There’s no doubt that one of Manchester United’s big problems this season has been scoring goals. The Red Devils’ return of 22 in the Premier League is fewer than any of the sides above them, while even Tony Pulis’ West Brom moved ahead of Jose Mourinho’s boys and onto 23 thanks to a Salomon Rondon hat-trick in midweek.
So, moving for a player to either put the ball in the back of the net or make it easier for those around him to do that makes some sense, which is perhaps why there have been strong links with West Ham’s Dimitri Payet.
The Mirror recently claimed that Mourinho wants the £35m-rated Frenchman at Old Trafford, while Le10Sport, an outlet from the player’s homeland, have even alleged the Hammers may be open to a deal – so long as Anthony Martial heads in the opposite direction as a direct replacement.
We’ll stay out of the rumours for now though and look at Payet’s numbers for the season so far…
The headline stat is his chance creation tally, with his 55 the highest return in the division – which really is staggering considering the Irons have averaged only just over a goal-a-game (18 in 16).
On top of that, he’s completed 38 take-ons, made the same number of shots and notched five assists. Indeed, his goals and assists return of seven means he’s been directly involved in almost 40% of his side’s goals in the league, despite missing two matches.
It would appear, then, that he could be the answer for Mourinho. The Portuguese boss has the players capable of finding the net in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford, among others, but just needs to get the right supply to them.