With the Premier League season almost over, the transfer rumour mill has begun to churn into action once again.
A topsy-turvy debut season in English football for manager Louis Van Gaal has resulted in Champions League football returning to Old Trafford, meaning another summer of mammoth spending looks likely.
United spent huge sums of cash bringing in attacking talent last summer but strangely their forward line looks very barren if they aim to compete for the league title next season; Robin Van Persie’s future is in doubt after a shaky season, Radamel Falcao looks to be heading back to Monaco and Van Gaal believes his captain Wayne Rooney is better suited in a midfield role.
It begs the question, which strikers should Manchester United sign in the summer?
Rumours linking ‘Memphis’ to United have really stepped up in recent weeks, with United apparently asking PSV about the Dutch forwards availability. Memphis has had a blinding season for Philip Cocu’s side, who have won their first Eredivise title in seven years with three games of the season remaining.
Despite bursting onto the scene as a winger last year, Memphis has moved into a forward role alongside Luuk De Jong and has had a devastating effect, his 20 goals this season making him the league’s top goal scorer.
Cocu has told the media he expects Memphis to leave the club this summer, and United seems the best fit for the 21 year old. He has a great relationship with Louis Van Gaal; after all it was Van Gaal that took Memphis to the 2014 World Cup with the Netherlands where he really shone. Memphis has made over 125 appearances for PSV and a move to United would really see him come of age.
The big Colombian international will turn 29 in October, but this shouldn’t put United off. Martinez would be a perfect fit for the Premier League; a tall, strong forward who is capable of finishing with both feet.
His record at FC Porto is second to none, and it can be argued that he really should be making the next big step in his career soon. In recent years many of Europe’s top clubs have sniffed around the Porto skipper, so maybe it’s time one of them takes a punt on him.
Martinez can play up-front as a lone striker, and his effort and work rate would suit United’s style. With plenty of experience playing Champions League football, Martinez would be an excellent acquisition for Van Gaal.
Rewind 18 months and Radamel Falcao was one of the hottest properties in world football. The former Atletico Madrid man has a sensational goal scoring record at every club he’s played for, apart from United of course.
It’s fair to say Van Gaal’s gamble on Falcao has not paid off, but that doesn’t mean the club should rule out the option they have to sign him in the summer. People easily forget that Falcao had a difficult time at Monaco under then Claudio Ranieri before suffering a serious ACL injury which ruled him out of the World Cup.
Falcao has so much more to offer United. Although it looks unlikely that the club will trigger the £43 million clause they have on the Colombian, they should still give it some thought.
Let’s not forget that Javier Hernandez is still a Manchester United player! Chicharito has been used scarcely on loan at Real Madrid, but proved he can still be a big game player, scoring the winner against Ateltico Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final.
If the Mexican international features for United next season he will yet again have to accept his role as an impact sub ala Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
We all know what Hernandez is capable of, but whether he will come back to United, or whether Van Gaal has him in his plans, remains to be seen.
It is clear to see that Louis Van Gaal is not short of options. A lot hinges on whether he wants to continue using Rooney in midfield and if van Persie stays at the club. United should cut their losses with Falcao, but it makes sense to keep Hernandez as a third/forth choice back-up if the player is happy to fill that role.
In an ideal world, buying both Memphis and Martinez would be the best thing to do. Martinez is made for the Premier League, having him and Memphis as strikers would bring a ton of goals. United certainly have the funds to make both transfers happen.
It should be an interesting summer at Old Trafford…