Jose Mourinho has so far used Zlatan Ibrahimovic as his main man upfront. While Ibrahimovic has been in stellar form for Manchester United, he is certainly not getting any younger. He arrived on a one-year contract after seeing out his deal at Paris Saint-Germain and has so far scored eight goals in 13 league appearances.
Many will debate that all of United’s problems in the attacking third should be attributed to Mourinho’s ‘parking the bus’ tactic, however, the over-reliance on Ibrahimovic’s has, at times, been catastrophic. Even Wayne Rooney, who has been used centrally, has not been able to live up to his true colours.
It certainly seems that the Red Devils soon need reinforcements up front. United were linked with a number of high-profile strikers before the arrival of the 35-year-old. They should already be on the lookout for an ideal replacement who could fill the big shoes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. On that note, here are three strikers who could replace the Swede in United’s line-up.
1. Antoine Griezmann
French star Antoine Griezmann idolised David Beckham as a kid. Today, he sports long sleeves and wears the number seven shirt. His brother is a vocal supporter of Manchester United and Griezmann had often mentioned that he wants to play with International teammate Paul Pogba at club-level.
He is one of the most lethal goal-scorer in world football currently and is one of the favourites to win the Ballon d’Or award this year. The 25-year-old could be the ideal creative forward that Mourinho needs to challenge for the titles.
Griezmann has been linked with a move to Old Trafford time and again. With Mourinho highly relying on Pogba’s influence to lure the Atletico Madrid forward to England, a move does not seem all that improbable. Also, he could be the one to finally lift the number seven ‘curse’ at Old Trafford. All this seems to indicate that he could potentially replace Ibrahimovic in the long run.
2. Harry Kane
Since his ascension to the first-choice striker at Tottenham Hotspur, Harry Kane has overcome critics by plundering in goal after goal in the Premier League. He is a home-grown player and a selfless striker, the kind any manager would want in his team.
The 23-year-old is a proven goalscorer as he amassed 21 and 25 goals in his two season as the Spurs’ main man and has seemed to be the real deal. Previously, he even pulled off a terrific performance against Mourinho’s Chelsea side. In this season, he has scored seven league goals in 9 appearances.
United have been keeping tabs on Kane since Louis van Gaal’s tenure. Although Kane has recently signed a new contract, a move could be imminent in the near future. He could be the missing piece of the jigsaw for Mourinho and an ideal replacement for Ibrahimovic.
3. Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford, one of England’s brightest prospects in football, could be an ideal replacement for Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford. Dubbed as ‘The Kid’ by the Portuguese boss, the 19-year-old has been in sensational form since his introduction to England’s top division.
He has made scoring on debuts a habit, scoring in six different debuts. His meteoric rise since his senior debut in February earlier in the year has been unprecedented. In Ibrahimovic’s presence, he has majorly used in a wide role by Mourinho that has seen a dip on his goal-scoring spree but he performed brilliantly every time he played as the striker.
This lad could save United millions of bucks. But Mourinho must keep in mind how detrimental tinkering affected a certain Danny Welbeck’s career as a striker. Rashford must be handled very carefully so that he can realise the full potential and ideally replace Ibrahimovic.