Roy Keane believes Manchester United need a world-class striker to challenge Manchester City, but can do so if they sign Harry Kane, who will bring “excitement”.
United have shown that they’re ready to make the step back to being title challengers this season. They’ve not genuinely mounted a challenge right to the end of a campaign since their last title win, in 2012/13.
They have finished twice second since then, but on neither occasion have they been in the title mix late on.
They dropped off the pace last season, following up a second-placed finish with a disappointing end to the campaign, as they ended up in sixth.
That led to the appointment of Erik ten Hag, who has shown what having a quality manager really gets you. Indeed, he inspired his side to a third-placed finish, a League Cup trophy and a shot at an FA Cup trophy.
The silverware shows a competitive streak in United that had been dormant for years until the Dutchman came along.
They’ll want to continue to win trophies, whilst building on the good league finish and challenging for the title next season. Indeed, while they did finish third, they were 11 points behind second-placed Arsenal.
Ten Hag recruited very well in his first summer at the club, so if he can do the same this summer, there’s no reason to suggest United can’t mount a genuine title challenge.
Keane feels Kane holds the key for United
Former United man Keane feels United could be the side to challenge rivals City for the title next season. While he admits it will be tough, he thinks a great forward player will be key to that, with Tottenham star Kane the best option.
“Well I hope it’s from United, obviously depending on the takeover, the usual stuff – recruitment, they have to get a world-class striker,” Keane said on Sky Sports.
“You’d hope to think United could challenge them next year but its going to be very, very difficult because City are brilliant and they’ve got a great, great manager.
“They’re [United] going to be linked with lots of players, the one that would excite you really is Kane.”
Indeed, Kane seems to be the perfect fit for United at the moment. This season, they’ve had to chop and change their striker a lot: Marcus Rashford has been utilised there despite preferring to be stationed on the left, injury-prone Anthony Martial has also played up top, as has with loanee Wout Weghorst.
Having seen the turnaround without an elite striker, Ten Hag will be aware that his side could click into another gear if he finds the right one.
Keane wary of Tottenham plans
While Kane seems the perfect fit, Keane suggests Tottenham could shut the move down.
“In terms of excitement, a goalscorer, you’d go all in for Kane, but can you see Spurs selling to Man United? Very, very difficult,” he said.
Indeed, recent reports have suggested Spurs are so against the idea of selling Kane within England that they’ve offered him to Real Madrid. As such, United could find it tough to complete the signing, but nothing can stop them attempting it.
Another man that’s been linked with United is Declan Rice. Keane is not quite as exhilarated by the prospect of the midfielder playing at Old Trafford, but still feels it would be a good move for the Red Devils.
“I think Rice would be a decent signing,” he said.
United’s side would be very competitive at the top end of the table if they were to sign both Kane and Rice.