Summer 2022 Transfer Thread.

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Our progression has been fine as evidenced by the amount of goals we've scored in the second half of the season.

We've picked up 8/12 points against Liverpool and City, two of the best pressing teams in the world, so we are obviously not doing too badly on that front.

We all love Dembele but he had his faults too. One major one being his limited passing range and habit for holding on to the ball for too long - hardly ideal for a counter attacking team (as we are usually against the better sides).

Our issues are not against pressing sides they are against bus parkers so I don't think a press resistant midfielder is the solution.

My point is, I think this team improves more by having lets say Trippier and Alonso in at wingback than it does by having Bissouma or Dembele in for Hojbjerg with Sess and Emerson remaining at wingback.

Imagine how many more goals Kane would have if we had players capable of finding him from wide?

Weird logic. We have 2 elite attacking players and a third one who has had a wonderful start. We're a very, very good, top heavy counter attacking side. We score LOADS of goals vs sides who give us space, and struggle badly to score vs sides who don't .. i.e Burnley, Brentford, Brentford etc.

Because we parked the bus and countered. Getting points in those games doesn't show we matched them in midfield, we were nowhere even close. Vs Liverpool every time we played out the ball came straight back because Hojbjerg and Bentancur simply couldn't handle the press.

We were very good at countering under Poch with Dembele. He resisted the press and laid it off to someone like Eriksen to make the killer pass. He'd be a monster in this side.

Agree to disagree. If we want to have a greater amount of control over games vs pressing sides we need more press resistant midfielders.

I don't disagree with this and do think wing backs are the priority, but swiftly followed by that need for a monster CM.

Imagine how many more if we had a CM capable of beating the early press and getting it to said wing backs? Why not both!
 
I'm amazed people rank CM above RWB in terms of priority.

Our ball progression has been fine with Bentancur and Hojbjerg. Conte's midfield 2 are required to be workhorses. Sure, we could add a bit more quality in there but it can't be at the expense of work rate and defensive awareness.

The wingbacks are our outball and constantly find themselves in good positions to deliver. It would be amazing if someone put together a compilation of all their failed deliveries from good positions - we'd have 10-15 more goals.

Not saying we need TAA and Robertson but get two wingbacks with composure who can pick out a man consistently and we will be flying.

I said specifically -
(70 mEUR) CM would start every game, and he would be first pick.
In attacking position we have Son and Kane (both worth way more than 70 mil and established world class).

So first of all - there was no argument whatsoever with getting RWB in.
Question was either to spend 70 mil for CM or ST. As things stand CM would make lot more difference.

Which brings me to my 2nd point.
"Our ball progression has been fine with Bentancur and Hojbjerg. Conte's midfield 2 are required to be workhorses."

I am not sure if I have seen statement I agree less with. Our ball movement is absolutely sub-par if we really aim for even top 3 in EPL or past first play-off stage in CL. Which should be our minimal aims. Ball progression happens - that much we can agree on. But ball progression also happens if CB / GK just blindly shoots the ball upfield. I am not saying it currently is that bad with us - no, it is not. But come on - look at us playing against teams that defend with low block. And then look at what situations do our attacking players receive the passes.

Ability to play quick, most harmful (for defending side) and accurate passes is something we do lack.
This comes together with ability to retain possession under pressure and control the tempo of the game. For that PEH and Bentancur are okay as squad options. One out of the two can even start - I am not saying that they would be shit. But if we use those two together, we cannot control the tempo enough and we cannot find attacking players in as good positions as we would need.

We absolutely need wingbacks. And in long run their delivery quality has been poor. On that we are on totally same page. At the same time, if we aim high we desperately need additional quality in CM area as well. To be able to retain possession better, to change the tempo of the game, to push inventive and accurate balls over/through opposition defense.

