Anthony Martial's injury was predictable: Manchester United's striker situation is a total shambles
It’s time to put Manchester United on blast. This terribly run club has no excuses for the failings which have led to having just one half-fit striker available for the weekend, who doesn’t even want to be here.
This was totally predictable, and Manchester United have no excuse for the lack of depth in attack.
Cristiano Ronaldo will step in, a pretty good stand-in, but he has been angling to leave, has been publicly critisied by Erik ten Hag for unacceptable behaviour, and is unfit, having played only 45 minutes in pre-season, building no chemistry with his teammates. It’s an unpleasant scenario for United to be in.
United’s striker situation is a total shambles
With regard to Anthony Martial, his injuries were easy to see coming. We called it a month ago, our article read, “The biggest question over Anthony Martial is not attitude or ability, it’s over his fitness,” pointing to his three injuries suffered at Sevilla, and a year of injury unhappiness beforehand at Old Trafford.
And yet, even with Ronaldo pushing for a move, United did nothing. In pre-season the club had to play teenager Hannibal Mejbri out of position up front, to deputise for Martial.
There is no excuse. The club clearly needed a striker to replace Edinson Cavani, and chose not to.
Ralf Rangnick warned United needed ‘two modern strikers’ this summer – the club have invested in none.
He told the club website: “It’s obvious that the club needs, I would say, at least, two new strikers who just give this team more quality and more options.”
United chose to do nothing, simply blindly hoping Martial would hold up. He hasn’t. The one blessing is it has happened now, rather than in September.
The club have been chasing Red Bull Salzburg forward Benjamin Sesko. This should have been prioritised at the start of the transfer window. Now with United clearly desperate for a forward, his price tag will shoot up.
This has been a long time coming. United have never replaced Romelu Lukaku, opting for short-term fixes in their 30s like Odion Ighalo, Ronaldo, and Cavani.
Years of neglecting the situation has led to this. When United won the Treble in ’99 the club had four top centre-forwards. We enter the season with two strikers, one of who isn’t fit, and the other one doesn’t want to be here.
There is no excuse. Manchester United have less than a month to resolve the situation before the transfer window closes, and we have absolutely no faith they will do so. Just like the never-ending hope the club will sign the midfielder the club has lacked for years.