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The Summer 2024 scouting thread

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gavspur

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Jun 24, 2004
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I find Motta's tactics fascinating tbh. He essentially starts with a back 4 but in possession one of the CB will push up into midfield alongside the midfielder whilst the two FB's will stay deep to create a three. Calafiori in this has been the primary starting LCB and has played there 26 times, he has actually only played LB 6 times this season. Last season at Basel he did play more as a LB tho. Really Its his ability on the ball that is the reason why he can play this role so well. Its also why I think he could in ours as ether a LB or LCB as essentially what the CB is doing in Motta's system, moving up into midfield, is what the LB/RB does in ours all be it from a slightly wider start. He's just and excellent, versatile ball playing defender and only 21.

In general Motta's tactics are all about fluidity, creating advantageous match up's and dangerous passing lanes. Its why Zirkzee is the perfect striker for him as he very good at dropping deep into midfield. Its also why Ferguson, who usually starts central as an AM or CM, will spend most of the game sitting out wide. Essentially creating space for the striker to drop and the CM and CB to push up. Its not unusual for Zirkzee to be receiving passes from the back line and neither is it unusual for one of the CB's to be in the final third.

I know what you mean about competition tho, he has had a fantastic season and he may want to go somewhere he is a guaranteed starter. I think he would get a lot of game time for us but he probably wouldn't be the first team starter when everyone is fit which he will probably want to be and probably deserves to be judging on this season.

That's the thing really, there have been quite a few reports that Motta has already agreed to go to Juve this summer and that they have already started talks for Calafiori who is one of their primary targets along with koopmeiners. I know Juve need to sell to make money but even so I can see Calafiori wanting to go to Juve especially if Motta is their. Motta will 100% make him an important part of that team.
When I’ve seen Calafiori, he reminds me of a young Maldini.
 

Ghost Hardware

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Aug 31, 2012
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I think this may be more in the mould of what we're looking for though. When we were at our best this season, Richarlison was dropping pretty deep to get the ball, and often we had Maddison and Sarr breaking forward in front of him. I feel like it's more important in that position, with the way we play, to have players who can hold the ball in really tight spaces and find passes to others. Otherwise with effectively a 2-3-5 formation in attack, if you have forwards who don't have good hold up play and don't keep the ball well, then you're super exposed to counters like we saw against Newcastle.

I'm still not 100% sure what Ange wants in this system from each position, but there's a lot of interchange obviously, and the wide forwards stay very wide until the last few moves of attacks, and that to me suggests the need for a forward that's more of a false 9 than an out and out striker/fox in the box. And the players we've been linked to also suggest that's the kind of profile we're after imo.
I think one of the big issues with Son as a CF is the complete lack of box presence. Richy is certainly significantly better in his hold up play but he also is a target in the box for crosses. This I think is one of the biggest benefits of his game. Considering a lot of Johnson and Werner’s game revolves around getting to the byline and putting in a low cross or cut backs playing a deep lying forward/false 9 would leave us with the same issues we have with Son. If it’s true we are targeting Nico Williams he is another WF who puts in a lot of crosses, the only difference being he is significantly better on the ball then our current wide options.

In my opinion a striker like Vlahovic or Lautaro, both of which have excellent hold up play but are more fox in the box strikers who look to find pockets in the box when the ball gets to the final third would be significantly more effective then a deep lying forward who tends to stay on the periphery and isn’t a consistent target in front of goal when the ball gets to the byline.

There are plenty of fox in box or target men strikers who have excellent hold up play.

If we intend to change our tactics and move away from a cross heavy approach and more towards inside forwards cutting in then a DLF becomes significantly more viable but as it is I honestly can’t see it working given how wide our WF sit and the amount we recycle the ball out wide to put in crosses/cut backs.
 
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Ghost Hardware

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Aug 31, 2012
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When I’ve seen Calafiori, he reminds me of a young Maldini.
I’m very surprised more clubs aren’t looking at him, I know this is only his first break out season but I think the quality is plain to see.

