Four ‘modern’ Man Utd forwards could be signed on Ralf Rangnick’s recommendation

Rangnick spoke this week about the need for United to hire new ‘modern’ strikers who could take some of the pressure off Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United next season

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Rich Jones gives his verdict on Erik ten Hag from Amsterdam

Earlier this week, Ralf Rangnick revealed he believes Manchester United need to sign two ‘modern’ strikers this summer to help Erik Ten Hag rebuild the squad.

The Dutchman takes over from Rangnick, who resigns at the end of the season to take on an advisory role at the club and at the same time become the new Austria coach.

The German explained he believes it’s important the club use forwards who can help spread the scoring burden on Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored more than a third of United’s 57 goals directly this season.

“Cristiano is not a center forward or does not want to play in this position,” said Rangnick. “It is obvious that the club needs at least two new strikers who will bring more quality and more opportunities to this team. I wouldn’t even call it a winger.

“Two strikers and modern strikers don’t necessarily have to be wingers. If you look at international football, there aren’t many top teams that still play with two strikers. Most either play with three strikers or a false nine.”

Rangnick continued: “If you look at Liverpool and Manchester City, they have five or six top-class strikers in their squad. Gabriel Jesus hardly played until four weeks ago. Now he’s playing regularly again.

“You look at the number of players they have and if you ask me, does he play as a central striker or a winger? Is Jack Grealish a winger or a forward? They are all forwards and can play in different positions. You can also switch, it can rotate. We don’t have that many players like that.

It’s clear from Rangnick’s comments that he’s alluding to forwards who aren’t necessarily just there to end turns, but also help the team create them.

Positional versatility is also something he finds valuable. With all of that in mind, below are four players who could tick those boxes for United this summer.

Jonathan David – Lille – 22

David arrived in Europe from Canada in 2018, first joining Gent where he was a revelation, scoring 37 goals and registering a further 15 assists in just two seasons. His performances during that period put him on the radar of a number of big European clubs and eventually it was Lille who made the move in the summer of 2020.

Jonathan David in action for Lille (Photo by Anthony Dibon/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

The 22-year-old quickly adjusted to his new surroundings, scoring 13 goals in his debut season and has already scored 14 goals this season.

Goals have dried up lately and he has been without one for eight weeks but his performances have still been strong during this period and it only seems a matter of time before he gets back on track.

At Gent David played mainly in an attacking midfield role, but at Lille he was used and excelled in a front two. His ability to both lead a line and play behind a forward is a testament to his versatility and would appeal to United.

Martin Terrier – Rennes – 25

Like David, Terrier once worked at Lille and has Lyon to boast about in his playing career. However, it was in Rennes where he really excelled. He joined them from Lyon in the summer of 2020 for just over £10million which now looks like a steal.

In his first full season with Rennes, Terrier scored nine league goals and recorded a further seven assists. This season he has more than doubled the number of goals (21) with three games remaining.

Martin Terrier celebrates goals for Rennes (Photo by Philippe Lecoeur/FEP/Icon Sport via Getty Images) – Photo by Icon Sport

Impressively, only two of those goals came from the penalty spot and his 19 league non-penalty goals total is the fourth highest in Europe’s top five leagues and rivals the likes of Karim Benzema and Son Heung-min.

Aside from that impressive goal return, Terrier is a versatile attacker that allows him to play comfortably in a variety of positions.

During his time at Rennes, the 1.80m tall forward played at various stages as a centre-forward, second-forward, attacking midfielder and even on the wing.

Jarrod Bowen – West Ham United – 25th

While he may not get the credit, Bowen is now arguably one of the Premier League’s best attackers. So far this season he has scored an impressive 19 goals and provided eight more assists. In fact, he has registered more goal involvements than any other English player in the Premier League.

Jarrod Bowen celebrates his goal against Arsenal. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

As a player, he is robust, persistent, skilled and an all-rounder. The 25-year-old plays West Ham’s right most often, despite being left-footed. Why? Because the same offers more opportunities to power up a defense before slicing in on his preferred foot to fire shots on goal.

He works extremely hard even without the ball and is in the top 30 of all players in the Premier League for the highest number of pressings this season (511).

Darwin Nunez – Benfica – 22nd

Nunez has attracted a lot of attention in recent months thanks to an impressive campaign in which he has scored a total of 31 goals and registered two more assists.

Darwin Nunez of Benfica celebrates his goal (Amsterdam Arena) on March 15, 2022 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by John Berry/Getty Images)

Most of the time he is in a 4-4-2 formation in front two, although Benfica under manager Nelson Verissimo is more of a tactically fluid team using different formations like 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-. 3. Nunez is able to thrive in all of them, which sheds some light on his offensive versatility.

When not playing as an outright striker, you’ll often see Nunez on the left side of his side’s attack. And despite being right-footed. Much like Bowen, however, this suits him best as it allows him to use his blistering pace to run towards and around defenders before clipping onto his preferred foot to unleash efforts on goal.

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