Pierre-Emile Højbjerg

delawarespur

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Overall, I would say my point is my that Sissoko is a very useful to use in games where covering distance and running is necessary like against United recently. Without him, we are left with no midfielder who can dominate and control a match with physicality. I think it’s important that we have someone like sissoko or sign a Fabinho/ndidi type should sissoko leave to be able to compete with the likes of pogba physically. Of course in games we are dominating the ball Hojbjerg is much preferred to sissoko, I just hope we retain that physicality in midfield for situations/matches that require such attributes.
 

TEESSIDE1

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I think Sissoko is a useful option to have in that role and he's done fine in the past 2 games, but he's so clearly one of the weak links in the side and should definitely not be our go-to DM.

He's got great stamina, gives 100% and works as hard as anyone, but he doesn't read the game well defensively and his passing is mostly either slow and conservative, or inconsistent and wayward. I swear he passes a simple ball straight out of play at least twice a game due to misjudging the weight of pass. When we're sitting deep under Mourinho, it's vital that we move the ball quickly and accurately to our forward players in the transition. Sissoko decidedly does not do this.

Hojbjerg may not be perfect, but I'd still pick him over Sissoko every time.
I agree, albeit a sloth Tom Huddlestone would sit deep, pick the ball up and fire pin point passes/crosses here there and everywhere. Now imagine Sissoko trying to do that lol. Hojbjerg on the other hand has this array of passing in his locker. I think people are being extra harsh on him because his performances have dropped lately yet opt to ignore:

- Southampton’s season is in effect over
- He’s leaving in the summer
- He’s been stripped of the captaincy

People will struggle to name anyone who knew they were leaving their club barring Ramsey who kept going at 100mph until he left Arsenal.

If you look at our current squad we’ve some fantastic players on paper yet how many of them have failed to turn up this season and for chunks of last season? A team that pre lockdown was in the Champions League and fighting for top 4 but playing like they were already on their summer holidays.

Ps, I like Sissoko’s energy and work rate but he’s technically limited.
 

ItsBoris

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That would be depressing. Getting rid of a very talented and potentially great player for a very limited footballer. Ok, we don’t know how much of it is on Ndombele but Mourinho’s paid a lot of money to make it work. He’s got to coax it out of him. Anyone can be managed, especially if you made it all the way to professional football, you just have to find the angle. We’re not Man City we can’t just toss away that level of ability.
And maybe that's exactly what he's doing...

Until it plays out one way or another we have no idea.
 

ItsBoris

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If our transfer budget is net zero then surely that dramatically limits our scope in the transfer market. I can't see us paying a fee for any other player than Hojbjerg if that's the case. I'm not even necessarily talking about PEH which you think we could do for £10m plus KWP at most.

If Foyth's injury is bad i've got no idea who Jose will sell to raise cash. Jose seems to like Sissoko, I can't see any suitors for the likes of Toby and Rose will go for pennies. I also wouldn't see any great point in selling Lamela unless we replaced him with a free transfer.

I'm very worried that the longer the window goes on the more Ndombele will be seen as the cash cow to fund moves for other positions like CB, RB and striker. This is why stealing a march on other clubs for free agents is very important.
I think that's more a negotiating tactic. We don't want to seem like we have tons of money to spend. In the last 4 years we've retained around 250 million after-tax profit and we had 123.5 million in cash at the end of 2019. So I don't think we're strapped for cash in any way.
 

Timberwolf

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I think that's more a negotiating tactic. We don't want to seem like we have tons of money to spend. In the last 4 years we've retained around 250 million after-tax profit and we had 123.5 million in cash at the end of 2019. So I don't think we're strapped for cash in any way.
Bloody hope so. My default assumption is that we have to sell to buy, but wouldn't it be brilliant if we actually had some cash in reserve for Mourinho to spend on vital positions.
 

JayB

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I think that's more a negotiating tactic. We don't want to seem like we have tons of money to spend. In the last 4 years we've retained around 250 million after-tax profit and we had 123.5 million in cash at the end of 2019. So I don't think we're strapped for cash in any way.
There's an interesting article floating around that was discussed in today's Extra Inch podcast episode which argues that we have far fewer financial resources to play with in the transfer market than the media reports over the past two years would have one believe. The basic gist of the argument is that "profit" is a relatively meaningless accounting term, and that the real metric by which to judge a club's spending power is its pre-transfer free cash flow. By that metric, primarily as a result of our huge debt obligations, we have far less spending power than any of the other top six clubs. The data the article was based on comes from our two seasons at Wembley, so I think it's safe to say that moving into the new stadium (with all its additional matchday revenue, naming rights, and the alleviation of the burdensome Wembley rent payments) was planned to give us a huge boost in that regard. Unfortunately the pandemic has scuppered those plans, as we're no longer generating any matchday revenue at all and the naming rights deal has been made more difficult and potentially less lucrative.

