Hi I’m Masa United.
The long 21-22 season is finally over, and the season in which United supporters will be at their hottest is coming (lol). On June 10, the summer transfer market finally began. The battle will be fought until September 1.
United, who have brought in Eric ten Hag as their new manager, are expected to make a major turnover for Scud following their 21-22 season. This time, I would like to introduce United’s transfer strategy and the top targets it acquires. We will take up the three of them as part 1. Trends in transfers are as of June 5. Please be aware of this.
Here’s today’s table of contents
👿 Transfer Policy
Heading into the new season, United need a lot of reinforcements. Matic, Mata, Pogba and Lingard have already left the squad. There will undoubtedly be other players out of the picture, and we can expect to see 10 or more players leave the club. The poor performance of the 21-22 season has made the need to replace the squad convincing, and both quality and quantity need to be improved at each position.Embed from Getty Images
* Please also refer to this article about replacing the Squad!(Only Japanese is available.)
Looking at it by position, the goalkeeper wants one because of Grant’s departure and the possibility of a move of Henderson. The CB wants two great players because Bailly and Jones could be leaving, and Ten hag wants to improve quality this position. The SBs also have the possibility of leaving in Wan-Bissaka, plus one more quality player… In the third row, with the departures of Matic and Pogba, both quality and quantity must be reinforced. I think we need two player here. The second row is scaled down due to the departures of Mata and Lingard, but Van de Beek, the son of Ten Hag, returns. Wing wants lefty players. The departure of Cavani as a forward and the departure of Martial are also uncertain, so Ronaldo alone will not be able to do anything, so reinforcements are essential.
In other words, almost all positions are reinforcement points. However, realistically, everything is impossible, so the club will need to prioritize and make up for it with gains from the sale and a hike from the Academy. Of these, the three most important reinforcements are Centre Midfielder, CB and Striker. If we can get at least one player each, Central Midfielder and CB would be perfect if we could get two different players. According to reports, United’s reinforcement funds this summer will be between £150 million and £200 million. Since it means to allocate the sale profit with +α, not only the acquisition mission but also the sale mission is important.
(1) Frenkie de JongEmbed from Getty Images
Current Club: Barcelona
Age: 25 years
Market Value: 60M€
Expected Amount: 80m€
Current Contract: 6/30/2026
His club Barça are in financial difficulties and will need to raise funds to bolster their squad for the 22-23 season. As part of this, De Jong is on the market. He also has a relationship with Ten Hag, who studied under him during his time at Ajax, and United are reportedly on the verge of acquiring him. As of May, Frenkie himself has commented that he wants to continue playing for Barça, but in June he admitted that there was a gap between his style of play at Barça and his preferred style. United have taken this as a sign of a transfer request and appear to be working to settle the matter by mid-June. The amount won is said to be between 70 million € and 80 million €.
In the 21-22 season, he played 46 official matches for Barça. De Jong has four goals and five assists. His position is mainly Pibote (Holding midfielder) and he also plays for the Intellior (inside half). He excels at ball technique and is characterized by his high-precision passing and dribbling to lift. His movement to receive the ball from the final line is also excellent, and he is a player who can contribute greatly in the build-up. He has a pass success rate of more than 90% in short and medium ranges, and a 92% pass success rate under pressure. That’s one of the top 8% of midfielders in Europe’s five major leagues. There are also many challenging passes when it comes to passing, and the number of SCAs in open play, passes to the final third and the number of key passes are among the top four at Barça. In terms of dribbling, his dribbling distance is second among Barça at 4,793 yards. It also ranks second in the number of times with 199 times.Embed from Getty Images
This style of play is the type most lacking in United’s midfield and perfectly matches Ten Hag’s desire to organically connect the final line with the front. However, there are conditions for acquiring Frenkie de Jong. It’s about getting a defensive midfielder that can take advantage of De Jong’s strengths and make up for his weaknesses. De Jong is functioning in the third row at both Ajax and Barça, but United doesn’t have the same possession rate as these two teams. De Jong has a very good positioning and high accuracy in his counter-pressing, but he rarely shows a strong defensive stance such as tackles. United need a defensive specialty, and if United don’t get here, no matter how talented players we get, we won’t be able to make the most of them in the team… It will be a repeat of the failure of reinforcement so far.
(2) Jurriën TimberEmbed from Getty Images
Current Club: Ajax
Age: 20 years
Market Value: 30M€
Expected Amount: 45M€
Current contract: 6/30/2024
Timber was reported to have been acquired at the same time as Ten Hag’s appointment as manager. Ten Hag is keen to acquire Ajax’s key CB. In mid-May, it was reported that United would negotiate a deal worth around €35 million. It was reported that the club had begun negotiations with his agent shortly after the end of the season, and it was thought that Timber would be the first to be acquired, but it was toned down slightly in June. It seems that the bottleneck is that the playing time can not be guaranteed and the CL qualification is not possible. In addition, the transfer fee that was originally 35 million € is reported to be 50 million €, and the number of negative information is increasing.
