“We need a striker”- Erik ten Hag makes transfer admission that Manchester United fans will like

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag on needing a striker in the summer window

In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has admitted that the club needs to sign a striker in the summer window.

United have been linked with a few number nines in the past few weeks. Manchester Evening News reported that ten Hag has earmarked Harry Kane as his primary target. The England captain will decide his future depending on who the next Tottenham Hotspur manager is. His contract there expires in 2024 (Transfermarkt).

The Red Devils have shown interest in Napoli striker Victor Osimhen as well. The Nigerian international has not ruled out a move away from Naples in the coming summer.’

Manchester United's Dutch manager Erik ten Hag reacts on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on April 2, 2023. - Newcastle won the game 2-0.
Erik ten Hag on why Manchester United need to sign a striker in the summer. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

Here’s what ten Hag said when asked about the need to sign a striker in the summer (h/t Sky Sports):

“Everyone is different, obviously, but for a striker the main thing is to score goals by any method, that is so far ahead of anything else.

“We need a striker who scores goals because we have ability in the team to put balls in the box, so we need a striker to finish.

“We have to build a new future and we need a striker who not only scores goals but contributes by linking up play very well and pressing, which is very important.”

What this quote tells us is that the boss is clear about why he needs a striker before the start of next season. He has also explained the profile of the player required.

After mutually terminating Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract in November, United were left with Anthony Martial as the only option to lead the line.

The Frenchman’s injury record hasn’t been encouraging since then. The club signed Wout Weghorst on loan in January to fill up the vacant position.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United  during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on April 28, 2022 in Manchester, England.
United are yet to properly replace Ronaldo since he left in November. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Amidst all that, Marcus Rashford became the team’s leading scorer with 28 goals and seven assists in 47 appearances in all competitions. Since the World Cup, the 25-year-old has been on a different level.

However, going forward, ten Hag cannot rely on one player to do the scoring and play every game. Rashford is currently injured and United somewhat missed him in the first leg of the Europa League tie against Sevilla on Thursday.

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So, it is key that the club backs the manager here and gives him the necessary funds to sign a striker in the summer.