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23rd Dec 2023

Manchester United line up £16m goal-scoring target in January transfer window

Patrick McCarry

Youssef En-Nesyri

The goal return from Manchester United’s current slate of attackers is pitiful.

United were beaten 2-0 by West Ham at London Stadium, this afternoon, to go scoreless in the Premier League for the fourth successive time. The club is hoping Youssef En-Nesyri may be the answer for their goal-scoring problems, until the summer at least.

United’s goal-less run of league games is their worst in the Premier League era, and worst since 1990. Their run of 13 defeats, in all competitions, is their worst since 1930, when they finished bottom of the league standings and were relegated.

The floundering club are setting all sorts of brutal records, this season, but Erik ten Hag insisted his side looked good against the Hammers, for 72 minutes. Ten Hag told the BBC:

“In 2023, we won a cup, we played the FA Cup final, we were third in the league. There were highlights but we [were] over-performing. In this moment we are underperforming. There are reasons for it, we have many injuries, so the team will be better if the injured ones return. We have to be calm, stick together, stick to the plan, we have to do it together.”

In the first hour of today’s match, the best chance of the game fell to Alejandro Garnacho but he fluffed his one-on-one straight at Alphonse Areola. Rasmus Hojlund failed to have a shot on target, in his 14th Premier League game without a goal, and was replaced by Marcus Rashford after 55 minutes.

The plan must have been for United to have Rashford and Hojlund in a front three for United, this season, but ten Hag has lost faith in that notion. His current go-to men on the wing are Garnacho and the woefully under-performing Antony. In today’s game, the Brazilian was ineffectual and twice took on long-range shots when teammates in the box were free and looking for a pass.

United defender Luke Shaw was asked about United’s failure to score enough goals this season [they have scored 18 times in 18 Premier League games]. He told TNT Sports:

“First half I think we controlled the game. If we score the first goal then maybe the result’s different but we don’t so we suffered in the second half and it’s not good enough… It’s tough to think what’s going on.

“I think maybe we’re just not creating enough and when we do on the other hand we’re not clinical. Maybe it could be a lack of confidence at the moment, sometimes that’s normal in football, it happens.”

United supporters searching for any crumbs of comfort will have paid close attention to a report in The Sun about a possible January incoming.

Youssef En-NesyriYoussef En-Nesyri has scored 62 goals in his four years with Sevilla. (Credit: Getty)

Youssef En-Nesyri a cheap striking option

The priorities at Manchester United – aside from getting outside investment and winning more football games – are getting the injured players back on the pitch, and shipping out (more) dead wood.

Donnie van de Beek is off on loan to Eintracht Frankfurt, Fenerbahce may take Anthony Martial on loan and the club will either cut their losses on Jadon Sancho, loan him out, or hope a Saudi Pro League club offers a decent sum of money for a permanent switch.

On the hottest scoring streak of his career, to date, Stuttgart forward Serhou Guirassy had been linked with United but, according to The Daily Mail, would prefer a move to Tottenham. United are not set to spend big in January so are targeting sub £30m options and, preferably, loan deals with a view to permanent deals.

Youssef En-Nesyri is an international teammate to Sofyan Armrabat and has 17 goals for Morocco. He is into his fifth season with Sevilla and has helped the Spanish club to two Europa League trophies. He is not the most prolific of strikers, scoring nine times in 24 games this season. Perhaps this is why United could pick him up for around £16m (€20m) in January, according to The Sun.

En-Nesyri is expected to feature against Atletico Madrid in La Liga, this weekend, with United reportedly sending a scout to have him watched.

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