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Welcome To The Manchester United 2017 Team Thread Club Details Team Name: Manchester United Nickname: The Red Devils Year Founded: 1878 President: Ed Woodward Current Manager: Jose Mourinho Club Captain: Wayne Rooney Vice Captain: Michael Carrick Country: England League: English Premier League Media Prediction: 4th Fierce Rivals: Liverpool (Local), Manchester City (Local), Leeds United (Historic) Other Rivals: Arsenal (Competitive), Bolton (Local), Chelsea (Competitive) Legends: Bobby Charlton (Player), Sir Alex Ferguson (Manager), Eric Cantona (Player), Bryan Robson (Player), Ryan Giggs (Player), Duncan Edwards (Player), Dennis Law (Player), George Best (Player), Matt Busby (Manager) Icons: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Player), Roy Keane (Player), Paul Scholes (Player), Steve Bruce (Player), Gary Neville (Player), Ruud Van Nistelrooij (Player), Peter Schmeichel (Player), David Beckham (Player) Favoured Personnel: Cristiano Ronaldo (Player), Robin Van Persie (Player), Patrice Evra (Player), Brian McClair (Player), Nicky Butt (Player), Phil Neville (Player) Old Trafford - Capacity: 75,635 all-seater Corporate Facilities: Top Training Facilities: State of the art training facilities Youth Facilities: Top Youth Stadium: Trafford Training Centre Training Ground: Trafford Training Centre Junior Coaching: Excellent Youth Recruitment: Well Established Club Finances Estimated Value: £1.2B (loan debt: £539M) Balance: £245,677,092M Finances: Rich Transfer Budget: £31M % of transfer revenue made available: 90% Early years Manchester United was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (LYR) depot at Newton Heath. The team initially played games against other departments and rail companies, but on 20 November 1880, they competed in their first recorded match; wearing the colours of the railway company – green and gold – they were defeated 6–0 by Bolton Wanderers' reserve team. By 1888, the club had become a founding member of The Combination, a regional football league. Following the league's dissolution after only one season, Newton Heath joined the newly formed Football Alliance, which ran for three seasons before being merged with the Football League. This resulted in the club starting the 1892–93 season in the First Division, by which time it had become independent of the rail company and dropped the "LYR" from its name. After two seasons, the club was relegated to the Second Division In January 1902, with debts of £2,670 – equivalent to £260,000 in 2015 the club was served with a winding-up order. Captain Harry Stafford found four local businessmen, including John Henry Davies who became club president, each willing to invest £500 in return for a direct interest in running the club and who subsequently changed the name; on 24 April 1902, Manchester United was officially born. Under Ernest Mangnall, who assumed managerial duties in 1903, the team finished as Second Division runners-up in 1906 and secured promotion to the First Division, which they won in 1908 – the club's first league title. The following season began with victory in the first ever Charity Shield and ended with the club's first FA Cup title. Manchester United won the First Division for the second time in 1911, but at the end of the following season, Mangnall left the club to join Manchester City. In 1922, three years after the resumption of football following the First World War, the club was relegated to the Second Division, where it remained until regaining promotion in 1925. Relegated again in 1931, Manchester United became a yo-yo club, achieving its all-time lowest position of 20th place in the Second Division in 1934. Following the death of principal benefactor John Henry Davies in October 1927, the club's finances deteriorated to the extent that Manchester United would likely have gone bankrupt had it not been for James W. Gibson, who, in December 1931, invested £2,000 and assumed control of the club. In the 1938–39 season, the last year of football before the Second World War, the club finished 14th in the First Division. Busby years (1945–1969) In October 1945, the impending resumption of football led to the managerial appointment of Matt Busby, who demanded an unprecedented level of control over team selection, player transfers and training sessions. Busby led the team to second-place league finishes in 1947, 1948 and 1949, and to FA Cup victory in 1948. In 1952, the club won the First Division, its first league title for 41 years. With an average age of 22, the media labelled the back-to-back title winning side of 1956 "the Busby Babes", a testament to Busby's faith in his youth players. In 1957, Manchester United became the first English team to compete in the European Cup, despite objections from The Football League, who had denied Chelsea the same opportunity the previous season. En route to the semi-final, which they lost to Real Madrid, the team recorded a 10–0 victory over Belgian champions Anderlecht, which remains the club's biggest victory on record. The following season, on the way home from a European Cup quarter-final victory against Red Star Belgrade, the aircraft carrying the Manchester United players, officials and journalists crashed while attempting to take off after refuelling in Munich, Germany. The Munich air disaster of 6 February 1958 claimed 23 lives, including those of eight players – Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor and Billy Whelan – and injured several more. Reserve team manager Jimmy Murphy took over as manager