Manchester United can repeat Robin van Persie trick with massive summer transfer
Man United need a new striker in the summer and could sign one to have the impact Robin van Persie did at Old Trafford.
As Wout Weghorst continues to run around the pitch giving all his best effort but hardly ever sticking the ball in the back of the net, Manchester United’s desperate need for a quality striker becomes increasingly obvious.
Erik ten Hag has been hamstrung this season which makes the drastic improvements he’s made at United all the more impressive. Anthony Martial looked bright at the start of the Dutchman’s reign but multiple injuries have made him completely unreliable. The Frenchman hasn’t completed 90 minutes for over two years and has been earmarked as a player to sell this summer.
The only other central striker United started the season with was Cristiano Ronaldo. It was obvious before a ball was even kicked that the static and ageing star would not suit Ten Hag’s high-pressing style but the Portuguese’s ego had a far more destructive impact than anyone could have predicted. He moaned, he stropped off and eventually he burned all the bridges by forcing his exit via the means of an explosive interview.
The departure left United drastically low on options and only the emergence of Alejandro Garnacho and Marcus Rashford’s willingness to play where required got them through a difficult period. When the January window opened, though, there wasn’t enough in the budget for anything other than a loan move so in came Weghorst. The big Dutchman has earned praise for his tireless work and surprisingly sharp link-up play but his lack of quality in the box is beginning to grate on many.
It appeared Weghorst was signed as a good option off the bench but his shortcomings have been laid bare as Ten Hag has had to rely on a striker deemed not worth keeping in the Championship by Burnley. Still, the manager is clearly a big fan of his compatriot but whether or not returns to Old Trafford next season, a world-class striker is absolutely needed if United are to push on.
But perhaps a more guaranteed source of goals in the Premier League would be a smarter addition. United have done it before. In 2012 Robin van Persie was brought in from rivals Arsenal, though ageing it was hoped such a sensational striker would help claim United’s 20th title despite a squad relatively low on quality elsewhere. It worked.
Now United have the chance to sign another clinical, 29-year-old striker from a trophy-starved North London club as his contract is about to come to an end. Harry Kane has been increasingly disillusioned at Tottenham for years and tried to force a move to Manchester City in 2021.
Spurs refused to sell and City moved on, brining in Erling Haaland instead a year later. Kane has remained a fantastic player but still hasn’t claimed any silverware to go alongside his hundreds of goals. Which must nag at him.
With City in little need of a striker, there are few obvious options available for Kane should he once again attempt to leave Spurs this summer. The limp defeat to AC Milan on Wednesday ensured it will be another trophyless season and Kane’s time is running out to win one.
Kane will be 30 when the next season begins and there is a lot of wear and tear on him after lots of injuries and football over the years. Perhaps he too would be another veteran stop-gap but he is clearly an elite-level striker who would be more than capable of leading United’s attack and adding a source of goals that, other than Rashford, there have been very little of.