Manchester United have endured a tough 2020/21 season which resulted in them finishing second in the Premier League, reaching the quarter-final of the Emirates FA Cup, the semi-final of the Carabao Cup and the final of the UEFA Europa League, after exiting the group stages of the UEFA Champions League. Edinson Cavani is United’s best striker at this moment in time and Anthony Martial is the worst based on the season he has had. With Mason Greenwood added to the striker ranks of the right-wing position is filled, United should have another striker in the squad that could add something and quell the level of fatigue across the season. United should have 2-3 players for most positions in the squad keeping in mind the talented youth players.
André Silva, 25 – Eintracht Frankfurt and Portugal
The 25-year-old has been pulling the same numbers as Erling Haaland during the 2020/21 season and would be a perfect player to add to United’s squad but at this moment in time, Manchester City are credited with interest in the player as they look to replaced Sergio Agüero. His contract at Eintracht Frankfurt expires in the summer of 2023, and his fee could be more than £35 million, which is still a good deal for the player. He finished the Bundesliga season with 29 goals and 10 assists in 34 appearances, which will have got him noticed ahead of the summer transfer window. United could do with a player like him, taking the strain off Cavani and Greenwood and raising the game of Martial, who had a poor season.
If United can bring in a player like Silva, there would be some stability for the future and United would not need to worry about overplaying the likes of Cavani, Martial and Greenwood, even Marcus Rashford when he does not play on the left-wing – which is where the majority of his goals and assist have come from over the past two seasons. If a club live City end up signing the player, they will sign a 25-year-old with a proven track record of scoring goals. If he has a good Euro 2020 tournament for Portugal this summer, it is possible that his price will rise, which would be good for the German club as they will have more money to spend in order to replace him and help rebuild the team ahead of the new season.
Patson Daka, 22 – RB Salzburg and Zambia
The 22-year-old is another up and coming prospect, this time playing in the Bundesliga in Austria. He was initially linked to United ahead of the summer transfer window in 2020 but nothing seemed to materialise as United eventually signed Edinson Cavani instead, seemingly leaving the striker transfer until this summer, or even next summer. The Zambian has seen interest from both Liverpool and Chelsea ahead of the summer transfer window opening. It is suggested that the player could be signed for £17 million, although I think RB Salzburg will try and get a bit more for him. His contract act the club ends in the summer of 2024, so the club will hod the key to any transfer being concluded.
During the 2020/21 season, Daka scored 34 goals and 12 assists in 42 appearances, which is a great figure for a player of his stature. He has been at the club for a while and saw Erling Haaland come and go and seems to have stepped into his shoes – proving himself this season. Of course, it remains to be seen whether United have the money to bring in a striker this summer and it would depend on whether they sign the players they seem to be after at this time; Jadon Sancho, Raphaël Varane and Kieran Trippier. Some players will have to leave the club this summer to strengthen in other positions and the players mentioned in this article seem to be good options ahead of the summer transfer window. But some might be out of United’s price range.
Jonathan David, 21 – LOSC Lille and Canada
The 21-year-old is one of those generational talents that seems to have found his feet on the European stage. Lille won the Ligue 1 title this season, ten years after last winning it. Last summer, both Arsenal and United held interest in the player but neither made a move to sign the him. He ended up leaving Gent for Lille for a €30 million reported fee. after winning the league, Lille will want to keep him but as every player has his price, they could be seeking for £50 million to let the player leave, which is a vast amount of money but it seems that whoever has him in the team will get goals and assists from him. His contract at Lille ends in the summer of 2025, which will only warrant the French champions to pile a huge fee on the player this summer.
During the 2020/21 season, David scored 13 goals and five assists in 48 appearances, which is not the bet level of goals and assists but for a player of his age, he has done well. Last summer, after his last season at Gent, David had scored 23 goals and 10 assists in 40 appearances, but it seems the level in France has been a bit tougher for him, having played a similar amount of minutes in France as he had played in Belgium. It might take a while for the player to find his feet in the Premier League, but then again, he could take it by storm. United should keep their eye on the player as he might turn into one of the players of the future in the next year or so, even if they have no interest in him this summer.
Alexander Isak, 21 – Real Sociedad and Sweden
The 21-year-old is more of a wild card in this article. United have knowledge of the player, playing against him in the round of 32 in the UEFA Europa League after falling from the group stages of the UEFA Champions League. He could well do a job as a striker but it remains to be seen on what level. His current contract at Real Sociedad will expire in the summer of 2024, so there is no real need for the Spanish club to sell the player this summer. He did not score any goals against United this season, despite starting both matches against the club in the Europa League with United winning 4-0 in the first leg, drawing 0-0 in the second and reaching the round of 16 stage of the competition 4-0 on aggregate. He has a €70 million release clause.
He has been picked for Sweden’s Euro 2020 squad this summer, so a good performance in the competition will do wonders for him, if he is seeking a move away from the Spanish club. During the 2020/21 season, Isak scored 17 goals and two assists in 44 appearances, which is a good number of goals for a player of his age. The club finished fifth in La Liga this season, which saw the club qualify for the group stages of the Europa League next season. United could probably do better than a player like Isak with Silva, Daka and David all ahead of him at this time. But is remains to be seen how much United will have to spend this summer and who ends up leaving the club. Maybe next summer a striker will be a valid option?
Written by John Walker