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Manchester United: Latest News Headlines - Thursday, June 25.

LegitSportNews 06/25/2020

Manchester United might be one transfer away from a title challenging starting XI

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Plenty of thought had gone into Manchester United's return to an empty Old Trafford on Wednesday night and, once again, the club had done a sterling job in difficult circumstances in the banners that adorned the stadium and the fan mosaic that brought some character to the stands.

But it was a desperate shame that there were no spectators inside the ground to see one of United's most complete performances of the season. The 3-0 win against Sheffield United highlighted how far United have come under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. They were untroubled at the back and sublime going forward.

This performance deserved an audience of 75,000 fans, but those empty stands for a performance of total domination were another example of the lost revenue that every club is going to be counting for the foreseeable future.

United have stressed that they will be no different in that regard and already plans for the summer have had to be altered. Where once they were eyeing up three major deals, now multiple big-money signings are considered unlikely.

The good news is that on this evidence United aren't far away at all from a starting XI that is good enough to challenge Manchester City and Liverpool on a regular basis. Depth might remain something of an issue, but this team is close to being ideal for Solskjaer.

After a wobble against Tottenham the defence was back to its best against the Blades, recording a 10th clean sheet in 13 unbeaten games. In midfield it was a performance of complete control, with Nemanja Matic a dominant figure and Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba adding the gloss. That was achieved without Scott McTominay or Fred, who both began on the bench.

In attack Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, now level on 19 goals for the season, combined beautifully. It was a performance that sent out a statement to Chelsea in fourth and Leicester City in third, that United are coming for both of them.

It also showed that numerous transfers this summer might not be necessary. Just look at the impact Fernandes has had in January for the way one new signing can transform the mood and confidence of a team. If Solskjaer can repeat that in the summer it could go a long way to setting up a challenge at the top of the table next season.

If United do only go for one significant addition this summer then on the evidence of the games against Tottenham and Sheffield United, it should be a right-winger. Neither Daniel James or Mason Greenwood quite made that spot their own and the impression remains that both might be better suited to squad roles at the moment, rather than starters, with plenty of development to come in both players.

United were devastatingly good in the final third on Wednesday night, but add in a winger such as Jadon Sancho and that front five, presuming Pogba stays put, could look as good as any in the Premier League.

The prospect of a front three of "Rashford, Martial and Sancho, with Pogba and Fernandes pulling the strings, is enticing." It's not much of a leap of faith to ponder the idea of that quintet firing United to a title challenge, at the very least.

In an ideal world United might want another midfield option or two this summer, perhaps another defensive option, but we're no longer operating in an ideal world.

The good news for United is that they've lost none of that momentum they'd built up before the season was halted. It's now 13 games unbeaten and the deeper this run goes, the more it begins to look like the start of something, rather than an unexpected high point of a reign doomed to failure.

Solskjaer wanted time and patience to rebuild United, but the foundations have emerged quicker than anyone expected. The mercurial impact of Fernandes has shown just how big an impact one player can have. Add a thrilling and dangerous right-winger, such as Sancho, to this team and United's best XI suddenly look like they can compete with the Premier League's best.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang advised to ditch Arsenal for Man Utd transfer

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Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been advised to join Manchester United amid uncertainty about his future.

Gabon international Aubameyang is yet to agree a new contract beyond next summer, putting his future at the Emirates Stadium in serious doubt.

The 31-year-old has mainly been linked with Barcelona, while a move to the lucrative Chinese Super League could also be an option.

But former Manchester United striker Louis Saha reckons he should stay a little closer to home and become a Red Devil.

“Arsenal fans may not like this, but I’d like him to join United, I’d be very happy with that,” Saha told The Warm-Up with a laugh.

“I’m sure Arsenal fans would not take that well, but that’s my advice to Auba.”

There have been calls for Aubameyang to be stripped of the captaincy at Arsenal for failing to agree a new deal.

Southampton manager Ralph Hassenhutl took the role away from Pierre Hojberg after he signalled he wanted to leave the south coast club.

But Saha doesn’t think it would be the right call to strip Aubameyang of the armband, insisting the way he performs on the pitch should be all that matters.

“No, but I don’t think it’s a nice position to be in as a player,” the Frenchman added. “You want to sort out your contract and just focus on your football as these situations are always difficult to deal with.

“Me, I would always feel it’s up to the player, and if the manager or the board thinks otherwise it’s always going to be a difficult situation, especially if you have other people talking in the press, even if you’re quiet but have others speaking instead of you like an agent or family member, it’s tough.