At 182cm (there is also a 178cm theory), he is a little small for a CB, but his number of tackles (73 times is 5th in the league) and the number of ground duel wins (134 times are 6th in the league) are the top numbers. His aggressive defence is also a perfect match with his partner Lisandro Martinez, and it is truly an “iron and curtain” relationship. Not only that, but the high pass accuracy and build-up contribution are also features of Timber. His 91.49% pass success rate is one of the highest among the league’s defenders. His 2,267 passes are second in the league behind Blind. He also has the audacity to move up aggressively in situations where the team is pushing in, and his tactical flexibility, such as being able to change positions with Holding midfielder’s players, gives the impression that he is indeed an Ajax player. Timber can play not only with CB but also with right SB, and the high level of utility can be evaluated.Embed from Getty Images
For United, who were unable to maintain their final line strength in the 21-22 season due to Maguire’s slump and Varane’s injury habit, Timber’s aggressive defensive style is fascinating. Also, as I wrote above, being able to play at right-back also seems to be an advantage considering that Wan-Bissaka could leave. What I am curious about is whether the lack of upper back will work in the Premiere League. By the way, the winning percentage of air battles is 60.53%, which is 42nd in the league. There is an issue of how to adjust the balance this matter, but there is a possibility that there is no problem with the playing time that the person himself cares about. I wrote that it is possible to play not only in CB but also in SB, but personally I think it is possible to play in Diffensive Midfielder. Of course, what Ten Hag thinks is important, but considering his height, positioning sense and passing accuracy, I think DM is more suitable. If Ten Hag has this idea, the acquisition of Timber would be a huge benefit to United.
(3) Darwin NúñezEmbed from Getty Images
Current Club: Benfica
Age: 22 years
Market Value: 55M€
Expected Amount: 75M€
Current Contract: 6/30/2025
At United, where striker acquisition is a must, Núñez’s growing name at Benfica was mentioned early on. Núñez’s name was also mentioned as a target during the winter transfer phase, but he has also been reported as a top target for acquisitions in the summer transfer market. However, not qualifying for the CL can be a bottleneck. There is also the rarity of a promising 22-year-old striker, and it is expected that many big clubs will undoubtedly show interest and he will scrutinize the offers received. However, in June, it was reported that United had made an offer of 75 million € + concession of Pereira. Benfica appear to have a price tag of €100 million, but it is also said that United’s offer cannot be ignored. Núñez has also changed his agent to Jorge Mendes’ management company “Gestifute” for the transfer, and it is said that he will have the upper hand in the United transfer (Ronaldo’s agent is Mendes).
Núñez’s biggest strength, having scored 26 goals in 28 games in the 21-22 season at La Liga NOS and six goals in 10 games in the Champions League, is his running Right. At Benfica, Núñez is one of the two strikers or plays a lot on the left wing, but he excels at creating space in the centre, especially by running from the left flank to the channel between the opposing side-back and centre-back. Moving and accelerating over and over again with space is quite annoying for opposing defenders. He’s good at getting into the box and he’s quick and accurate at predicting the ball. The high number of shots in 2.79/90 minutes and the ball touch in the box in 4.58/90 minutes is Nuñez’s keen sense of scoring It speaks for itself. Defensively, 1.56/90 minutes of pass cuts and 2.67/90 minutes of duels are high enough for a attacker. However, his creativity and assisting abilities are below average, and his work in the final third is mostly limited to goals. The dribbling success rate and progressive run numbers are also high, but they are not good at dribbling in tight spaces, and the first choice is to take it out into open space and use speed.Embed from Getty Images
I think Núñez is a very tenacious type of striker like his compatriot seniors, Cavani and Suarez. He knows what he is good at and what he is not good at, and he has the ability to adjust his play according to the power relationship with the opponent and the center of gravity of the team. Needless to say, this is the type of thing that United doesn’t have right now, and it’s fascinating. According to the media, there seems to be an increase in positive things about acquisition, but it seems that the team situation is not good and not being able to play in the CL is a bottleneck. The latest reports suggest including Pereira in the deal, but I don’t think that’s going to work. If Liverpool, who are loseing Mane, are serious about acquiring Núñez, it will inevitably be a struggle. It is said that Ten Hag asked the front to push for the acquisition of Núñez, but I think there is also an aspect of the information being circulated by the agent. It’s about creating a team that can shake things up and offer better terms. However, if you look at the market, at the age of 22, quality strikers are rare. There is no doubt that he is a talent who should be moved to acquire.
Note: Nunez’s move to Liverpool has since been confirmed.
How was it?
First of all, I introduced three people who have a lot of news reports. In fact, if these three people can get it, I won’t have any complaints (lol). Looking at the media reports alone, it seems that they are moving to acquire Frenkie first, but I also want him to transfer because he wants to. If it is to be acquired, it is true that the quality of the midfield may improve dramatically, but… It’s hard to be a striker. To be honest, I can’t judge whether he will fit into the team until I join and actually play. Núñez is a head tall at that age, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to flourish. If we can get these three people, this alone will be 200 million € (172 million £), which will run out of budget… Will there really be any acquisition among these three?
Stay tuned for Part 2!
Thank you for reading until the end!