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Potential replacements for Timo Werner as Manchester United’s striker targets: Who will step in to support Hojlund?

Manchester United’s search for a striker is known to everyone in this transfer window. The club had a shortlist of four players for this position, which included Timo Werner, Serhou Guirassy, Thomas Muller, and Eric Choupo-Moting. Unfortunately, out of these players, United has already missed out on Timo Werner who is reportedly signing for Tottenham. It’s a typical United fashion to lose out on their targets.

Which striker should Manchester United target, and who could replace Werner on their shortlist to support Hojlund, who is currently playing alone up front every game?y game?

Here’s a rundown of each target plus a player United should target now that Werner is off the market-

Also read: Timo Werner Completes Medical Ahead Of Premier League Comeback

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Serhou Guirassy

Let’s get the big fish out of the way first because he’s the most unrealistic target. United’s FFP constraints are such that they are not able to afford any permanent transfers in the winter window. Therefore, despite Guirassy’s remarkably low release clause of about £15.2 million, we can consider United out of the running for the Bundesliga hitman unless they manage to sell some players first.

Of course, in terms of goalscoring, Guirassy’s fit at United couldn’t be better. He trails only Harry Kane in the league scoring charts and at one point, had 13 goals in the first seven games of the season.

The one worry levelled against him is that his breakout has come out of nowhere so there are questions if it is sustainable, but one look at his xG figures dispels the notion of this being just a hot streak.

Guirassy’s movement and anticipation have led to an xG of 12.76 in just 14 games, along with an xA of 2.85. This proves that not only is Guirassy scoring at an expected rate, but his one assist is far below what his playmaking merits.

At 27, he is also the ideal foil to let Hojlund develop for 2-3 years before he becomes the Dane’s backup at 30-31.

The move makes sense in everything but the finances of it. Unfortunately for United, that’s the most important part.

Quality – 8/10
Fit – 9/10
Fee – 2/10

Thomas Muller

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Thomas Muller? Man United’s obsession with signing huge names with their best years behind them has been a huge reason why they are still looking for a reliable name at the striker position.

Muller has seen himself drop down the pecking order at Bayern this year, playing just 37% of all available league minutes. In that time has a solitary goal and six assists. In the later iteration of his career, Muller has played in a deeper role from where he ghosts in the box to create and overloads.

His playmaking has come to the fore due to that change but his suitability to the Premier League’s intense pressing and physical style at this stage of his career is debatable, to say the least.

His fit is questionable due to two factors. Firstly, he has no set position, and the role he is deployed in at Bayern doesn’t exist at United. Attacking midfield is occupied by Bruno Fernandes and Erik ten Hag wants dynamic wingers instead of playmakers out on the wing.

Ultimately, he can’t play in place of Hojlund, he can’t play with Hojlund, and his best years are behind him. United should learn their lesson when they received a spent Schweinsteiger from Bayern and avoid going that route again, even if Muller could be far more affordable than Guirassy in terms of transfer fees.

Quality – 6/10
Fit – 3/10
Fee – 6/10 (Fee might not be high, but wages almost certainly will be)

Eric Choupo-Moting

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A single factor should rule Choupo-Moting out of the running of this list which is that under Bundesliga rules, a player on an expiring contract cannot be loaned out. Therefore, unless United want to buy a 34-year-old, hot-and-cold Choupo-Moting permanently, he is off the list.

Of all the players listed so far, his financial package would’ve been the most palatable but not on a permanent deal. His fit is seamless, in that his movement and anticipation should dovetail well with the likes of Rashford and Fernandes. However, his quality is questionable. Choupo-Moting’s record has undoubtedly improved since his ill-fated spell at Stoke, but there’s a perception that he has benefitted from playing with absolutely world-class players.

Can he be the saviour of an ailing attack led by an inexperienced kid right now? The question mark is a big one.

Quality – 5/10
Fit – 7/10
Fee – 3/10 (As it can’t be a loan)

Terem Moffi

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Something which United have regularly done under Ten Hag is to lean on his knowledge for transfers due to their scattergun recruitment system. However, with Sir Jim Ratcliffe arriving, Moffi is a striker who fits the bill who is also known inside-out by Sir Jim.

OGC Nice’s Terem Moffi was snapped up from FC Lorient last year by Nice’s exciting Sporting Director Florent Ghisolfi and he has immediately slotted into the team well.

Six goals and two assists in 16 league games tell their own story, but his all-rounded play would be a great addition to United.

Of all the players listed here, Moffi is the only one who can with, and in place of Hojlund, so varied is his skillset. Of course, aged just 24 and signed last year, Moffi is probably off the market for United in January.

However, in the absence of an out-and-out winning option, United would do well to persist with their current players till the end of the season and then make an all-out effort to get Moffi.

A band-aid has been applied on a fracture at United’s striking position for more than half a decade now. It’s time the bones are finally mended. Moffi’s signing in the summer will do that but United need to hold their nerve in the winter to make it possible.

Fit – 9/10
Quality – 9/10
Fee – 3/10 in January, 8/10 in the summer.

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