Why Manchester United could miss out on next summer’s transfer target.

Why Manchester United could miss out on next summer’s transfer target.

After a few years in obscurity, traditional strikers have returned to favor in the sport of soccer.

After false nines and versatile forwards became standard, the traditional center forward, such as Erling Haaland, who is prolific in the opponent’s penalty area, superb in hold-up play, and dangerous with their back to goal, is now in vogue.

The most desirable strikers available this summer were Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen, but Rasmus Hojlund was acquired from Atalanta in a £72 million deal instead.

Hojlund exemplifies the revival of the traditional center-forward position. The youngster is strong and physically imposing, and he does not appear to have a tendency to wander into broad areas of the field.

He played just over 20 minutes against Arsenal at the Emirates before the international break, but he made more of an impression in that appearance than Anthony Martial and he must start against Brighton, provided he’s deemed fit enough.

When Hojlund entered that game, William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes of Arsenal appeared visibly uneasy. His link-up play immediately enhanced the team and gave hope of securing all three points.

Manchester United fans will be intrigued to see if he begins against Brighton, and his potential matchup with Evan Ferguson, another powerful throwback striker from the past, will be of particular interest.

When Ferguson was asked for his football idol growing up earlier this year, he said: “I believe I would’ve said Wayne Rooney. As a child, I used to watch him and cheer for United. I thought he was absolutely incredible.”

It didn’t take long for those BBC quotes to go viral on social media and send supporters of the red party into a frenzy. Some quickly suggested that a summer offer be made, while others fabricated images of him playing for United.

Brighton, who appear to have an endless supply of talent, never intended to sell Ferguson this summer, and their astute chairman Tony Bloom has already ruled out the 18-year-old’s departure in January.

The South Coast club appears to sell their stars for enormous profits before replacing them with equally talented players for pennies, and Ferguson seems destined to be the next big export.

After his outstanding hat-trick against Newcastle, Ferguson has scored four goals in four league games for Brighton this season, and his overall senior stats include 14 goals and four assists in 33 games.

This is an outstanding performance for a striker at such an early stage in his development, and Irish fans have scoffed this week at rumors Ferguson could defect to England, for which he was once eligible.

The Irish have made it abundantly clear that Ferguson is theirs, and the player has reciprocated that sentiment without mentioning that, more importantly, he cannot play for the Three Lions after having made three competitive international appearances.

Gareth Southgate recently referred to Ferguson as a ‘bloody good player’, regardless of who he’s representing. Fans’ eagerness to learn whether Ferguson could switch allegiances is a clear compliment to him.

Currently, it seems risky to agree with Southgate, but Erik ten Hag holds the same opinion about Ferguson. There is interest in the youngster from Old Trafford, and it is possible he will be transferred during the summer of 2019.

Next year, Hojlund will be the only striker at the club. Marcus Rashford is not as effective in the center, and Anthony Martial’s contract expires at the end of the season, so a replacement is required.

Ferguson might be valued out of the fee range and it might not work to have two similar, customary strikers at the club, but if he keeps on scoring throughout this campaign, it seems likely he’ll continue to be linked to United.

Fans believe that this weekend’s match between Brighton and United could be Ferguson’s audition. The issue is that he is in a race against time to recover in time for the match, which means he may be absent from the squad.

If Ferguson does not play on Saturday afternoon, it will be worthwhile to track him for the rest of the season.

Why Manchester United could miss out on next summer’s transfer target.

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