What Monchi Will Need To Do If He Gets Sporting Director Role At Arsenal

The BBC have reported that Sporting Director Monchi has followed former coach Eusebio di Francesco out the door at AS Roma.

The Spaniard’s departure from the Serie A club could be music to the ears of Premier League side Arsenal, as The Gunners are on the lookout for a new Sporting Director themselves.

The reasoning behind linking Monchi to Arsenal are all the stronger when you think of the success he had at Sevilla alongside head coach Unai Emery, who is now obviously working as Arsenal’s current boss.

So let’s say Monchi gets the job at the Emirates, what would the former goalkeeper turned football administrator need to do in his new job? 

Well he’ll probably be asked to replicate his success he had in Spain.

During their time together at Sevilla, Monchi and Emery worked like a well oiled machine and helped  Los Hispalenses to claim three Europa League titles. Monchi clearly knew what type of player suited Emery’s style of play.

In fact during Monchi’s time at the club, Sevilla would secure five Europa Leagues and two Copa del Rey triumphs.

Monchi garnered a large network of scouts and that allowed the Spanish club to bring in some cheap foreign imports like Dani Alves, Ivan Rakitic and Julio Baptista before selling them on for a huge profit!

The Sporting Director also helped in getting the youth set-up to flourish and that allowed the La Liga side to promote great prospects like Sergio Ramos, Jesus Navas and former Gooner Jose Antonio Reyes. Once again Sevilla were able to develop these talents before eventually selling them for big fees.

At Arsenal his scouting network and his contact book could become essential, especially if they don’t have a large transfer budget to play with. According to The Mirror, Unai Emery will only have £4om to spend if the North London club can’t secure a spot in next season’s Champions League.

Monchi was known to working with tight budgets at Sevilla, so he could be the man to get the most out of any potential modest budget Arsenal may have in the summer.

At the Gunners, Monchi will need to bring in at least three, possibly four, new players ready for the first team.

A new left-back looks likely what with Nacho Monreal not getting any younger and Sead Kolasinac not being the best defensively.

There are still issues at centre-back. I think that Emery would want a younger centre-back that’s easy with the ball at his feet and who possess some pace.

The right-wing position has been one that’s given the Arsenal boss headaches all year. They really need to find a player that can naturally play on that flank and give the team balance, plus add goals and assists to the starting eleven.

Then the Gunners might also need a new attacking midfielder. We already know that Aaron Ramsey is leaving the Emirates for Juventus in the summer.

Mesut Ozil’s position within the squad seems to be in doubt too.

The German has been left out by Emery numerous times during this campaign. Unai clearly doesn’t trust Mesut when it comes to working to team instructions in the bigger games. Ozil may have only just signed a new longterm, large contract last year but he’s fast becoming a distraction that doesn’t do enough throughout a season.

Any potential new Sporting Director’s biggest task could be solving the Ozil problem.

Can they find a buyer that can afford the former German international’s wage and that Mesut will agree to join? It’s a big ask!

If Monchi were to arrive at the London club, then he’d also need to do a better job in tying down the star players to longer deals.

All too often in the last decade Arsenal have lost great players due to their contracts being allowed to rundown just before their peak years. The club’s administration has to be run better.

If Monchi is to join Arsenal, then the Gunners will hope that he can help return them to glory but at the same time make the football side of the business more profitable.

The Spaniard has history of doing it at Sevilla but can he replicate that successful formula in the Premier League? Well that is the multi million dollar question!

Bringing Back Jose Mourinho Could Prove Problematic For Real Madrid

 

Legendary manager Jose Mourinho could be set for a set for a sensational return to Real Madrid, if Goal.com are to be believed.

During Real’s recent humiliating defeat in the Champions League to Ajax, a section of the Los Blancos crowd started chanting Mourinho’s name.

It now seems very likely that current coach Santiago Solari will be relieved of his duties, if not now then at the end of this campaign.

I’m not so sure a return to the Santiago Bernabeu would benefit either Jose or the La Liga giants.

