Man Utd NEED a new striker to stop over-reliance on Marcus Rashford - but who is the ideal fit?

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The England forward has scored 36% of United's league goals this season, and Erik ten Hag has recognised that the burden needs to be eased on him

Marcus Rashford rescued Manchester United once again on Wednesday to fire Erik ten Hag's rusty side to victory over Brentford. However, his first-half strike, his 28th of the season in all competitions, only served to underline the Red Devils' reliance on him.

The Dutchman can thank his lucky stars that while Anthony Martial, Christian Eriksen and Casemiro have been unavailable for large chunks of the season, Rashford has been practically injury free and able to play in all 28 of United's Premier League games.

Ten Hag, though, knows that United are becoming too dependable on Rashford, and bluntly admitted as much after the Brentford game.

"It's the truth," he said, "but also we know other players can score as well: Bruno [Fernandes], Antony scored a couple of goals, Jadon Sancho can score, Marcel Sabitzer can score. We have many more players across the squad who can score and did score already.

"What you want as a squad is that you have two players who can score more than 12 or 15 goals a season."

It is clear right now that United need new blood to help ease the burden on Rashford. His ruthless finish against Brentford was his 15th league goal of the season, three-times the amount of the team's second-top scorer in the top-flight, Fernandes.

Antony, United's biggest signing of last summer, has only three league goals to his name and has not hit the net in the competition since October. Sancho has four, while Martial, who has had another season disrupted by injuries, has only three.

Wout Weghorst, who was finally benched against Brentford after starting 19 matches in a row, has not scored a single league goal.

So who could United bring in this summer to ease the burden, and who would work best alongside Rashford?

  1. Harry Kane

    Harry Kane

    The Tottenham striker is the most obvious choice to partner Rashford given his record in the Premier League and the fact he has played alongside him for England for seven years.

    Kane's ability to drop deep and play exquisite through balls into space would play exactly to Rashford's strengths and provide him an additional supply line in addition to Fernandes, who is often asked to do too much due to United's weakness in midfield.

    Rashford's pace, power and dribbling ability combined with Kane's vision and own shooting prowess is a mouth-watering prospect for United fans.

    The only drawback is that Kane turns 30 in the summer and has historic problems with ankle injuries, which mean he might only have around three seasons left at the peak of his powers. Tottenham would want a big fee and Kane would demand an enormous salary, making it a highly expensive few years.

    But if United could lift the Premier League title again and go deep in the Champions League with Rashford and Kane dovetailing to perfection, it would be worth it.

  2. Victor Osimhen

    Victor Osimhen

    Napoli forward Osimhen is the highest scorer in Europe's top-five leagues outside of the Premier League, his 21 strikes only trailing the tallies of Kane (22) and Erling Haaland (28).

    He is a very different profile to Kane and is most comfortable in the penalty area, scoring all manner of jaw-dropping goals thanks to his remarkable reflexes. He also has pace to burn and loves to take players on.

    He would cost United in excess of £100 million, but at the age of 24 he would represent a more long-term option than Kane.

    Could he work with Rashford? Absolutely! But given his prowess in the area, Rashford would be expected to play more crosses into the box than he has this season, and the Nigerian would probably be expected to be the team's primary goalscorer.

  3. Goncalo Ramos
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    Goncalo Ramos

    Ramos made a name for himself with his stunning World Cup hat-trick for Portugal and has gone from strength to strength since.

    He has scored 25 goals for Benfica and contributed 10 assists, fueling the Lisbon giants' push for a first league title in four years and a thrilling run in the Champions League.

    Although he does not offer the physical presence of Osimhen, he more than makes up for it with supreme close control, ice-cold finishing and excellent movement.

    He could be a brilliant foil for Rashford, and at 21 could feasibly spend a decade at Old Trafford, making the likely large transfer fee United would need to pay for him worth it in the long run.

  4. Randal Kolo Muani

    Randal Kolo Muani

    Kolo Muani has not let his infamous late miss in the 2022 World Cup final affect him this season, starring for Eintracht Frankfurt on their long-awaited return to the Champions League.

    The Frenchman has managed 19 goals and 14 assists to date after finally settling in a centre-forward role following a few seasons of moving across the frontline.

    He is a complete forward, often dropping deep or moving into the channels before striking fear into defenders with his excellent dribbling. Shooting wise, he can finish with either foot and has also scored two headers this term.

    His versatility means he could interchange positions with Rashford and ensure that the England forward would remain the team's focal point in attack and not be second-fiddle to him, as could be the case with Kane or Osimhen.

  5. Dusan Vlahovic
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    Dusan Vlahovic

    Little more than a year ago, the Serbian was one of the most exciting forwards in Europe, plundering 20 goals in 24 matches for Fiorentina.

    He was quickly snapped up by Juventus in January 2022, although it has not been an easy move for him, scoring only eight times in Serie A in his first full season in Turin.

    And given the turmoil at Juventus, who were deducted 15 points for inflating transfer values, he is bound to be searching for a new club this summer, one that can offer him Champions League football, the chance of trophies and some stability.

    Joining a United on the rise could make perfect sense for him, but would it make perfect sense for Rashford?

    Vlahovic is classic centre-forward who feeds off crosses into the area and wants to be the team's focal point. That could put him at odds with Rashford, who is thriving as United's main man.

    He also has a bit of a temperamental streak, which could see him clash with Rashford, who did not get on well with Cristiano Ronaldo last season. Indeed, he has only really come into his own since the Portuguese's departure.

  6. Benjamin Sesko
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    Benjamin Sesko

    Sesko is in the infancy of his career at 19 and is still untested in Europe's top five leagues. But he has had a brilliant season for Red Bull Salzburg, scoring 11 goals in 15 league starts.

    He has agreed to join sister club RB Leipzig in the summer, but there is the chance the German side could flip him for a profit to another team.

    The Slovenian teenager might not be the finished article yet, especially compared to the quality of some of the other names on this list. But he possesses all of the physical and technical traits required from a top-class No.9 in the modern era and would be the cheapest option. He also knows where the back of the net is, rhaving recently netting a stunning seven-minute hat-trick for his club side.

    And imagine the apprenticeship he would get playing alongside Rashford. The England international would still be the main man at Old Trafford, and could help mould one of the future stars in the process.

    It might be a leftfield option, but United could sure do with some imaginative, long-term thinking.