It is no secret that Manchester United want a number 9 this summer.

“I think everyone knows, it’s not a secret that we in the long term and over the whole season have a shortage of number nines,” said Erik Ten Hag back in April.

Harry Kane was previously the preference but that seems remote. So, the attention has changed.

Rasmus Hojlund has emerged as United’s number-one target but Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani has also emerged as a backup, in case the figures involved in the deal to bring the Dane to Old Trafford don’t add up for United, according to The Athletic.

What would Kolo Muani offer

The 24-year-old has 15 goals and 11 assists in the Bundesliga which dwarfs Hojlund’s total of nine goals and two assists in the Serie A. His movement and hold-up play makes him an exciting option.

The French forward can play anywhere across the front line which may not be ideal for what Erik Ten Hag is looking for. Having Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial as striker options, who can play anywhere across the front line, means United don’t have an out-and-out striker.

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Kolo Muani takes 2.57 shots per 90 minutes according to FBREF and on average scores a goal after every two shots which are on target, so he is certainly efficient in front of goal. The player is also a superb dribbler, shown by his high progressive carries per 90 of 3.09, which again is impressive.

He averages a shot creation action (the action directly leading to a shot, which could be a pass or a dribble) of 3.23 per 90 minutes, this suggests that he is more of an all-rounder striker, as opposed to a poacher type that Hojlund is.

What would Hojlund offer?

He’s the archetypal fox in the box, his finishing is superb and he has been compared to Erling Haaland by his manager at Atalanta, so what would he offer Erik Ten Hag’s United?

He completes 2.75 shot creation actions per 90 according to FBREF, slightly lower than Muani, he completes 1.96 progressive carries per 90, again slightly lower.

One thing that he definitely would offer is a focal point in attack. The Danish forward, similar to Haaland, loves running the channels and has the pace and power to get away from his man when played in behind.

The type of shots he takes are varied, too. The prospective partnership with Bruno Fernandes would be an exciting one. Fernandes completes 7.05 progressive passes per 90, interestingly Hojlund receives 10.99 progressive passes per 90, so it’s easy to see why the partnership could flourish.

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To sum up, both strikers have interesting facets to their game but, for what United are looking for, Hojlund seems the preference.

A penalty box striker, which United haven’t had since Edinson Cavani, represents an exciting prospect for Erik Ten Hag’s side and one that seems to be advancing according to The Independent.

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