Manchester United have major conundrum to solve before targeting Joshua Zirkzee

Manchester United have major conundrum to solve before targeting Joshua Zirkzee

A quick glance at last season’s Premier League table puts Manchester United as the lowest scorers among the top-10 sides, with the Red Devils netting only five more times than relegated Luton Town.

In the league, only two players crossed double digits for goals scored with 10 being the highest number achieved by both Rasmus Hojlund and Bruno Fernandes.

Despite it being his debut season, the Dane ended up as top scorer with 16 strikes to his name but at times, it was clear that he was being overworked due to the lack of options at manager Erik ten Hag’s disposal.

Anthony Martial remained sidelined for the majority of the campaign while Marcus Rashford, fresh off of his best-ever season, suffered a dramatic drop-off in form and made more headlines for his off-field antics than his on-field ones.

Striker needed

The Dutch manager had asked for help from the Glazers last summer as well as in January but nothing was forthcoming. New co-owners INEOS want to fix this gaping hole and find the ideal strike partner for the 21-year-old.

Considering the Denmark international’s exploits, it would be foolish if United end up stunting his development path by hiring direct competition for the role.

The best bet would be hiring a striker who is willing to share the load upfront and someone preferably experienced, from whom the former Atalanta starlet can learn from.

Joshua Zirkzee of Bologna has been namechecked as a potential target following a fine campaign in Serie A. The Dutch striker registered 12 goals and seven assists and his displays have attracted plenty of interest from within Italy as well as from the English top flight.

However, Givemesport have claimed the 20-time English league champions are wary of going after the 23-year-old as he would directly compete for minutes with Hojlund and would not be too pleased with a backup role.

The likes of Juventus and AC Milan are willing to make him their main man while the Old Trafford side want a partner for their new No 9 and currently, it looks difficult for them to convince the former Bayern Munich starlet about joining a team that already has their main man up front sorted.

Zirkzee conundrum

“United need to sign a forward to compliment Rasmus Hojlund – and Joshua Zirkzee is being linked. While United have held interest in him and he has been offered to the club, there is a problem in terms of the player fitting into the side.

“Zirkzee, 23, is coming off the back of a brilliant season at Bologna and wants to step up to become a more established forward by joining a club with a higher profile. AC Milan want him as their main frontman and Juventus have shown some interest too.

“United are keen but have a long-standing plan for Hojlund to be developed into one of the Premier League’s top goalscorers and it is unclear how Zirkzee would be able to meet his own incentives and ambitions if he is competing with a player who is seen as so pivotal to the club’s future.”

This is indeed quite the conundrum that INEOS have to solve in this window. The final budget will also be a deciding factor. All eyes on Sir Jim Ratcliffe for now with the window set to officially open in a couple of days’ time.

Want to be the first to hear breaking Man United news? For carefully selected, crucial updates, join our WhatsApp channel: