Manchester United Really Need To Step Up Striker Search!

Old Trafford Stadium, inside

So it seems Robin van Persie could be set to join up with former Manchester United teammate Luis Nani in Istanbul.

It has been widely reported that the Dutch striker is already in Turkey, having a medical and talking over a lucrative contract offer.

If Robin does depart for Fenerbahce this summer then he will leave a massive void at Old Trafford.

When I say that I don’t specially mean in terms of talent.

Obviously Van Persie was crucial in his debut season with the ‘Red Devils’, scoring twenty-six league goals as United secured the Premier League title in Sir Alex Ferguson’s last campaign as Man Utd’s manager.

That one season probably secured Van Persie hero status with many of United’s support.

But in the two seasons since that 2013 title win, Van Persie’s Man Utd career has significantly declined.

He has suffered from numerous injuries (yet again) and only managed another twenty-two league goals in two years. The Dutch internationalist is no longer the focal point for the team and current boss Louis van Gaal could’t reignite Robin’s career with the most successful team in the English Premier League era.

Van Persie seems to have lost a bit of heart, speed and confidence since Fergie departed in the summer of 2013.

So it looks to be best all round if Robin van Persie leaves Man United this summer.

But his departure would mean that Louis van Gaal and his board need to step up their efforts in bringing in more forwards (probably two) this off-season.

Last season United also had mega expensive loanee Radamel Falcao in their ranks. But the Colombian hitman flopped and he was shipped back to AS Monaco (before joining Chelsea on loan during this transfer window).

That meant that most of the goalscoring duties fell on to the shoulders of club captain Wayne Rooney. The England star bagged a respectable twelve league strikes but that won’y be enough to secure a league title or even put up a serious challenge for the championship.

For much of last term Van Gaal seemed to see Rooney more suited in a secondary striking role or as a makeshift central midfielder.

Last year youngster James Wilson was often used as a back-up plan. But the nineteen year old didn’t look ready for full-time first team opportunities at Old Trafford. So I’d imagine Wilson could be better served going out on loan for the 2015/16 season, with Hull City linked with a move.

Summer recruit Memphis Depay can play through the middle as a striker but seems best placed wide on the left. So surely it would make sense for the Dutch internationalist to stay on the left as he gets used to the rigours of English football. It was a tactic that worked well with Cristiano Ronaldo when he joined Man Utd as a youngster.

I seriously doubt Javier Hernandez will remain at United for much longer after being sent out to Real Madrid on loan last term.

So obviously Van Gaal needs to bring in an experienced striker who can arrive and instantly find the net.

Players like Edinson Cavani and Gonzalo Higuain have been mentioned quite a lot this summer regarding a move to Man Utd. But a move for either striker doesn’t look to be happening any time soon. Rumours continue to link the Red Devil’s with Bayern’s Thomas Muller but again nothing seems to be happening with any real pace.

Strikers like Mario Mandzukic, Jackson Martinez, Carlos Bacca and Paulo Dybala have all found new homes already in the last few months.

There could be others out there that may interest Van Gaal.

Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has an impressive goalscoring record in the Bundesliga. Dortmund may not wish to sell yet another star this summer, so it could cost a fortune to convince them to offload the forward.

Another player of interest could be Alexandre Lacazette. The French hitman had a superb season last term with Olympique Lyon and the twenty-four year old could be his country’s next top star. But Lyon are notoriously tough negotiators when discussing selling talent.

In England, Christian Benteke and Diafra Sakho could be on United’s radar. Both had decent campaigns in the league last year but question marks will remain over their ability to score in the Champions League. Those questions can only be answered if they get that chance.

Harry Kane has also been mentioned but would he be worth the reported £40m fee that Spurs will look for?

It looks like Louis van Gaal is about to solve his right-back problem by bringing in Torino’s Italian international defender Matteo Darmian this week. A move for Real Madrid’s centre-back Sergio Ramos is still up in the air at the moment too.

But if/when Robin van Persie completes his switch to Fenerbahce, then Manchester United really need to identify their top striking targets and capture them as soon as possible.

Next season United need to get past a qualifying round to get back into the Champions League group stage. If they do that then they will be fighting on four fronts and they won’t succeed with just Wayne Rooney in the pool!

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