EPL

Rangnick: It is 'obvious' Man Utd need a new striker

By Sports Desk February 12, 2022

Ralf Rangnick believes it is "obvious" Manchester United need to buy a striker in the next transfer window.

United's interim manager has overseen a mixed period of results in recent weeks, with the Red Devils knocked out of the FA Cup by Middlesbrough in the fourth round and sitting sixth in the Premier League after a 1-1 draw at lowly Burnley.

Former RB Leipzig head coach Rangnick currently has Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford to call upon as striker options, with Mason Greenwood currently unavailable and Anthony Martial on loan to Sevilla.

However, Ronaldo has not scored in his last five appearances across all competitions – the last time he had a longer run without a goal at club level was a run of seven games in December 2008 and January 2009 – and Cavani's contract is set to expire at the end of the season.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's home league match with Southampton, Rangnick acknowledged it is an area that United need to address ahead of the next season.

"This is obvious," Rangnick told a news conference when asked specifically if United needed a "younger" striker adding to the squad.

"Edinson's contract is running out in the summer, and the club needs the best possible centre-forward. This is an obvious one. I think everyone is aware of that."

The issues in front of goal were apparent in Tuesday's draw at Burnley – United had 64 per cent possession and 22 attempts on goal but could not battle past Sean Dyche's side.

In fact, Rashford – who has netted four times from an expected goals (xG) value of 2.63 – is the only active United forward to significantly outperform his xG in the Premier League this season.

Ronaldo has found the net eight times from an xG of 10.36, while Cavani has scored just twice in the league, well below his xG total of 3.53.

Rangnick has already questioned United's finishing, stating that his side are not managing enough goals from the quality of chances they are creating as he demanded his players start reaping the rewards of the situations they create.

If United are to be in the market for a new striker in the close season, the Red Devils are known to be long-term admirers of the much coveted Erling Haaland, while a new permanent managerial option could open the door for a variety of centre-forwards. 

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