Who can take Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s place as Manchester United’s second choice striker?


Last week the enigma, known as Zlatan Ibrahimovic sadly left Manchester United after a successful two-year stint at Old Trafford. With him leaving for the bright lights of Los Angeles, United are now down to just Romelu Lukaku as the only recognised striker United have, so it begs the question who is capable of taking the mantle of United’s second-choice striker.

There a few players in the United ranks that could fill the void were Lukaku to get injured or need a rest and here are just a few.

Marcus Rashford is probably the only player in United’s ranks other than Lukaku who has played the number nine role before is more than capable of playing up top on his own. When he first broke onto the scene at Old Trafford in the 2015/16 season, it was down to a striking crisis and he became an instant hit as United’s striker.

Although he’s a striker not as big or physically impressive as Lukaku or Ibrahimovic he is still able to offer United a lot going forward. His tactical awareness has much improved since he made his debut, and his speed with and without the ball is something defenders have nightmares about. He is adept in front of goal and can without question be a striking option for Jose Mourinho for years to come.

Another option for United boss Mourinho could be that of Anthony Martial. He is a player who predominantly plays from the left, as he is able to cut inside and score many a goal with that whipping right-foot of his. However, there is more to his game than just playing wide.

In his very first season at United, he played both as a striker and a winger under Louis van Gaal, and impressed in both, playing up top and scoring on his debut in a 3-1 victory over Liverpool. However, since his first season at Old Trafford, he has rarely been able to hold down a place as a centre-forward and has been used predominantly as a winger.

But given the chance, the Frenchman can undoubtedly be a success as a number nine, given his blistering pace, his ability to beat players and his coolness one on one. It will just take some trust on the side of the boss to allow him to express himself as a striker.

Other options include Alexis Sanchez, who played as a lone striker on more than one occasion for former club Arsenal and looked more than comfortable as a number nine. As well as Sanchez, we have James Wilson on loan at Sheffield United currently, and is a striker who hasn’t really been given a chance at Old Trafford.

Nevertheless, it seems Mourinho is adamant to replace the outgoing Ibrahimovic with a more recognised striker and may choose to turn to the transfer market to do that. Such names as Robert Lewandowski and Mauro Icardi have been mentioned in recent weeks and it seems although United have a whole host of attacking options at the club, will United once again dip into the transfer market to solve their problems.

Written by Dan Pearce

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