The Portuguese boss has never been quite the same since his first stint in charge of the Madrid side.

Before his time in Spain, Mourinho was well known for being disciplined and a winner. Importantly he was also very much a man-manager.

At FC Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan Mourinho would be backed 100% by his players. He’d have foot soldiers like Ricardo Carvalho, John Terry, Frank Lampard, Javier Zanetti and Marco Materazzi who would give him everything they had and who would get the rest of the pool to back their boss too.

He never seemed to have that same connection with his players had Real. Mourinho would often moan about dressing room leaks and get into arguments with his stars.

During his three years at the club, the fifty-six year old would enjoy a 71% winning ratio but it was not a trophy laden era as he guided Los Merengues to just one La Liga title and a Copa del Rey.

I don’t believe Jose Mourinho has quite got over his first stint as Real manager. He returned to Chelsea and wasn’t the same cheery character that he was before. Instead of fostering a strong ‘us against the world’ attitude with his squad, the coach would often demand too much from his star players and slate them to the press.

It was the same when Jose took over the managerial reigns at Manchester United. Yes he won some trophies in his first season and secured a second placed finish in the Premier League in his second but he would constantly attack his own players and, like at Real and at Chelsea, the United players downed tools in his third year at the club.

Personally, I’d suggest that Mourinho take a step back and take around eighteen months out of the game. He needs to rediscover his love of football and learn to trust footballers again.

I’m not sure he’ll get either of those things by going back to Real Madrid.

He will need to get the players onside and that might not be easy given Marcelo and Sergio Ramos are still there and weren’t huge fans of the Portuguese boss during his final months at Real.

When speculation started about Mourinho coming back to Madrid, club captain Ramos was in no mood to  discuss the possibility (Source – BBC Sport):

“People need to show more respect to the coach we have now,”

“Mourinho left us five years ago yet everyone keeps talking about him.”

Recent reports from Sky Sports suggest that Sergio Ramos has had a falling out with Real President Florentino Perez. While Brazilian left-back Marcelo looks set to join Cristiano Ronaldo at Italian champions Juventus in the summer, according to AS.com.

Yet even if possible enemies like Ramos and Marcelo were to depart the Bernabeu in the coming months, that news could actually be bad for Mourinho as he’d have a huge rebuilding job to do.

The Spanish giants have yet to replace Ronaldo and that will probably cost them a world record transfer fee.

You then have to bring in a world class centre-back and a top left-back too.

The club aren’t fully strengthened in the midfield positions either.

They do have a talent in young Brazilian forward Vinicus Junior but again that could be another problem for Jose. The coach struggles to commit to youngsters and give them the best chance to flourish.

Yes Jose Mourinho has a wonderful CV and yes Real Madrid are a huge club but bringing the two back together seems like a marriage out of convenience rather than one made in heaven.

If Jose returns to the Bernabeu as a disillusioned and bitter manager, like the one that left, then I just can’t see Real Madrid being the ideal destination for the ‘Special One’.

Manchester United Star Luke Shaw Is Fast Becoming A World-Class Talent

A year can be a long time in football.

After a few seasons of stop starts at Manchester United due to injuries, loss of confidence and managers continually having a pop at him I felt the time was right for Luke Shaw to leave Old Trafford last summer.

Yet Shaw has always shown a resilience and a determination to prove that he does indeed deserve to wear the red of Manchester United.

This season has finally seen Luke rise like a phoenix from the ashes and his dogged and diligent performances have allowed Shaw to flourish and once again become a first team regular with the Red Devils.

Before his sacking in December, even former boss Jose Mourinho (a harsh critic) had come round to believing that Shaw was his best left-back. In an interview with Sky Sports in October of last year, Jose explained why the twenty-three year deserved his new long term contract:

‘The kid was very focused on his objectives and he got what he fought for. He really fought for it. He got a new contract that keeps him here for many years.”