Like Williams I just don’t see him coming here so have never really given him serious consideration as a viable option but on paper he’d be pretty much perfect.
 

FibreOpticJesus

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Aug 14, 2005
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I thought I read somewhere on here that we might be interested in Onana. Watched the last two games and he is on the bench. Is he carrying an injury or is he not as good as we thought?
 

Ghost Hardware

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Aug 31, 2012
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I know everyone wants Nico Williams, and for good reason, but I honestly think we should also be following the situation with Federico Chiesa over the next month or so and giving him serious consideration.

In terms of fitness, which has always been the big issue, his last injury hasn’t been since January and he’s completed over 60 mins in 11 of his last 13 games. On top of that he’s just completed two 90 mins in a row with only 4 days break in between. I know that isn’t perfect but I think it’s very encouraging.

In terms of his ability on the pitch he is just as hard working as he ever was and I’ve definitely seen him perform to his old level. He just doesn’t suit Allegri’s system at all, naturally Chiesa likes to sit wide but he currently is being asked to play as an SS. It just doesn’t bring out the best in him and he knows it.

In regards to him leaving, Juve need money. They want a rebuild with (likely) Motta at the helm. They also have Yildiz. Chiesa I think they would be happy to keep as long as he renews his contract on their terms. Likewise tho with one year left I think they would certainly be open to him going. A lot of it will come down to Chiesa, essentially if he doesn’t renew he will 100% go.

The latest news is De Rossi is trying to convince him to go to Roma and supposedly he is considering his options. I think there is a good chance he might just fancy a change but if Motta, or whoever the new manager is, really wants him he could also very easily decide to stay. It’s up in the air essentially, ether way Juve won’t be offering him a bumper contract because they just can’t afford to. I also think that if we told him we really want him then he’d also give that serious thought.

In terms of style I think he’d fit us perfectly. He is a natural on ether wing, he’s a hard worker who likes to hug the touchline, is physically strong, fast, has excellent technique/vision and tracks back. Plus he speaks fluent English. I’ve seen enough of him this season to think that in a system like ours he’d come alive again.

Considering his contract and past injury issues there could be a real option to pick up a top class WF for a very reasonable fee.

Im not saying we should go for him over Nico and there is still obviously the injury concerns on top of everything else (obviously this needs to be seriously considered) but I just think he could potentially be a fantastic alternative if he stays fit for the the rest of the season. Just one I think we should be monitoring imo as it could be a savvy move.
 

BuckeyeSpurs11

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Aug 5, 2013
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Thing is if you move the FB wide then you have to account for that in the centre of the pitch especially when you loose possession. It’s not as simple as getting the FB to go on the outside whilst the WF changes into an IF.

Likewise if you keep your WF wide in the middle build up phase but then cut in in the final third then you would sort of need your FB to underlap but cross over in the final third to continue to provide width. This has actually happened at times but more with Porro and usually when we are chasing a goal towards the end of a game. In general tho If the FB remains inverted alongside an IF then you’re just going to crowd the middle of the pitch whilst also having no wide cover.

Not that it can’t be done I just don’t think it’s as simple a change as it might seem due to the importance of the inverted FB’s in the press. It would take bit of tactical adjustment to get it working right imo.

Thing is when Son was at his best he was running the channels but primarily sat in the left half space. That is the position currently taken up by Maddison and Udogie all be it not as high up, If Son was going to move back there with Udogie going wide he would have to take on the pressing side of that position and i really struggle to see him and Maddison doing it effectively enough. You would have to make further tactical adjustments further down the pitch.

Ultimately Son will be 32 in July and I’m not sure he will have the stamina to comfortably play wide in this system regardless. I do agree tho that the attack in general needs improving and probably tweaking tactically. At the moment it is at times too one dimensional and lacking creativity imo but I also wonder if we had more dynamic wingers then we would look a lot more threatening. In general there can certainly at times be a lack synergy across the front 4. Ether way I think we all agree it’s an area that needs improving and adjusting. As does our back line tbh.

