Erik ten Hag may have found an alternative solution to Manchester United’s striker problem

Pre-season is a time for fun, relaxation and experimentation.

The chance to try new ideas without fear of damaging consequences if they fail can be of great benefit to clubs as they prepare for the full season. With any luck, they won’t be completely pointless endeavors like a penalty shootout at the end of a match regardless of the outcome.

It has been a strong start to pre-season for Manchester United. A team largely made up of reserves started the summer with wins over Leeds and Lyon and the senior stars did not disturb the atmosphere on their return. Now in the US for their pre-season tour, Erik ten Hag’s side defeated Arsenal 2-0 in New Jersey on Saturday night.

Apart from new No.1 Andre Onana not being on target and Casemiro looking on as his potential heir Kobbie Mainoo continued to shine in midfield, United’s starting XI was strong and pretty close to what you would expect to see in the first game of the campaign against Wolves. That is, of course, apart from the man running the line… or is it?

Also Read: United Player Ratings vs Arsenal

The arrivals of Onana and Mason Mount should see United build on the significant progress made last season, but there is still an obvious void in the squad up front. That United played the majority of last season without a quality striker makes what Ten Hag achieved all the more impressive.

Cristiano Ronaldo obviously didn’t suit the manager’s style and left in a mood in December, Wout Weghorst wasn’t good enough and Anthony Martial spent most of the season in the treatment room. United lacked a spearhead, a focal point, and were it not for Rashford’s roaring return to form, it is unlikely that a Champions League place would have been secured.

The majority of Rashford’s 30 goals came when he played in his preferred position on the left flank, and although he led the line admirably when asked, it is clearly not his best position. United need a man to finally lead the line, but finding one has proved difficult.

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