Football News

The two signings Man Utd could make to become a “major force”, according to Paul Merson

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 14:15, 21 March 2020

Paul Merson believes Manchester United will become a “major force” if they sign Jack Grealish and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this summer.

Before all football was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Red Devils were enjoying an upsurge in form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Could Aubameyang join Man Utd? Five key things to know…

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined Arsenal for a then club-record fee of £56m in January 2018.
  • He’s since registered 61 goals across 97 matches in all competitions.
  • Aubameyang’s current deal at the Emirates expires in June 2021.
  • In the past, seven players have moved directly from Arsenal to Man Utd.
  • The most recent were Alexis Sanchez (2018) and Robin van Persie (2012).

Not only were they going strong in two cup competitions — FA Cup and Europa League — but three wins across their last five Premier League outings left them sitting three points behind Chelsea who occupied the final Champions League spot.

That being said, the record 20-time English champions will now go seven years since winning their most recent league title, which came in the final season with legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm.

Following his retirement, Man Utd have gone through three permanent head coaches before Solskjaer got the job full-time, and they haven’t been close to claiming a 21st crown.

Merson, nevertheless, feels United are not that far away from bringing the glory days back especially following the recruitment of Bruno Fernandes in January and the footballer-turned-pundit sees two current Premier League stars as what’s missing.

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“Aubameyang is what Manchester United are missing. He is a goalscorer and goalscorers are priceless,” he told Sky Sports.

“If you look at United and the way they played against Manchester City a couple of weeks ago, I thought they were very, very good. You looked at them and thought they have got a chance, especially if they could also get hold of a couple more players, especially a creative midfielder.

“You couldn’t help but be impressed with their performance and if they were to sign Aubameyang and they also got someone like a Jack Grealish, are they big players? They would be a major force, in my opinion.

“They are crying out for someone who is going to score them 20 to 25 goals, and that’s what Aubameyang can bring. He gets you 25 goals without even breaking sweat. Add a Grealish if they can get him and then you’ve got Bruno Fernandes as well playing in behind a striker, Manchester United will be a major force.

“I don’t think you can say Aubameyang would be going for ambition if he went to Manchester United though. He’d be going for the money because he’s almost 31 and this would likely to be his last move.

“At the moment, you can’t say you are going to go to Manchester United and get guaranteed trophies. You won’t be able to guarantee United winning anything in the next two or three seasons. They are getting better but it’s not ambitions, it’s the money.”