Ten Hag says ‘we have to get a striker’ in plea to Man Utd board ahead of January transfer window

Date published: Tuesday 27th December 2022 11:52 - Joe Williams

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag watches his side

Erik ten Hag says Man Utd “have to get a striker in” during the January transfer window after losing Cristiano Ronaldo in November.

The Red Devils terminated Ronaldo’s contract by mutual agreement after he aired negative thoughts on the club in a controversial interview with Piers Morgan.

Man Utd are now on the lookout for a new forward option with Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos, Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix and Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic amongst the names linked.

One man who won’t be going to Old Trafford is PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo with the Eredivisie side confirming yesterday that he will travel to Liverpool to complete a January move to Anfield.

A report has claimed that Ten Hag will only be able to do loan moves in January with a potential takeover of the club in the offing.

When asked if Man Utd must sign a striker in January, Ten Hag told Sky Sports: “There are two things. First, goals can also come out of our own club: see Garnacho, see Elanga, see Pellistri, who made a good impression in the World Cup and in the game against Everton last week in training. That is first.

“We are aware we lost a striker, so I think we have to get a striker in but it has to be the right one. The right one will bring quality to the team and not just an add to the squad because that gives you only problems.

“You know the criteria is high at Manchester United.”

Ten Hag is down to just Marcus Rashford and injury-prone Anthony Martial as they face Nottingham Forest at home tonight.

On how many goals Rashford could score this season, Ten Hag added: “I don’t want to pin myself on a number. I said from the start that he is capable to score 20 goals in the Premier League, so I am convinced about that.

“He now has four but he scored many other goals. He scored three goals at the World Cup, so then you have the potential to score those goals in the Premier League.”

Ten Hag continued: “We are aware we have to score more goals, we have to improve many more of our own elements in football. We have to be more decisive. You worry when you don’t create chances, but it is clear we have to score more.

“When I analyse the first 20 games, we had a lot of problems in the front line, often I had nothing to choose, or players weren’t 100 per cent and I still had to play them.

“That was a problem during the first 20 games this season. When we get better availability of fit players in the front line, we will score more goals.”

On how he would grade his own performance since taking over earlier this year, Ten Hag replied: “I am happy, I don’t have to do that. I leave that to others.

“I don’t give myself a grade. I give my best every day, I give the best I have. I want to see a better version of myself. That is what I can promise. I am confident the progress will come.

“You can always do better. When you are satisfied it brings you to laziness, I don’t want that. For me, good is not good enough, we have to do better. That also counts for the manager.”

READ MORE: Transfer gossip: Chelsea set to beat Man Utd to Portugal forward as Gakpo chooses Liverpool


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