And to end my rant, I would put a clichee out there - "Midfield is where games are won and lost". So on wingback front we should and will improve, but area which impacts the whole game and performance across the field is midfield. Where we also need reinforcements. And usually high quality CMs tend to cost more than high quality wingbacks. Heck, Conte turned Moses into wingback - now show me who has taken random physically capable player and made him into quality playmaker / press resistant CM ? :D
 
Weird logic. We have 2 elite attacking players and a third one who has had a wonderful start. We're a very, very good, top heavy counter attacking side. We score LOADS of goals vs sides who give us space, and struggle badly to score vs sides who don't .. i.e Burnley, Brentford, Brentford etc.

Because we parked the bus and countered. Getting points in those games doesn't show we matched them in midfield, we were nowhere even close. Vs Liverpool every time we played out the ball came straight back because Hojbjerg and Bentancur simply couldn't handle the press.

We were very good at countering under Poch with Dembele. He resisted the press and laid it off to someone like Eriksen to make the killer pass. He'd be a monster in this side.

Agree to disagree. If we want to have a greater amount of control over games vs pressing sides we need more press resistant midfielders.

I don't disagree with this and do think wing backs are the priority, but swiftly followed by that need for a monster CM.

Imagine how many more if we had a CM capable of beating the early press and getting it to said wing backs? Why not both!
One thing to note is that very few teams play a midfield two these days so you shouldn't expect us to be matching 3-men midfields anyway.

Absolutely we need to strengthen in multiple areas but if pushed I think two quality wingbacks either side transform this team.

For me the priorities are clear:
RWB (sell one of Doc/Emerson)
LWB (if we sell Reg otherwise we bank on Reg/Sess for another season)
LCB (davies upgrade plus cover across the back 3 that's an upgrade on Rodon/Sanchez)
CM 1 (to replace Winks - could this be Sarr? Maybe Eriksen)
CM 2 (Starting XI upgrade - e.g. Bissouma)
Attacker (we need a Berg/Lucas upgrade that can genuinely push for the first XI)
GK (Gollini is a joke and SJ deal looks like it's done)

So that's likely 6 signings required (I don't think we do anything at LWB this summer).
 
Personally, I think the reason we rely on the counter so heavily, and have done since Poch went, is because we have very few players in the middle who can control and keep the ball. When I say in the middle, I meant he entire center 3rd of the pitch. We're not going to rack up massive possession stats (which is little more than pass counting) because we'll keep giving it away. Mourinho figured it out and so has Conte. Get the ball into the devastating front players as quick as possible with as few touches and passes as possible. Do that and we will get chances. Dawdle and pass around excessively and we end up going nowhere.

This summer then is a decision. Do we build on our style as a counter attacking side, or do we look for players who can change that and dominate the ball with confidence?
 
I think if we had wingbacks that could take a man on/get in behind and deliver well, we all of a sudden start causing more problems for these bus parkers.

Right now Sess or Emerson receive the ball and either pass backwards or lump a hopeful ball into the box because they can't win 1v1s and generally don't deliver well.

I think Sess is better than Emerson at finding his man but that's an incredibly low bar.

Last 3 games Sessegnon xA has been -
0,97; 0,98; 0,57. These are games against Burnley, Scum, Liverpool.

That is actually on par with TAA and Robertson. In fact in past 10 games TAA and Robertson combined (so from 20 single performances) there has been ONE example where single player xA was better - TAA vs West Ham (1,22). Next best after three results by Sess are Robertsons 0,82 (vs Scum) and 0,52 (vs Leeds) and then TAA's 0,49 (vs ManCity).

So from past 10 games between Sessegnon, TAA and Robertson best performances are -
Trent vs West Ham 1,22 xA
Sessegnon vs Scum 0,98 xA
Sessegnon vs Burnley 0,97 xA
Robertson vs Scum 0,82 xA
Sessegnon vs Pool 0,57 xA
Robertson vs Leeds 0,52 xA
Trent vs City 0,49 xA
- from 7 best performances across 3 players and 10 games THREE are Sessegenon.
Of course he has to keep it up for longer period of time - I am not saying that he would already be on Trent/Robertson level. But to say that delivery is poor and only better than Royal is just subjective opinion, not actual situation.
 
One thing to note is that very few teams play a midfield two these days so you shouldn't expect us to be matching 3-men midfields anyway.

