Manchester United need a top notch striker after Sunday’s tactically courageous performance at Chelsea was undermined by a lack of quality up front, Jamie Carragher said.
United extended their unbeaten away Premier League game to 20 games with a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge, but the stalemate saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side fail to score against all six of the big opponents for the Sixth consecutive Premier League game.
This means Bruno Fernandes’ penalty in October’s 6-1 loss to Tottenham is the only goal United have scored against any of their top six rivals in seven appearances this season, with the draw leaving them with 12 points. behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Carragher believes United need a quality injection from Spurs forward Harry Kane or Borussia Dortmund leader Erling Haaland if their title aspirations are to be realized.
“I wouldn’t describe Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as a defensive coach, he’s a guy who has played for Manchester United in these attacking teams over the years,” Carragher said. Monday night football.
“But at the moment I think Manchester United have a quality issue. When the ball actually goes to the front players, is there enough quality?
“They’re the Premier League’s top scorers, but do they have this player who can score goals in decisive games and take them to the league title.”
“People say United need a right winger, and they do, but they need a center forward more. If United had [Marcus] Rashford left, a new center-forward, and [Mason] Greenwood completing a new right winger, which would compensate for the lack of quality.
“You look at the options. In this country it’s Harry Kane, or Erling Haaland coming through. You wonder if these are players Manchester United should be targeting.”
‘Man Utd should be in the market for Kane, Haaland’
Former Manchester United striker Mark Hughes believes none of his former club’s forwards have shown any real desire to claim the center-forward’s place at Old Trafford, and Kane and Haaland must be of players on their radar.
“United have good quality up the field, but they need someone like Edinson Cavani five years ago when he was in his prime,” said Hughes.
“United probably had Cavani at the wrong time, but he’s still an exceptional center-forward; when he plays for this team he gives them more focus, more confidence in his feet, and things are happening around him.
“With Martial, Rashford and Greenwood, they all want to play in any position other than the middle. They’ve all been tried in the middle, but you feel like neither of them really want to be there.
“United need someone with that quality down the middle and Harry Kane and Erling Haaland are definitely the type of player they need to be in the market for.
“It remains to be seen whether these players are accessible and whether United have the capacity to attract these players, as many clubs will covet them.”
Analysis of Man Utd’s ‘courageous’ performance at Chelsea
Manchester United may have extended their big-six drought to six games in Sunday’s stalemate at Stamford Bridge, but Carragher was impressed with a courageous tactical approach that nullified Chelsea and nearly won the game.
“When we say ‘go there’ there’s a difference between what you do on the ball and what you do off the ball,” Carragher added.
“We’ve been very critical of Jose Mourinho as Manchester United manager in the past because when they didn’t have the ball it was almost like they had a back six, it was really deep.
“I thought Sunday’s performance at Chelsea was one of the bravest I’ve seen Manchester United without the ball.
Tactically, the two wide players – Daniel James and Marcus Rashford – had a job to do. The top three squeezed the three Chelsea full-backs almost man-for-man, and when the ball was on one side the other side came in midfield, and canceled out the Chelsea midfielder. Along with Fred, Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes, the addition of the wide player meant they still had four players in the midfield.
“United were very courageous in the face of the press, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw were both tight on Chelsea full-backs, and the two center-backs, who we criticized for not being high enough or in too much of a hurry, were in the front most foot I have seen.
“It almost cost them the game, and almost won the game. They were very brave, putting man-to-man pressure all over the pitch, but in that final third, they just didn’t have that quality.”