Paul Scholes believes that Manchester United should sign Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez instead of Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane or Victor Osimhen of Napoli.
In the case of the England captain, Scholes believes that the club cannot risk a protracted transfer saga that could leave Erik ten Hag empty handed.
“I don’t think Kane will move from Tottenham at this point,” the United legend told BT Sport (Quotes via EuroSport), ahead of the Red Devils’ Europa League second leg Round of 16 tie with Real Betis. I think it’s tricky business dealing with Daniel Levy, he could string you on right to the very last minute of the transfer window and leave you with nothing.”
That may ring true, given Tottenham’s current hard-line stance that Kane will not be moving on in the summer. The Premier League striker will only have 12 months remaining on his contract come June, but Levy is more than likely convinced that he can persuade Kane to stay within that timeframe.
As for Victor Osimhen, Scholes believes that the Nigerian frontman would be a poor fit at Man United, suggesting he would fare better at another club.
“I think there are other players out there, like Osimhen. I haven’t seen loads of him, but I see him as more of a [Didier] Drogba type, possibly more of a Chelsea-type centre-forward.”
“Is he going to get those kind of crosses at United? That’s the thing,” Scholes added, referring to the chances Osimhen converted during Napoli’s 3-0 win Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday.
The treble winner made the, perhaps surprising, pick of Lautaro Martinez when pressed on who he thought United should sign, saying, “I like Lautaro Martinez at Inter Milan. I think he’s Ten Hag’s type of player. He likes a centre-forward who will run about, be aggressive, get against people. There are options.
“I like Manchester United’s centre-forwards as they are. I like Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial. We all know the quality they’ve got. There are options out there and let’s hope we can bring one in.”
While Martinez is an excellent at leading a press, it does seem to be a fairly strange choice given the profile of player Ten Hag appears to be looking for. The Dutchman drafted in Wout Weghorst on loan in January, which would somewhat suggest that he is looking for someone with more physicality in his game.
And while Lautaro is indeed a very talented forward, he is more or less untested as a lone striker, having always played with a strike partner for Inter Milan. When he has played alone upfront, he has often been underwhelming, as demonstrated by his poor showing at the World Cup with Argentina. His work with his back to goal is very underwhelming.
Moreover, it is worth noting that the current United setup crosses very rarely precisely because there is nobody worth crossing to. Ten Hag’s Ajax sides were among the most cross-happy sides in Europe last season, and it is likely the Dutchman will want to add this attacking string to the Red Devils’ bow in time.