while Busby recovered from his injuries and the club's makeshift side reached the FA Cup final, which they lost to Bolton Wanderers. In recognition of the team's tragedy, UEFA invited the club to compete in the 1958–59 European Cup alongside eventual League champions Wolverhampton Wanderers. Despite approval from the FA, the Football League determined that the club should not enter the competition, since it had not qualified. Busby rebuilt the team through the 1960s by signing players such as Denis Law and Pat Crerand, who combined with the next generation of youth players – including George Best – to win the FA Cup in 1963. The following season, they finished second in the league, then won the title in 1965 and 1967. In 1968, Manchester United became the first English (and second British) club to win the European Cup, beating Benfica 4–1 in the final with a team that contained three European Footballers of the Year: Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and George Best. Matt Busby resigned as manager in 1969 and was replaced by the reserve team coach, former Manchester United player Wilf McGuinness. Ferguson years (1986–2013) Alex Ferguson and his assistant Archie Knox arrived from Aberdeen on the day of Atkinson's dismissal, and guided the club to an 11th-place finish in the league. Despite a second place finish in 1987–88, the club was back in 11th place the following season. Reportedly on the verge of being dismissed, victory over Crystal Palace in the 1990 FA Cup Final replay (after a 3–3 draw) saved Ferguson's career. The following season, Manchester United claimed its first Cup Winners' Cup title and competed in the 1991 UEFA Super Cup, beating European Cup holders Red Star Belgrade 1–0 in the final at Old Trafford. A second consecutive League Cup final appearance followed in 1992, in which the team beat Nottingham Forest 1–0 at Wembley. In 1993, the club won its first league title since 1967, and a year later, for the first time since 1957, it won a second consecutive title – alongside the FA Cup – to complete the first "Double" in the club's history. In the 1998–99 season, Manchester United became the first team to win the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League – "The Treble" – in the same season. Losing 1–0 going into injury time in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær scored late goals to claim a dramatic victory over Bayern Munich, in what is considered one of the greatest comebacks of all time. The club also won the Intercontinental Cup after beating Palmeiras 1–0 in Tokyo. Ferguson was subsequently knighted for his services to football. Manchester United won the league again in the 1999–2000 and 2000–01 seasons. The team finished third in 2001–02, before regaining the title in 2002–03. They won the 2003–04 FA Cup, beating Millwall 3–0 in the final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. In the 2005–06 season, Manchester United failed to qualify for the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in over a decade, but recovered to secure a second-place league finish and victory over Wigan Athletic in the 2006 Football League Cup Final. The club regained the Premier League in the 2006–07 and 2007–08 seasons, and completed the European double by beating Chelsea 6–5 on penalties in the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium. Ryan Giggs made a record 759th appearance for the club in this game, overtaking previous record holder Bobby Charlton.In December 2008, the club won the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup and followed this with the 2008–09 Football League Cup, and its third successive Premier League title. That summer, Cristiano Ronaldo was sold to Real Madrid for a world record £80 million. In 2010, Manchester United defeated Aston Villa 2–1 at Wembley to retain the League Cup, its first successful defence of a knockout cup competition. After finishing as runner-up to Chelsea in the 2009–10 season, United achieved a record 19th league title in 2010–11, securing the championship with a 1–1 away draw against Blackburn Rovers on 14 May 2011. After finishing as runner-up to Manchester City in the 2011–12 season, United achieved a record 20th league title in 2012–13, securing the championship with a 3–0 home win against Aston Villa on 22 April 2013. 2013–Present On 8 May 2013, Ferguson announced that he was to retire as manager at the end of the football season, but would remain at the club as a director and club ambassador. The club announced the next day that Everton manager David Moyes would replace him from 1 July, having signed a six-year contract. Ryan Giggs took over as interim player-manager 10 months later on 22 April 2014, when Moyes was sacked after a poor season in which the club failed to defend their Premier League title and failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 1995–96. They also failed to qualify for the Europa League, meaning that it was the first time Manchester United hadn't qualified for a European competition since 1990. On 19 May 2014, it was confirmed that Louis van Gaal would replace Moyes as Manchester United manager on a three-year deal, with Giggs as his assistant. Malcolm Glazer, the patriarch of the Glazer family that owns the club, died on 28 May 2014. Despite the arrival of new boss Louis van Gaal, Manchester United had a difficult start to the season, winning just three of their first ten league games, with the last of that sequence being a 1-0 loss at local rivals and champions Manchester City. During that opening spell Van Gaal also saw his