19 Mar 2022 | 01:34 | Football
For the past three years, Manchester United have seemed to avoid the fact that their attack has not had a single outstanding striker. Half-hearted solutions only make the “Red Devils” fall into a state of excess in quantity, but lack of quality.
When the summer transfer window of 2022 is coming, Manchester United faces a difficult problem in attack. They may have to replace almost all of the existing strikers.
Public goods crisis
In 2017, Manchester United bought Romelu Lukaku for £75 million. The star born in 1993 was then expected to become the main striker of the “Red Devils” for a long time. Two years later, coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer agreed to sell Lukaku to Inter Milan for £74 million.
The MU leadership has a reason to liquidate the Belgian spearhead. He never exploded at Old Trafford as fans expected. The problem with Man United is that they have never replaced Lukaku with a rookie of comparable age and value in the market.
Coach Solskjaer initially hoped Anthony Martial could reach his potential like when he first arrived in England. However, the French striker is not stable enough to lead Man United’s attack. The fact that Martial had to go to Sevilla on loan earlier this year shows a backward step for the player.
Before that, the appearance of Odion Ighalo, Edinson Cavani or even Ronaldo was like short-term solutions for the Old Trafford team. Ighalo was on a “fire fighting” duty for MU for a few times, and now the Nigerian striker is playing in Saudi Arabia.
At the age of 34, Cavani has made a rather limited contribution to Man United this season because of injuries and the narrowness of the team’s attack. The Uruguayan striker will almost leave the Manchester club when the contract between the two sides expires at the end of the season.
Mason Greenwood was once seen as the future of Manchester United. However, the private life scandal is destroying the career of the 22-year-old striker. Coach Ralf Rangnick doesn’t even know when Greenwood can return to training.
The fact that Marcus Rashford revealed his intention to leave also surprised many Man United fans. But if you look at what Rashford has shown this season, the ability of the “Red Devils” to part ways with their star training can be understood.
The uncertain future of Martial, Cavani, Rashford, Greenwood pushes Man United into a problem that is not easy to solve in the summer. Even Ronaldo can leave if the representative of Manchester cannot attend the Champions League next season.
Will Ronaldo accept to play in the Europa League? A mass flight on Man United’s attack is very likely to happen. However, the late legendary Johan Cruyff once said that in every disadvantage there is always an advantage. MU is likely to end the 2021/22 season with disappointing results. It is necessary for them to refresh the squad.
MU needs a new wind
Even if Ronaldo accepts to stay at Man United, his recent decline in form has not brought a good signal. The Portuguese superstar has just turned 37 and by next season, his form may be worse. After a hat-trick against Tottenham Hotspur last week, Ronaldo returned to a lackluster performance in the match against Atletico Madrid in the second leg of the 1/8 Champions League round.
Ronaldo even played worse than the first leg when there were no shots or touches in the penalty area representing Spain. Time waits for no one, even if that person is Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. Alan Shearer says it’s time for Man United fans to lower their expectations of CR7.
He could not maintain the same level of scoring or assisting as he did when he was fit. The Man United board may need to consider what Shearer said. The red half of Manchester has been indifferent to the addition of a top-class striker in the past half-decade.
They lost Erling Haaland two years ago, although coach Solskjaer has a good relationship with the player and his family. “Red Devils” have never even tried to approach Harry Kane, as Man City did last summer. The MU leadership put great faith in Martial, Rashford or Greenwood and failed.
Ronaldo’s presence in the summer of 2021 also almost closed the possibility of the team buying another young striker. If Ronaldo leaves, the opportunity for MU to attract strikers will be easier.
The red half of Manchester has to rush into the summer transfer market in 2022 with many challenges. Not many good strikers are willing to change clubs in the coming summer market.
Man City is said to be willing to pay Haaland a salary of £ 500,000 / week and the ability to compete for top titles. Can MU make an attractive offer? If the “Red Devils” fail to win the Champions League, they will find it difficult to attract strikers of Haaland’s level.
Perhaps the leadership of Man United should look to more feasible goals. Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez could be an option to refresh the Old Trafford team’s attack. British media also mentioned other names such as Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad), Darwin Nunez (Benfica) or Jonathan David (Lille) in the list of potential strikers in the market.
All four goals mentioned above are young and can become the mainstay of any big team for a long time. If Man United cannot compete for signatures for Haaland or Mbappe, they need to aim for more practical goals. Regardless of the results of the Premier League top 4 race at the end of the season, the “Red Devils” need a major surgery.