The Red Devils are lacking a clinical edge in front of goal at the moment, according to a former Old Trafford favourite, who sees only one solution
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs someone to carry Manchester United’s goalscoring burden on a consistent basis, according to Louis Saha, who has suggested that Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford must improve their output.
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The Red Devils have slipped to seventh in the Premier League at the start of the 2019-20 season, with only four wins recorded from their opening 12 fixtures.
United have only managed to register 16 goals in total, 19 fewer than arch-rivals Manchester City, who currently boast the best attacking record in the league.
Solskjaer’s side have already fallen nine points adrift of the Champions League places, with little margin for error heading into a busy festive period.
Rashford is currently United’s top scorer with six goals from 12 appearances, but he has faced plenty of criticism for squandering clear-cut chances on a regular basis.
Progress has been made since Martial’s return to the starting line up after an injury lay-off, with a 3-1 win over Brighton on Sunday highlighting the attacking talent within Solskajer’s ranks, but Saha still believes his old club are lacking firepower.
“United’s strikers are still very young. Maybe they need some kind of mentoring from experienced strikers,” the former United centre forward told GQ.
“At the moment the team looks like they need an experienced striker who is obsessed with scoring, someone who can get ten extra goals, someone like Ruud van Nistelrooy, who was obsessed about the goal. They need that now and that has to come from Rashford and Martial.”
Eighteen-year-old Mason Greenwood has been asked to step into the first-team fold this term, netting three times in four cup matches, but he is still looking for his first goal in the Premier League.
Saha thinks the English striker has been asked to shoulder too much responsibility at such a young age, believing that there is not enough competition for places in the final third at Old Trafford.
“Maybe he has arrived six months or one year early and that’s not fair for him,” he said. “He can’t be the only threat for Martial and Rashford at a big club like United.
“I had to compete with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Van Nistelrooy, Cristiano [Ronaldo] and Wayne Rooney. Greenwood is learning from two youngsters rather than two experienced players.”
Saha went on to suggest that United still have no clear identity, which has affected the development of the younger talent within Solskjaer’s squad.
“The United strikers have talent and massive confidence, but sometimes you feel like they lack education about what they should do all the time,” he added.
“There’s not a clear definition of the game plan like there was when I played. Maybe the managers who came disrupted the confidence and identity of the club. When you feel that the place is unstable you doubt yourself.”
The Red Devils return to action on November 24 when they travel to Sheffield United, before another away fixture against Astana in the Europa League four days later.