Two games into the new Premier League season and there are already major flaws that Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag needs to fix and soon.
Rasmus Hojlund has arrived for a considerable fee but he remains injured with Marcus Rashford forced to take up the striker’s mantle.
United need an elite goalscorer upfront
Despite scoring 30 times last season, the Mancunian struggles to play with his back to goal and is not adept at holding on to the ball under pressure, key traits of a physical target man.
Ten Hag’s plan all along was to bring in a powerhouse striker while allowing time for the Dane to get settled into his new environment and void putting too much pressure on his young shoulders.
Harry Kane was always the Dutchman’s preferred choice but with United operating on a limited budget, that move failed to pan out as the England skipper ended up joining Bayern Munich.
But that does not mean the former Ajax coach has not formulated a backup plan. With funds tight currently, there are plans to recruit a striker in January if the need arises.
“Manchester United are looking to bring in Ivan Toney in January after having conversations with the Brentford striker before the side flew out for their pre-season tour of the States, FootballTransfers understands.
“Sources have informed us that Erik ten Hag is after a No.9 following the acquisition of Rasmus Hojlund and the club are prepared to wait until Toney’s ban is lifted in January.
“We are told that Toney is open to a move to Old Trafford, while the time in which it will take to sign the 27-year-old means that Hojlund will have time to settle into life in Manchester.”
Ivan Toney suits ETH to the T
Toney is the archetypical Ten Hag striker, powerful, capable of playing with his back to goal and most importantly a proven goalscorer.
The 27-year-old moved to Brentford back in 2020 and helped them achieve Premier League promotion in 2021. He has scored 68 goals in 128 competitions for the Bees.
It will not be easy to land the England international with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur also keeping a close tab while the Bees would also like to keep a hold of their talisman.
He is valued at €35 million as per Transfermarkt and his Brentford contract expires in 2025.