in 2012.

Rabiot was supposed to travel to Qatar with the team for a mid-season tour, but his mother insisted on accompanying him.

Veronique, Rabiot’s uncompromising agent, enters the picture. After his father, Michel Provost, suffered a stroke in 2007 that left him with locked-in syndrome, she took over his career. Michel is paralysed but fully aware.

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Her insistence on accompanying the tour caused friction, and Rabiot was eventually loaned out to Toulouse.

Even stranger, she allegedly insisted on attending all of their training sessions while there.

Two years later, Rabiot was on the verge of leaving PSG after Laurent Blanc demoted him to the reserves.

Veronique was waiting for Blanc as he left PSG’s Camp des Loges training facility one evening.

‘You can’t treat him like that. ‘I’m not going to agree to that,’ Blanc was told, presumably forcefully.

PSG had no choice but to call in security, but the confrontation appeared to work.

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Rabiot’s contract with PSG was renewed – and on better terms – not long after he failed to secure a move to Roma.

France’s hopes of adding the European Championship to their World Cup glory last year ended when they lost on penalties to Switzerland in the last-16.

Afterwards, an extraordinary video emerged of Veronique confronting Mbappe’s father, Wilfried, after the PSG striker missed the decisive spot-kick.

It is thought she said: ‘It is embarrassing how he struck that, for a player of his level. He hit it too lightly, I hope you are going to scold him.’

Apparently during an earlier discussion, Veronique told Wilfried his son was ‘arrogant’, has a ‘big head’ and gets ‘too much protection from the press.’

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