Ten Hag now has Manchester United front three Solskjaer wanted and never picked

Cristiano Ronaldo’s potential Manchester United departure is set to force the club into a re-think.

And with no striker yet lined up as a replacement, new manager Erik ten Hag has to work with what he has.

This could involve selecting a front-three which Manchester United fans spent plenty of time wondering about, and never actually got to see in action together.

A trio of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho may get the chance to thrive and lead United forward.

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The front three Solskjaer wanted

Lets rewind to 2020. Anthony Martial was leading the line for Manchester United, scoring 23 goals, while Marcus Rashford struck 22.

The missing piece was Jadon Sancho, and throughout the summer of 2020, United attempted to sign him from Borussia Dortmund.

United were unable to get him that summer, only signing Sancho in 2021. By this time, plenty had changed.

Edinson Cavani had signed and made himself a useful figure in United’s attack, while Martial was dealing with a knee injury which had kept him out of the Europa League final.

Marcus Rashford meanwhile was also dealing with an operation, and Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival further complicated competition for places.

It all mean that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer never once selected a front three of Martial, Rashford, and Sancho, in the weeks between August 2021 when the latter joined, and his sacking in November.

Ralf Rangnick did not select them together either, with Martial sent out on loan to Sevilla.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

A chance to reset

Now with Edinson Cavani gone, Cristiano Ronaldo leaning towards an exit, and Mason Greenwood out of the equation, United’s options are thin.

The front three of Martial, Rashford and Sancho is all United have right now, beyond turning to more inexperienced options.

This is a chance for them to step up. Martial and Rashford have shown themselves to be capable in the past, while Sancho has proven to be a regular goalscorer in the Bundesliga.

As part of a more fluid front three than one led by Ronaldo, the trio could get one last chance to try and make it work together.

New manager Erik ten Hag will be key to this. He has shown in the past he can improve players, and help them reach their maximum.

New signings will be brought in for the attack to compensate for Ronaldo’s exit. United will need cover, no matter how well Anthony Martial plays, due to his recently patchy fitness record.

But it would be fascinating to see if the Sancho, Rashford and Martial trio can finally come good, two years late.

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