Former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson believes Jose Mourinho should try to bring Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez to Old Trafford this summer.
The 28-year-old Chile forward was Arsenal’s player of the season, top scorer and man of the match in the FA Cup final win over Chelsea but has not looked happy at the Emirates Stadium in recent months.
United, on the other hand, struggled for goals all term and there are growing doubts that their leading scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who missed the end of the campaign with a bad knee injury, will be given another contract.
England’s most successful club have been linked with several attacking players, most notably Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann, although that interest is understood to have now cooled.
Having watched his former club squander chances all season, Robson is convinced there is a tried-and-tested Premier League performer who is available and would grace the United shirt.
“(Sanchez) has played at a club like Arsenal, so he can handle the pressure, that’s 100 per cent guaranteed,” Robson told Press Association Sport.
“His character is right, he’s a tough player, he’s really skillful, he works hard for the team, he can score and he create goals.
“When you put that package together, he is the type we would like here. Whether we can achieve that or Mourinho thinks the same… people always have different opinions on players.”
United’s manager is believed to be looking for an out-and-out striker, which may mean the more creative and versatile Sanchez does not quite fit the bill.
But the former Barcelona star can play through the middle and there is no doubting his eye for goal, having scored 72 in 145 appearances for Arsenal and 30 in all competitions last season.
Robson, a global ambassador for United, believes Mourinho needs to take a leaf out of former manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s book by having four “really good strikers who are in competition with each other for games”.
It is a point his former team-mate Gary Pallister agrees with, particularly after watching United draw 10 home games.
“It’s been our Achilles heel this season,” the former defender said. “We’ve enjoyed a lot of possession and played well enough to win games but, for whatever reason, we haven’t.
“We’ve come up against goalies playing well and we’ve missed a lot of chances, too, which the manager has talked about. It’s something he’ll want to address next year.”
Both Robson and Pallister believe 19-year-old Marcus Rashford will be part of the solution next term.
Pallister said: “I think he’s got a bright future and he really came on in the second half of the season. There’s no way they’d let him go out on loan – he’s too good a player and too important to Manchester United.”
Robson urged the Manchester-born teenager to keep working on his finishing.
“Marcus has scored goals at every level he’s come into and he was brilliant in his first season for the first team,” the former England skipper said.
“But young lads can have those little dips. He’s done well but he can do better. It’s just confidence and practice.”