The Belgium international has been in stunning form since Tim Sherwood took the Villa Park reins from Paul Lambert in February, going on to claim ten goals in ten appearances across all competitions – including a hat-trick against Queens Park Rangers and the opener in the Villains’ 2-1 FA Cup semi-final win over Liverpool.
But whether he’s quite at the standard of 13-time Premier League winners Manchester United remains open to debate. After all, the Red Devils have boasted some of the greatest strikers in world football down the years and their current strike-force – Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao – isn’t too shabby either.
So before the Old Trafford out fork out a whopping £30million for the beastly Belgian, Football Fancast feels compelled to consider some alternatives on their behalf. Would one of these FIVE be a better fit for United?
After just one season of superlative form, snapping up Tottenham’s Harry Kane this summer would be a huge risk on Manchester United’s part, but nonetheless one that offers huge goalscoring rewards.
After all, the 21 year-old is the top-scoring Englishman in the Premier League this term with 20 goals in 30 appearances – a total only surpassed in the top flight by Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero.
More than simply his goals, it’s the England international’s all-round game that truly stands out. He’s good on the ball, dangerous in the air, deadly in front of goal and infectious in his enthusiasm, earning him comparisons with Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller and England greats Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham.
Admittedly, it could be a summer too soon for the Tottenham talisman. He’d hardly be the first or the last one-season wonder in the Premier League, and he still has a lot to learn.
But United have made a point of maintaining their synonymy with the England national team throughout the years and Kane appears to have an incredibly bright Three Lions career ahead of him.
After two fantastic seasons at Sevilla, Carlos Bacca’s £21.3million release clause is almost certain to be triggered by one of Europe’s top clubs this summer.
Indeed, the Colombian international’s 21 goals last season fired the La Liga outfit to the 2014 Europa League title, but he’s already surpassed that impressive haul this year in seven less outings, bringing his total for Los Rojiblancos to 45 goals in 97 appearances.
Powerful, quick and unorthodox in style, the 28 year-old seems like a natural suitor the physical demands of Premier League – and he’d add some much-needed penetration to United’s often static front-line.
Admittedly, however, Bacca’s relatively untested compared to some of the other names on this list, having spent the majority of his career in South America and with Belgian side Club Brugge.
But based on his current form, £21.3million is an absolute bargain – and £9million cheaper than Benteke.
Palermo prodigy Paulo Dybala is the striker everybody seems to want this summer – including Manchester United.
His return of 13 goals and 10 assists in 32 Serie A appearances has attracted interest from the Red Devils, Arsenal, Liverpool, PSG and Juventus to name a few, whilst earning him comparisons with Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Luis Suarez.
High praise indeed, but the 21 year-old certainly shares the latter’s drive and potency on the counter-attack – which is exactly why the Premier League’s top clubs should be trying to snap him up this summer.
Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has made no secret of his desire to cash in on the young Argentine, continually hyping Dybala in the tabloids like some sort of boxing mogul.
His £29.5million release clause is more than affordable for United; the bigger challenge is beating their continental rivals to the striker’s signature.
Robert Lewandowski may have moved to the Allianz Arena only last summer, but he’s struggled to adapt to the style of Pep Guardiola’s highly technical Bayern Munich side – despite a return of 23 goals in 43 appearances this season.
Indeed, the Poland international is your classic No.9 of the Alan Shearer or Didier Drogba mould, but he’s utilised more as a poacher by the Bavarians boss – and, on occasion, even found himself fielded on the left wing.
There’s been some grumblings of discontent in the tabloids and if founded in truth, the Red Devils would be wide to offer Lewandowski an escape route to Old Trafford.
There’s no questioning the 26 year-old’s talent; few strikers throughout the history of the sport have scored four goals in a single game against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu and he boasts a potent return of 126 goals in 228 appearances from his time in Germany.
Furthermore, having signed the 6 foot striker on a free transfer last summer, the Bavarians might be more willing to part with Lewandowksi than some would expect – for the right price, of course.
If PSG don’t intend to sell Edinson Cavani this summer as recent tabloid speculation suggests, then they’ll probably be forced to part with Zlatan Ibrahimovic – who, rather timely, is now verging upon the final year of his Parc de Princes contract.
Admittedy, at 33 years of age the enigmatic Swede doesn’t offer too much in the way of longevity – and you get the feeling he and Louis van Gaal would either hit it off or completely hate each other.
Yet, Ibahimovic is indisputably the greatest striker of his generation, the only genuine competitor to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the last five years and a natural winner – he’s not ended a campaign without a title since 2003. That’s right, twelve seasons on the bounce.
And 28 goals in 31 appearances this term suggests the former AC Milan and Barcelona star still has a bit left in the tank. Although he’s clearly fond of Paris, the Premier League is one of the few remaining challenges left his career.
Peter Schmeichel recently claimed Ibrahimovic was ‘born to play‘ for United, and I wholeheartedly agree.