As well as his new deal, Shaw’s form was also rewarded with a recall to Gareth Southgate’s England team.

Like many others at United, Luke Shaw has stepped it up a level since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrival as interim manager.

A few weeks ago he was the man of the match in Man United’s goalless draw with rivals Liverpool. His assured display meant that Reds star man Mohamed Salah didn’t get a sniff at goal and the Egyptian superstar was eventually subbed off after seventy-nine minutes.

After that clash with Jurgen Klopp’s side, Ole was quick to praise his left-back (Source – Tribal Football):

“Luke Shaw, that was his best performance under me.”

“It’s one of them things, you want him to go forward a bit more but Salah and [Sadio] Mane aren’t bad, either, so we had to take that bit of caution.”

He followed that up with another solid display against Crystal Palace, helping his team’s cause with an assist.

Then last night, he was one of the warriors that overturned a first leg loss against PSG in the Champions League. United were victorious 3-1 in Paris, negotiating their way into the quarter-final stage and again Shaw was a standout performer.

Brazilian veteran Dani Alves didn’t get much change out of the English full-back.

The Man United man gave a more restrained performance, he didn’t burst forward the way he usually does in the Premier League but that’s what Solskjaer’s gameplay called for. It was all about staying in the tie and keeping PSG at bay.

The left-back was successful in his solo tackle, made four dribble attempts and was successful in all of them (no player dribbled better).

In the league, Shaw has been more adventurous in getting forward and that’s allowed him to score one  and grab two assists. His passing success rate is up at 84%.

Defensively he makes on average 2.1 tackles per league outing and makes around 2.7 clearances. (Stats from Whoscored)

Ultimately the player is once again playing with a smile on his face. He’s getting plenty of minutes under his belt, doesn’t fear a bollocking from his gaffer and has been consistently good because of it.

Luke Shaw is finally showing us that he’s worth the £30m than Manchester United paid for him in 2014.

The left-back worked hard and bet on himself and now he’s justifiably receiving the plaudits and becoming a dependable star at Old Trafford!

 

Man United Should Chase Down Lille’s Top Star!

Manchester United have still got a few issues in attack.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still night and day compared to Jose Mourinho’s last few months at Old Trafford but interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still has to find an ideal solution for the right wing position.

Jesse Lingard is a versatile, hard-working forward but the Englishman seems to work better as an attacking central midfielder and probably isn’t dynamic enough to be an explosive Man United right winger.

Chilean star Alexis Sanchez has picked up another injury and to be honest he hasn’t really worked out at United. Plus the former Arsenal man is more suited playing on the left flank.

Belgian Romelu Lukaku striker can be effective on the right side but I doubt you can consistently play the hitman out on the wing. It’s a surprise tactic that works well on special occasions but I can’t see Lukaku performing at his best there every week.

Former manager Mourinho liked using Marcus Rashford as a winger but the England international has since shone through the middle as Ole’s main striker and I doubt he’ll be willing to move back out wide.

Personally, I think Solskjaer will want a new young, hungry right sided attacker if the Norwegian gets the manager’s gig on a full-time basis.

With that in mind, I believe that The Red Devils should be chasing Lille OSC forward Nicolas Pepe.

Mourinho liked bringing in older players with reputation like Sanchez for example. But United’s history is more about promoting youth and bringing in talented young players that are itching to make the big step up at a major side.

Twenty-three year old Pepe has excelled for Les Dogues this season. The Ivorian has played all of his games in the attacking right position. Being left-footed he loves to cut inside and cause all sorts of problems for opposition full-backs.

The right winger is deceptively strong, so can withstand some stiff challenges, and he also has electric pace which can be extremely effective in counter attack situations.

Nicolas is also super aware of his surroundings and that allows him to make the perfect decisions in the final third. The young player also has strong dribbling skills and is very good at running directly at his opponents and getting beyond them. His close control is also of a high standard.

This season has seen Pepe become an impact player for his club.

Only Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani have scored more Ligue 1 goals than Nicolas’ sixteen league strikes.