Absolutely we need to strengthen in multiple areas but if pushed I think two quality wingbacks either side transform this team.

For me the priorities are clear:
RWB (sell one of Doc/Emerson)
LWB (if we sell Reg otherwise we bank on Reg/Sess for another season)
LCB (davies upgrade plus cover across the back 3 that's an upgrade on Rodon/Sanchez)
CM 1 (to replace Winks - could this be Sarr? Maybe Eriksen)
CM 2 (Starting XI upgrade - e.g. Bissouma)
Attacker (we need a Berg/Lucas upgrade that can genuinely push for the first XI)
GK (Gollini is a joke and SJ deal looks like it's done)

So that's likely 6 signings required (I don't think we do anything at LWB this summer).
Almost agree with that list but we really need another striker or wing forward type that can cover and preferably play alongside Kane, especially with European football.
 
Last 3 games Sessegnon xA has been -
0,97; 0,98; 0,57. These are games against Burnley, Scum, Liverpool.

That is actually on par with TAA and Robertson. In fact in past 10 games TAA and Robertson combined (so from 20 single performances) there has been ONE example where single player xA was better - TAA vs West Ham (1,22). Next best after three results by Sess are Robertsons 0,82 (vs Scum) and 0,52 (vs Leeds) and then TAA's 0,49 (vs ManCity).

So from past 10 games between Sessegnon, TAA and Robertson best performances are -
Trent vs West Ham 1,22 xA
Sessegnon vs Scum 0,98 xA
Sessegnon vs Burnley 0,97 xA
Robertson vs Scum 0,82 xA
Sessegnon vs Pool 0,57 xA
Robertson vs Leeds 0,52 xA
Trent vs City 0,49 xA
- from 7 best performances across 3 players and 10 games THREE are Sessegenon.
Of course he has to keep it up for longer period of time - I am not saying that he would already be on Trent/Robertson level. But to say that delivery is poor and only better than Royal is just subjective opinion, not actual situation.
3 games does not maketh a wingback.

Sess has got in good positions recently and cut back a few nice balls but he is nowhere near a reliable provider who has a creative passing range.

If he continues to improve and can play 30 league games next season and get 8-10 assists maybe there is a discussion to be had.
 
Almost agree with that list but we really need another striker or wing forward type that can cover and preferably play alongside Kane, especially with European football.
That's the attacker signing.

I'm envisioning someone that can play across the front three so can cover or partner with Kane as needed. Someone like Martinez probably fits the bill (or dare I say it Gabriel Jesus).
 
What precisely do you disagree on?
You said
In:
- Eriksen (Free)
- Sam Johnstone (Free)
- Pau Torres (50m)
- Unidentified RWB (30-40m)
- Unidentified attacker (70m)
- Unidentified CM (Free or cheap)

I answered -
Yea, looking at current squad, if I would have to pick either to splunge out 70 mil into one position it would 100% be for CM.

Top class CM would start every game that he is fit.
While on the attacking front we have 2 players nailed down and are absolute world class.

So in this part I never said we should not get RWB.
You suggested that we would pay 70 mil for "Unidentified attacker" and at the same time bring in Eriksen + "Unidentified CM for free or cheap".

I said that considering we have two brilliant attacking players but only average CM's then 70 mil invested into midfielder would be higher priority.

And then with next post I explained why I believe that CM with better passing ability would improve our play. Are you seriously saying that if we aim for top 3 in EPL or top 8 in CL, then Hjojberg-Bentancur duo starting would move ball to attacking players quickly and precisely enough??? And generally - do you think that Hjojberg-Bentancur duo is not something we should improve upon in coming summer?
 
3 games does not maketh a wingback.

Sess has got in good positions recently and cut back a few nice balls but he is nowhere near a reliable provider who has a creative passing range.

If he continues to improve and can play 30 league games next season and get 8-10 assists maybe there is a discussion to be had.

You are grealtly moving the goalposts here.

In your previous posts you claimed something totally out of proportion with saying
"I think Sess is better than Emerson at finding his man but that's an incredibly low bar."

