Manchester United have been way too wasteful in front of goal lately. The Red Devils attempted 22 shots against Watford and failed to score. In an earlier match against Middlesbrough the team scored only once from 30 attempts.
Data shows United have created more chances than any other team since Ralf Rangnick took over, the trouble is, the team have not been taking them.
It is little wonder United have been linked with an array of strikers. One of them, Benfica’s Darwin Nunez, is particularly interesting.
Portuguese newspaper A Bola report United have sent scouts to watch Darwin Nunez in action. The 22-year-old Uruguayan is Edinson Cavani’s replacement-in-waiting at international level, and potentially at club level too.
This season Nunez has 23 goals in all competitions so far in 28 games. In the month of February he has been in particularly hot form.
Nunez has scored five goals from his last six shots on target, data from Portuguese outlet GoalPoint shows.
With 11 shots in total during this period, Nunez has a total shot conversion rate of 45.5 per cent over the past month, superior to any of the Premier League’s top forwards’ season records, with Mohamed Salah’s at 25 per cent and Cristiano Ronaldo at just 16 per cent.
FBRef shows Darwin Nunez’s total season goal conversion rate in the Primeira Liga is 31 per cent, nearly double Ronaldo’s efforts for United this campaign.
United’s requirements up front next season are two-fold, to get younger, and to be more clinical. 22-year-old Nunez ticks both boxes.
This kind of talent comes at a cost, of course. The Standard reported Benfica rejected a deadline day move from West Ham in January worth £60 million in total. He has a release clause of more than double that, claimed to be £125 million, the Daily Star report.
For his goalscoring ability, Nunez may be worth the money. The numbers back it up. For too long United have ignored the need to sign a young striker and gone for short-term fixes. The prolific Uruguayan would be the long term solution United desperately need.