Over the years, Manchester United have always been renowned for possessing top quality strikers within their ranks. I mean, Eric Cantona, Andy Cole and Ruud Van Nistelrooy are not bad names to have leading various lines right? And that’s just naming a few. The question is though, Rooney aside, what is next for the current crop of United front men?
Robin Van Persie is first name in question. The former Arsenal star is currently sidelined through injury, which has been a prominent trait throughout his career. Prior to his latest setback, Van Persie looked a shadow of the player he once was, often appearing a little disinterested under both David Moyes last year and compatriot Louis Van Gaal this season. Though always dangerous, it seemed a certain sharpness was missing from his game and this has been evident in the fact that the former multiple-time Premier League top scorer has only notched 10 times in 24 appearances this campaign. It has been highly touted that this could be the 31-year old’s final season with the Red Devils, who has reportedly been lined up as a make weight in a deal involving Paul Pogba and the best part of £50m.
Radamel Falcao has been one of the most talked about players in the Premiership for all the wrong reasons. The Colombian has scored a paltry 4 goals so since arriving on loan from Monaco sparking huge debate, whether or not United should opt to make his loan a permanent deal. There is absolutely no doubt that Falcao has the ability to succeed at the top level, as proven for both Porto and Atletico Madrid, but since the serious knee injury that kept him out of the 2014 world cup, he has never really looked the same player. It would be a huge risk for United to pay the £35m to make his switch permanent considering the fact that the likes of Chris Smalling and Ander Herrera have outscored Falcao during this campaign.
United currently have a couple other talented strikers on their books in Javier Hernandez and James Wilson, with the former out on loan. Hernandez has struggled for games during his time at Real Madrid yet has shown glimpses of legitimate quality during his career in Europe. For one reason or another Chicarito has never been given the opportunity to be a first choice marksman since arriving from Mexico in 2010, though he possesses a pretty decent goal scoring record with almost a goal every 4 games. Not too bad for a back up striker. It seems as if Hernandez will also leave Old Trafford with a host of Premiership sides including West Ham and Southampton frequently linked to the Mexican if gossip columns are anything to go by.
James Wilson on the other hand looks to have a future at the Manchester club. The 20-year old featured regularly in the early stages of the season making 12 appearences in the senior side before dropping back down to the reserve team, where he has flourished ever since. Wilson also showed glimpses of a bright future, and Van Gaal’s use of the young front man will only spur him on to return to first-team fold and ignite a potentially successful career for years to come.
With the likelihood of a number of these players departing Old Trafford, there will definitely be some movement in the summer for attacking. And if not,then I guess there’s always the man in form Marouane Fellaini. Not looking so bad after all.
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