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Why Manchester United have appointed new first-team coach

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Eric Ramsay, left, has joined United’s coaching staff

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Manchester United announced a significant addition to their backroom staff this week as former Chelsea Under-23 assistant Eric Ramsay joined Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s coaching team as the club’s first set-piece specialist and individual development coach.

Already a respected up and coming name in the world of coaching, Ramsay became the youngest Brit to gain his UEFA Pro Licence badge in 2019, which is the top coaching qualification in the game.

The Shrewsbury-born coach began his career with his hometown club, working in the Shrews’ academy in 2017 before quickly moving through the ranks to work with the first team.

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He joined Chelsea’s Under-23 side two years ago and has now made the exciting step up to work with Solskjaer and his first-team squad at United.

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It’s clear that Solskjaer identified set-pieces, particularly defensive ones, as a major vulnerability to his side’s game last season after the Reds conceded 14 league goals from dead-ball situations – only Leeds United conceded more – and a further four in European competition.

This proved to be their Achilles heel, particularly given the value of a goal in correlation with points accumulated across the course of a campaign.

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Although football is a volatile and erratic sport, there is an intriguing correlation between the number of goals that are scored, and the number of points accumulated.MOST READ1Mason Greenwood reacts to imminent arrival of Jadon Sancho at Manchester United2The seven signings Manchester United are favourites to make after Jadon Sancho transfer3Manchester United transfer news RECAP Man Utd close to Raphael Varane terms and Jadon Sancho medical

Last season in the Premier League, there were a total of 1024 goals scored and 1057 points accumulated, while in the season before that, there were 1034 goals scored and 1048 total points won, that’s a difference of just 14.

There’s therefore a legitimate case to be made that a goal can be loosely valued as a point over the course of a season.

Therefore a team susceptible to conceding a high quantity of set-piece goals, such as United last season, put themselves at a handicap when compared to league rivals who are more accomplished in this area.

Manchester City, the champions and only side to finish above United last season, conceded the second-fewest number of Premier League goals from set-pieces – six. Had this been an area they struggled in, whilst United thrived, then the race for the title could have been much closer than it ended up being.

Ramsay’s arrival should in theory make United much more competent when it comes to defending set-pieces, whilst it’s also likely he’ll improve their capacity to convert from their own attacking ones too.

If he does, then as highlighted above, this should have a hugely positive impact on United’s goal difference and subsequently their points return which for a team with aspirations to win the title, could be crucial come May.

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Manchester United fans send Raphael Varane message after Bruno Fernandes tweet

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Manchester United supporters think Bruno Fernandes might have dropped a hint regarding an imminent move for Raphael Varane in the summer transfer window.

United remain confident of securing a deal for the French defender before the start of the new season, with Real Madrid realising they need to cash in on Varane this summer rather than risk losing him for nothing in a year’s time.

After finally completing a deal for Jadon Sancho the focus is on strengthening in defence this summer and fans think midfield favourite Fernandes is well aware of the plans.

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Taking to social media the Portuguese star posted a picture of himself on holiday along with the caption: ‘Seeing good things coming in the new season.’

(Image: Twitter: B_Fernandes8)

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Manchester United supporters think Bruno Fernandes might have dropped a hint regarding an imminent move for Raphael Varane in the summer transfer window.

United remain confident of securing a deal for the French defender before the start of the new season, with Real Madrid realising they need to cash in on Varane this summer rather than risk losing him for nothing in a year’s time.

After finally completing a deal for Jadon Sancho the focus is on strengthening in defence this summer and fans think midfield favourite Fernandes is well aware of the plans.

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Taking to social media the Portuguese star posted a picture of himself on holiday along with the caption: ‘Seeing good things coming in the new season.’https://data.reachplc.com/211893151584863?utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=organic&isIframeEmbed=1

As you can imagine many supporters took those words as a transfer hint, with a move for Varane the priority for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before the end of the window.