team lose 5-3 to the recently promoted Leicester City, and held to draws by Burnley, Sunderland and West Brom. There was also an embarrassing defeat to League One's MK Dons in the Capital One Cup. A 2-1 win over Crystal Palace was the start of better things to come and United went on a 16 game unbeaten run in the league, which lasted from November until February when Swansea City beat them 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium.They exited the FA Cup in March when old boy Danny Welbeck – who’d been labelled surplus to requirements by Van Gaal - scored the winning goal for Arsenal and from February onwards it was hard to predict which United would turn up as they beat long-time rivals Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield, before losing 3-0 to Everton at Goodison at the end of April. Despite their inconsistent nature and a disappointing season for several star players – including British transfer record signing Angel di Maria and highly paid on-loan striker Radamel Falcao - they have finished a respectable fourth, booking a return to the Champions League next season. The 2015/2016 season wasn't much better for Louis Van Gaal and Manchester United and with growing unrest with the style of play that was on display, missing out on 4th spot and that Champions League entry that is almost compulsory for a club like Manchester United, he eventually lost his job come the end of the season, despite winning the FA Cup which ultimately only papered over a few of the cracks. You could argue that despite the silverware, Manchester United had gone backwards from their achievements in the previous season. On the transfer front, Louis Van Gaal was heavily backed during the summer transfer window, spending around £124,000,000 to bring in the likes of Anthony Martial, Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Regan Poole, whilst also securing the services of Sergio Romero on a free transfer. However, going out of the opposite side of the door were players such as Angel Di Maria who had only been with the club for one season, Chicharito, Jonny Evans, Nani, Robin Van Persie and Rafael among others. There was much speculation surrounding David De Gea during the summer window as Real Madrid continued their pursuit and if not for the last minute delay before the window shut for good, he may well have been a Real Madrid man! Throughout this process David De Gea was left out of the squad for several matches with new signing Sergio Romero taking the first team spot. However, once the window had shut, David De Gea was finally recalled to the first team. Despite the poor season, one player was able the shine bright and that man was Anthony Martial who had a dream start for Manchester United, scoring a magnificent goal against rivals Liverpool. Following the match, the teenager was being compared with Arsenal great Thierry Henry. He followed up his brilliant start with 2 more goals 8 days later in an away victory against Southampton. He then scored his 4th goal in 3 games in the third round of the league cup against Ipswich Town. He finished the season as the clubs top goalscorer in the league and overall with 11 and 17 respectively. After much speculation, it was finally announced on the 27 of May 2016 that Jose Mourinho had signed a contract with the club to become the new manager of Manchester United. Jose Mourinho identified 4 players that he wanted and ultimately got the players he wanted, with Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan all joining during the summer transfer window. Goalkeepers Once again Manchester United were able to retain the services of our outstanding goalkeeper David De Gea! At just 25 years old, the Spaniard is sure to provide his services for at least another 10 years if you so wish. We also have Sergio Romero who is more than capable and pretty much a luxury as our backup goalkeeper in my opinion and there's also Sam Johnstone, although the 23 year old Englishman is probably close to his potential and should only be used under extreme circumstances. Youth... IIias Moutha Sebtaoui & Joel Pereira - I think if you're into the whole youth side of things, these two probably aren't the sort of players you would be looking to develop, but these are the best we have on the youth side of things. Transfer Suggestions Unless Sergio Romero picks up a massive injury, then you shouldn't really need to find a new goalkeeper. If for some reason you're insane and wanted to replace David De Gea, then Jan Oblak may be a good shout. If your looking to replace Sergio Romero, then Vladimir Gabulov is available on a free transfer and would be a decent backup goalkeeper. Left Back If you can keep Luke Shaw fit, then you have the perfect left back in my opinion and he has plenty of years ahead of him. We also have Daley Blind who can do a decent job and also Marcos Rojo is capable as well. If times are difficult, you can also use Matteo Darmian who is actually Natural in that position as well. I'd say this is probably a strong part of our squad and no transfer suggestions are necessary. Youth... Cameron Borthwick-Jackson - Could he have a future here at Manchester United? It's hard to tell really, but aside from being a future backup player, I would personally sway with an answer of no. However, I would definitely look to keep hold of him on the grounds that he is as local as they come. Transfer Suggestions N/A Central Defender If Eric Bailly proves to be as good in FM17 as he is in real life, then we have two fanastic players in central defence with the other being Chris