Things often do not pan out as planned.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s much anticipated second season with Manchester United is yet to commence in a proper manner and we are well into the second half of the campaign. The Swedish star made a remarkable comeback in the team’s 4-1 victory over Newcastle United on 18th November. He was then handed a start in a disappointing 2-2 draw with Burnley. However, Zlatan looked a bit rusty and was clearly finding it difficult to create space with his movements.
He is currently out with an injury and the load on Romelu Lukaku is immense. But with multiple competitions to contend with, the big Swede will still have a role to play once he is back. However, it doesn’t seem like Zlatan is going to stay further than this year and while United might be able to manage the workload of Lukaku for the remainder of the season, they do need a big signing to replace Ibrahimovic and mount a serious title challenge next season.
Let us take a look at 3 names whom United can possibly target to reinforce their striking options.
1: Paulo Dybala
Dybala is an exceptional player, probably the best in Argentina after a certain demigod plying his trade at Catalonia. Dybala can play as a secondary striker and is adept playing upfront or behind the striker too.
He dribbles the ball with ease and always has a bag of tricks up his sleeve. Not the quickest, Dybala makes up for it with his close control and effectiveness in the final third. He can run between the lines and makes the midfield link with the attack.
The lad has great positional awareness and creates space with his movement off the ball. He can contribute regularly to both defence and attack and has an eye for goal. One of the rare complete forwards, Paulo Dybala can be the provider to Romelu Lukaku’s poacher!
2: Antoine Greizmann
In January, Diego Costa became eligible to play for Atletico Madrid and hence it is safe to assume that Greizmann can look for a move away now. The French international had a remarkable Euro 2016 after which he even featured on the Ballon d’Or podium along with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Antoine is one of the best forwards in Europe currently and hence it is no surprise that Diego Simeone rates him highly. Greizmann can play as the centre-forward, the secondary forward in a two-striker formation and even as a central attacking midfielder. He possesses good pace, can pick out precise passes in the box and is decisive in front of the goal. The lad is a technically gifted player and can be a success under Mourinho due to the sheer fact that Diego Simeone has trained him in a highly defensive setup too.
Antoine Greizmann has played with the likes of Pogba and Martial in the French national side and that can help in making a smooth transition at Manchester United.
This might seem to be a slightly unorthodox option given the two other names on this list but with Alexis Sanchez expected to move to Manchester United in the coming days, Jose might refrain from a marquee signing in the summer. Sanchez is a bonafide goalscorer and if this deal gets completed, the Red Devils may look at just a backup for Lukaku up top and someone proven who can step up and be clinical in front goal.
And having proved himself to an extent at West Ham on his return to the Premier League, he can seamlessly make the switch to his old club in this new role.