Football News

Man Utd urged to sign ‘angry’ Van Nistelrooy-esque striker

By Harry Edwards

Published: 12:10, 13 November 2019

Former Manchester United striker Louis Saha has urged the Red Devils to sign an experienced goalscorer obsessed with finding the net.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer allowed Romelu Lukaku to depart Manchester United in the summer leaving Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood as his only senior striking options.

Martial and Rashford have combined to score nine goals in the Premier League this season, with the latter being Manchester United’s topscorer on six so far. The rest of the Red Devils’ squad have combined managed six.

Where do Man Utd need to improve? Five things to know…

  • Manchester United are seventh in the Premier League after 12 games.
  • The Red Devils have scored 16 goals, with Marcus Rashford top scorer on six.
  • Anthony Martial has managed three while Mason Greenwood is yet to score among the club’s recognised strikers.
  • Former Manchester United striker Louis Saha believes the club need to sign an experienced goalscorer.
  • Saha recalled Ruud van Nistelrooy, who used to get angry when he didn’t score, as an example of who the club should sign.

But while the pair have started to find some form in front of goal, neither have spent too long leading the line for Manchester United – having been stuck in wide positions in the past to accommodate Lukaku.

Their history on the wings often sees Martial and Rashford move out wide to receive possession, but this is something that has hurt Man Utd’s attack with only Sheffield United and Bournemouth scoring fewer goals in the Premier League top 10.

And Saha believes the pair could learn from former Old Trafford striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who only had eyes for goal and would often become angry if he didn’t get the ball or score.

“I’m impressed with the fitness of these strikers, because they can run all day,” he told GQ.

“The fitness has increased a lot since I stopped playing. These are different kinds of players. They like to touch the ball on the right or the left.

“In my time, I looked up to Ruud van Nistelrooy. He only looked at the goal. He wanted the ball inside the box and was angry when he didn’t get it. He was angry if he didn’t score, if he hit the post.

“Maybe Martial and Rashford could have more of this, but I have big hopes for them and I watched Martial with big eyes because he’s a finisher.

“Rashford has great technique and can strike the ball amazingly from distance. He goes in behind defenders to create not just space for other players, but chances for himself.

“When you have these qualities you can over-think. You can’t think too much, you have to play on instinct.”

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In order to help mould Rashford and Martial into focused goalscorers Saha, who scored 42 goals in 124 games for Manchester United, believes his former club should sign a striker similar to Van Nistelrooy from whom the pair can learn.

“United’s strikers are still very young. Maybe they need some kind of mentoring from an experienced strikers.

“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 Van Nistelrooy who was obsessed about the goal.

“They need that now and that has to come from Rashford and Martial.”