May 13, 2021

Man Utd


Man United have a three-man striker shortlist but Solskjaer’s choice is clear

4 min read

After their success in reaching the Europa League semi-final, there’s still a real possibility that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can finish the season by picking up his first piece of silverware as Manchester United boss.

Yet despite this, the wheels are already in motion for next season as the club have ambitions of closing the gap on rivals Manchester City and competing for the Premier League title again.

We know that one of the club’s key summer objectives to fulfil this is to bring in a new forward who can add greater firepower to their attack.

As a result, there’s been a number of big names linked to Old Trafford in recent weeks, with Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Juventus’ Paulo Dybala the most notable.

But from those big names linked, who would actually represent a good piece of business for United and therefore be worth perusing?

Erling Haaland

The MEN understands that Haaland is United’s number one target this summer, and it’s easy to see why.

Despite his young age, the 20-year-old Norwegian has already established himself as one of Europe’s biggest names thanks to a remarkable first 12 months with Borussia Dortmund in which he scored 49 goals in 49 games, as well as racking up a further 11 assists.

Even this season, and despite a recent barren spell by his standards at least, of seven games without a goal, he’s still registered a very impressive 42 goal contributions across all competitions.

In terms of an all-around package, the youngster has it all. He’s fast, powerful, accurate and knows how to get himself into the best scoring locations.

United do already have a number of top forwards throughout the squad, yet none are capable of being that traditional No.9 profile that the club has so desperately craved since the departure of Romelu Lukaku in 2019.

A big issue though is that there’s no guarantee United would have both the funds or the pull to see off the other European powerhouses interested in the Norwegian star, therefore it’d be foolish for them to put all their eggs in this one basket alone.

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Harry Kane

It’d prove to be the story of the summer if United could somehow prize Kane away from Tottenham, yet, rumours do continue to gather momentum linking the two.

The 27-year-old still has three years left on his current deal and, as a result, his signature wouldn’t come cheap. Yet United might see him as a player worth the outlay, specifically given the impact he could have on their attack should he arrive.

Obviously, his goalscoring record is almost unrivalled by any player across the Premier League and he’s netted a remarkable 162 Premier League goals in just six and a bit seasons.

He’s pulled another rabbit out of the hat this season by adapting from a predominantly out and out goalscorer to also a creator for teammates around him.

Kane has done this by no longer focussing solely on finishing moves but also now looking to drop into deeper zones of the pitch, picking up the ball and then acting like his team’s advanced playmaker.

This is interesting from a United perspective given the brilliant attackers who’d be around Kane. You could quite easily foresee the likes of Marcus Rashford or Mason Greenwood benefiting from the England captain’s movement and passing range in the same way Son Heung-min has for Spurs throughout the season.

He might be older than Haaland, but his appeal is clear and it’d be a great move for United if they could get a deal over the line, especially considering that it’d significantly weaken a direct league rival.

Paulo Dybala

Paulo Dybala of Juventus.

Dybala was back to his best again last season, netting 17 goals and providing 11 assists in just over 3,000 minutes of competitive action.

However this season he’s found the back of the net on just four occasions after missing most of the season trying to recover from various injuries and Covid-19.

This poor season has coincided with the 27-year-old edging towards the final year of his contract in Turin, and it’s not yet clear whether the Old Lady intends to offer him an extension.

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This opens the door for United to swoop in for the Argentine this summer, and he’d certainly bring another dimension to their forward line.

The Juventus forward has a goal record that speaks for itself, yet it’s his versatility and ability to play multiple roles across the attack that gives him an added layer of appeal from a United point of view.

Solskjaer knows he could use him as a centre-forward, attacking midfielder or wide attacker and he’d continue to contribute in terms of both scoring and creating goals. His quality from the right is particularly desirable given that area of the pitch has been a problematic one for the Reds at various stages this season

If United were satisfied that his fitness issues were only a one-off this season, then he’s a player certainly worth bringing to Old Trafford ahead of next season.

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