Erik ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, is exploring the idea of pairing Anthony Martial and Rasmus Hojlund in the team’s attack to address the ongoing offensive challenges faced at Old Trafford.
Manchester United has been grappling with a scoring drought in the Premier League, with Scott McTominay being their top scorer, having only three goals to his name. Neither Hojlund nor Martial has managed to find the net in the league so far, and Marcus Rashford has scored just one goal. Antony, Facundo Pellistri, and Alejandro Garnacho are yet to open their scoring accounts as well.
BBC pundit Alan Shearer has emphasized the urgent need for United to enhance their offensive capabilities and has called on Ten Hag to demand more from his attacking players. With just 11 goals in nine Premier League matches, it is evident that the team’s attacking performance must improve in the upcoming weeks.
Ten Hag is optimistic that Martial, who has only started two Premier League matches this season and none since Hojlund’s return to full fitness, can be integrated into the lineup alongside the Danish player. The Manchester United manager stated, “They can play together because Anthony Martial is also available to play from the side.”
United’s tactical approach typically involves starting just one central striker, with a three-pronged attacking unit providing support. Rashford usually occupies the left-wing position, while Bruno Fernandes plays as the central playmaker, and the right-sided position is often rotated, although Antony is believed to be the preferred choice.
These considerations align with Shearer’s recent remarks on BBC Match of the Day, in which he emphasized the need for United’s forwards to contribute more goals. He stressed that Ten Hag should demand more creativity when in goal-scoring positions.
Ian Wright, a fellow pundit on Match of the Day and former Premier League striker, shares this viewpoint. He suggested that United has been playing it safe and should take more risks to create discomfort for opposing teams.
Wright noted, “When they do want to pass it through, it’s slow and it’s sloppy – it’s not right. The players commit themselves, and then it’s a comedy of errors. With these one-on-one situations, they try to get their wingers in, relying on individuals too many times.”
He also highlighted the team’s lack of goals and chances, calling for a more dynamic approach in the middle. United’s offensive strategy needs a makeover to address these pressing concerns.