The article posted a few pages back suggesting that we'll be sticking to a zero net spend policy this summer certainly sounds true to me. Let's say it is, I would personally prefer that we roll the dice and sell a "big" player or two -- provided it is not Kane, Son, or Lo Celso -- to raise funds and reinvest in top prospects as opposed to relying on free transfers or swap deals involving our deadwood in exchange for middle-of-the-road players.

Personally, and I'm sure some will disagree, I'd like to see Dele and Sissoko sold in order to bolster the transfer kitty. In a theoretical world in which we have a genuine first-XI quality DM and Ndombele has settled and been integrated, neither one of them gets in our best XI in my opinion. Ndombele would be partnered with the new DM in a box-to-box role, and Lo Celso would take up the No. 10 or playmaking No. 8 position depending on whether we go with a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3. Either way, both Dele and Sissoko would be on the outside looking in.

There are young and affordable attacking midfield talents we've been linked with, such as Eze or Szoboszlai, who could slot in for Dele's place in the squad. Sissoko has been taking up the DM role so would obviously be replaced with the new signing. Given the other midfielders we have in the squad already, I think a squad with a top drawer DM and a bright young AM talent such as the two we've been linked with would be better than a squad with Dele, Sissoko, and a mid-table quality DM like Hojbjerg.

Obviously finding buyers will be hugely tricky and may not be possible. If so, I'd be fine with Hojbjerg, but I'd prefer to see us take some risks this summer if we're able to.
 

ItsBoris

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There's an interesting article floating around that was discussed in today's Extra Inch podcast episode which argues that we have far fewer financial resources to play with in the transfer market than the media reports over the past two years would have one believe. The basic gist of the argument is that "profit" is a relatively meaningless accounting term, and that the real metric by which to judge a club's spending power is its pre-transfer free cash flow. By that metric, primarily as a result of our huge debt obligations, we have far less spending power than any of the other top six clubs. The data the article was based on comes from our two seasons at Wembley, so I think it's safe to say that moving into the new stadium (with all its additional matchday revenue, naming rights, and the alleviation of the burdensome Wembley rent payments) was planned to give us a huge boost in that regard. Unfortunately the pandemic has scuppered those plans, as we're no longer generating any matchday revenue at all and the naming rights deal has been made more difficult and potentially less lucrative.

The article posted a few pages back suggesting that we'll be sticking to a zero net spend policy this summer certainly sounds true to me. Let's say it is, I would personally prefer that we roll the dice and sell a "big" player or two -- provided it is not Kane, Son, or Lo Celso -- to raise funds and reinvest in top prospects as opposed to relying on free transfers or swap deals involving our deadwood in exchange for middle-of-the-road players.

Personally, and I'm sure some will disagree, I'd like to see Dele and Sissoko sold in order to bolster the transfer kitty. In a theoretical world in which we have a genuine first-XI quality DM and Ndombele has settled and been integrated, neither one of them gets in our best XI in my opinion. Ndombele would be partnered with the new DM in a box-to-box role, and Lo Celso would take up the No. 10 or playmaking No. 8 position depending on whether we go with a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3. Either way, both Dele and Sissoko would be on the outside looking in.

There are young and affordable attacking midfield talents we've been linked with, such as Eze or Szoboszlai, who could slot in for Dele's place in the squad. Sissoko has been taking up the DM role so would obviously be replaced with the new signing. Given the other midfielders we have in the squad already, I think a squad with a top drawer DM and a bright young AM talent such as the two we've been linked with would be better than a squad with Dele, Sissoko, and a mid-table quality DM like Hojbjerg.

Obviously finding buyers will be hugely tricky and may not be possible. If so, I'd be fine with Hojbjerg, but I'd prefer to see us take some risks this summer if we're able to.
Here's our most recent Cash Flow statement (those values are in thousands):

1593539476521.png


So the big negative cash flow is in "acquisitions of property, plant, equipment" - obviously stadium financing. We've borrowed money to pay for the stadium, but at the same time our net cash flows from operating activities has massively increased. I don't think our cash flows indicate that we need to tighten the purse strings substantially (but I'm not an accountant).

To your other point - I don't think selling our better players has worked too well for us in recent years. Sure we got money for Walker, Trippier, Eriksen, but I don't think we're a stronger team without them and with the money.
 

JayB

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Here's our most recent Cash Flow statement (those values are in thousands):

View attachment 69570

So the big negative cash flow is in "acquisitions of property, plant, equipment" - obviously stadium financing. We've borrowed money to pay for the stadium, but at the same time our net cash flows from operating activities has massively increased. I don't think our cash flows indicate that we need to tighten the purse strings substantially (but I'm not an accountant).