For that I brought out that during last games he has been comparable to TAA and Robertson (while also admitting that this is just short run of games and more proof is needed) not Royal.

So for that kind of statement you made there is discussion to be had right now. It is obvious that his delivery is not even comparable to Royal - it is out of different dimension.
For comparing in the general quality to Trent or Robertson - that I agree has to wait.
 

Airfixx

"I brekka yorz back ind make-a yew humbil"
I'm amazed people rank CM above RWB in terms of priority.

Our ball progression has been fine with Bentancur and Hojbjerg. Conte's midfield 2 are required to be workhorses. Sure, we could add a bit more quality in there but it can't be at the expense of work rate and defensive awareness.

Thing is that a top tier super well-rounded CM will cost a bomb.

Whereas....

The wingbacks are our outball and constantly find themselves in good positions to deliver. It would be amazing if someone put together a compilation of all their failed deliveries from good positions - we'd have 10-15 more goals.

Not saying we need TAA and Robertson but get two wingbacks with composure who can pick out a man consistently and we will be flying.

A good young, attacking WB is likely a less costly role to fill.

Ergo what t'other bloke said: ""looking at current squad, if I would have to pick either to splunge out 70 mil into one position it would 100% be for CM."

...Makes sense.
 

Airfixx

"I brekka yorz back ind make-a yew humbil"
I'm amazed you think this is true. We've been pressed to death by every single team who has taken the game to us. Both Bentancur & Hojbjerg badly struggle to retain possession (or progress us upfield) when crowded out. It's so blatantly obvious to me how necessary a Dembele type, press resistant footballer is to us.

These hard working, tidy enough midfielders who put a foot in are fine but they need someone in there with them who can really play. Otherwise we'll continue to struggle to not be bullied in midfield by sides like Brentford and Brighton.

......All the more if we persist with playing just 2 CMs. We're subjecting our 'work-rate' guys to the numbers game AND the workrate of 3 guys in virtually every game; even if those oppo players are suggested to be inferior individuals.

i.e. Middlesborough, Brentford, ECL dross.
 

Airfixx

"I brekka yorz back ind make-a yew humbil"
If [Sess] continues to improve and can play 30 league games next season and get 8-10 assists maybe there is a discussion to be had.

There's only one way to achieve that.... Which is backing him (rather than replacing him).



Not saying we should, but that's the dichotomy of your post.
 
......All the more if we persist with playing just 2 CMs. We're subjecting our 'work-rate' guys to the numbers game AND the workrate of 3 guys in virtually every game; even if those oppo players are suggested to be inferior individuals.

i.e. Middlesborough, Brentford, ECL dross.

I do still wonder if Conte will switch to a 3-5-2 depending on players available in the summer. If we get top wing backs it would be a lot more viable, but it does seem that he prefers the 3-4-3 in England, and the fact we were in for Diaz suggests that's the long term plan.

But yes, since it seems likely we continue with 3-4-3, we need a proper dominating midfielder in there. Won't be easy to find or cheap, but would be a real game changer.
 
What precisely do you disagree on?
You said


I answered -


So in this part I never said we should not get RWB.
You suggested that we would pay 70 mil for "Unidentified attacker" and at the same time bring in Eriksen + "Unidentified CM for free or cheap".

I said that considering we have two brilliant attacking players but only average CM's then 70 mil invested into midfielder would be higher priority.

And then with next post I explained why I believe that CM with better passing ability would improve our play. Are you seriously saying that if we aim for top 3 in EPL or top 8 in CL, then Hjojberg-Bentancur duo starting would move ball to attacking players quickly and precisely enough??? And generally - do you think that Hjojberg-Bentancur duo is not something we should improve upon in coming summer?
Nope, I specifically mentioned two CM signings in my priority list for the summer.
One being the Winks replacement - could be a youngster like Sarr or a bit-part freebie like Eriksen.
The other being a starting XI CM (e.g. Bissouma).

