New striker needed! But how will it impact upon Marcus Rashford?

Manchester United had a feeble attack coming into the 2015/16 season. It was well reported in the press and all fans knew it, but heading into a new season with two recognised strikers (one of them a 19-year-old nobody had heard of) was always going to be something of a risk to take. It has bitten Louis van Gaal squarely in the posterior, with 49 goals scored in the league all season and three being the highest in any one league game the impotency has cost United big time. And it could have been so much worse had Marcus Rashford not emerged then what was paltry would have become a famine. It points to just one thing – United need a top class goal scorer.

It was needed at the start of the season as something to bolster numbers and hopefully launch an assault on the Premier League, it’s now a necessity. Wayne Rooney sees his future in the midfield and has excelled there during the latter stages of the season. Anthony Martial is most likely to spend a lot of time on the wing (though if a winger is brought in then it’s likely he’ll be used centrally, but that’s another article) and this leaves just Rashford. A lone teenager whose shoulders will be carrying the goal scoring expectations for a whole season if nothing is done. “But his form shows he is capable”, true but he’s still learning his trade. Additions are a must.

Yes it would push the young Englishman down the pecking order, it’s natural. As good as he’s been the likelihood he would push someone like Gonzalo Higuain to the sides from the word go is almost nil. Many people prone to hit the panic button early will scream about it hindering his development, but that would be extremely naive and misguided as if anything it will help him immensely.

He’s had his free run of games. He’s got his feet under the table in terms of goals. He’s made everybody aware of his obvious talent. Now is the time he needs to start earning the right to play in the first team, and more importantly have a positive role model that can fine tune what he’s best at and work at where he’s lacking. Wayne Rooney had Ruud van Nistelrooy, Rashford needs that kind of influence now. And the team does too. Not only will a new striker aid the development of their young stars, but goals will come, and with goals come points and they make prizes. The market isn’t saturated with available and attainable targets, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any out there.

Though other areas of the park need strengthening (whether that be due to players lacking form or sheer lack of numbers) the first port of call should be finding the ideal talisman to lead the line. It’ll benefit both in the short term and the long. This summer is going to be a roller coaster, and the first twist needs to be up front. Buckle yourselves in, it’s going to be a wild ride.


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