Smalling. We also have Phil Jones who is still actually pretty young in footballing terms at just 24 years old and if previous fm iterations are anything to go by, Phil is a very good player. We also have Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind who can play at the back as well. Youth... Axel Tuanzebe & Ro-Shaun Williams - According to the coaching staff, Axel has huge potential and Ro-Shaun also has very good potential, so maybe instead of looking around for replacements in your first team, these two lads are the way forward? It's also worth noting that Ro-Shaun Willims is a local lad, so all the more reason to develop him. This is definitely a position of strength within our youth system. Transfer Suggestions Personally I like the look of Kalidou Koulibaly, although in the short term, you may struggle to find anyone of higher quality than we already have who will be willing to join due to not participating in the Champions League and this also goes for Koulibaly. Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton is a possibility, although the transfer fee that they would demand probably outweighs his quality and I personally wouldn't pay it. On the youth side of things, Jonathan Tah could potentially be a huge signing if you were willing to pay the big fee demanded, although these type of fees are becoming normal in this day and age for players with this sort of potential. Right Back For me this is a position that needs attention, not desperately, but still needs attention. We have Matteo Darmian and Antonia Valencia. I do prefer to use Valencia further forward, so for me we only really have one recognised right back in Darmian and he isn't in my opinion top class or even close to that. The more worrying thing for me personally is that we have no real cover in this area, especially if your like me and don't really want Valencia in this position if possible. Youth... Tyrell Warren & Lee O'Connor - Personally I don't think Tyrell Warren is good enough, but there's so real potential in 15 year old Lee O'Connor, so if you don't feel you have the funds to improve in the right back position, I'd definitely look at giving Lee O'Connor some game time and look to have him as a future right back. Transfer Suggestions Kyle Walker is a player that I like, but maybe he's a bit too expensive and maybe you just won't be able to tear him apart from Spurs? If you would prefer someone with versatility, then Fabinho from AS Monaco would be a great signing in that respect and to be honest, this lad could become something special as he has plenty of potential and is at the ripe young age of just 22. The only question that remains is, will he join? There's also Serge Aurier at PSG, but one player that stands out for me and is someone who would definitely join... Mario Fernandes. He was my go to guy in FM16 and he still looks a decent player in FM17. He also wouldn't cost the earth to sign either, but the only downside is there really isn't much room for improvement. [Edit] Manxie_ash has also recommended Danilo as a backup player and he should cost your around the £5.5mil mark. Central Midfielder This is a position where we are blessed with many options, whether your using defensive midfielders, central attacking midfielders or just normal central midfielders or a mixture. we have the options! We have Michael Carrick, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Marouane Fellaini, Morgan Schneiderlin, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and even Wayne Rooney, plus Henrikh Mkhitaryan should you wish to utilize them there. This in my opinion is a position where you will need to find out who your main central partnership will be and then figure out who doesn't have a future and look to offload accordingly. It's a bit obvious, but Paul Pogba is the only one who gets an automatic first team spot here, but who should partner him? Youth... Timothy Fosu-Mensah - I really like the look of this lad and his potential is really high according to the coaches. The only problem that this lad faces is the massive competition for places that we already have in the first team. This could be another reason to look to offload some of those first team players. However, Fosu-Mensah is versatile and can also play in defensive midfield and even central midfield, whilst also having the ability to fit in at right back at times. Transfer Suggestions It all depends on the formation you will be looking to play. If your looking for a central midfield partnership then you really don't need to even think about new signings here. However, if you were looking for 2 central and one defensive midfielder, I definitely think the defensive midfield spot is somewhere you could look to improve, mainly if your looking for someone in the Nemanja Matic kind of mould. We have Carrick, but he's more of a deep creative type player, then we have Bastian Schweinsteiger, but he's never going to boss that type of role. We also have Morgan Schneiderlin, but I'd personally have him in the central midfield partnership and yet again he just doesn't have that type of role in him in my opinion. Unfortunately, the perfect player for this position probably won't join at this moment and that is Grzegorz Krychowiak from PSG, but he'd definitely be my first choice target out of any if at all possible. Vicente Iborra from Sevilla is an option, although he'd be a last resort for me personally. However, there is one player that I like the look of and that is Walace from GRE in the brazilian league. He's not perfect by any means as he's still young and will