Following this past weekend’s 2-0 defeat to fierce rivals Liverpool, Manchester United manager Ole Gunner Solskjaer confirmed every United fans worst fears, that Marcus Rashford could face a minimum of six weeks out.
Solskjaer said during his post match press conference on Sunday:
“He has suffered a bad injury. It’s a stress fracture, it happened against Wolverhampton during the FA Cup third round replay.”
This injury could hardly come at a worse time for the Red Devils with the return leg in the Carabao Cup looming against Manchester City at the end of the month where United somehow have to overturn a 3-1 deficit.
An FA Cup fourth round tie against either Watford or Tranmere Rovers is also on the horizon and not to mention the resumption of their Europa League campaign against Club Brugge in February.
Rashford himself has up to this point enjoyed his best ever goal-scoring season for the club to date having scored 19 goals in all competitions so far – making him the top goal scorer.
So how does Solskjaer go about replacing his main man for these up coming season defining games?
Strikers currently at United who could replace Rashford
The French international is the most senior fit forward currently at the club and is enjoying his best scoring return since his debut campaign for the team back in 2015/16.
Martial has scored 24 goals in all competitions this term however question marks still remain however about his consistency, he did also miss a crucial chance at weekend against Liverpool that could of altered the outcome.
Greenwood has enjoyed a terrific start to his career at Old Trafford and has proven that he is a clinical finisher having reached 10 goals in all competitions. On top of that his left foot has been likened to Dutch forward Robin Van Persie.
He is only 18 and it is his first season playing Premier League football. This in mind, would it be worth Manchester United bringing in another striker to help fill the void that Rashford would leave?
Striker options in the Transfer Market
Former Manchester United right back Gary Neville has previously stressed that his old club needed to replace Romelu Lukaku following his move to Inter Milan in the summer and yesterday Neville said:
“United have to go into the transfer market. They need someone up there with a physical presence and a bit more maturity – they need another body.”
Solskjaer has also stated that they would be open to a short-term solution following their growing injury list. So who is currently available?
The Uruguayan forward’s name immediately jumps out following his transfer request that he has put in this week. Cavani’s contract at Paris Saint German expires at the end of the season but the 32 year old wants to leave during the January transfer window.
Cavani has scored 195 goals in 269 appearances for PSG, however this season his game time has been limited due to injuries.
He is a proven international striker but could be a gamble due to his inexperience in the premier league and current injury record. So there is the danger of a repeat of Radamel Falcao’s disastrous loan move a few years ago.
Following the arrival of Erling Haaland at Borussa Dortmund the Spanish international’s game time could be further limited so his game time could be further limited at the German side.
Despite his lack of game time Alcacer has still managed five goals in 11 games this campaign and has managed a good goal scoring return at his previous clubs, particularly Valencia.
The 26 year old is another one however that lacks Premier League experience. There would also be further competition for his signature from Atletico Madrid.
Fernando Llorente, unlike the previous striking options has had experience of playing in the Premier League.
The Spanish international has previously appeared for Swansea City and Tottenham Hotspur and would also give United a more physical presence up front that they currently lack with their current forward options.
Llorente is also not getting much game time at his current side, Napoli.
At 34 years old however he is the oldest striker on this list and he also is not scoring many goals having only managed three goals in his 16 appearances so far for the Italian club.
Another potential striker option is Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson. His style is similar to that of Rashford’s and he did score 25 goals in all competitions last season.
Wilson however has struggled for form this season scoring just five times but signing for Manchester United could prove beneficial for both player and club and inspire him to get back to that goal scoring form of the last campaign.
The 23-year-old French forward is having a strong season for Lyon. Dembele has scored 11 goals in 19 appearances in France Ligue 1 and has previously played for English club, Fulham and has impressed while at Scottish Champions Celtic.
Dembele has previously been linked with the 20 time premier league champions while he was at Fulham. The French side however will unlikely want to part with their prized asset until the summer at the earliest and there would be the added competition from Premier League rivals such as Chelsea for his signature.
Our final option is a striker already applying his trade in the top flight. Jimenez has already proved to be an excellent acquisition for Wolverhampton Wanders and the 28 year old has led the line brilliantly for Nuno Espirto Santo’s team, scoring ten times and contributing six assists in 23 games.
The Mexican striker would certainly be an effective target man up front for Solskjaer’s side. The chances of Wolves letting their prize asset go mid-season however are somewhat remote and United may have to splash out in access of 50 million for his signature.
The need for United to venture into the January transfer market for an additional striker is certainly apparent, particularly if they want to maintain a realistic challenge for the Champions League places and winning a Cup competition.
Otherwise the Red Devils and their fans could face yet again another season without featuring in Europe’s premier competition.