Manchester United can accelerate Cristiano Ronaldo succession plan with £100m Serie A striker
Manchester United is currently having no trouble creating chances. However, they are having difficulties converting those opportunities.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s remarkable inevitability in front of goal has vanished, jeopardising the team’s prospects of achieving their desired top-four finish.
According to Statsbomb, since Ralf Rangnick was appointed as interim manager, United have generated the most chances in the Premier League with 160, but have only scored 20, putting them in fifth place.
Ronaldo has only scored three goals in that time, one of which was a penalty, indicating that he has a lot of space for growth.
This could be one of the reasons for Rangnick’s misgivings regarding Ronaldo, according to MEN Sport, who claims the German is doubtful whether the striker should lead the line next season and thus advises United to seek a new striker during the summer transfer window.
The striker should be able to attack space in behind and link up nicely with Jadon Sancho and Anthony Elanga, or whoever United acquire on the right flank if they make a bid to strengthen that position.
According to our Daily Star colleagues, United are interested in signing Napoli striker Victor Osimhen but are unwilling to pay the Italian club’s £100 million asking price.
Oshimen joined Napoli from Lille for just under £70 million in 2020, and while injuries hampered his first season with the Italian club, his second season has seen him improve dramatically, and he has been crucial to the Gli Azzurri’s push for the Serie A title.
Osimhen has seven goals and three assists in 1182 minutes this season, and he has four more goals in five Europa League games.
The Nigerian, who is 23 years old, fits the profile of striker United is looking for: he is youthful and tactically adaptable, and he would be the team’s main striker for at least the next five years.
If United misses out on Osimhen, the club still has a number of strikers to choose from who have comparable stylistic characteristics. Alexander Isak has a similar profile to Nigerian striker Victor Moses, depending on his movement and on-the-ball skills to push forward and generate scoring opportunities.
Jonathan David, who slipped perfectly into Osimhen’s shoes at Lille, is another candidate who may be reshaped to fit United’s style of play.
Erling Haaland’s name will (and should) be at the top of the list of potential striker additions this summer, but he will be the major striking target for many of Europe’s top clubs, and given the number of teams in need of a striker, United must act soon to avoid missing out on other options.