need some work, but he would be very cheap and is very well rounded stats wise. Further forward in the attacking central midfield position, I feel we have very good options, so this isn't an area of concern. Right Attacking Midfielder This is a position where we have many different options. First off we have Jesse Lingard who has often taken up this position for Jose Mourinho so far this season. We then have Antonio Valencia, but it all depends if you'd rather use him at right back. Next we have Juan Mata who lacks the pace of your typical right attacking midfielder, but if you prefer someone with great vision, passing and composure, then Mata would be your man, however the question is whether you'd prefer him in a more central position. Finally we have Henrikh Mkhitaryan, although for me personally I don't think he suits this position and probably does suit a more central role. Youth... Adnan Januzaj - The lad is currently out on loan at Sunderland and this is probably the best thing for him right now. He showed great promise early on in his career at Manchester United, but over the past season or two, has really struggled to kick on and really show his potential. His determination to succeed is maybe the thing that we question and personally I compare him to Nani in a way, with the fact that he has this huge potential to be something special, but probably will never tap into that potential. However he is still only 21 years old and this is a game, so moving away from reality, you could definitely turn things around for the young Belgian! Transfer Suggestions We don't really have the perfect right attacking midfielder, but that's all down to opinion. I would personally look at this area as a potential improvement area, but the question remains as to who could improve this area of the team? Gareth Bale is my first thought, but let's not kid ourselves here, he isn't going to join right now. There's also Riyad Mahrez who would be a welcome addition, but again he probably wouldn't join right now. Manolo Gabbiadini from Napoli is someone you could turn to, although he's not a perfect match right now, he still has room for improvement in those key areas. There's also Andriy Yarmolenko who is very well rounded and could be a good fit, but if your looking for someone who can improve, he's not your man. Left Attacking Midfielder This is a bit of a weird position for me, as we have two players that could stake claim to this position, but both are in the same situation where they wanted to be strikers, but are being used in this position. Those are Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. It all comes down to whether your going to use an Inside forward or not, as these two perfectly fit the bill. However, these two players are very limited in my opinion as that's the only sort of role they could probably fit into. We also have Memphis Depay who could also be used as an Inside forward, but possesses more ability in other areas to potentially give something different should you wish to have more of a winger style on the left. Jesse Lingard is also available for this position as is much like Depay as he can offer different options to your typical Inside forward. Finally we have Ashley Young who is very much a veteran of this position, but considering his wages and ability, I would personally suggest trying to offload this lad. Youth... DJ Buffonge, Angel Gomes & Tahith Chong - You have a few options here, but DJ Buffonge probably isn't the way forward unfortunately. If you like Inside forwards, then Angel Gomes is the man you should look to spend a lot of time with, but if you want something different, Tahith Chong has the potential to be a great winger as he possesses a great crossing ability. Transfer Suggestions It all depends on what you decide to do in this position. Potentially you have some of the best possible options already at the club, so there isn't much that you will find to improve this position. However, there is one player that may be worth your attention and that is Felipe Anderson who not only can play as an inside forward but is equally as good as a winger. Aside from that, future targets would be Antoine Griezmann or Neymar. Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and even Memphis Depay in desperate times. It was once said that to challenge for trophies, you need 4 strikers in your squad. Think back to 1999 and you will know what I mean. Here we have some very good strikers, we have one of the best in Zlatan, we have Wayne Rooney, but the question is can you get the best out of him? We also have the dilemma of whether Martial and Rashford will be your strikers or your inside forwards? This is all for you to decide and experiment, but potentially we have a brilliant front four. Youth... James Wilson & Nishan Burkart - Probably not the strongest potential wise, but if you want to persist with youth and not go out and find the next best thing, then I'd suggest James Wilson is he best of the two talents. Transfer Suggestions Zlatan doesn't have long left in his career, Wayne Rooney is fading and the question of whether Martial and Rashford are true strikers or not could push you to look for someone else. Harry Kane or Paulo Dybala would be my perfect options, but like many transfer targets out there, they probably wouldn't join right now. Romelu Lukaku could be an option as he is currently unhappy at Everton, but you would need to find funds from somewhere. Alexandre Lacazette would be a cheaper option, but if your looking for someone with potential, then Breel Embolo could be your man.