This is my somewhat realistic squad for next season. Some transfers in/out are more realistic than others. Mourinho seems set on a 4231 or a 433 so I tried to hold true to that. Although it is not likely, my ideal squad gives youth a chance. I want to see some of the potential future players get starts in cup games and get minutes anywhere possible. Loans are great, but learning how to play with the current first team is the best way to grow in my opinion.
I think the club will shop Ba and Torres, and Eto’o seems set on leaving (although wages could be a setback). I appreciate what all three strikers have done, but I think there is just too much baggage and a fresh start is needed. I opted to clear all three out. Costa seems to be a done deal and I believe he will get the nod up top. I’m not his biggest admirer, but I am hopeful that he will prove me wrong and win me over. I would love to see the club capitalize on the opportunity to bring Balotelli in and to keep Lukaku in London next season. I think those three would form a formidable strike force (Mandzukic would also be nice).
I also feel that the midfield needs another revolutionary signing like Matic. Lampard is old. Luiz looks to be on his way out. Mikel looks to be on the way out. Ramires is… well… Ramires. Gundogan just signed a new contract, and Pirlo is set to follow suit. Vidal and Pogba seem unbelievably expensive. Toure and Fernandinho will stay put. Ramsey will stay put (this list could go on and on). Therefore, I opted for Strootman. He isn’t as flashy as Pogba or Vidal. He isn’t exactly the maestro that Pirlo is either. However, he distributes well. He gets forward more than we’ve seen Matic do. He’s bagged a respectable amount of goals and assists, and he doesn’t shy away from a tackle. His pass accuracy is slightly above 88% and that number hardly drops in the opposition half. He’d be a great buy for the midfield. It would also be fun to steal a United target this season.
Lastly, I would love to see the club bring in Alex Sandro. Ashley Cole is on the way out, and Ryan Bertrand doesn’t look likely to ever see significant minutes at the club. Dave did a fantastic job playing on the left for most of the last campaign, but I would love to see the fullbacks play a bigger role in the attack. Sandro can get forward, and having Azpilicueta on the right would allow him to get forward a little more frequently.
Not Pictured but in the Squad:
Lukaku (It’s time he got a proper chance to fight for a place in the team.)
Kalas (Hopefully he gets some first team action in cup games and some league matches.)
Schwarzer (I would love to keep him around… especially if Cech doesn’t enjoy the bench.)
Zouma (He could benefit from a loan, but he would also benefit greatly from studying under JT/Cahill and by playing in cup games.)
Piazon (Stellar first half with Vitesse, woeful second half. He seemed to wear out. Could get some minutes in cup games and start to train with the first team. Would be nice to play where he isn’t relied on so heavily at such a young age.)
Ramires (I wish he was leaving, but I know he will be here to torment me further. I’m hopeful he proves all the critics (myself included) wrong next season. Come on, Ramires!)
Luiz (There’s been a lot of smoke coming from the Camp Nou for several windows. Sooner or later there has to actually be a fire producing said smoke)