Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag will be assessing how he can shake up his team after a heavy defeat at the weekend.

One option is to turn to his under-21 team and promote the club’s most in-form player, Joe Hugill.

Joe Hugill does it again

Joe Hugill struck Manchester United’s only goal as the under-21s slipped to a 3-1 loss at Chelsea on Monday night.

The game had been level up to final 10 minutes when Chelsea scored two late goals to clinch a victory. Hugill had scored United’s goal early in the second half.

The 19-year-old striker can’t stop scoring at present. He is on a superb scoring run of nine goals in nine games for the under-21s this season.

The teenager is fresh off clinching the PL2 Player of the Month Award for February, with a brace against Liverpool earlier in 2023 also among his exploits.

Manchester United U21 v Everton U21:  Premier League 2
Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Manchester United’s weak striker options

Promoting Joe Hugill to the first team bench could be a good move for Erik ten Hag to make.

It would add a fresh face into the first team mix at a time the team needs it, while rewarding the striker for his performances.

In attack, United are short of strikers. Marcus Rashford is better on the left wing, and there is no return date set for Anthony Martial to return from injury. We are probably looking at April at this stage.

Wout Weghorst meanwhile is proving unfortunately goal shy. He has netted just once in 14 games for Manchester United so far.

A little competition from Hugill would not go amiss, while the teenager could do well to learn some aspects of Weghorst’s game from the striker who shares a similar tall frame to him.

At the very least, we could see Hugill in training with the first team over the next fortnight.

United do have a loose agreement with Altrincham which would permit Hugill to head there on loan, but this would not restrict first team involvement. If Erik ten Hag feels the freescoring teenager can be of use, he will take a look.

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