It has been a stuttering start from Manchester United in the league this season and once again a lack of goals has been an issue.
Scoring just nine goals in their opening eight league games before the international break in October, manager Erik ten Hag needs to find more firepower from somewhere or risk missing out on a top-four finish this season.
Rashford Efforts Papered Over The Cracks
United have known they needed a new central figure in attack since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo shortly after ten Hag’s arrival in Manchester last year. The Red Devils don’t seem to have resolved that issue and are 80/1 for those making football bets to win the Premier League title this season. United found themselves down in 10th place after the first eight games and are 9/2 to finish in the top four in a bet on Premier League markets. With four wins and four defeats in that spell, it’s clear a lack of goals continues to be an issue for ten Hag’s side.
Last season saw a return to form for United star Marcus Rashford, who found the back of the net 17 times in league football that year. Only five players scored more goals than the England international and his efforts were a key reason why United finished third and earned a return to the Champions League. With Rashford failing to hit the ground running, scoring just one goal in the league after the first eight games, it’s clear his efforts last season were papering over the cracks.
United Could Rue Missed Kane Opportunity
Over the summer there were numerous reports Manchester United were in the running to sign England striker Harry Kane. Tottenham Hotspur will have been reluctant to allow their all-time leading goalscorer to leave for a domestic rival but the links were still there. However, in a move that shocked many, Kane decided to leave the English top flight behind to take on a new challenge in the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.
Looking back on the transfer saga, United might well be wondering if they could have done anything more to bring Kane to Old Trafford. Scoring 27 goals in his final season at Tottenham, Kane was the second-highest goalscorer in the competition last term. If Kane had made the move to United, he would have undoubtedly brought goals and helped bring a focal point to the Red Devils’ attack. Instead, United’s top goalscorers after the first eight games of the league campaign are Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes with both midfielders scoring two goals apiece. In that spell, United’s recognised forward players had contributed one league goal before the international break, with Rashford scoring in a 3-1 defeat to Arsenal.
Considering the attacking options for some of United’s rivals, it looks like ten Hag’s side have an uphill battle to challenge for a top-four finish this season. The likes of Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Tottenham appear to be streets ahead as United continue their search for a striker to make the difference.