Manchester United were expected to continue their nine-game unbeaten streak last Sunday when they faced a struggling Aston Villa side who brought in Unai Emery as their new manager.
Instead, Villa, riding on the infamous new manager bounce, completely outplayed the Red Devils and ended up securing a famous 3-1 win to condemn United to their fourth loss of the season.
Erik ten Hag’s side did not play particularly well with fatigue a major factor behind the lacklustre showing.
Striker required at United
The loss laid bare the need to strengthen in the attacking areas of the pitch considering the form and injury record of the options available at the manager’s disposal.
— mufcmpb (@mufcMPB) November 8, 2022
Cristiano Ronaldo, who was last season’s top scorer with 24 goals, has so far managed only three goals with only one coming in the Premier League.
He looks unsuited to Ten Hag’s demands and has looked a shadow of his former self. There are also constant rumours floating linking the Portuguese with a move in January itself.
Marcus Rashford has been the team’s top scorer so far with seven goals but has been inconsistent at best, missing gilt-edged chances galore.
Anthony Martial’s recurring injury woes have meant he has hardly played a part, starting only once in the Premier League so far.
Ben Brereton Diaz the answer?
Another unusual and left-field name has entered the fray — Blackburn Rovers’ Ben Brereton Diaz. The Chilean has bagged nine Championship goals so far, having bagged 22 goals last season.
His impressive displays have alerted top clubs and United have sent scouts to watch him in recent weeks.
The Reds are not the only potential suitors in England with Tottenham, West Ham, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Brighton and Wolves also in the running.
The 23-year-old’s options also include European clubs like Sevilla, Ajax, Union Berlin, Atalanta, Sassuolo and Salernitana.
His contract ends next summer and there is a high possibility that Diaz will not be signing an extension.
Blackburn now need to to decide whether to allow him to leave for free in the summer while he helps them in their promotion push this season.
Sources have told 90min that “a deal in excess of £10m could be enough to persuade Rovers to sell in January, despite the damage it may do to their promotion bid.”
Diaz has done well for the Championship side and has regularly featured for Chile but whether he can cut it in the Premier League on a consistent basis needs to be seen.
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