Man United transfers: Five strikers who could fill Robin van Persie’s void
Jake Evans takes a look at five strikers who could fill the void left by Robin van Persie at Manchester United
PSG’s Uruguayan centre-forward gets linked to the Premier League in every transfer window. Edison Cavani is the long-haired footballing equivalent of Marmite. Some believe he is an exceptional striker with power, pace and finishing, whilst others suggest he’s inconsistent and needs far too many chances to score a goal. Statistics would suggest the former. He has netted 34 goals in 65 matches for PSG despite being deployed as a left-winger during his career in France, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic inevitably takes centre stage. At Napoli, where Cavani was the focal point of a three man forward line, he notched 78 goals in 104 appearances, boasting one of the most ruthless conversion rates in European football. If Angel di Maria is used as bait, a deal could be done very easily this summer. United’s new look luxury midfield would create chance after chance for Cavani, enabling him to score goal after goal.
This is unlikely considering the rivalry between the two Manchester clubs but Edin Dzeko is available for transfer so anything could happen. Louis van Gaal should be bold and enquire about the Bosnian forward who is a proven Premier League goal-scorer. His form suffered last season as he was regularly benched by Manuel Pellegrini and the striker is keen to leave The Etihad. He already lives in the area and the chance to join Manchester United could tempt him to force through any prospective deal. United would strengthen their squad and weaken City’s simultaneously.
Alexandre Lacazette is probably the most sought-after striker in Europe. Lyon are desperate to keep him and understandably so; he scored an incredible 27 goals in 33 league appearances last season. He also managed eight assists and was voted the Ligue 1 player of the season. The Frenchman is just 24 and only likely to get better which could explain his hefty £42m price tag. Liverpool and Arsenal are both rumoured to be interested in signing Lacazette so United should work quickly if they want to gain an advantage over their domestic rivals ahead of the new season.
Thomas Muller is a gifted goal-scorer but he is also the best footballer on this list by some distance. He can play in midfield and boasts a similar range of passing to Wayne Rooney but 27 goals in 63 matches for the German national team prove that he is a lethal centre-forward. It feels as though Muller has been the scourge of England fans for decades but he is still only 25 and about to enter his prime. He could manage another 10 seasons at the highest level and Manchester United should be doing all they can to persuade him to join former team-mate Bastian Schweinsteiger at Old Trafford.
Real Madrid have first option on Alvaro Morata after selling him to Juventus last summer but Rafa Benitez seems content with his current striking options. Morata is the only player on this list who could struggle to match the 10 league goals managed by Robin Van Persie last season but he is arguably the player with the most potential at 22. He is a tall target-man with excellent technique and performed brilliantly for Juventus towards the end of last season, scoring in the Champions League semi and final against Real Madrid and Barcelona. Morata only managed 8 Serie A goals last season but his record of 29 goals in 36 matches as a Spanish youth international is worth taking into consideration.