No player has bettered Pepe’s eight assists thus far in the French top flight this season.

The African forward could be on the cusp of superstardom, his performances alongside a decent Lille team have seen the club rise to second place in Ligue 1.

His outing on Lille’s right wing has seen him linked with top European clubs like FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich and PSG.

Lille gaffer Christophe Galtier looks resigned in losing his top talent this summer (Source- Sport):

“It’s difficult to keep these type of players in our league,”

“When the biggest clubs in Europe call you, it’s really complicated.”

“If Nicolas keeps going like this and improves his statistics by the end of the season, he will be on the shortlist of all of Europe’s big clubs.” 

“The player’s desire is also important. I am sure that, if the moment comes, everything will be very transparent. We will all try to find the best solution possible.” 

A fee of around £80m has been talked about and only a few clubs like United can afford that price.

If the right wing spot is one that Manchester United are looking at strengthening, then why not go after one of the world’s brightest prospects for that position? One that’s turned it on consistently this campaign and who has produced in his side’s big games too.

Nicolas Pepe seems to have all the credentials needed to become Man United’s next big star on the right flank!

Liverpool Aren’t Down And Out Just Yet!

Jurgen Klopp’s confrontation with the Everton ballboy after Liverpool’s 0-0 draw in the Merseyside derby has been likened to Kevin Keegan’s meltdown at Newcastle United and former Reds boss Rafa Benitez’s ‘facts’ press conference.

Both those previous incidents were followed up with The Toon and Liverpool collapsing under the pressure of challenging for the Premier League title.

Liverpool’s dropped points from the weekend has allowed current league champions Manchester City to regain top spot. Pep Guardiola’s men are now one point ahead of The Reds in the title race.

City have had an impressive 2019 thus far and that’s allowed them to succeed in catching Liverpool, clinch yet anther League Cup and stay on course for qualification into the next round of the Champions League.

In the meantime, Klopp’s team have certainly suffered from a dip in form. The Anfield club have drawn four of their last six Premier League encounters. In the same timeframe, Man City have won their last five league games.

Top goalscorer Mohamed Salah has scored just once in his last six league outings. The Egyptian superstar hasn’t created an assist in that time, which means he’s not contributing enough to help his team’s cause at the moment.

Liverpool have scored sixty-four goals, which is twelve fewer than City.

Summer signing Naby Keita hasn’t been the dynamic force that was expected of him. The midfield are becoming more dogged than creative.

But while it’s a bit gloomy at Anfield at the minute, there’s still time to get things back on track.

The Reds defence is still the strongest in the league, they’ve only conceded fifteen all season. It should be easier to fix scoring issues than it would be defensive errors. Having a tight defence always gives a team the chance to build on a strong foundation.

While the recent draws have hampered the club, they still haven’t lost more than one league game all season.

The manager himself is remaining upbeat. He stated this to Liverpool FC’s own website after the draw with Merseyside rivals Everton:

“We are positive – how couldn’t we be positive?

“There is a lot to come and a lot of games to play. What brought us here was the stability the boys showed. We are difficult to beat, which is very important in football. And we created, still, in difficult games, which is very important in football.”

We can’t forget that Jurgen Klopp has successfully won a domestic title previously with Borussia Dortmund. That experience could be vital in the run-in. His positive attitude and his man management style could turn things back in Liverpool’s favour.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain seems to be on his way back from injury and that could give his team yet another creative outlet from midfield. The English star was becoming an integral part of The Reds first team before his serious lay-off and the side could do with his energy to get forward from the engine room.

The upcoming game against Bayern Munich in Champions League might prove to be pivotal, no matter the result.

If they lose to the Germans, then Klopp could turn his player’s attention fully towards winning their first Premier League trophy. It will give them more rest time mid-week and have them fully focused on the run-in.

A victory over the Bundesliga giants could re-galvanise Liverpool’s season. It will prove that they can get vital away results. A goal for Mo Salah would give the forward his mojo back!

