With Robin Van Persie completing a move to Turkish giants Fenerbahce, Louis Van Gaal seems certain to strengthen in the forward department this summer. The loan gamble of Radamel Falcao proved unsuccessful and United were right to not exercise the purchasing option on the faded Colombian. After a superb season on loan in Croatia, Angelo Henriquez has made his move to Dinamo Zagreb permanent. The young Chilean was tipped to be a superstar at Old Trafford but after numerous loan spells and a reluctance to wait for first team opportunities, Henriquez has decided to call time on his brief Manchester United career. Javier Hernandez has returned after enduring a frustrating season on loan at Real Madrid. The Mexican was restricted to limited appearances and had to endure a miserable season at the Bernebau. Reportedly surplus to requirements at Old Trafford, Hernandez will be eager to secure a summer move and inherit regular first team football once again. The youth team staff have been purring over James Wilson for numerous years, Wilson has steadily risen through the United ranks and has consistently impressed in Warren Joyce’s U21 side. After playing a pivotal role in the U21’s league triumph, Wilson will now be eager to test himself at the very top. Reports are circulating that Wilson could be available for loan this summer, Van Gaal is keen for the young forward to play regular first team football and aid his development. However with United currently lacking forward options, Wilson could yet become a key figure in Van Gaal’s plans for the upcoming season.
The deployment of club captain Wayne Rooney will intrigue the United faithful ahead of the new season. Van Gaal was apprehensive about the balance in the midfield area on numerous occasions last season, due to Rooney being fielded in a much deeper role his attacking influence on games slowly deteriorated. With Van Gaal securing the services of midfield generals Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin, Rooney will be unleashed as a permanent striker after Van Gaal’s midfield pursuit proved successful. Summer signing Memphis Depay has already shown in pre-season that his relationship and understanding with Wayne Rooney is very encouraging and will no doubt continue to blossom throughout the season. Adnan Januzaj could well be deployed as a striker and after a disappointing season last year, the talented Belgian will be doing all he can to secure more first team game time. United’s football came in for some heavy scrutiny on numerous occasions last season, Van Gaal’s side were crying out for an injection pace. Due to United’s forwards showing an unwillingness to run the channels and stretch the defences, opposing teams were able to nullify United’s passive attacks with relative ease. A pacey and clinical striker will be high on Van Gaal’s wish list this summer, in order for Manchester United to challenge for major honours once again, a world class striker who has the capabilities to notch 20-30 goals a season is imperative. Here are some potential candidates for being United’s next number 9:
After a tremendous breakthrough season with Tottenham, Harry Kane has been rumoured with a big money switch to Old Trafford this summer. After rising and coming to prominence from obscurity, Kane not only became the spearhead of Tottenham’s forward line but he made an instant impact at National team level. Kane scored instantly for England after coming off the bench to clinch a debut goal against Lithuania. Tottenham and Daniel Levy will not want to lose their prized asset and with the crazy inflated prices being thrown about to land English talent modern days, Manchester United would be better to sit tight and see how Harry Kane fairs in his second season at the very top. Kane could well repeat last season’s heroics but the expectations on his shoulders have significantly enhanced and the young Englishman will do all he can to not suffer from the infamous ‘second season syndrome’.
The pacey Lyon striker had a phenomenal season, only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo scored more league goals than Lacazette in Europe’s top 5 leagues. Lacazette played a fundamental role in securing Lyon’s return to the illustrious Champions League, the French striker was in pulsating form and ended with a goal scoring tally of 27. Arsenal and Liverpool have been linked with the young Frenchman, at the age of 24, Lacazette could prove an intriguing option for Louis Van Gaal. Many would suggest that Lacazette is still a relatively unknown package and the transformation from the French Ligue 1 to the Barclays Premier League could be a tough conundrum to overcome. However, Lacazette has speed in abundance and his eye for goal could force Louis Van Gaal’s hand this summer.
Cavani has long been linked with a move to Manchester United and after having to accept to being Zlatan Ibrahimović’s understudy, Cavani’s future in Paris has constantly been questioned. The Uruguayan has often been sacrificed due to the extravagance of his Swedish teammate. Cavani has still managed to secure a very healthy goal return during his time in the French capital, in two seasons at Paris Saint Germain, the former Napoli man has managed to score 56 goals in 96 appearances. Van Gaal will be well aware of Cavani’s goal scoring exploits but with United having to stump up a monumental fee to secure Cavani’s services and with Rooney being the main man, Van Gaal will no doubt be exploring cheaper options.
Manchester United have been heavily linked with the talismanic German, after securing the services of Bastian Schweinsteiger, United are reportedly keen to snaffle another prized asset from the Bavarians. Louis Van Gaal nurtured Muller through the Bayern Munich ranks and is keen to link up with Muller once again. Muller would be a fantastic capture for United, Muller a man who relishes the big stage would add some much needed potency to United’s forward line. However, Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge labelled Thomas Muller as priceless to the German giants and that they would not entertain any bids for their star man.