Erik ten Hag has a £72.9m problem to solve at Manchester United this summer

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Erik ten Hag has a £72.9m problem to solve at Manchester United this summer

Despite hurtling towards this summer’s transfer window with the intention of strengthening their attacking options, it is through the middle where Manchester United have got work to do.

After investing in a big-money winger in each of the last two summers, it is a big-money striker that the club is in desperate need of recruiting this time around. United have struggled for goals this season and desperately need to increase their attacking output with the addition of a world-class No.9.

Tottenham Hotspur ace Harry Kane has been earmarked as Erik ten Hag’s top target while Victor Osimhen of Napoli is still on their radar. Whoever the Reds eventually settle on trying to sign, though, they know that it will require a big chunk of their transfer budget.

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With the exception of Marcus Rashfordnobody within United’s current crop of attackers has stepped forward and proven themselves to be a reliable source of goals this season. Between them, Anthony Martial, Alexander Garnacho and Antony have just 21 goals in all competitions.

For a club with aspirations of launching a genuine title charge next season, it is not enough. United would have hoped that they would have been able to rely on Jadon Sancho’s exploits in front of goal, too, but he has experienced another underwhelming season.

Snapped up for £72.9million from Borussia Dortmund in July 2021, the winger has failed to live up to expectations in United colours so far, scoring just 11 goals and grabbing five assists in 75 appearances. He was a star in the making in Germany but is now threatening to become one of the Premier League’s biggest-ever flops, such is the size of the fee that the Reds paid for him.

After losing confidence and failing to impose himself on proceedings in the first couple of months of the season, Sancho, under Ten Hag’s orders, went to the Netherlands during the World Cup break to work on an individual training programme with coaches recommended to him by the United manager. After being absent since late October, Sancho made his highly-anticipated return on February 1, stepping off the bench as a second-half substitute during the Reds’ 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final triumph at Old Trafford.

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