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Monday, February 6, 2023

Man Utd could be third and one point behind Man City – where’s our striker?

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Manchester United recently broke into the Premier League top four for the first time this season following their 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on New Year’s Eve. The Red Devils are now two points behind third-placed Newcastle United with a game in hand while arch-rivals Manchester City are only four points adrift in the second spot. The upcoming game week could see the club close the gap further if the other results go their way. The Magpies face a difficult test against league leaders Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium while holders City will be travelling to Stamford Bridge to take on Graham Potter’s Chelsea. If United were to beat Bournemouth, they could move within one point of Pep Guardiola’s side in third ahead of the crunch Manchester derby at Old Trafford on January 14. Things are looking positive at the moment, but the big question is why United have not landed a new striker yet, having parted ways with Cristiano Ronaldo in late November. The hierarchy have had sufficient time to plan for the winter transfer window and they should have been pro-active and signed a new striker for Erik ten Hag on January 1 itself. PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo was obviously a prime target before Liverpool hijacked the pursuit. The Red Devils could not match the financial package offered by their fierce rivals. However, United should have had a contingency plan in place rather than waiting until January to evaluate other striker options. They are now looking into a short-term loan. In our view, a new centre-forward should be signed in time for the key games against City and Arsenal this month. Otherwise, all the hard work done could be unraveled soon. There has been an over-dependence on Marcus Rashford lately. United need a new striker that can also contribute to the cause. Anthony Martial has not been consistent enough. As things stand, Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram and Barcelona’s Memphis Depay are options. The Red Devils must land a new striker as soon as possible. Stats from Transfermarkt.com

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