With the transfer window closing on Tuesday, Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal has a massive problem that could ruin his side’s hopes of a top four finish.
The Red Devils are really struggling in front of goal and certainly need to add a new striker to their ranks if their to successful secure a top four finish this season.
So far this term United have only scored once (own goals not included) in their first three Premier League games, despite favourable ties against Spurs, Aston Villa and Newcastle.
Wayne Rooney, the side’s, main striker didn’t even manage to register a single shot at goal in his first two appearances.
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Van Gaal continues to deny the need for investment in his strike force, but with just an out of form Rooney, youngster James Wilson and an inconsistent Javier Hernandez as the available forwards, fans and ex-players alike have been leading the cries for one final big name addition.
Massive names like Neymar, Thomas Muller and Gareth Bale have all been linked with a move to Old Trafford by a variety of media outlets, with fees between £50m and £150m being thrown around.
However, there is a much more suitable alternative that would definitely solve the Red Devils’ striker crisis and would only cost the fraction of the price of a marquee player.
That man is Charlie Austin, who has been made available by current club Queens Park Rangers for around £15million.
Austin has seen himself linked with nearly all of the sides in the Premier League this summer, but surprisingly nobody has followed up that interest and made their move.
There is no doubting his ability, but unfortunately he is not the fashionable name that the big sides want. If he was a Brazilian called Carlos Austinio, then the elite sides would be queuing up to make £30million bids.
The striker scored 18 goals in the Premier League last season, which is a wonderful record for any striker, let alone one from a side that was relegated in the same season.
Austin can be a real nightmare for defenders. He is a fox-in-the-box, always on the move looking to get himself into a position to receive the ball and carve out a goalscoring opportunity. He deserves a chance to play at one of the top sides in the Premier League.
It is plain to see Rooney can no play as a lone striker. The England captain loves to come deep to gather the ball and create an attacking opportunity from alongside the midfield.
The main problem this has caused is when he picks up the ball in these areas, there is just a big space where the striker would be. In the past there has always been an out-and-out striker to aim for, such as Robin Van Persie, Ruud Van Nistelrooy or Carlos Tevez.
Him and Austin could develop a wonderful relationship, with both players’ style of play complimenting the other. The partnership could work wonders for both club and country.
Austin would thrive off the kind of service United can provide. In his QPR days he was surrounded by a limited amount of ability, just imagine the possibilities with Rooney, Juan Mata, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Memphis Depay creating chances for him.
Van Gaal has been under pressure for several failures in the transfer market, in particular Angel Di Maria, who the Dutchman spent £65million on, only to settle for a £20million loss on the winger just a season after.
The relatively low fee for a home grown talent, and proven top flight goalscorer, would improve perception on his transfer dealings and ease the pressure surrounding United’s attack.
If Man United haven’t considered the 26-year-old as the answer to their problems, they really need to change something before another side beats them to the target again, just like the Pedro situation.