This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
According to The Sun, Manchester United have added Aleksandr Sobolev to their list of targets for the centre-forward role.
What’s the word?
The Red Devils’ decision to let both Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez go in the summer transfer window was certainly eyebrow-raising, and their struggle for goals since then has only under-lined what a questionable move that was.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have scored just nine times in their opening seven Premier League games, and reports in recent weeks have suggested they will be targeting a new striker in the January transfer window.
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Now, The Sun claim United have added Krylia Sovetov marksman Sobolev to their list of options, and that scouts have watched the 22-year-old closely this season. The report adds the Russian club could “listen to offers above £15m”.
Standing at 6 foot 5, Sobolev is a monster, and it’s fair to say United don’t have anyone quite like him in their side. A swoop for the Russian would quite obviously bring them a physical presence (he has won 3.8 aerial duels per game this season), but he would also give the Red Devils a platform to build from.
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The stat that shows United haven’t scored more than one goal in a league game since the 4-0 thrashing of Chelsea says a lot about the lack of success with their current focus on counter-attacking. Having Sobolev lead the line would allow the Red Devils’ attacking midfielders to play off him, and have more touches in and around the box, thus creating more.
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The 22-year-old has shown an ability to successfully link up with those around him, averaging 1.5 key passes per game.
Getting players like Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Daniel James to make runs in behind the opposition defence and having Sobolev find them with either his head or his feet would be a great route to goal. It is a move that makes sense on all levels.