Dimitar Berbatov has advised Manchester United to sign Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic to help their goalscoring problems.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have scored nine goals in eight Premier League games so far this season, four of which came in their first match against Chelsea.
Should Man Utd sign Mandzukic? Five things to know…
- Man Utd sold Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan in the summer.
- Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood remain the club’s striking options.
- Rashford and Martial have combined to score four goals of Man Utd’s nine league goals this season.
- But former striker Berbatov believes the Red Devils should sign Mandzukic for his experience.
- Mandzukic is yet to feature for Juventus this season and is not part of their Champions League squad.
These nine goals have been shared among four different goalscorers, the joint-lowest amount in the Premier League. Marcus Rashford and Daniel James lead the way with three each, while Anthony Martial has two and Scott McTominay one to complete the list.
Over the summer, United sold Romelu Lukaku and failed to sign a replacement, leaving Rashford, Martial and 18-year-old Mason Greenwood as the club’s only recognised forwards until January at least.
But Berbatov, who spent four years at Old Trafford between 2008 and 2012, believes United should look to Mandzukic to provide some much-needed experience – like Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“When you sell two of your main strikers you need to bring in at least one, just in case,” he wrote in his column for Betfair.
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“Everybody can see that that Manchester United need a back up, Anthony Martial is injured and there isn’t another really strong, proven goalscorer.
“They have the talent in the young players but at the same time, you need someone like Mario Mandzukic.
“I think he is a really good football player and he hasn’t played before in England but I hope, if he comes, he can straight away get into the rhythm of the Premier League.
“Zlatan Ibrahimovic was 34 when he signed for United and he didn’t have any problems. Mandzukic is a similar age and hopefully he could have the same impact if he signs.
“I think his age is a good thing; Martial, Rashford and Greenwood are all young players so they need that time and assurance that they don’t need to worry and they can learn from the experience of Mandzukic.”
Mandzukic, 33, is yet to feature for Maurizio Sarri’s Juventus this season, only appearing on the bench in three of their seven Serie A games so far. The Croatian forward also found himself missing out on Juventus’ squad for the Champions League group stage.
Berbatov: Messi and Ronaldo would struggle in this Man Utd team
Although Berbatov has tipped United to sign Mandzukic, the Bulgarian believes their problems will not be immediately fixed by bringing in new players in the January transfer window.
He even went as far as suggesting Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – widely accepted as the best players in the world – would have problems with the current Manchester United team.
“The winter transfer window is difficult and also on the pitch, Manchester United aren’t producing as a team at the moment,” he added.
“It doesn’t matter how good you are, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo could go there and they would have difficulty because the team is not producing as a team.”