“My advice would be to try and focus on the game, keep training hard, and be professional. But you get 15 years in a career if you’re lucky, you have to make your choices and nobody can stop you from thinking certain ways.

“At the end of the day when you don’t play well the club deposes of you, it goes both ways.”

Never said' – Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer issues warning to Leicester City

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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has declared that he is targeting third place in a warning to Leicester City.

The fifth-placed Red Devils comfortably defeated Sheffield United 3-0 on Wednesday night, reducing City’s cushion inside the top four to six points, the smallest buffer Brendan Rodgers’ side have had since early November.

The Anthony Martial-inspired victory over the Blades also moved United within two points of fourth-placed Chelsea ahead of their meeting with Manchester City on Thursday evening.

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But Solskjaer is not simply targeting fourth place.

“I've never said fourth is our aim," Solskjaer said. "We want to go up to third but we have to focus on each game as it comes, and there are two cups for us there as well.

“It’s one game at a time and in the end we can count the points and maybe have only two teams in front of us.”

United have a favourable fixture list for the remainder of the season, with their next six games against sides outside the top eight, before concluding the season against Leicester at the King Power Stadium.

Rodgers’ men, who had a 14-point lead over United in mid-December, have a reasonable schedule too until the final three games, with clashes against Sheffield United and Tottenham preceding the final-day showdown with United.

Anthony Martial's individual highlights vs Sheffield United are simply breath-taking

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Anthony Martial put on an absolute masterclass for Manchester United against Sheffield United on Wednesday night.

United were playing their first game at Old Trafford since the return of the Premier League after three months, drawing their comeback fixture 1-1 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

On that occasion, the duo of Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes was crucial in rescuing a point for the top four race with the former winning a penalty that the latter converted.

And although the visit of Sheffield United might have looked a banker at the start of the season, it marked the Red Devils' second consecutive match with a competitor in the top four race.

However, you wouldn't have known that the two teams were scrapping for the same goal because the hosts looked to be a class above, taking the lead after just seven minutes.

Marcus Rashford fired the ball across the box and Martial was there to meet it, sweeping the ball into the net. It proved to be a common theme for the Frenchman that night...

"Martial doubled his own and United's tally for the evening just before half-time and it came with a sense of deja vu as he once again converted from the right-hand side, this time courtesy of Aaron Wan-Bissaka."

But the best was still to come with Martial becoming the club's first hat-trick scorer in the Premier League since Robin van Persie in 2013 with the finest strike of all.

After some gorgeous team play from the aforementioned Pogba and Fernandes, the ball fell at Martial's feet in the penalty area and he bagged himself the match ball by chipping the 'keeper.

It was a superb flurry of goals that marked Martial's first professional treble and moved him to 19 strikes for the season, making this his most prolific campaign at the 'Theatre of Dreams'.

However, to act as those Martial's display was 'just' about the hat-trick would be selling him short, so bask in his greatness even more by checking out his full individual highlights below:

The Frenchman is often accused of being inactive or looking lazy, but any such accusation on Wednesday night couldn't have been further from the truth.

When Martial wasn't finding the net like a vintage United number nine, he was creating superb chances for his teammates and pulling off audacious flicks as though they're nothing.

Besides, if it wasn't for an uncharacteristic open-goal miss from Rashford - though it wasn't the worst of the night, click here - Martial would have added an assist to his night's work.

You really get the feeling that Martial is coming into his own at Old Trafford for the first time since his debut season and that only means one thing for Premier League defences: bad news.

Ole: Matic in the form of his life

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The Reds ran out 3-0 winners on our return to Old Trafford and January transfer window buy Fernandes and Pogba, who has been recovering from injury since the Portuguese's arrival, was the dream ticket Reds' fans were desperate to see as they came together for the first time in the engine room.

But Matic, who turns 32 in August, was key in the Reds' midfield triangle and has featured strongly in 2020. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.

“Nemanja is playing some of his best football. He’s had a good pre-season for the first time in many, many years and today he was dictating the game and his experience is vital for us,” said Ole in his post-match press conference.

“I’m very, very happy that we’re seeing the best of Nemanja and he’ll be important for us and then of course it’s down to performances and if Nemanja wants to stay but at the moment he’s in great form.”

Matic joined United from Chelsea in 2017 and his deal with the club was extended until 2021 in March.

Source: opera.com
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AyomideAbidemi · 06/25/2020
my best club

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