Five Strikers to Bolster Manchester United’s attack
Erik ten Hag wants to recruit a forward to Manchester United in the coming months after Cristiano Ronaldo leaves.
The Red Devils have started the Premier League season better than in previous years, but they still lack quality in the final third.
Cody Gakpo has been on the club’s radar for some months, but there are other options that may be more affordable in a notoriously difficult winter window.
We look at five ideas for bolstering the United’s attack in January.
Cody Gakpo (PSV Eindhoven)
Following the Netherlands’ successful World Cup performance in Qatar, much has been made about PSV Eindhoven attacker Gakpo.
Gakpo drew interest from the 13-time Premier League champions last summer, and the club may return in January to try to sign him.
The 23-year-old scored three goals for his country in the global tournament and has been a standout for his club in the Eredivisie, contributing 21 goals in just 14 games.
His strong form has had an impact on clubs looking to sign the 14-cap international, as his price tag has risen in recent months.
Marcel Brands, the director of football at PSV, stated: “In January, only 10–12 clubs can afford Gakpo. Let’s see whether it happens—it has to be a record PSV sale as well as the appropriate bid for Cody’s plans.”
Ramos, Goncalo (Benfica)
Goncalo Ramos of Benfica is another brilliant kid who has emerged at the World Cup.
Ramos, 21, appeared in four of Portugal’s five matches in Qatar, scoring a hat-trick in the win over Switzerland that advanced his team to the quarter-finals.
He has also thrived in domestic football, scoring nine goals in 11 league games for the Eagles, who now lead the Primeira Liga.
The striker progressed through Benfica’s development system and has since scored 28 goals in 80 first-team appearances.
United are certain to be interested in Ramos and may rely on compatriots Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot to persuade him to join them.
Thuram, Marcus (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Marcus Thuram, who played a cameo role for France at the World Cup, is a name that has gone unnoticed this season.
However, the Borussia Monchengladbach finisher has been prolific in the Bundesliga, scoring 10 goals in 15 appearances for the German club.
His current contract is set to expire next summer, which is expected to pique the interest of the Red Devils, who may seek a low-cost deal to please the Bundesliga team.
Ten Hag would, however, face heavy competition from his rivals as teams search for a January bargain.
Thuram, who is 6ft 2in, would be a great option to give an aerial threat as United looks to maintain their lead in the Premier League and Europa League.
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)
Christian Pulisic has yet to gain favor at Chelsea under Graham Potter, but his World Cup performances demonstrated his extraordinary talent.
With a goal and two assists, the Pennsylvania-born forward helped propel the US to the last 16 in Qatar before succumbing to the Netherlands.
His club form has been less impressive, with only two goals in 13 Premier League games this season, but he has largely been used as a substitute.
United were apparently considering a loan deal for the American last summer, but the West London club resisted.
Osimhen Victor (Napoli)
Victor Osimhen, like Gakpo, would be a pricey choice for the Red Devils, with the Nigerian centre forward valued at more than £80 million.
However, the 23-year-old could be worth the money, as seen by his excellent showing for Napoli this season.
Luciano Spalletti’s team are eight points clear at the top of Serie A, and Osimhen leads the scoring charts with nine goals.
Many European teams, including Manchester United, have taken note of his impressive exploits in the Partenopei’s Champions League group-stage campaign.