Man United earmark 24-year-old African striker as a cheaper alternative to Erling Haaland

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Transfer News: Manchester United go up against Man City and West Ham for Sevilla ace Youssef En-Nesyri.
Transfer News: Manchester United go up against Man City and West Ham for Sevilla ace Youssef En-Nesyri.

Transfer News: Manchester United go up against Man City and West Ham for Sevilla ace Youssef En-Nesyri

According to the Spanish publication Fichajes (h/t Manchester Evening News), Manchester United appear set to go up against West Ham United and Manchester City for the signing of Sevilla star, Youssef En-Nesyri.

The 24-year-old is primarily deployed as a centre-forward but is equally proficient operating anywhere in the frontline. En-Nesyri joined Sevilla from Leganes in 2020 and has since plundered 33 goals in just 87 appearances across all competitions.

With Edinson Cavani’s contract expiring next summer and Anthony Martial failing to perform consistently, Man United could do with a new striker ahead of the 2022/23 season. Cristiano Ronaldo is also not getting any younger, and Mason Greenwood cannot be tasked with leading the line for a whole season across multiple fronts.

Transfer News: Manchester United go up against Man City and West Ham for Sevilla ace Youssef En-Nesyri who is a cheaper alternative to Erling Haaland.
Sevilla’s Moroccan forward Youssef En-Nesyri is a handful to contain on his day. (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP) (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images)

While Marcus Rashford too can do a job up front, the English international proved his worth under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer starting down the left flank. These compounded factors hint that the club needs to bring in a prolific frontman who can effectively lead the line.

En-Nesyri could well be that man as he slowly yet steadily makes a name for himself in La Liga. A physically imposing presence inside the box, the Moroccan international is also a talented player with the ball at his feet.

This ability to function as a target man is also something that can be used if United are forced to play long balls against teams who employ the low block. En-Nesyri is also a good finisher, and it can come in handy when it comes to finishing off opportunities in the final third.

Transfer News: Manchester United go up against Man City and West Ham for Sevilla ace Youssef En-Nesyri who is a cheaper alternative to Erling Haaland..
Cristiano Ronaldo will turn 37 before the start of the 2022/23 season. (@ManUtd/Twitter)

An alternative to Haaland?

As things stand, the biggest clubs in Europe look set to go up against one another for Erling Haaland. The Norwegian will be the hottest striker on the market next summer once his release clause kicks in.

While it would be a dream to see him line up at Old Trafford, the finances involved could prove to be impossible to meet. En-Nesyri represents a financially effective option and will be a cheaper alternative to meet the Red Devils’ needs.

Man United will, however, have to beat off interest from both West Ham and Man City if they are serious about landing the Moroccan. The Hammers had a £29m bid rejected for him earlier this summer but are yet to throw in the towel. Meanwhile, Man City lost Sergio Aguero earlier this year and failed to land Harry Kane. Pep Guardiola could do with yet another number nine in his squad, and En-Nesyri is certainly an attractive option.

Transfer News: Manchester United go up against Man City and West Ham for Sevilla ace Youssef En-Nesyri who is a cheaper alternative to Erling Haaland..
Erling Haaland is extremely prolific but also equally expensive. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

The onus will be on the Red Devils to beat off competition for the player. But while En-Nesyri is a cheaper alternative to Haaland, his stats also pale compared to the Norwegian. He averages 0.38 goals per match for Sevilla compared to Haaland’s ridiculous strike rate of over one goal per game for Borussia Dortmund. Ultimately United will be getting what they pay for.

The 24-year-old’s strike rate might appear amateurish when compared to Haaland. However, it is comparable to Cavani’s return of 0.38 goals per game for Man United and better than Martial’s rather modest return of 0.29 goals per game for the club. It’s not to say that goals alone justify a player’s worth, but a striker that can find the net on a regular basis is a bonus for any team to have.

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At 24, En-Nesyri still has the best years of his career ahead of him and can certainly improve those numbers with proper guidance. He will have a better supporting cast to aid him at Old Trafford and could thrive off world-class service at the Theatre of Dreams.

Signing a player such as the Moroccan also makes sense if Man United decide to hire someone like Ralf Rangnick to take over as their manager. The German tactician places a firm emphasis on coaching to get the best out of his players. One can certainly argue that an unpolished diamond such as En-Nesyri could up his game under such a manager.

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