Whilst I’m not sure we will start seeing inside forwards instead of wide forwards next season I do think there will be small tactical changes across the pitch plus new players who will be better suited to implement said changes.

Anyway to get this back on track I personally see us going for more of a Sesko or Vlahovic style striker then a deep lying forward like Zirkzee. I also just saw Milan have him as one of their top targets for the summer. If they manage to keep hold of Leao that could be a clever move as I think Leao could feed off his play very well. I think Zirkzee could elevate Leao’s game a lot. I would however be surprised if Leao stays next season.
Would be very happy with Sesko. Food for thought, no1 comparable player to him on fbref is Dominic Solanke (ducks)….dont take it out on me! I think Sesko can be much more well rounded & better than Solanke long run but simple data (fbref is probably only scratching the surface on data), they’ve very similar output.
 

ItsBoris

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Jan 18, 2011
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I think one of the big issues with Son as a CF is the complete lack of box presence. Richy is certainly significantly better in his hold up play but he also is a target in the box for crosses. This I think is one of the biggest benefits of his game. Considering a lot of Johnson and Werner’s game revolves around getting to the byline and putting in a low cross or cut backs playing a deep lying forward/false 9 would leave us with the same issues we have with Son. If it’s true we are targeting Nico Williams he is another WF who puts in a lot of crosses, the only difference being he is significantly better on the ball then our current wide options.

In my opinion a striker like Vlahovic or Lautaro, both of which have excellent hold up play but are more fox in the box strikers who look to find pockets in the box when the ball gets to the final third would be significantly more effective then a deep lying forward who tends to stay on the periphery and isn’t a consistent target in front of goal when the ball gets to the byline.

There are plenty of fox in box or target men strikers who have excellent hold up play.

If we intend to change our tactics and move away from a cross heavy approach and more towards inside forwards cutting in then a DLF becomes significantly more viable but as it is I honestly can’t see it working given how wide our WF sit and the amount we recycle the ball out wide to put in crosses/cut backs.
I mean someone who is a fox in the box would be a great bonus I think, but I actually think our goalscoring has been pretty good this year and will get substantially better anyway with better wide players.

If you watch the game against Newcastle again (painful I know), so many turnovers of possession came from Son losing the ball because of bad touch, including their moment that led to their first goal. It's vitally important in that position to have someone with supremely good ball control and creative ability to control the ball, hold it, and pass to other players making runs through. We rely on that to control possession. If you look at Son in that position, he's always trying to find passes to Maddison, Johnson, etc breaking through the lines, just can't hold on the ball long enough to do so.

Johnson and Werner's game does rely on that, but they also position themselves in the box when the ball is far forward on the other side. That width spanning the entire pitch is only in the initial phase of build up - when the ball is moving out to Werner's side, Johnson will come in and vice versa. We usually have a lot of players in the box when Werner, for example, is trying to cross it in or pull back to someone.

So for me, that new #9 if one is coming needs to be someone who is really good at not being dispossessed, first and foremost.
 

Ghost Hardware

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Aug 31, 2012
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I mean someone who is a fox in the box would be a great bonus I think, but I actually think our goalscoring has been pretty good this year and will get substantially better anyway with better wide players.

If you watch the game against Newcastle again (painful I know), so many turnovers of possession came from Son losing the ball because of bad touch, including their moment that led to their first goal. It's vitally important in that position to have someone with supremely good ball control and creative ability to control the ball, hold it, and pass to other players making runs through. We rely on that to control possession. If you look at Son in that position, he's always trying to find passes to Maddison, Johnson, etc breaking through the lines, just can't hold on the ball long enough to do so.

Johnson and Werner's game does rely on that, but they also position themselves in the box when the ball is far forward on the other side. That width spanning the entire pitch is only in the initial phase of build up - when the ball is moving out to Werner's side, Johnson will come in and vice versa. We usually have a lot of players in the box when Werner, for example, is trying to cross it in or pull back to someone.

