Football

Lack of options - three reasons why Manchester United need to sign a striker in January

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Under Louis van Gaal, Manchester United are as good as anyone defensively and in David de Gea they arguably have the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment.

That said, the Red Devils have only managed six goals in their last eight games and throughout the 2015/16 season their lack of incisiveness in front of goal has become a growing concern for Van Gaal, the players and the fans.

United have won games this season without blowing teams away and this has led many people to criticise their style of play and lament their lacklustre performances. The upcoming January transfer window represents a great opportunity for the club to bring in attacking reinforcements.

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Van Gaal has stated on many occasions that he is looking to bring in a winger who is both fast and creative but in reality, it's a new centre-forward they need.

LACK OF OPTIONS

Following James Wilson’s departure to Championship side Brighton on loan for the rest of the season, it has left Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial as the only recognised centre-forwards at the club.

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When the pair have been absent through injury or illness, Van Gaal has been forced to play the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Memphis and even Jesse Lingard upfront.

If you compare that with United’s Premier League rivals it becomes clear that Van Gaal has a severe lack of striking options. Chelsea can call upon Diego Costa, Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao whilst Manchester City have Wilfried Bony, youngster Kelechi Iheanacho and the world-class Sergio Aguero.

ROONEY CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE

As a result of Robin van Persie’s move to Fenerbahce, Rooney is the only proven goalscorer at Old Trafford, even despite Martial's early form.

However, the United and England captain has struggled to find the back of the net so far this season, managing just two Premier League goals and only one in the Champions League.

Rooney will always be a goal threat, but if United sign a striker it would immediately take some of the pressure away from their skipper and remove the burden currently on his shoulders.

At 30-years-old, Rooney enters the final phase of his career with it likely he will drop into a midfield role more frequently. A new arrival would allow Rooney to switch emphasis from scoring goals to using his vision and wonderful passing range to once again be the biggest influence on United’s matches.

INEXPERIENCED MARTIAL

French forward Martial set the bar very high for himself after scoring four goals in his first four games following his enormous £36 million move from Monaco in the summer. Whilst his overall contribution in games has not diminished, the goals have dried up in recent weeks having failed to score in his last six United appearances.

Despite his sensational start at Old Trafford, it must not be forgotten that Martial is only 19-years-old. Therefore, whilst his potential is huge, he simply cannot be expected to score 20-30 goals per season right now and needs time to gain experience and naturally develop into the lethal centre-forward that he's capable of becoming.

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Topics:
Premier League
Football
Manchester United
Wayne Rooney

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