Goal: A former Red Devil thinks Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are lacking a “target man” after failing to replace Romelu Lukaku over the summer.
Marcus Rashford is “still learning the game” and is not ready to lead the line for Manchester United, according to Clayton Blackmore, who would like to see a “top striker” arrive at Old Trafford next year.
The Red Devils have endured their worst start to a Premier League season in 33 years, slipping to ninth in the standings after 13 fixtures.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side fought back from 2-0 down in their last outing at Sheffield United, but conceded a late equaliser to draw 3-3 and fall even further behind their rivals in the race for a top-four finish.
United did offer a glimpse of how deadly they can be in the final third during a thrilling 10-minute period at Bramall Lane, but have generally lacked a cutting edge over the first few months of the 2019-20 campaign.
Rashford is United’s top goalscorer at the moment, with seven to his name from 12 outings, but plenty of questions have been asked over his efficiency in front of goal.
Blackmore, who played at Old Trafford between 1982 and 1994, thinks the England international needs more support and has advised Solskjaer to bring in a “target man” to add another dimension to his starting XI.
“Rashford is not enough alone,” the ex-United midfielder told Love Sport Radio. “He’s still learning the game – he grew up a winger and he’s learning to be a striker.
“He’s done fantastically and he’s a massive threat, but we need something else – United need a target man.
“A target man allows you to get the ball up to him and then use pace to feed off those knockdowns. If you try to play through teams, again and again, they will work you out.
“That extra power gives you an added dimension.”
Blackmore went on to express his belief that United were naive not to bring in a forward to fill Romelu Lukaku’s boots after he joined Inter, before revealing his concerns over the needless “pressure” being placed on the shoulders of the club’s younger players.
“We really need to buy a top striker,” he added. “I don’t think you can get rid of a top striker like Lukaku, who’s scored over 100 Premier League goals, and not replace him. Apart from anything else, it puts too much pressure on the young lads.
“Ole knows better than anybody [about forwards]. He was a striker himself, he played in the Treble-winning season, and they had four top strikers.
“These weren’t young lads, they were experienced professionals.”
Solskjaer is currently preparing his squad for a trip to Astana in the Europa League on Thursday, where he will have the opportunity to field a much-changed line up with the Red Devils already safely through to the next round.
United will then turn their attention back to the Premier League, with Aston Villa arriving at Old Trafford on Sunday, before Jose Mourinho returns to Manchester with Tottenham three days later.
Source: Published by Goal