So for me, that new #9 if one is coming needs to be someone who is really good at not being dispossessed, first and foremost.
But that’s more a specific skill set than a profile of striker. I don’t disagree that the striker we look for should have good hold up play but that doesn’t mean they have to be a false 9. As I said in my last post there are plenty of target men or fox in the box types that excel at hold up play. As I mentioned Lautaro is excellent at it for example and he is an atypical fox in the box. I mean think of Kane, his hold up play is fantastic but he isn’t a technical dribbler in the slightest. He just uses his strength, balance and passing range. If anything the most important thing for good hold up play is strength, good first touch and good football intelligence in order to understand how things are unfolding on the pitch. It’s also worth noting that Zirkzee’s range of passing is very basic, he isn’t a creative long passer, he just play’s simple lay offs most of the time but even that can be very effective.

Being good on the ball would certainly be a nice addition but I don’t think it’s exclusive to a deep lying forward. An advanced forward/fox in the box like Aguero who would drop deep but also constantly make blind side runs off the shoulder of the defender whilst also possessing good technical ability on the ball would also be a great fit for the system. Unfortunately there aren’t many of them about, the striker most similar to him I’ve seen of recent is Semih Kılıçsoy of Beşiktaş who I’ve mentioned a few times in here but he’s only 18 and this is currently his breakthrough season. Looks a fantastic prospect tho.

Anyway my point is, I agree about good hold up play and coming short at times but it has to go hand in hand with box presence and running in behind for me. With our wingers staying wide I think it’s essential.
 

gavspur

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Jun 24, 2004
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If anyone saw DCL’s performance against Liverpool last night, you’ll see where we are really lacking. The balls played out to him under pressure and returning to his own goal, he held off the defender and was able to lay it off to one of his own players. This relieves the pressure on the whole team, and gets them up the pitch. Son is absolutely awful at that, he gives it away nearly every time. I’m not saying we should go for DCL, but someone who has that hold up ability, and is dangerous in the box. Those players aren’t cheap tho.
 

Wig

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May 23, 2018
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I know everyone wants Nico Williams, and for good reason, but I honestly think we should also be following the situation with Federico Chiesa over the next month or so and giving him serious consideration.

In terms of fitness, which has always been the big issue, his last injury hasn’t been since January and he’s completed over 60 mins in 11 of his last 13 games. On top of that he’s just completed two 90 mins in a row with only 4 days break in between. I know that isn’t perfect but I think it’s very encouraging.

In terms of his ability on the pitch he is just as hard working as he ever was and I’ve definitely seen him perform to his old level. He just doesn’t suit Allegri’s system at all, naturally Chiesa likes to sit wide but he currently is being asked to play as an SS. It just doesn’t bring out the best in him and he knows it.

In regards to him leaving, Juve need money. They want a rebuild with (likely) Motta at the helm. They also have Yildiz. Chiesa I think they would be happy to keep as long as he renews his contract on their terms. Likewise tho with one year left I think they would certainly be open to him going. A lot of it will come down to Chiesa, essentially if he doesn’t renew he will 100% go.

The latest news is De Rossi is trying to convince him to go to Roma and supposedly he is considering his options. I think there is a good chance he might just fancy a change but if Motta, or whoever the new manager is, really wants him he could also very easily decide to stay. It’s up in the air essentially, ether way Juve won’t be offering him a bumper contract because they just can’t afford to. I also think that if we told him we really want him then he’d also give that serious thought.

In terms of style I think he’d fit us perfectly. He is a natural on ether wing, he’s a hard worker who likes to hug the touchline, is physically strong, fast, has excellent technique/vision and tracks back. Plus he speaks fluent English. I’ve seen enough of him this season to think that in a system like ours he’d come alive again.

Considering his contract and past injury issues there could be a real option to pick up a top class WF for a very reasonable fee.

