Louis van Gaal wonders whether signing a striker, or simply training his current players, is the solution to Man United’s scoring problem.
United have one of the worst scoring records with just 25 goals scored in their last 25 league matches, including seven goalless draws.
Outside the relegation zone, only West Brom, Swansea and Stoke have scored fewer goals than United this season.
Despite an encouraging performance in the 0-0 draw against Chelsea, Van Gaal is still under pressure to deliver a win when United host Swansea on Saturday.
The statistics make for uncomfortable reading for the Dutchman. United have not won in their last eight matches – their worst run for 26 years – and they have collected four points fewer than David Moyes had by this stage in his solitary season as United manager.
Van Gaal had backed Wayne Rooney to deliver 25 goals this season, but at the halfway point he has found the net just twice in the league while Anthony Martial has struggled to maintain the prolific scoring rate he enjoyed shortly after moving to Old Trafford.
Van Gaal concedes United’s poor form in front of goal is a concern.
“That is our problem (scoring goals),” the United manager said.
“When you analyse most matches we were the dominating team, but we didn’t score.
“How many players have had the chances to score and why they didn’t score? You cannot always explain that.”
Van Gaal has been linked with a number of forwards, including Sadio Mane, Edinson Cavani and Yoshinori Muto, but the 64-year-old was reluctant to say he would spend big on a forward in the window.
“We are looking always for solutions in the team. Also, for this moment, but we still have a good team and we can still score goals,” Van Gaal said.
“I don’t believe too much in competition. I believe in trust and confidence. Maybe that is wrong but I have done it all my life. I give trust to the players.
“The problem can be solved with money but also on the training pitch. We are training but scoring goals is a quality. We have that quality but at this moment there is a lack of confidence at the right time or we need to buy another striker.”