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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s 8 Man Utd strikers rated and slated after Edinson Cavani heroics


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed Edinson Cavani as the missing ingredient Manchester United had craved for years following his role in Sunday’s win over Tottenham.

The striker headed United into the lead late on against Jose Mourinho’s men, getting the goal he deserved following his superb movement throughout the game after having an earlier effort chalked off.

Afterwards, Solskjaer admitted his side had missed having a proper centre-forward of Cavani’s calibre, telling the BBC: “A performance like today we as a club we’ve missed for a few years. We haven’t had that type of No 9 for a long long spell.”

The United boss – who continues to be linked with a move for Erling Haaland this summer – has fielded eight different strikers in the first team since taking charge in December 2018.

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Here, Mirror Sport rates and slates all of them.

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku has given his honest thoughts on Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Romelu Lukaku has fired 21 league goals this season for Serie A leaders Inter Milan, and is the Italian top-flight’s second highest scorer behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

He has really found his feet at the San Siro, having scored 61 goals in 88 games for the club since being sold by Solskjaer in the summer of 2019.

Lukaku always appeared to be headed for the exit door once Solskjaer had been confirmed as United’s permanent manager, having scored just 12 Premier League goals that season.

And while it seemed a move that suited both parties at the time, Solskjaer admitted himself on Sunday that the Red Devils have missed having a traditional centre-forward to lead the line.

Rating: 6

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Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez has scored just five Serie A goals for Inter Milan this season
Alexis Sanchez has scored just five Serie A goals for Inter Milan this season

Alexis Sanchez has to go down as arguably United’s worst ever signing.

After the Chilean starred for Arsenal, former Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho appeared to have landed a bargain when Sanchez arrived at Old Trafford in a £30million deal in January 2018.

But he never justified his mammoth wages, scoring just five goals in 45 appearances before he was shipped off to Inter on an initial loan in August 2019, joining them on a free a year later.

He has fared little better at the San Siro, finding the net nine times in 63 appearances and struggling to nail down a starting role.

Rating: 3

Anthony Martial

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Anthony Martial is enduring arguably his most inconsistent season in a United shirt amid increased competition for a role in Solskjaer’s attack.

Brilliant on his day, the French forward has often left United fans wanting more from him since his £54m arrival from Monaco for at the start of the 2015/16 season.

Last season was his most prolific in the Premier League, with the striker scoring 17 top-flight goals to fuel the Red Devils’ charge to third place.

But he has left many unconvinced that he has all the qualities to lead United’s line – and speculation persists that he could be sold this summer.

Rating: 7

Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford is United's top scorer from open play this season
Marcus Rashford is United’s top scorer from open play this season

Marcus Rashford is United’s top scorer from open play this season, having established himself as one of the first names on the team sheet during Solskjaer’s reign.

The England striker has steadily increased his scoring tally each campaign for United since his two-goal first-team debut against Midtjylland in February 2016.

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Solskjaer’s predecessor Mourinho was adamant that Rashford is a wide player rather than a centre-forward, and that view has been borne out with the 23-year-old usually proving most effective from the left flank.

Rashford has his detractors among United fans, but it has to be remembered he is still a young player, and will keep on improving – especially if he continues to play with Cavani or is given the chance to link up with Harry Kane or Haaland.

Rating: 8

Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood celebrates after scoring United's third goal on Sunday
Mason Greenwood celebrates after scoring United’s third goal on Sunday

Mason Greenwood has been less consistent this season following his breakthrough campaign last term, when he scored 18 goals in all competitions.

Greenwood was fast-tracked into the first-team set-up early last season, with United struggling for goals after not replacing Lukaku.

He is still only 19, so a drop-off this term is not too much to worry about. Nonetheless, he has still showcased his lethal finishing ability – with his last-gasp goal against Tottenham the latest example.

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Greenwood has shown he is capable of leading the line as well as playing out wide, and will be a part of United’s attack for years to come – and like Rashford will only get better.

Rating: 7

Odion Ighalo

Odion Ighalo scored five goals for United
Odion Ighalo scored five goals for United

Odion Ighalo made just five starts after joining United on loan from Shanghai Shenhua in last year’s January transfer window.

He scored crucial goals in FA Cup wins over Derby County and Norwich City, as well as less crucial strikes in Europa League thrashings of Club Brugge and LASK.

But after being signed in response to United’s striker shortage, the Nigeria striker was never destined to stay long at Old Trafford, and is now at Saudi Arabian side Shabab, for whom he has scored three goals in seven appearances.

Rating: 6

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Edinson Cavani

Edinson Cavani headed Man Utd into the lead late on against Tottenham
Edinson Cavani headed Man Utd into the lead late on against Tottenham

Cavani has now scored eight goals for United in a season disrupted by illness and injury since he joined on a free transfer last October.

That actually makes him the Red Devils’ third highest scorer this season – although the Uruguayan’s game has been about more than goals.

The 34-year-old’s excellent movement has brought a new dimension to United’s attack and is an example to the likes of Rashford and Greenwood in how to improve their game.

He also brings a huge amount of experience – and will be missed if he does head back to South America this summer.

Rating: 7

D’Mani Bughail-Mellor

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D'Mani Bughail-Mellor has not yet added to his United debut against Astana
D’Mani Bughail-Mellor has not yet added to his United debut against Astana

D’Mani Bughail-Mellor has made one appearance so far under Solskjaer – a 25-minute cameo role in a shock 2-1 defeat to Astana in the Europa League in November 2019.

The 20-year-old is currently with the under-23s, and it remains to be seen whether he can follow in the footsteps of Rashford and Greenwood by breaking back into the first-team set-up.

Rating: The jury’s out

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