Ex-Man Utd striker urges Solskjaer to ‘break the bank’ for PSG star

Will Ford

Former Manchester United striker Louis Saha has suggested Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe would be the ideal solution to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s striker conundrum.

United have endured a nightmare start to the new season, slipping to 14th in the Premier League table after their first nine fixtures.

Solskjaer’s are yet to secure a single away win across all competitions, with a tough trip to Partizan Belgrade up next in the Europa League.

Marcus Rashford has struggled to lead the line on his own in the absence of Anthony Martial, who has only just returned from injury.

It has been reported that Solskjaer will prioritise signing a new striker in the January window and Saha has urged the Norwegian to consider a bold approach.

The Frenchman, who played at Old Trafford between 2004 and 2008, has put PSG’s Mbappe and Bayern Munich talisman Robert Lewandowski forward as potential transfer targets.

“If you ask me, I would break the bank for Mbappe, but now it’s too late,”Saha said.

“But, when you look at strikers, it’s a dying breed. Lewandowski is a rare example of someone who is left, and I don’t see many players that can easily fit up front. I had views on some strikers like (Atalanta’s Duvan) Zapata [who United scouts have been watching in recent weeks] who I think is a decent player, very strong.

“There is a need for somebody up front who is strong enough to hold the ball and to give time and space to the players like Paul Pogba and McTominay to create something in midfield to put passes together. You’re asking a lot from young players because passing the ball around and having nice touches, it just looks too nice and it doesn’t work.

“This football is really down to possession, but hard on young players especially when they don’t have confidence. You need a couple of big strong characters to talk to people, to do the dirty jobs, winning duels, and to help the fans react. I think that’s what we want to see.

“When we lose we have that challenge that nobody likes. Passing is nice but you don’t hurt anybody.”

Saha also insisted that Rashford has been put under too much pressure at this early stage of his career.

He added: “I think he’s a terrific player but it comes back to what I just said; I think he’s been trying to figure out how to get luck rather than have a role model.

“There are other youngsters in the team who look at Rashford as the man they need to displace.

“We had Solskjaer, Tevez, Ronaldo, Van Nistelrooy, Rooney, Giggsy; all those players could put me in the stands, so I had to work 10 times harder than what I thought was normal to get a place because those guys are that good and already proved that they are immense players because they had won trophies, whereas the current players have not yet proved themselves by winning trophies.

“It’s too much and I feel for Rashford because he should not be in this situation right now.”



When asked if a lack of competition for places is a cause for concern for Solskjaer at the moment, the former striker said “yes”, before defending the United manager’s decision to let Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez leave Old Trafford over the summer.

“Competition is healthy,” Saha continued. “The potential to work harder is not there because there are no visual challengers. These guys can’t see anyone that is going to put them in the stands.

“I think they were right to let the players leave (Lukaku and Sanchez). Definitely, if they had expressed that they don’t want to remain there so you have to understand that it’s not just about economics but the man management, and if those guys don’t want to be there it’s not right for the spirit where they’re trying to build something new.

“This is really hard because those players are not small players. They were very useful players so I think they are right in their actual decision to get the move that they wanted and they are happy, but the situation right now is obviously to replace those guys. You have to have replacements for competition.

“You have to have replacements because we want to score goals. The players that we have right now, you could see that they could realistically score 10 to 15 goals, but is that enough?”