Manchester City

Manchester United can repeat Robin van Persie trick with massive summer transfer

Man United is in need of a striker this summer and could recruit one to replicate the impact Robin van Persie had at Old Trafford.


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When Wout Weghorst continues to gallop around the pitch, giving his everything but rarely finding the back of the net, Manchester United’s critical need for a talented striker becomes clear.

Erik ten Hag has been hampered this season, which highlights the dramatic gains he’s made at United. Anthony Martial seemed promising at the outset of the Dutchman’s rule, but a string of injuries has rendered him entirely untrustworthy. The Frenchman hasn’t played 90 minutes in over two years and is expected to be sold this summer.

Cristiano Ronaldo was United’s only other central striker when the season began. Before the ball was even thrown, it was clear that the static and aging star would not suit Ten Hag’s high-pressing style, but the Portuguese ego had a far more catastrophic influence than anyone could have expected. He whined, stropped, and eventually torched all bridges by forcing his exit through an explosive interview.

United’s options were severely limited as a result of the departure, and only the emergence of Alejandro Garnacho and Marcus Rashford’s willingness to play wherever needed pulled them through a difficult spell. When the January window opened, there wasn’t enough money in the budget for anything other than a loan move, so Weghorst stepped in. The huge Dutchman has been praised for his tireless labor and unexpectedly excellent link-up play, but his lack of talent in the box is starting to irritate many.

Weghorst appeared to be signed as a good option off the bench, but his flaws have been exposed as Ten Hag has had to rely on a striker declared unfit to stay in the Championship by Burnley. Still, the manager is clearly an admirer of his countryman, but whether or not he returns to Old Trafford next season, a world-class striker is critical if United is to progress.

United is well aware of this and has already made it a summer priority, which is long overdue. Since Romelu Lukaku, no striker at his peak has been signed, and the void has been filled by veterans such as Weghorst, Ronaldo, and Edinson Cavani.

It’s time to break the cycle, and Napoli’s Victor Osimhen would be an exciting addition. He’s scored 21 goals in 26 games for Napoli this season, propelling them to the top of Serie A, and he’d bring real pace, lethal finishing, and energy to the United assault.

But, a more reliable supplier of goals in the Premier League could be a wiser addition. It’s something United has done before. Despite his age, Robin van Persie was brought in from rivals Arsenal in 2012. It was believed that such a great striker would help United win their 20th title despite a side lacking in quality elsewhere. It was successful.

Now, United has the opportunity to sign another clinical, 29-year-old striker from a trophy-less North London club whose contract is due to expire. For years, Harry Kane has been disillusioned with Tottenham and has attempted to push a move to Manchester City in 2021.

Spurs refused to sell, so City went on, bringing in Erling Haaland a year later instead. Kane has remained a brilliant player, but he has yet to win a trophy to go with his hundreds of goals. Which must irritate him.

With City in desperate need of a striker, Kane has few clear options should he want to leave Spurs again this summer. The tepid defeat to AC Milan on Wednesday confirmed another trophyless season, and Kane’s chance to win one is running out.

Kane will be 30 before the next season begins, and he has a lot of wear and tear from years of injuries and play. Perhaps he, too, would be an experienced stopgap, but he is definitely an elite-level striker capable of commanding United’s attack and supplying a source of goals that, aside from Rashford, has been lacking.

It would be a re-enactment of the Van Persie maneuver. Signing a striker who has had injury problems and doesn’t have much time left at the top but is so, so, so amazing that even if he’s just at his best for one season, it’ll be worth it. While he has had his share of scrapes, Kane hasn’t had as catastrophic injuries as the Dutchman and is expected to have at least four more years at the highest level in him. Ten Hag would love to have a reliable scorer who is also good on the ball and in building plays.

Kane, like Van Persie, may not be a United player for a long time, but it would be a terrific time.

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