With a pause, a smile and a somewhat veiled answer at his post-City press conference, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appeared to outline his intentions to bring in a striker late in the January transfer window.
Manchester United are close to completing the signing of Bruno Fernandes and will likely do so tomorrow. But after another game in which his side’s forwards failed to inspire, Solskjaer admitted he is desperate for a natural goalscorer.
The Reds thrashed Tranmere Rovers with six goals last weekend but three of those were from defenders. Against Manchester City, in a 1-0 win, the goal came from midfielder Nemanja Matic.
Marcus Rashford’s absence is being felt hard. Solskjaer, speaking at his press conference, admitted that United “need more goalscorers.”
“We need more goals. We need someone who wants to break their nose to score a goal, or their toe.”
Solskjaer bemoans Martial’s style of play
It was a hardly subtle jibe at United’s main striker, Martial. The Frenchman brings so much quality but can be inconsistent and is not the pure goalscorer United need. Neither is Rashford.
One player who fitted that bill is Erling Haaland, who United missed out for one reason or another to Borussia Dortmund.
“I never accept players not wanting to score goals, and easy goals,” he said. “They’re easy goal when you make the right movement. So I’m going to work with them, and work and work.”
Asked whether a striker could be signed to alleviate United’s issues in attack, the Norwegian expressed uncertainty.
Solskjaer keeps schtum on a new United striker
“I’m not sure,” he said, though only after a long pause and a wry smile to his press secretary sat next to him.
“I know that we need more goals. If we get Bruno over the line we’ve got a boy who’s going to score and create.
“Let’s talk on Friday.”
Which strikers can Manchester United sign?
Quite who Solskjaer may be thinking of isn’t known. Edinson Cavani is not a viable option for United, who were immediately put off by the size of a potential transfer fee and his wages [Express]. Haaland is gone.
A loan move for Islam Slimani has been touted [SkySports], the failed Leicester City forward who’s on loan at AS Monaco. United need more than that. Mario Mandzukic would have been a sensible signing in the summer.
But for now, Solskjaer must deal with the hand he has been dealt with. The signing of Bruno Fernandes shouldn’t necessarily distract from the inabilities of the top-level executives at United who have let this squad become thinner and thinner in terms of both depth and quality.
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