The tweet which started it all

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Seeing good things coming in the new season pic.twitter.com/yTjt1C8MoC

— Bruno Fernandes (@B_Fernandes8)

What’s he looking at?

pic.twitter.com/DogaqdaHrI

— Henry Dixon (@hennydix)

Make it happen

Announce Varane!! pic.twitter.com/lX27mOyHyh

— Aidan Walsh (@AidanWalshMUFC)

He knows

he seen the varane deal lol this guy is not just a players hes a big fan as well love this guy uno

— Jaden (@Utd_J7)

Announce himADVERTISEMENT

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Announce Varane Bruno

— UnitedCloud (@unitedcIoud)

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Definitely not fake…

Thoughts on your new teammate? @B_Fernandes8 pic.twitter.com/Y4gySO8McA

— (@TeeJ_FC) July 25, 2021

United are confident of completing a deal for Varane following the Sancho announcement and the Real Madrid defender expects to move to Old Trafford this summer.

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Manchester United have important task after Raphael Varane transfer agreement

Man Utd are signing Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane in the 2021 summer transfer window but still have an important task to complete

Manchester United divided their fan base by labelling last season as one of ‘progress’ – it’s safe to say those supporters won’t be as polarised on the success of their summer transfer business.

After finally completing a £72.9million move for Jadon Sancho the club are on the verge of a deal to sign Raphael Varane having agreed personal terms ahead of his transfer.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to bolster his squad with the addition of two world-class players, both of whom will arrive in the Premier League as leading candidates in their respective positions – that certainly constitutes as progress.

For some transfer-hungry supporters the ink won’t have even dried on Varane’s paperwork before they are demanding another new arrival, though there is important work to be done yet before any further additions are pursued.

United have never exceeded a net spend of £150m on permanent transfers across a single window, something which all but rules out any moves for top targets such as Declan Rice or Erling Haaland this summer given their exorbitant transfer fees on top of what is already being spent.

The additions of Varane and Sancho could well prove to be enough to mount a successful Premier League title bid in the year ahead but it is understandable why the club are still keeping their options open in case of any other opportunitiesAn issue for United is that further signings this summer will likely be determined by those who leave the club, an area in which Solskjaer’s side have been slow to make decisive decisions.

The type of midfielder targeted could well depend on the future of Paul Pogba, while there is also a lack of clarity regarding the precise roles Fred, Scott McTominay and Donny van de Beek will play next season. Pogba’s uncertainty means Jesse Lingard could yet have a first-team role to occupy, as such any firm decision will likely be delayed.

Out of favour fringe players like Andreas Pereira will need to be sold to balance the books and hopeful youngsters like James Garner loaned out in order to free-up spots for any other new signings.

United are also eyeing a move for another centre-back even after signing Varane, though that too is underpinned by planned loan exits for Axel Tuanzebe and Teden Mengi as well as shifting either Phil Jones or Eric Bailly.

which might arise over the next five weeks.

With no progress made over a possible swoop for right-back reinforcement in the shape of Kieran Trippier the decision has been made to bring Diogo Dalot back to the club, much to the frustration of AC Milan. His future is another which remains unclear, given his plans will be defined by whether or not United manage to sign competition for Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Raphaël Varane trains with Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and new signing David Alaba

United’s bloated squad problem also stretches to the goalkeeping department with no immediate signs David de Gea will leave this window, despite fellow shot-stopper Dean Henderson leading the race to be No.1 next season.https://get-latest.convrse.media/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.manchestereveningnews.co.uk%2Fsport%2Ffootball%2Fmanchester-united-varane-news-now-21146935%3Futm_source%3Dmen_newsletter%26utm_campaign%3Dmufc_newsletter2%26utm_medium%3Demail&cre=mr-bottom&cip=1&view=web

While there can be no denying the huge success of signing players this summer it is still crucial United manage to trim the fat on an already bloated squad with some ruthless decisions.

Sancho and Varane are signs of a seismic shift ahead of a crucial campaign, but any further transfers will likely rely on selling players before they can buy again.

