How to solve Manchester United’s striker crisis
With Robin van Persie ageing, Wayne Rooney shifted to a midfield role and Radamel Falcao struggling for form, Manchester United need sort out their attack. Last summer Louis van Gaal sold Danny Welbeck to Arsenal and loaned out Javier Hernandez to Real Madrid which has left Manchester United short of pace in attack. The situation is so dire that the Dutchman has resorted to playing Angel Di Maria as a striker “I tried him as a striker as we needed pace in that position. We must stretch the pitch. Then you make the pitch bigger, your midfielders can play in a bigger space and play a better positional game.” In his column Karan Gadhia takes a look at potential new signings who could reinvigorate Manchester United’s attack.
Manchester United should go all out to try and sign Paulo Dybala who currently plays for Palermo in Serie A and has been phenomenal this season with 10 goals and 6 assists in 19 Serie A games. The 21 year old is quick and often goes on mazy runs which has led to him dubbed as “the new Sergio Agüero”. If he can continue his form into the second half of the season he would be a brilliant signing and potentially could become a club legend due to his ability and age. Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has said “Many foreign clubs asked after him, including Manchester United. I told the English side that he is not for sale right now, but we can talk about it again in six months.” This hints that he will be available in the summer, however Maurizio Zamparini unpredictable at the best of time as he has sacked 12 managers since 2011.
If Paulo Dybala stays at Palermo or chooses a different club my backup option would be Alexandre Lacazette. The Frenchman’s 20 goals and 5 assists have helped Olympique Lyonnais top the Ligue 1 table. The 23 year old has made over 120 Ligue 1 appearances since graduating from the Olympique Lyonnais academy in 2010. He is very unlikely to be sold in January as Les Gones chase their first league title since 2008 after PSG’s recent domination. However, he may be available in the summer because Olympique Lyonnais have a history of selling their players to the Premier League with Hugo Lloris moving to Tottenham in 2012 and Dejan Lovren to Southampton in 2013. They are also building the Stade des Lumières- a new 58,000-seat stadium which will host 6 matches during the Euro 2016 in France including the semi-final.
Whilst he isn’t as young or quick as Dybala and Lacazette, I think Jackson Martinez could be a good signing for Manchester United to replace Van Persie. The 28 year old scores all types of goals with both feet as well as his head which has made him one of the most all-round strikers in Europe. His unpredictability is nightmare for defenders and he has scored 81 goals in 116 games for Porto since arriving in 2012. The Colombian is constantly linked with a Premier League move and to sign him Manchester United will need to meet his release clause of £27.5m. He has incredible strength which is an added bonus as it should make it easier to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League.
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