Much has been made of Manchester United’s lacklustre frontline. Spearheaded by a misfiring Wayne Rooney, it has led many to question where United’s goals may come from this season. This is now placed under further scrutiny, after the red’s seemingly backed out of a deal for Pedro from Barcelona. This then begs the question of where, and also how, United can be a goal threat this season?
Last season United’s goal tally of 62 in the league, with Captain Wayne Rooney leading the scoresheets with a very average tally of 12. Markedly different then, from the free scoring team that scored for fun during their preseason campaign. When you add the fact that United have also lost the trio of Falcao, Van Persie and Di Maria, most notably the assists of the Argentine, it may seem that they look set for another misfiring season in front of goal. However, despite still lacking another centre forward in the squad, there are reasons for optimism in front of goal.
Firstly, there are the full backs. In replacing Rafael with Darmian, United appear to have signed a complete player, two-footed and willing to surge forward at will. Furthermore, on the opposite flank is the reinvigorated Luke Shaw, who also is like a new signing after his injury hit first season. Both players look calm and assured in defence, whilst providing pace, spark and creativity going forward. Despite the calibre of opposition, both full backs showed their ability against Club Brugge on Tuesday, notably Shaw with his surging pace down both flanks at times.
Add to this the wingers in Januzaj and Memphis and there lies real promise down the flanks, as Memphis proved with his stunning brace midweek, before supplying the delicious cross for Fellaini in injury time. With the likes of Ashley Young and Andreas Pereira also available in these positions, United can certainly hope to grab goals from these areas.
Finally there is the midfield. Two seasons ago under David Moyes, United couldn’t appear to buy a goal from midfield, yet last year they were present in abundance. Juan Mata scored 20 goals in his second season at Chelsea in all competitions, and United will hoping he approaches that level this season, improving on his tally of 10 from last year. There is also evidence that Fellaini, Herrera and Schweinsteiger can all hopefully add around 20 goals between them.
Considering the optimistic side of this argument, the current squad should be able to better last year’s goal tally, and, if the chequebook comes out as the transfer window draws to a close, a new striker should help kick start the goals to come in thick and fast.