To your other point - I don't think selling our better players has worked too well for us in recent years. Sure we got money for Walker, Trippier, Eriksen, but I don't think we're a stronger team without them and with the money.
I don't understand the first thing about corporate finance or accounting so I don't know the ins and outs of this stuff either, I was just taking the article at its word. It feels likely to me that without the stadium revenue and with no naming rights sponsor, we're going to be handcuffed in the market to a greater extent than our rivals who don't have the massive debt obligations. I'd love it if we did in fact have large cash reserves and could make a surprise signing or two, but it strikes me as unlikely.

As to the issue with player trading, it's been a successful formula for us under ENIC up until the last few years. It always involves some risk, but we were able to go from strength to strength selling the likes of Carrick, Berba, Modric, and Bale and reinvesting the big fees throughout the squad.

Dele, for me, is a the obvious candidate to be sold from within the current group. It may be difficult to find a buyer for him but if Poch rocks up at a Qatari-backed Newcastle I could see him spending silly money. Likewise you always get the feeling that United would love to pluck one of our top young English talents from us, and have unlimited funds to spend. Dele does have an excellent track record of attacking productivity, so I don't think it's completely outside of the realm of possibility that we might be able to bring in 55-60m for him. Couple that with 20-25m for Sissoko, and then spunk 60m on a top DM such as Zakaria and 20m on a top young talent like Szoboszlai or Eze, and I think we'd have a midfield and front line that could potentially compete with the best of the league. Lots and lots of "ifs" there, admittedly.
 

dtxspurs

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Does he seem like the perfect fit? No probably not.
Is he likely the best we'll be after? Yeah, probably.

Doesn't feel like a real next level signing but we'll see.
 

dtxspurs

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A laugh unless we're selling Ndombele, then it sounds semi realistic
I'd be shocked if we received a fee for Ndombele that would put us within 20 mil of what SMS would cost.

But I'd gladly make that swap. He is a monster and would be perfect in the prem.
 

JayB

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A laugh unless we're selling Ndombele, then it sounds semi realistic
Exactly what I was going to say. If we do sell Ndombele he'd be close to a perfect like-for-like replacement. It would leave the other areas of great need still to be resolved, but if we're going to sell Ndombele he needs to be replaced.

Anybody know if the author of that tweet has any credibility?
 

THFCSPURS19

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Exactly what I was going to say. If we do sell Ndombele he'd be close to a perfect like-for-like replacement. It would leave the other areas of great need still to be resolved, but if we're going to sell Ndombele he needs to be replaced.

Anybody know if the author of that tweet has any credibility?
Depends if he says something positive or not.
 

C0YS

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Here's your laugh about midfielders for the day:

View attachment 69571
That would be a signing to get behind. And one I would trade Ndombele for, which we would have to do to sign him (not because he is better, but he is more of what we need). But it's not going to happen anyway!

Not a holding midfielder though! Would be a simple swap for Ndombele, in position, getting a passer instead of a box to box type.
 

delawarespur

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Exactly what I was going to say. If we do sell Ndombele he'd be close to a perfect like-for-like replacement. It would leave the other areas of great need still to be resolved, but if we're going to sell Ndombele he needs to be replaced.

Anybody know if the author of that tweet has any credibility?
He’s a writer for foot mercato in France, and they were rather accurate in the tanguy chase, however, they can only be truly trusted if follows other reports from the most reliable journalists for RMC sport or telefoot, or even l’equipe at times. Basically, FM is at the bottom of the reliability tier in France, Mohamed bouhafsi is the journalist to keep an eye out for when it comes to French sources. It’s weird as well because SMS is a Serbian playing in Italy, so I can only assume it’s agent bullshit or the ppl around Jose trying to communicate to the board. It’s already been very evident that Jose and his connections will see tons more players linked with us than under Poch, but as always, until he’s holding up the shirt...
 

spursfan77

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Water carriers used to be ten a penny. Surely it can’t be that hard to find one in the mould of Sandro or wanyama.
 

GRspurs11

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Here's your laugh about midfielders for the day:

View attachment 69571

In the article, it does mention something an ITK (maybe Herc) said in regard to our remit for big, technical players. In the article it says we essentially miss 'presence' in the middle but anyone with an understanding of football could see that from us. Never going to happen but we can dream
 

JayB

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I'm not going to pay any attention to any links to big-money signings unless there are equally credible links to major sales. If reporting about Ndombele (or someone similarly valued) leaving the club heats up it might be worth listening to, but until then I'd say it's just typical press babble.
 
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