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Old 14-02-2020, 07:48 AM   #6394
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Since that May day in 2013, United have signed fewer hits than misses, despite Woodward boasting about United’s success last summer while neglecting to mention that they still didn’t do enough.

With the January window only recently shut, much of the gossip around United centres on creative players like Jack Grealish and James Maddison, and thrilling wingers such as Jadon Sancho. But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s most pressing need is for a central striker.

Solskjaer has had to muddle through without a proven centre-forward all season – and boy, has it shown. But still, United refused to act last month until Marcus Rashford, himself not a central striker, was sidelined with a back injury.

Only then, in the last few days of the window, did they finally go to market, when all that was left on the shelf was Odion Ighalo or Glenn Murray.

Ighalo may prove to be an inspired short-term signing but his arrival and its hasty manner directly contradicts Woodward’s talk of ‘a clear plan and philosophy’.

Landing Erling Haaland may have given Woodward more authority to speak in such terms but no, the Red Devils suddenly developed principles when it came to dealing with the Borussia Dortmund star’s agent.

Woodward and Solskjaer have a ‘young and hungry’ mantra when it comes to identifying transfer targets and in some other areas, United have covered themselves for the long term. Their other reported summer targets could provide that longevity too. But in attack, not yet have they found a forward to make them stop playing the field.

Who might that be? As Woodward says, United should have enough recruitment gurus to work that out for themselves, the same talent-spotters who analysed 804 right-backs before they settled on the most obvious of all, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, last summer.
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