The coronavirus may have stopped football for a prolonged period, but it certainly hasn’t stopped the transfer rumours flying around – even as fast as the virus itself. One club at the center of it all is indeed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United.
The Norwegian is currently undergoing a revolution at Old Trafford and this coming summer window could be his most pivotal as he plans to guide the club back amongst Europe’s elite and match the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool. Ole has recruited well, both in defence and midfield, but there is still work left to do, especially up-front.
Likewise, United are rumoured to be on the lookout for a striker in the coming months, but who are they currently linked with and what could they bring to Old Trafford?
Timo Werner (RB Leipzig):
If Solskjaer seeks versatility and flexibility in his frontman, then Timo Werner of RB Leipzig is the ideal candidate. 21 Bundesliga goals this season followed up by his goalscoring exploits during the 2018/19 campaign. The 24-year-old is a menace around the penalty area, propelling himself to be one of Europe’s deadliest and complete forw≥mmjnjmnjmmnards.
21 Bundesliga goals for Timo #Werner so far this season ?
A goal today would make it his best ever tally! ?
— RB Leipzig English (from ?) (@RBLeipzig_EN) March 1, 2020
Timo Werner is a key component for Julian Nagelsmann’s side as the club continues the impressive pursuit of their first Bundesliga title. 5 points behind Bayern Munich and all hopes of closing in on the Bundesliga leaders hinges on the form of their main marksman.
What’s also impressive of Werner is that he rarely plays closer to goal, he’s mostly operating on the left-wing, right-wing or in the half-spaces, playing the role of a withdrawn striker. But it’s his frightening pace, movement and positional understanding in and around the penalty area which makes him so deadly.
His link-up play is fantastic too. The German number nine has also contributed 7 assists, a true sign of his all-round abilities. He’s not just a regular scorer, but he can provide them too. Timo Werner is rumoured to prefer Liverpool as his next destination, but first-team football at Liverpool isn’t guaranteed. Ole Gunnar may well provide him with that.
Moussa Dembele (Lyon):
It’s like Moussa Dembele gets better with each passing club. Fulham, Celtic and now Lyon, all have experienced the goal-scoring exploits of the Frenchman. His career total for all three clubs read at 112 goals in just 247 first-team appearances. Mightily impressive statistics.
Dembele is certainly looking to be on the move this summer, after a reported bid from Chelsea was rumoured to be rejected by the French outfit in January, stating that they’d like to keep the striker till at least the end of the season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is also believed to be a keen admirer of the forward.
Moussa Dembele-Underrated goals. pic.twitter.com/qSGdHWV9fH
— Knoxy (@knoxyy_67) March 27, 2020
The former Celtic man has it all – An eye for goal, movement, speed, strength, aerial prowess and a strong desire to impress with every game. Moussa Dembele is a penalty box predator. The United boss, earlier this season, stated that he wants his forwards to score different types of goals, especially the easiest ones in the 18-yard area and Dembele offers those characteristics in abundance something that clearly entices the likes of Chelsea and Barcelona.
At just 23-years of age, the young forward holds a bright future ahead of him. If his career stats stand at such high figures at this stage in his career, imagine his form when he does eventually bed into a much bigger outfit. Could Old Trafford be the next destination?
Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan):
The most expensive option on this list, and it is very uncertain whether Solskjaer would be willing to shell out more than £60million on a forward. Lautaro Martinez is rumoured to hold a release clause of around £85million.
However, wherever he ends up next, that club would be rewarded with an investment that is potentially worth every penny. The Argentinian forward is a bulldog, a predator and a relentless aggressive forward. Lautaro Martinez adds so much vigour and verve to Antonio Conte’s rigid system and is arguably the reason why the team have been so efficient in front of goal this season. He may not hold the same figures as Lukaku on the goal-scoring front, but the Belgian cannot deny the work that goes on around him that’s allowed him to score the number of goals he has.
Lautaro Martinez covers much ground, a workhorse in the press and his movement to allow Lukaku space goes unnoticed. When he does eventually get a chance in the penalty box, you’d bet your mortgage on him putting the chance away. The 22-year-old forward is simply ruthless in his all-round game. It’s no wonder why Barcelona sees him as the perfect and ideal replacement for Luis Suarez. If he tops Solskjaer’s shopping list, United better act quickly.
Secure Odion Ighalo’s Long-term Future/Pave the way for Mason Greenwood:
If Odion Ighalo continues at his current rate, he may well be United’s most successful loan signing ever, even toppling the signing of Henrik Larsson in 2007. The retired Nigerian striker has already topped the Swede’s scoring total during his time at Old Trafford and with the season not too far from ending, Ighalo still has a lot to offer.
Manchester United are reportedly set to make Odion Ighalo's signing permanent with a £15m bid with the striker impressing during his short loan with the club pic.twitter.com/fCG2mxb4SM
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) March 24, 2020
4 goals in 4 starts for the 31-year-old. You can’t rule out Ole Gunnar extending his stay beyond this summer and why not? It means United might miss out on the above targets, but maybe it’s a risk worth taking, considering the developments of Rashford, Martial and young forward Mason Greenwood.
Signing any of the forwards mentioned above means that Greenwood’s game time and development will get affected. There is still belief and confidence among the Old Trafford faithful that Anthony Martial can become a true number 9. It’s a decision Ole Gunnar might have to think long and hard about.
We all know the rich traditions the club holds on its youth policy. What would Sir Alex do? Do you think United should buy a fresh pair of legs or should they stick with what they have and extend the stay of Odion Ighalo?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below and keep following ArseDevils for more.