As I say, there’s plenty of time and twists and turns to come. Liverpool need to push on and they need to become that attacking outfit that scares the opposition again. At the moment they look too cautious.

Jurgen Klopp should use the Everton result to kick backsides and have them ready to fight tooth and nail for the all important Premier League title!

Rangers Will Struggle To Get Moussa Dembele Type Money For Alfredo Morelos

Alfredo Morelos has been a scoring sensation since arriving in Glasgow in the summer of 2017.

The Colombian has improved as an all round striker, especially since manager Steven Gerrard took over at Ibrox last summer.

The young hitman has been linked with moves to China and to French club Bordeaux in recent transfer windows but The Gers have so far resisted and not sold their star forward.

According to The Scottish Sun, Alfredo believes his stint at Rangers could be nearing an end during the next transfer window:

“There are many teams interested in me and a lot of them have watched me play.”

“Most likely my transfer will be this summer.”

“With the amount of goals I have scored, I know it has been noticed by European clubs.”

“I have always said I would like to play in the English Premier League.”

Recent media reports suggest that former Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers could be tempted to bring Morelos down south with him to Leicester City.

With heighten speculation linking The Gers striker with a big summer move, it seems as though Rangers have now put a price on their top asset’s head.

Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson allegedly told a Gers fan event in New Zealand (Source – Daily Record):

“We rate (Alfredo) Morelos at least the same as (Moussa) Dembele in terms of value.”

Now French attacker Moussa Dembele left Scottish Premiership champions Celtic last summer for a fee in the region of £18m-£20m.

Personally, I think that might be a tad unrealistic for Morelos.

I know that the two strikers have similar scoring records. Alfredo has actually scored more in Scotland’s top flight (30 goals/59 games) than Moussa (26 goals/55 games) managed. But Dembele edges it when it comes to goals in all competitions.

Yes they are both twenty-two years old and are both fine finishers but for me Dembele had a better pedigree before leaving Scotland.

He had previously shone in England’s Championship, he is faster than Morelos and importantly he won titles at Celtic Park. Dembele was also a better finisher in the big games; he would score in Old Firm derbies, he scored in the Champions League and scored in cup finals.

Morelos has one international cap for Colombia, which is more than Dembele’s managed for World Cup champions France but Moussa has a fantastic scoring tally at under-21 level and is knocking on Didier Deschamps door to get a senior call-up for Les Bleus after successfully transitioning to Ligue 1 with Lyon this term.

I’m not sure Morelos’ perceived temperament issues will count in his favour either. I doubt that his card will be as marked in another league as it has been in Scotland but scouts will still look at the amount of cards he’s picked up and worry about him being a risk.

Listen I think Alfredo Morelos is a superb talent and I’ve been banging on about him ever since he arrived at Rangers. I also think that the Ibrox side will get good money for him.

Will it be £18m or higher?

I just don’t think so. Clubs in higher leagues still treat the Scottish market like it’s more Home Bargains than Waitrose and I think they’ll look to get Morelos for a £12m fee, maybe £15m if there’s a a fair bit of interest.

The right circumstances all fell into place for Moussa Dembele’s move to Lyon, will lightening really strike twice in as many years in Scotland?

 

Romelu Lukaku Proving His Worth Again At Man United

How does the old footballing cliche go?

Form is temporary, class is permanent!

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku once again showed us why the cliche is in existence in the first place.

The Belgian hitman hasn’t had the best of seasons, before his two Premier League outings this week, Lukaku had scored just eight goals in twenty-four league games.

Young forward Marcus Rashford had taken Romelu’s place as United’s starting striker and the English man was in fine scoring form under new interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

But Rashford picked up a knock in United’s recent draw with league leaders Liverpool and that kind of forced Solskjaer’s hand in playing Lukaku again as the main frontman.

