Following the exits of Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao this summer, Van Gaal only has two senior strikers at his disposal in the form of Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez, as well as youngster James Wilson.
The performances of Rooney have come under immense scrutiny after the captain’s inability to register a single shot on target in each of Man United’s first two matches of the season, and that leaves United with a big void up front.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, Neville voiced his concerns over United’s dilapidated strike force.
“It’s a massive two weeks, it’s a big, big two weeks for Manchester United in terms of trying to hold onto those players they’ve got and strengthen as much as they can.
“Manchester United’s football going forward is more of a concern than the defending. But in this moment of time they’ve got the foundations right they just need to get the front bit right, where it’s not as exciting and they’re not creating as many chances as they should.”
“They’ve got to get more expression in that final part and create more chances.”
At this moment in tim, Rooney looks like a faded force and there’s no ignoring the fact he has been on a steady downward curve for the last two years, despite some purple patches where he found his goalscoring boots.
Rooney is now approaching the nadir of his career. His target of scoring 20 goals this season looks not just outlandish but nearly impossible if he continues in similar fashion.
Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa are two teams Rooney tore apart in his golden days. This season, he looked subpar against both. His alternative, Chicharito, remains an unpredictable force and still something of an understudy. If Van Gaal is to mount a title challenge this season, he needs to find some serious competition for Rooney.