Man Utd simply can't afford to miss out on this dazzling £75m striker available in January

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The Red Devils have been linked with a swoop for RB Leipzig striker Lois Openda.

When considering Manchester United's various woes, it can be difficult to pinpoint which is the most detrimental, and therefore, which needs to be resolved most pressingly. Is it their porous defensive unit, anchored by a goalkeeper who continues to show all of the effectiveness of a clumsy hologram? Is it the broader culture of a dressing room that repeatedly disposes of hassled managers at the first sign of hardship, like soiled paper napkins at a fast food restaurant? Or, is it the fact that they currently boast a frontline which is about as useful as a chocolate oven mitt?

In truth, it is a combination of all three, and a smattering of other problems besides, but in terms of quick fixes, that last point might be the easiest to solve. At the time of writing, United's attacking cohort is underperforming to a shocking extent. So far this season, their realistic centre forwards options - Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Rasmus Hojlund - have scored just three goals between them in the Premier League, with Hojlund still yet to find the back of the net in domestic competition following his £72 million arrival this summer.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It is not as if United aren't creating chances either. According to the stats gurus at Wyscout, the discrepancy between their xG per 90 minutes and the actual number of goals they are averaging per game is 0.72, meaning that over the course of the 16 top flight fixtures they have played so far, they have squandered a mammoth 11.52 strikes. Not only is that the highest tally in the Premier League, it is also absolutely criminal by any metric.

What Erik ten Hag and his side need, then, is a proper goalscorer - somebody who can slot into the side, ease some of the burden on their barren strikers, and start making good on those wasted chances. Somebody like Lois Openda.

The Belgian international is currently on the books at RB Leipzig in Germany, and has been in electric form since completing a £33 million transfer from French outfit Lens in July. So far, he has registered 10 goals in 14 Bundesliga appearances, and a further four in six in the Champions League. His natural pace makes him a constant threat on the counter attack, and his instinctive finishing and knack for finding himself in the right place at the right time are exactly the kind of predatory traits that United are so sorely lacking.

It is little surprise, therefore, to read reports suggesting that the Red Devils have made Openda a 'serious' target, having previously been linked with him over the summer. Were they to secure a deal now, it could cost them upwards of £75 million - more than double the fee Leipzig paid for him - but hey, better late than never.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And United can take some encouragement from the fact that the player himself is seemingly keen on the prospect of moving to the Premier League in the future. Speaking to German outlet BILD recently, he said: “I’m open to everything. Maybe one day I’d like to play in England or Spain.”

Whether that day comes any time soon remains to be seen, but if Openda continues in his current rich vein of form, then he is absolutely an option that United cannot afford to pass up on.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.