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Manchester United must hijack Arsenal’s transfer targets for Erik ten Hag



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Manchester United should consider hijacking Arsenal’s transfer targets in order to help Erik ten Hag boost his forward line in January.

Arsenal, after finishing second-best in the Premier League title race against Manchester City last season, are targeting a striker for the January window after manager Mikel Arteta feels he needs another striker to compete with Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus.

Manchester United recently signed Rasmus Højlund from Atalanta for a fee just above £70 million, with the view that Erik ten Hag can mould him into United’s long-term goalscorer and compete with the likes of Erling Haaland.

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However, with Højlund being just 20 years old, it is unfair to assume that he will be able to carry the goalscoring weight for the club from minute one – so far he has scored one goal and had a further one disallowed in his two starts, but he must be given time.

United also have Anthony Martial, who scored his first goal this season against Crystal Palace on Tuesday evening, but he has been through a series of injuries and goalscoring droughts across the last two seasons, and was available for transfer in the summer – he is not a Ten Hag favourite.

With this in mind, United should try and target a striker this January transfer window. Arsenal have been heavily linked with both Brentford’s Ivan Toney and Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins, who have both proven themselves to be reliable Premier League goalscorers across the last three seasons.

Both strikers are 27 years of age, which puts them as just approaching their supposed ‘prime years’ as an athlete and as goalscorers, and either would be a fantastic addition to the front line of Manchester United.

Toney or Watkins would bring guaranteed goals to the team in a way that Martial cannot currently provide and relieve some pressure from Rasmus Højlund, allowing him to grow and mould himself into a lethal striker across the next few seasons.

Toney, of course, is currently serving a suspension for betting violations, but his ban is set to end on 16 January 2024, meaning he would be available to play again from that window.