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Ruben Neves could add a different dimension to Manchester United’s midfield

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HOME » NEWS(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images) 

Ruben Neves could add a different dimension to Manchester United’s midfield

Ruben Neves has had a fascinating career so far. His next step will define whether he goes onto become one of Europe’s best, or fails to fulfil his potential.

Back in 2015, Neves became the Champions League’s youngest ever captain. At the age of just 18 he led Porto to a win over Maccabi Haifa, breaking an individual record which had stood for 12 years, and it still stands today.

This was a sign of how highly Porto rated him, and it was certainly a peculiar move which saw him sign with Championship side Wolves in July 2017.

The move was reflective of agent power, with Jorge Mendes linking up with Wolves owners Fosun International. It worked. Neves accepted the surprise move and led Wolves into the Premier League at the first attempt.

Neves’ first season in the top flight helped Wolves secure a Europa League place, helping to inflict some pain on Manchester United along the way at the tail end of the 2018/19 season.

The 2019/20 campaign was an almighty challenge, with Neves playing 54 games for the club across all competitions as Wolves secured a top seven finish while reaching the Europa League quarter-finals.

Last season it all caught up with Wolves. Their upwards progression could not be maintained, and there were multiple reasons. The first was burnout from the previous campaign. Their relatively small squad was stretched and got no summer break, similar to United. Star attacker Diogo Jota was sold, indicating for the first time that Wolves were ready to start breaking up the team which had taken them so far.

Then disaster struck as Raul Jimenez suffered a fractured skull, leaving the team without a proven goalscorer. Manager Nuno Santo and the club mutually parted ways at the end of the season, to kick off a new era at the club.

Part of that new era involves Neves moving on to raise funds and allow him to pursue a new challenge. The Athletic report they will consider letting him leave for just £35 million.  Talksport this week claimed Manchester United are taking a keen interest. A report from 90min last month even suggested Bruno Fernandes has given the club a glowing reference.

Neves next move can take him back to the top

Neves needs to get back to fulfilling the potential he undoubtedly had as a teenager. If he stays at Wolves, he would stagnate. A rumoured move to Arsenal would not take him back to where he should be, they are no longer a top level club.

A move to Manchester United is exactly what Neves needs. He would get a fresh challenge, the chance to finally play Champions League football again for the first time since he was a teenager, and he would also enhance his international ambitions by linking up with Bruno Fernandes.

But is Neves what Manchester United need? United require a defensive midfielder, and there are various ways to go with this. Neves ticks plenty of boxes.

He has Premier League and European experience, and he is priced at an extremely reasonable fee, unlike Declan Rice or Wilfred Ndidi.

Even in a year in which his team took a step back in 2020/21, Neves’ performances held up well. He managed to score five goals from midfield in the Premier League, for context two more than Paul Pogba, who himself has an unclear future

Neves won the fifth highest number of tackles in the Premier League last season, and his total number of tackles and interceptions (136) was the highest in the Wolves team. It was also higher than all Manchester United players bar Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Where Neves also excels is his passing range. He has the ability to create from deep in a similar way to Michael Carrick. Getting the chance to train under the former United midfielder could really help him.

Last season Neves completed 406 long passes in the Premier League. This would rank him number one in the Manchester United squad. For comparison Fred managed 250, Paul Pogba 167 and Scott McTominay 155.

Neves had 62 shot creating actions in 2020/21. This would rank him sixth in the United squad, and this was playing for a more limited and defensive Wolves team.

It’s clear that Neves is a good player, and what he does next with his career will define whether he can become an excellent or even ‘great’ player who performs impressively at Champions League level.

For a fee of £35 million he is very much worth United taking a gamble on. He adds something different to the midfield with his combination of passing and tackling, and has potential to become a better player with more dangerous players around him.

United are unlikely to spend £70-80 million on a midfielder after spending so much on Jadon Sancho and hopefully Raphael Varane. £35 million on Neves is a very smart investment.

United would be buying low. In previous years he was linked to United for a £60 million fee. The drop in valuation does not reflect a decline in ability. After one season at Old Trafford his valuation could quickly soar to that figure again, or even higher.

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