Careful what you wish for, Manchester United

“At this moment, we don’t have a striker who scores 20 goals.”

The words of Louis van Gaal over the weekend as he lamented his Manchester United side’s lack of goals. How our heart bleeds for the £150m summer spenders, who took on Radamel Falcao, despite his creaking knee and spent a record fee on Angel di Maria, despite possessing enough ‘No. 10’s to make even Arsene Wenger blush!

But, with United big hitters in the transfer market, LVG is likely to be free to go for whomever he wants later this year, however he should exercise some caution when looking for the ’20 goal’ man he wants. Coming up are three pages of the pitfalls Van Gaal must avoid, which others have not managed to sidestep…

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Eredivisie goals count… right?

Mateja Kezman


Kezman was a goalscoring machine for PSV Eindhoven. Between 2001-2004 he smashed a stunning 81 efforts in the red and white striped shirt, with his season best coming in the middle of this three-year spell of net-bulging – a tally of 35 in 33 games. Wow! Chelsea took the plunge in their Roman Abramovic glory-seeking early days, but the Serbian failed to cut it in west London, scoring four times in just over a year. After his exit, Kezman bounced around Europe before ending his career with South China.

Alfonso Alves

The holy grail of successful in Dutch football but woeful in the Premier League, Alves will forever go down in the top of the flops hall of fame. 34 goals in his debut season in the Eredivisie was some going, and the Brazilian then maintained his edge the following term with a seven-goal (yes, SEVEN) haul in his last campaign with Heerenveen against Heracles. Not bad, eh?

Middlesbrough were so impressed that they paid close to £20m for his signature, but 18 months and 10 goals later they were relegated, and Alves has since been plying his trade in the Middle East.

Well he’s got potential…

Kostas Mitroglou


Although he didn’t technically reach 20 goals in the 2013/14 season with Olympiakos, his record of 14 in under half the season suggests that he would have cut it and passed the marker, which makes this one fine for us! The Greek ace stunk of a relegation signing for Fulham last season as they paid over £11m for the man who had been passed on by some bigger clubs. True to form, he flopped, with fitness issues limiting him to just a handful of minutes as the Cottagers slipped to drop. He’s now back in his homeland with Olympiakos… again.

Roque Santa Cruz


19 goals (we’ll forgive him the 20 mark as he was playing for Blackburn!) was enough to convince Manchester City to pay almost £20m for the Paraguayan ‘penalty box predator’ Santa Cruz in 2009. We have no sympathy for the Sky Blues, who simply had to look at his record prior to that one outstanding campaign, as he’d never reached double figures, despite playing Bayern Munich since 1999.

Let’s all laugh at Chelsea!

Andriy Shevchenko


A real indulgence signing, Chelsea had little need for Shevchenko, but in 2006, but Abramovich’s desire to land an Eastern Bloc idol led to a £30+ deal for the Ukrainian, who failed to settle in west London, despite his reputation as one of the planet’s best players after a prolific spell at AC Milan.

‘Sheva’ was not suited to the Premier League and failed to reach double figures before he was shipped out permanently to Dynamo Kiev in 2009.

Fernando Torres


Perhaps the worst ever Premier League deal. Liverpool were aware injuries had robbed Torres of his pace and some lacklustre showings made it pretty obvious to onlookers, too, but Chelsea were so intent on getting their man that a £50m January 2011 bid went in, and ‘El Nino’ switched from Merseyside to London. A 900-minute baron spell awaited Torres in the blue of Chelsea, and he is now back at his first club, Atletico Madrid, via AC Milan on a loan deal that will run down the remainder of his Chelsea contract.

The deal would have looked even worse for the Blues had Liverpool not wasted £35m of the fee on Andy Carroll…

Article title: Careful what you wish for, Manchester United

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