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Manchester United must ditch Martial for Mohammed Kudus

Manchester United are undoubtedly moving in the right direction, and could take progress one step further with the signing of Ajax Amsterdam phenom Mohammed Kudus in 2023. 

According to 90min earlier this month, Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag has been exploring the possibility of signing Kudus following the shock departure of legendary striker Cristiano Ronaldo in November, following an explosive interview with Piers Morgan.

The 37-year-old Ronaldo had only clinched three goals for United under Ten Hag, with animosity boiling over the polarity between the player and his manager, but his departure had left Old Trafford short of options in the central striking position regardless.

This week, the Premier League giants have patched up the hole with the six-month loan signing of Burnley’s Wout Weghorst, who severed his loan at Turkish outfit Besiktas to take the opportunity to ply his trade for the Red Devils. 

Kudus – valued at around £40m – represents a more dynamic, ubiquitous frontal role, one that could pay dividends for the illustrious outfit as they seek to bolster the ranks in search of glory once again.

Huge Martial upgrade

Talent scout Jacek Kulig once waxed lyrical about the burgeoning star, lauding his “electric” speed and growing presence as a marksman.

And indeed, Kudus has scored ten goals and provided two assists for the Eredivisie giants since the season’s inception, despite only starting ten matches. 

He has unearthed something of a knack for starring on the major stage, with four of his goals and both assists for his club this season coming in the Champions League, with strikes against Liverpool and Napoli only charging the hype around his skill-set; and for his country, the 21-cap gem was one of the standout performers at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Should Man United sign Kudus?

Yes!

Yes!

No!

No!

As per Sofascore, the 22-year-old sensationally recorded an average rating of 7.70 at the World Cup, scoring two goals from his three appearances and excelling in his offensive role, taking 2.7 shots per outing and succeeding with 71% of his dribbles.

His defensive acumen was also firmly on display, with his 1.7 tackles and 1.3 possession wins per match an indication of the vibrant sheen to his rounded game. 

He would be a big upgrade on Anthony Martial, who has failed to impress with several poor displays this season.

Having arrived at the Theatre of Dreams for £36m in 2015, the French Martial initially flourished and indeed has chalked up 84 goals and 52 assists from 281 total appearances for United, but has deteriorated over recent years, even being loaned out to Sevilla last year. 

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Manchester-United-star-Marcus-Rashford

Who was Man United's top scorer across the entire 21/22 campaign?

This season, the forward has clinched five goals from 12 appearances, but with Sofascore recording his average league rating at 6.86, it’s clear an improvement on his place in the squad might be a prudent move.  

As per FBref, Kudus, who ranks incredibly against forwards throughout Men’s Next 8 leagues over the past year, including the top 1% for for pass completion and dribbles completed, the top 3% for progressive passes and the top 8% for rate of goals, is the dynamic forward with cutting edge United need to ascend to the next level.

Kudus must find his name on Man United team sheets over the coming years, with his “monster” aura – in the words of journalist Muftawu Nabila Abdulai – on the pitch adding prolific value and a dangerous dimension to Ten Hag’s team.