Im not saying we should go for him over Nico and there is still obviously the injury concerns on top of everything else (obviously this needs to be seriously considered) but I just think he could potentially be a fantastic alternative if he stays fit for the the rest of the season. Just one I think we should be monitoring imo as it could be a savvy move.
I would love us to get Chiesa. Top player
 

Ghost Hardware

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Aug 31, 2012
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I would love us to get Chiesa. Top player
I know in the past the idea might have seemed far fetched but there is actually a very real possibility that there is deal to be done there. A lot will come down to the new manager I think, but if we wanted him and told him as much I think there is a good chance we could get him for a very good fee. He's said in the past that he would love to play in the PL and our system would suit him down to a T in regards to role of the WF.
 

Wig

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May 23, 2018
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If anyone saw DCL’s performance against Liverpool last night, you’ll see where we are really lacking. The balls played out to him under pressure and returning to his own goal, he held off the defender and was able to lay it off to one of his own players. This relieves the pressure on the whole team, and gets them up the pitch. Son is absolutely awful at that, he gives it away nearly every time. I’m not saying we should go for DCL, but someone who has that hold up ability, and is dangerous in the box. Those players aren’t cheap tho.
Much like our own Kane used to do. I think we'd have been competing for the title if he'd have stayed.
 

Teegart

Scottish Yid
Jun 30, 2006
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If anyone saw DCL’s performance against Liverpool last night, you’ll see where we are really lacking. The balls played out to him under pressure and returning to his own goal, he held off the defender and was able to lay it off to one of his own players. This relieves the pressure on the whole team, and gets them up the pitch. Son is absolutely awful at that, he gives it away nearly every time. I’m not saying we should go for DCL, but someone who has that hold up ability, and is dangerous in the box. Those players aren’t cheap tho.

Agree, it’s something we clearly lack. Just highlights to me just how much of a shame Toney’s alleged attitude is, as he would fit the mold perfectly imo. HG as well, but if the rumblings about his personality are valid, which they appear to be, I can’t see Ange wanting any part of him.
 

mr ashley

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Jan 27, 2011
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I know in the past the idea might have seemed far fetched but there is actually a very real possibility that there is deal to be done there. A lot will come down to the new manager I think, but if we wanted him and told him as much I think there is a good chance we could get him for a very good fee. He's said in the past that he would love to play in the PL and our system would suit him down to a T in regards to role of the WF.
This is going to be a really interesting development as the summer progresses
There are clearly a number of interesting candidates for what appears to be one transfer in: chiesa, Williams, Neto, raphinha, olise and Eze
Add to this nusa, baena and bardhiji

and then we need a striker:
Unlikely to be vlahovic or Toney, despite them profiling well. Osimhen is unrealistic. David at Lille offers a different profile but could fit, as could zirkzee. Solanke could work but there are doubts so you’d imagine sesko is the best option.

Not really sure where gudmundsson fits in this
 

Ghost Hardware

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Aug 31, 2012
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This is going to be a really interesting development as the summer progresses
There are clearly a number of interesting candidates for what appears to be one transfer in: chiesa, Williams, Neto, raphinha, olise and Eze
Add to this nusa, baena and bardhiji

and then we need a striker:
Unlikely to be vlahovic or Toney, despite them profiling well. Osimhen is unrealistic. David at Lille offers a different profile but could fit, as could zirkzee. Solanke could work but there are doubts so you’d imagine sesko is the best option.

Not really sure where gudmundsson fits in this
Albert would be an alternative to Eze and Beana imo. We will only get one of those three.

Likewise Williams would be in a category with Neto, Raphinha and possibly Somerville, Chiesa and Olise if we are looking at any of the latter three.

Obviously within that im sure player price and what happens to Werner will certainly play a part. For example i don’t see us buying Eze and a winger due to his very likely huge price.

Nusa would probably be in a youth sub category along with Bardghji and Dani Rodriquez if there was any truth in our interest (which i really hope there is).