My original point was not that we can't upgrade Hobby/Bent but that upgrading our fullbacks would improve the team by a greater degree than signing one top midfielder. (Note for this comparison I'm assuming a top class RWB and LWB vs 1 CM, which won't happen.)

I think Hobby/Bent is 100% good enough to get us to top 3 in the PL (especially if you add a fit Skipp into the mix). We are not a million miles off Chelsea as things stand despite our messy start to the season and with a Conte pre-season plus signings in the other areas (LCB, RWB) I don't see why we wouldn't expect to finish 3rd even without a CM signing.
 
There's only one way to achieve that.... Which is backing him (rather than replacing him).



Not saying we should, but that's the dichotomy of your post.
I have said I don't believe we'll do anything at LWB mainly because no one will pay the money for Reg.

Sure the fastest way to improve is to sign upgrades on both wings but I will be happy to persist with Sess if we do get some top quality at RWB. I think it will be sufficient.
 
Weird logic. We have 2 elite attacking players and a third one who has had a wonderful start. We're a very, very good, top heavy counter attacking side. We score LOADS of goals vs sides who give us space, and struggle badly to score vs sides who don't .. i.e Burnley, Brentford, Brentford etc.

Because we parked the bus and countered. Getting points in those games doesn't show we matched them in midfield, we were nowhere even close. Vs Liverpool every time we played out the ball came straight back because Hojbjerg and Bentancur simply couldn't handle the press.

We were very good at countering under Poch with Dembele. He resisted the press and laid it off to someone like Eriksen to make the killer pass. He'd be a monster in this side.

Agree to disagree. If we want to have a greater amount of control over games vs pressing sides we need more press resistant midfielders.

I don't disagree with this and do think wing backs are the priority, but swiftly followed by that need for a monster CM.

Imagine how many more if we had a CM capable of beating the early press and getting it to said wing backs? Why not both!
Agree it’s about getting it to the wingbacks in good positions. they get a lot of square balls from midfield with everyone goal side a lot of the time. You need your midfielders to have the ability to drop a shoulder drive through the spaces draw players out and create overloads for your wingbacks and forwards. They just get boxed in down the line at the moment. Even if we had the best wingbacks in the world they’d find it tough with this midfield imo.
 
Weird logic. We have 2 elite attacking players and a third one who has had a wonderful start. We're a very, very good, top heavy counter attacking side. We score LOADS of goals vs sides who give us space, and struggle badly to score vs sides who don't .. i.e Burnley, Brentford, Brentford etc.

Because we parked the bus and countered. Getting points in those games doesn't show we matched them in midfield, we were nowhere even close. Vs Liverpool every time we played out the ball came straight back because Hojbjerg and Bentancur simply couldn't handle the press.

We were very good at countering under Poch with Dembele. He resisted the press and laid it off to someone like Eriksen to make the killer pass. He'd be a monster in this side.

Agree to disagree. If we want to have a greater amount of control over games vs pressing sides we need more press resistant midfielders.

I don't disagree with this and do think wing backs are the priority, but swiftly followed by that need for a monster CM.

Imagine how many more if we had a CM capable of beating the early press and getting it to said wing backs? Why not both!
Bissouma. If cleared is a brilliant option to help do exactly what you say. Irritatingly Brighton seem to have found a kid who either time could be Dembele good at it. Get Eriksen back Get Bissouma and try and get the best wing-backs money can buy
 
I would love us to invest almost our entire budget on a top quality LWB and RWB whilst letting one of Reggie and Sess go and one of Royal and Doc go.

Would make a world of difference to get top level players in that position.

Other thoughts:

Ben Davies has been so good this year at LCB
Possibly another CM ? But Pierre has been good and Skipp will be better.
Understudy for Kane? Why not just recall Parrot or keep Berg.
I agree completely on the wing back point.

The difference it would make having genuine quality in those areas is unreal.

I think we saw evidence of that during Doherty’s short purple patch. They are fundamental to this system.
 
Question for everyone - if Levy found £35m down the back of his sofa and could either spend it on a LCB or CM, which would you prefer?

Davies’ form since Conte came in has made this a genuine question I think.
 
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