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Manchester United could sign Martial upgrade in Tammy Abraham

Manchester United are in desperate need of a new centre-forward following the acrimonious departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, and Tammy Abraham’s availability has been illuminated.

That’s according to TEAMtalk, who suggest Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag is targeting AS Roma’s Abraham for a January swoop, with the club currently without a recognised senior striker following Ronaldo’s mutual termination of his contract in fiery circumstances.

Anthony Martial has regularly assumed the role across recent matches, but a more prolific avenue would certainly benefit United as they seek to return to the Champions League with a top-four finish.

Abraham signed for i Lupi last summer in a £34m deal from Chelsea, where he rose through the Cobham academy and earned a shot as the side’s talisman, before moving on for regular starting appearances.

Martial upgrade

Abraham is not the most high-profile signing United could bring to Old Trafford, but he is a steady goalscorer with proven Premier League experience and European trophy-winning credentials.

Amid links to the likes of Joao Felix, Victor Osimhen and Dusan Vlahovic, the signing of Abraham might be met with a certain degree of apprehension, but it would represent a shrewd delve into the market during winter – a time when signings of great magnitude are notoriously difficult to achieve.

Since signing for his Italian outfit, the 11-cap Englishman has plundered 31 goals from 73 outings, including a stunning 27-goal haul last year in a campaign that was iced with a Europa Conference League triumph.

And during his time with Chelsea, Abraham scored 30 goals from 82 showings, including snatching 15 goals and four assists during the 2019/20 season, when he starred as the club’s offensive focal point, demonstrating his clinical prowess by merging his sharpshooting skills with his imposing physicality and slick bursts of pace.

As per FBref, Abraham still ranks within the top 17% of forwards for expected goals over the past year; despite his recent struggles – scoring just three times from 15 league appearances – he is still maintaining his vibrant, bustling approach in and around the box, and is well placed to flourish when he enters his next purple patch.

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By signing him this winter, United can shift Martial to his favoured position on the left flank, allowing the presence of an established centre-forward to add a dimension to the collective offensive surge.

Indeed, it would very much appear as if Abraham would be an upgrade in a central berth, with the Frenchman a far less prolific asset in front of goal.

He has scored 84 times in 279 outings for the club, once every 5.1 games, while he ranks incredibly poorly for xG, sitting in the worst 37% for positionally similar players.

That is not ideal for Ten Hag’s side who rank tenth in the division for total goals this term, while ranking seventh for total shots. As a result, there is a clear trend of impotence in front of goal, and with the “goal machine” – as dubbed by Stephen Elliott – Abraham’s inclusion, the squad’s fortunes would soar as a result.