Now to be fair to Romelu, he had taken chances and had impressed during his cameo appearances under the caretaker manager. He was superb playing on the right against Arsenal in the FA Cup. He would provide two assists in that win over The Gunners and worked really hard for his teammates. The Belgian had also came off of the bench to grab goals in United’s league wins over AFC Bournemouth and Newcastle United.

As the cameos became more frequent you could tell that the twenty-five year old was looking fitter and was hungry to impress. He seemed to take being dropped in his stride, not moaning or bitching about it. He just waited for his big chance to shine.

That chance arrived on Wednesday night as United traveled down to the capital to play a hard working and tough to beat Crystal Palace side.

Lukaku grabbed a brace and gave Man United control of the fixture before the hour mark. He lead the line well and bullied the Palace defence with his physical presence and his burst of pace. The forward won four aerial battles and had more shots on target than any other player. He was also pretty decent in possession.

In yesterday’s triumph against a resilient Southampton, another Romelu Lukaku brace gave The Red Devils a victory that saw them return into the all important top four. 

The Belgian scored two smart curled finishes and he was overjoyed to get the game’s winner.

Those two goals have seen the Belgian international leapfrog Rashford, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial to become Man Utd’s top goalscorer in the league this season. 

ManUtd.com announced after his latest scoring feat that Romelu had now entered the top twenty all-time top scorers in Premier League history with his 111 goals. 

After the win over Southampton, Solskjaer heaped praise on Lukaku (Source – Daily Mail):

‘He is a quality goalscorer,’

‘We need to have him more in front of the goal but he has done fantastic in his work rate, attitude, he loves scoring goals, he smiles every day, he does extra shooting in training.’

Many believe that the forward is just a big-man type striker but he’s a smart player. 

He would go deep yesterday; receive the ball, protect it before laying it back off to the midfield and that allowed Rashford to try and run in behind the Saints defence.

You also noticed Lukaku try and link up more with his strike partner. That shows you that Romelu knows that Ole likes Marcus and that he has to show a development in their partnership to stay in the team. 

Romelu’s finishes in the game also show us that the former Chelsea and Everton hitman has strong technique, practises on the training ground and can evaluate his surroundings. Those type of goals don’t happen by chance alone. 

Many a player has improved under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United. 

Romelu Lukaku is yet another example of that. He looks leaner, fitter, he’s working harder and his all-round game has benefitted from his attitude to prove himself at Old Trafford. 

Man United now have good striking options again and that can only be a good thing as they try and cement their place inside the Premier League’s top four positions. 

Having an inform Romelu Lukaku will only enhance Man United’s chances of reaching that main goal for this season! 

Looking At Potential Arsenal Transfer Target Cengiz Ünder

 

According to Italian media outlet Corriere dello Sport, AS Roma could be ready to offload Turkish forward Cengiz Ünder in a bid to raise transfer funds in the summer.

That news could interest Premier League side Arsenal, who have been linked with the Turkish international in the past.

What would the Gunners be getting if they were to sign the attacker? 

Well the twenty-one year old is an exciting young talent that can grab both goals and assists.

This season he has bagged six goals for I Giallorossi and created six strikes for fellow teammates in twenty-four appearances. He has become more consistent during his second season in Serie A and he’s also impressed in the Champions League.

A big plus for Arsenal would be the fact that Ünder has predominately shone on the right wing, which is a role in the Gunners team that Unai Emery hasn’t really been able to fill yet.

As well as being very settled out on the right flank, the Turkish star can also play through the middle or wide on the left. That sort of versatility is always welcome at the Emirates.

Cengiz likes to attack opposition defences and cut inside and take some fierce accurate shots at goal. The youngster also has the strength to hold off defenders and the skill to beat them. He also possesses competent dribbling skills and likes to be direct.

According to stats website Whoscored, the attacking AS Roma winger has an 80% passing success rate in the Italian top flight. He also averages around two shots per game and making 1.5 key passes per outing too.

He’s not the best defensively and that might concern Emery, who has had issues with Mesut Ozil not putting in enough of a defensive shift for the Spaniard’s liking. You’ve got to imagine that Unai would instruct Ünder to be more disciplined and to track back when required.

