After a misfiring first three months of the season, Manchester United find themselves with the best defence in the league, but having scored fewer goals than a horrifically misfiring Chelsea. After 11 games, they’ve managed 11 fewer goals than top scorers Manchester City.
So it’s no surprise that the majority of transfer rumours surrounding the Old Trafford club in the run-up to Christmas and the January transfer window are about attacking players. United are in the midst of a minor goalscoring crisis, they’re having a creative block.
And in an effort to change that, Louis Van Gaal may have to dip into the transfer market in January, rather than waiting until next summer. Or at least the papers seem to think so. According to them he’s been sending out scouts and poking his feelers around in an effort to find just the right sort of player to help unlock defences or put the ball into the net.
United have created the fewest chances of any team so far this season. So given that, some of the transfer rumours touted over the last few weeks might just happen. Here are five of them, and don’t be surprised if at least one of these guys pulls on a United shirt sometime in January…
A fairly standard rumour that’s been doing the rounds for a little bit of time now. Reportedly a target in the summer, it seems like Kane could be on the move to United sooner rather than later.
His England teammate Wayne Rooney can’t find the net, but Kane has found his scoring boots at Spurs again, and he could be the man to propel United to the title if they stump up the cash necessary to prize him away from North London.
Having a wonderful season with Leicester, so why not take a punt on him.
He won’t have too much settling into a new location to do, just moving city really, and he possesses the pace and directness that United have lacked at times. Van Gaal tried to sign Pedro over the summer because of those attributes, so presumably he’s still the kind of player United are interesting in signing. His form and creativity could be just what the doctor ordered.
The Turkish playmaker is seen as a bit of a free-kick specialist, but he’s also a wonderful creator of chances and an adept unlocker of defences. Just what United need.
He’s young and could easily be tempted by a move to Manchester, and life in the Bundesliga wouldn’t be too much different to life in the Premier League – the downside is he’s already played in the Champions League for current club Bayer Leverkusen.
This is a rumour that just won’t quit, and it’s an intriguing one. Pato has always been well thought-of and so you’d imagine he has a lot of talent buried deep down. But he’s never really shown it enough in Europe.
It would be a gamble for United, but really, given their toothlessness at the moment – unable to create never mind score – would he really be any worse than what they have right now?
It’s been reported that United might look to Mario Gomez to solve United’s goalscoring woes.
It would be a shocking move if United were to take on a 30 year-old with his injury record, but taking on someone with his undoubted goalscoring prowess would make sense. And when you remember that Gomez scored 90 goals for Van Gaal over the two years the Dutchman was at the club, it makes the rumour all the more interesting.
Whether Van Gaal was hinting at bringing Gomez to United or whether he was simply trying to show Wayne Rooney that form is temporary if you have the class remains to be seen. But if Gomez could regularly find the net for Van Gaal, he’d solve all the current problems.