Links to Juventus flop a real worry for Man Utd’s striker search

First he hints that he’s going to sign a striker that none of the media have been talking about, now he claims he doesn’t know if he’ll buy another frontman at all. Louis van Gaal has been a devious customer during this summer’s transfer window.

His initial comments sent rumour peddlers into overdrive. Anyone from Alexandre Lacazette to Zlatan Ibrahimovic was all of a sudden about to arrive at Old Trafford. Whether a new striker is on the horizon or not, one name that has emerged as a potential Red Devil capture really has to be avoided.

Fernando Llorente has, according to the Mirror, surfaced as the forward most likely to join Manchester United’s depleted front line.

If that’s true the fans should be very worried about their club’s 11/2-rated title chances, especially after the catastrophe that was Radamel Falcao’s season-long loan.

Like the Colombian, Llorente is a back-to-goal striker rather than a player that looks to use pace to run channels beyond the defence and stretch them.

Falcao wasn’t a success using that style of play under Van Gaal, and neither will Llorente be. Even in the drudgery of Serie A, where the Spaniard has spent two seasons with Juventus, his lack of pace cost him any great success.

Llorente is coming off the back of a seven-goal, 31-game league season. Those returns are not the sort of figures that Man United should be targeting in a potential striker. They would be showing their desperation in the market if they ended up settling for the 30-year-old.

Impulse purchases, or loans like Falcao was, are not the way Van Gaal will bring success back to Old Trafford. The Dutchman would be better off finding other targets, or indeed other options already at his disposal, to fill his centre forward need rather than Llorente.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.