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  #1  
Old 08-07-2021, 01:25 PM
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Luka Milivojevic 2021/22 season prospects

Obviously we are extremely unlikely to sell him with so many out of contract and he still has time left on his contract. But the chat around whether we renew Andros has got me thinking. What role do people see for Luka for the upcoming season?

He has obviously not had the greatest of times recently, and has been much maligned, but I think it’s slightly harsh. He’s played in one of the worst midfields that the Premier League has ever seen so he’s hardly had anyone around him to help. And help is what he needs: I think his legs are starting to go, I know he wasn’t the fastest when we signed him but he wasn’t this slow before. In fact, such has been his decline that some are asking for Kouyate to be transferred out of centre back, despite being one of our players of the season there, forgetting that he can’t even pass the ball out of defence under no pressure at all, let alone in the pressure cooker environment of midfield. That’s how weak we have looked in centre mid since the loss of Cabaye; I suspect some may even forget that McArthur’s legs are going, and hark loudly for him to be back in the first XI when fully fit too.

With Luka, should he be a squad player or can he still be a starter? His positioning is very good and he’s not as bad a footballer as some make out. Could he be ok for another season with the box-to-box midfielder next to him? But if not will the funds stretch to a new defensive mid with so many other positions in need of urgent attention? Will we need his experience? If we bring in Guehi for example, and play a back 4, there’s likely only to be one other experienced ‘leader’ - the other centre back in the XI. If he is not a starter we will need a new club captain. Tomkins is too injury prone to be a reliable candidate possibly? Cahill likely to not get as many games too. Which leaves Zaha, who wants away. Thoughts please.
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Last edited by glaziers fan; 08-07-2021 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 08-07-2021, 01:42 PM
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Still a very important player for us, especially over the next couple of seasons where we have a high turnover of players.

I think having more technically proficient players alongside him again will also give him a new lease of life.
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Old 08-07-2021, 02:01 PM
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I guess having a quick centre back enabling us to play with a higher line meaning less space for the midfielders to patrol so his pace becomes less of an issue?
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Old 08-07-2021, 02:09 PM
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Right from the first Vieira rumours my thoughts were that, at the very least, he might be the one to get Luka back to being a proper combative, aggressive defensive midfielder. If we can get back the player we signed it'll elevate the whole team.
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Old 08-07-2021, 02:12 PM
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Last edited by Brodie Lee; 08-07-2021 at 02:26 PM. Reason: Ignore me, pretty sure the tactics I mentioned were used by Favre not by Vieira. I'm an idiot. :)
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Old 08-07-2021, 02:45 PM
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Interesting season for him. Vieira likes to play with a deep lying play maker so I'm sure he'll get his chance to prove himself with a clean slate given a poor couple of seasons. Given Vieira was also a midfielder (granted not the same type) maybe they'll be some good connection with them and in what PV will want from him. Is he back in training yet? I saw Guaita was back

In a midfield 3 sitting between Maitland-Niles and Gallagher (for example) I'd like to see if this improves him
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Last edited by David of Kent; 08-07-2021 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 08-07-2021, 02:46 PM
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I think we'll sell if we can get a half decent bid and have an upgrade lined up. I hope so anyway.
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Old 08-07-2021, 02:49 PM
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Luka was more than fine when he was surrounded by a younger McArthur, Cabaye or RLC. We have allowed the central midfield to ossify and invested everywhere else but there. It is hard tell how much of Luka's falling performances has been done to his own slowing down or what is surrounding him.

Ideally, we would bring in enough quality to make him no more than a first team option, rather than guaranteed starter. But we will probably bring in a single CM, at most, and if that is loaning Gallagher then the question of experience must be asked. Having Olise and Eze back, added to Zaha, should make us more dynamic and help give Luka better passing options. Luka should be able to do a job for one season and, hopefully, we will be in a position to look at spending big on a truly commanding CM in twelve months.

The other question is formation. If we play five across the middle, it might suit Luka. It's probably a bit too early for us to be able to sensibly discuss what Luka might offer us next season. If we do the usual and leave him with an aging McArthur, up against three CMs, the expect us to continue to be overrun in midfield.
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Old 08-07-2021, 02:50 PM
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I think we'll sell if we can get a half decent bid and have an upgrade lined up. I hope so anyway.
Anything above 10M and we should seriously consider, IMHO.
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Old 08-07-2021, 02:55 PM
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As a man and leader on the pitch I hope he stays. We don't have many as it is of his ilk

He has more to give yet. Even if he became more of a squad player - what would a comparable squad player cost to get in nowadays...
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Old 08-07-2021, 03:00 PM
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If we play a 4-1-4-1 I think it’ll suit Luka. Sit deep, with very creative players in Olise, Eze, wilf etc infront of him.
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Old 08-07-2021, 03:04 PM
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As a man and leader on the pitch I hope he stays. We don't have many as it is of his ilk

He has more to give yet. Even if he became more of a squad player - what would a comparable squad player cost to get in nowadays...
Hasn't shown himself to be much of a leader or a warrior for a couple of years, which is a real disappointment.
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Old 08-07-2021, 03:10 PM
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Hasn't shown himself to be much of a leader or a warrior for a couple of years, which is a real disappointment.
Harsh. He is not perfect but he has still been important for us and better than the BBS would have us believe.
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Old 08-07-2021, 03:16 PM
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Still think he's a good player and with a better midfield balance around him would see his performances improve. This isn't something unique to Milivojevic, Hodgson often deployed multiple central midfielders of the same type and we as a team all end up suffering because it's not their remit to score and create.
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Old 08-07-2021, 03:38 PM
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Still think he makes the starting XI in a 4231/4141, not sure if he has the ability to cover the pitch in a middle 2 of a 442.

either way, happy to have his experience in the team, as long as he is taken off set pieces (not pens!)
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Old 08-07-2021, 03:49 PM
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I think he is still a very good player, and that with pace and mobility around him, we could see a big revival.
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Old 08-07-2021, 04:00 PM
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Out with the old, in with the new. Never been a big fan.

'Leader' - he's no leader, setter of example, or anyone who I think we can rely on when the going gets tough.
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Old 08-07-2021, 04:06 PM
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He is underrated imo. His problem is that the combined 3 or 4 in midfield have all been weak for the past few seasons. Jairo, McCarthy, Kouyate and others I cannot recall have all gone missing a number of times in games.
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Old 08-07-2021, 04:21 PM
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he just needs the right system and a cabaye like midfielder with him. hopefully big pat will get him back to his best again!
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Old 08-07-2021, 04:27 PM
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Right from the first Vieira rumours my thoughts were that, at the very least, he might be the one to get Luka back to being a proper combative, aggressive defensive midfielder. If we can get back the player we signed it'll elevate the whole team.
Isn't it a bit of a myth that he has ever been a tough tackling, combative midfielder (a la Jedi). I think the whole Serbian, hard man image has clouded people's memories.
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