That being said, Cengiz has stated that he likes the tactical side of the game (Source – The Guardian):

“I have always had an interest in the tactical side of the game. I love that side of the game.”

Another issue could involve the potential fee. The Sun are reporting that Italian giants Roma would be looking for a fee of around £50m. If The Gunners don’t reach next season’s Champions League, then that could be the majority of their transfer kitty for 2019.

Would they spend the bulk of their cash on one young star? I’m not so sure.

I believe Arsenal really could do with a great prospect like Cengiz Ünder but they need to get him for the right price!

 

Things Manchester United Need To Do To Become Title Challengers Again

There’s a lot of positive vibes buzzing around Old Trafford at the moment, with Manchester United now putting up a big fight to finish in the Premier League’s top four. They’re currently in fifth spot and just a point away from fourth.

But just finishing in the top four isn’t what Man United’s all about. The Red Devils want and always want to be challenging for titles and silverware.

So what do United need to do to get back to being considered title challengers? 

Well first off, the Premier League giants need to hire a permanent manager.

If I’m being honest, I don’t see why Man Utd haven’t already confirmed interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the new full time gaffer. I’m pretty sure a deal will already be in place to make the move from Molde permanent and the Norwegian has had an instant and prolonged impact at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer has bought back an attacking philosophy and the players have bought into Ole’s ways at United. The boss has been in charge of fifteen games since coming back to Manchester and in that time he’s collected twelve wins, two draws and suffered just one defeat.

In the bigger games; United have beaten London trio Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea. They also managed to pick up a draw with Jurgen Klopp’s table topping Liverpool side.

The caretakers manager has also managed to get more from star players like Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. The goals are flowing and United’s defence have become a tougher proposition too. Defenders Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw have been terrific during Ole’s short tenure in charge.

So I’d urge the board to bite the bullet and announce Ole Gunnar Solskjaer their new gaffer.

Then there’s the Director of Football position.

United have been discussing this type of role for a while and I still think it’s important to have a proper football administrator at Old Trafford to help both the management team and the club’s board.

It’s another role that should be announced before the summer break.

A reason for this is to tie down the club’s top players.

Last summer and this summer, has seen Man United running around trying to do deals with their talent. With various personnel they’ve had to take the option of another year on player’s contracts and that isn’t always good enough as it just delays problems.

The club were boosted recently with French forward Martial commenting his long-term future at the club. But as the summer approaches players such as Antonio Valencia, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Matteo Darmian and Andreas Pereira all have contracts that run out in June!

I always see it as a sign that things aren’t going well at a club if they have quite a few top team players approaching the end of their deals.

The new manager will want, and probably needs, to strengthen the first team squad.

The centre of defence still needs to to be reinforced and links with Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly don’t seem to be going away (Source – Manchester Evening News).

I also believe that the club will want another central midfielder to help compete for places within a midfield three. Fred hasn’t settled in yet, Scott McTominay is still young and Herrera and Pereira still need to sign new deals.

If club captain Valencia does leave in the 2019, then I’d fully expect to see a new right-back coming to Old Trafford during the off season. In his press conference earlier today, Solskjaer stated he’s unsure if Antonio will stay beyond this term (From The Guardian):

“He is one of the Premier League winners left in the dressing room but at the moment I’m not sure if Man United and Antonio will agree on the next year.”

Ultimately Manchester United need to bottle this feel good factor that Ole’s brought back to the club. They need to get the managerial position filled and then fully back that manager with the tools needed to bring success back to the club.

The players need to feel wanted and need to be convinced that staying at Old Trafford is best for their careers.

Get all that done and you’ll keep the support happy. You will also have a club ready for the new season and one that can challenge for all the important silverware!

Four Scottish Premiership Stars Brendan Rodgers Might Try & Tempt To Leicester City

Brendan Rodgers will use the next few months to watch over his new players at Leicester City and assess where his squad needs to be strengthened.