Osimhen is almost certainly going to PSG it seems and Napoli apparently are targeting David as their replacement. Worth keeping in mind Napoli are looking like they might possibly miss out on Europe all together so there might be more big names leaving in summer.

Strikers wise there’s Sesko, Solanke, Zirkzee, Gimenez, David (if we go for him before Napoli wrap it up) and possibly Vlahovic (still hasn’t extended his contract).

Like you say there are a lot of moving parts, manager’s changing clubs and contracts running low. Certainly feels like more options might crop up in the coming months.
 
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purplemonkey

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Jan 20, 2006
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I’ve been thinking about Maatsen in light of his excellent form for Dortmund in the inverted FB role. His release clause is set somewhere between £30-35m, which is decent value for a HG player and means we can bypass any painstaking negotiations with Chelsea. I appreciate that most of the squad building suggestions on here have centred around signing a CB who can cover at LB so while I guess it might seem like overkill to have him and Udogie fighting it out for one spot, I think we need to move away from the current squad state where we have a settled first XI with clear first choices and back ups, especially if we qualify for the CL and aim to go deep in all competitions next season. We had four top quality FBs in or entering their prime under Poch and we were all the better for it, especially as the physical and technical demands on these guys are more than any other player.

Most intriguingly, I think signing another LB who can actually compete for a first team spot frees up Udogie who has the ability to play so many different roles in this team. He has excelled at LB, but to my mind he has the skills and attributes to play as a 6 or an 8, or even provide LCB cover for VDV. We haven’t been able to experiment or consider him elsewhere because we’ve been so overly reliant on him at LB, but with a viable alternative it potentially unlocks Destiny as a Swiss Army knife who can cover or claim multiple positions to a high level. He has already proved his hybridity and is basically a midfielder in all but name anyway, so the transition to playing the Sarr role for example shouldn’t be huge, but equally and most excitingly, he could be the answer to our DM problem. Again, his versatility could theoretically be utilised to its best as a fulcrum and provide Ange a range of different tactical solutions to build around.
 

mr ashley

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Jan 27, 2011
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I’ve been thinking about Maatsen in light of his excellent form for Dortmund in the inverted FB role. His release clause is set somewhere between £30-35m, which is decent value for a HG player and means we can bypass any painstaking negotiations with Chelsea. I appreciate that most of the squad building suggestions on here have centred around signing a CB who can cover at LB so while I guess it might seem like overkill to have him and Udogie fighting it out for one spot, I think we need to move away from the current squad state where we have a settled first XI with clear first choices and back ups, especially if we qualify for the CL and aim to go deep in all competitions next season. We had four top quality FBs in or entering their prime under Poch and we were all the better for it, especially as the physical and technical demands on these guys are more than any other player.

Most intriguingly, I think signing another LB who can actually compete for a first team spot frees up Udogie who has the ability to play so many different roles in this team. He has excelled at LB, but to my mind he has the skills and attributes to play as a 6 or an 8, or even provide LCB cover for VDV. We haven’t been able to experiment or consider him elsewhere because we’ve been so overly reliant on him at LB, but with a viable alternative it potentially unlocks Destiny as a Swiss Army knife who can cover or claim multiple positions to a high level. He has already proved his hybridity and is basically a midfielder in all but name anyway, so the transition to playing the Sarr role for example shouldn’t be huge, but equally and most excitingly, he could be the answer to our DM problem. Again, his versatility could theoretically be utilised to its best as a fulcrum and provide Ange a range of different tactical solutions to build around.
I love the thinking, especially moving udogie into midfield (is his profile closer to camavinga? Idk)
Only issue I see is that he moved for first team football, and appears to be keen on making that happen at Dortmund. So an unlikely option because it’s not great for him despite being great for us
 

ComfortablyNumb

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Jun 28, 2011
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If we intend to change our tactics and move away from a cross heavy approach and more towards inside forwards cutting in then a DLF becomes significantly more viable but as it is I honestly can’t see it working given how wide our WF sit and the
We’re surely not suggesting getting a new coach already, are we?
 
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