The former Celtic boss might take a trip back to the Scottish Premiership and try and tempt some of it’s stars down to the English Premier League.

Here’s four potential targets that Rodgers might identify as being of the right calibre to improve his new Foxes squad:

Callum McGregor

McGregor became one of Celtic’s key men under Rodgers. The midfielder played 142 times during Brendan’s era at Parkhead and scoring 25 times.

The central midfielder is a very good all round player. This season he showed his class as a holding midfielder in Celtic’s Europa League adventure. Callum bossed the midfield in the Hoops win over RB Leipzig, no player made more interceptions and he also made thirty-eight passes.

He’s a player with a footballing brain and knows how to play in between the lines. That sees him spotting trouble defensively and he can also make the right runs to get into the opposition’s penalty area. Has a great history when it comes to popping up and scoring vital goals in big games.

Rodgers certainly liked him. The new Leicester City boss has said this about Callum McGregor in the past (From The Daily Record):

“Yeah, he’s a player who can have real longevity here. If you know football, you know he’s a top player.”

“He can dictate a game, he has courage to play and he plays with a technical simplicity.”

Kieran Tierney

The Scottish internationalist was instantly linked with a move to the King Power Stadium, with The Scottish Sun stating that Rodgers will make a £25m move for the left-back.

Now while I don’t doubt Tierney’s talent, I actually think he’s probably the best player in the Scottish Premiership, I am not convinced he’s a player Leicester City need.

The Foxes have Ben Chilwell as their left-back and he’s made twenty-six Premier League appearances thus far this season. The twenty-two year old’s performances have seen him win five England caps since September.

Tierney is a very accomplished full-back that always gives 100%. He’s great at giving his side an outlet on the left and he can also do well when challenging tricky wingers.

Would definitely interest Rodgers if he needs a new left-sided fullback but I believe the manager will stick with Chilwell.

James Forrest

The right winger enjoyed his best footballing years whilst playing under Brendan Rodgers.

Forrest is a tenacious forward that loves to attack opposition defences and he also works hard for his team by tracking back.

James has scored thirteen times for Celtic this season and also grabbed five strikes in his last two games for Scotland.

Rodgers paid the winger plenty of compliments during their time together at Celtic Park:

“He’s one of the best I’ve ever worked with in terms of taking the ball so tight to the line. He has the ability to beat people on the inside or outside and he’s got different ways of finishing.”

“Wingers are so important at this level. They can’t afford to switch off. Tactically, they have to participate in the game all the time. Sometimes you can get away with turning the engine off domestically, but you can’t at this level.”

“That’s one of the big things he has improved, his concentration level. His pressing, hunger and desire to get the ball is great, then it gets him into areas where he can really show his quality.”

Brendan might believe that James Forrest will offer his new team a direct threat and more pace when comparing him to English top flight winner Marc Albrighton.

Alfredo Morelos 

Leicester City haven’t been banging them in this season. Their thirty-four goal tally has been bettered by eleven other teams in the Premier League this term.

Jamie Vardy is still getting goals but he’s scored just nine times in the league and that’s eight more than any other Foxes out and out striker.

Rodgers might look at the forward area and think it needs improved. That could possibly see him look to former rivals Rangers.

Alfredo Morelos leads the Scottish Premiership scoring charts this season with fifteen goals in twenty-three games. The striker has bagged a whopping forty-five goals in eighty-two games for The Gers.

He does have disciplinary issues but I doubt he’d be targeted the same way down south. He’s also got good strong link-up play and leads the line well as a solo hitman. His time in Scotland has since seen him capped at senior level by Colombia.

Veteran forward Jermain Defoe has come out and stated that his teammate could score in the English Premier League (Source – HITC):

“And if you are asking me if he is good enough to play in the Premier League, of course. I believe that if he played in the Premier League, he would score goals.”

Brendan Rodgers might believe that Alfredo Morelos could prove to be a bargain buy and a risk worth taking!